Week 2 VBA Zazu
This week has seen significant advancement in Zazu's training and education, I really feel she wants to be a part of the action and learn.
The main focus for the week was introducing her to new things, new environments and developing her understanding of my cues. I intensified this week's training with longer session - up to one hour.
Once I felt she was soft enough in the face and body I was able to take her for walks around the property, something I feel does them the world of good. On our walks I would take her over obstacles and varying terrain, she displays a natural calmness for new things and environments.
I have also focused on teaching her the breakdown of body parts to where she can move them independently such as her hindquarters and shoulders. Our lunging work is also coming along nicely, with her now being able to move laterally out of the circle whilst maintaining her rhythm. Every time I ask her to move her body in a certain way, I do so with the long stick to help simulate how I would be asking her once the riding begins, thus making it an easier transition for her under saddle.
Two things that are important to establish before the ridden work can begin is 1: Long reining and 2: lunging at liberty. Her lunging at liberty is great at the walk and trot, however, the canter she can become a little anxious and rushed which leads her to be unbalanced. The reason I want her to be comfortable in all three paces is once I do ride her I plan on having someone lunge her at liberty with me on her. This way she can experience all three paces early on without the pressure coming from the rider - it is just another step to breaking down the starting process using exercises that are already established and that she understands. I have only done a couple of short long reining sessions with her and she was a little confused and worried when I ask her to turn or she feels too much rope pressure from behind, I took it a step back and did some more work with ropes around her back legs which made a big difference in her confidence in the long reining. It is easy to rush things and forget to cover all bases when you have a horse that so easily accepts new learning's.
With the progress that was made and with how relaxed Zazu was, it was time to introduce the saddle! Need I say she took this like a trooper? Happy and relaxed. She also had her first trim this week.
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