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Sally and River - Week 11

This week we’ve passed the halfway mark – where did that time go??  Still more of the same homework this week, but I’m pleased to report that River has improved greatly in the ‘go’ part of the movement exercises.  He is now responding to a small suggestion to move off on the circle and he stays in an active walk until I ask him to stop.  This is a massive achievement for River as he really struggled with this exercise.  Our next goal is to step it up to some trot circles and aim for the same response.

It is interesting to uncover the different layers to a horse as the training continues and find out what they have trouble with and what they just seem to fly through.  Although it would have been easy to let River stay slow and a bit tentative at the circle exercise, it will ultimately come back and bite me on the butt as just because he was taking it slow and stopping and starting rather than tearing around on the end of the rope, it didn’t mean he was ok with what I was asking of him.  (I’ve learnt this the hard way with another horse!) Both of these behaviours are at opposite ends of the spectrum but both still indicate a level of anxiety and tension in the horse.

Maybe a side-effect of getting hang of the ‘go’ button could be River’s aversion to being caught on the last day of the week.  He has been very good to catch up until today but there was some pulling away from being haltered and also a few laps of the yard at the trot and canter.  It’s the first time I’ve seen him rolling around the yard at a pace and he does have a nice elevated trot and canter!!  So we went back to the beginning and did some Catching 101 until he was better.  I suspect getting the ‘go’ to work has broken the ‘stand still’ so we will be working on balancing this up as he needs to be able to do both without getting anxious.

We’ve also done some adventure walks out to have a pick of grass and River did get a new halter this week as being matchy matchy is very important!!!!

For more pics and updates, please see my FB page ABC 2016 : Sally Adsett-Brown

Go to Sally's week 10 ... week 12

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