8/25/14- Groundwork Lesson with Astrid
Great lesson. Chief was great and very responsive. Really great before we tacked him up. Circles were great, changing direction was definitely improving. He was very focused on me, my directions. Was very precise.
We put a western saddle on him and he was very stiff while tacking up, which is unlike him. As soon as we gave him direction with the flag he started to blow up like a bronco, running away from the flag and bucking. Astrid took him from me and schooled him. Still having a bucking fit. He calmed after awhile and became gentler. He was not entirely comfortable for the rest of the time, but listened. Un-tacked him and re tacked him up. Shook the saddle horn, played with stirrups.
Ended on a good note.
8/27/14- Short night. Saddled and unsaddled him about 10 times. He got comfortable. Worked him on the ground with no real issues. I was very gentle with the flag. It was 95 degrees that day. I have a feeling he was exhausted from being out in the heat all day.
Worked on ground initially without tack. He was good, but a little distracted by the other horses who were out. Acted a little stiff. And when I wasn’t paying attention as much as I should have, I asked him to roll over his hind, and he pulled his head away and gave a buck. I snatched him back and made him calm down. When I got the results I wanted I tacked him up with the western saddle. Put it on him three times, until he was licking his lips, head was low and he was comfortable. I brought him to the center of the arena, after doing a few leading exercises and began to flag him and he started to blow up. I got him back and started working him without the flag, just using the end of the lead rope (long) He was still running from it when I asked him to roll over. Fortunately Astrid was there and taught me how to correct him buy giving his quick pull and release on the lead to get him to square up, and asking him to do it again and again until he was quiet. Eventually we got him to be responsive, and quieter. Started to work on backing and moving his shoulders as well. I have difficulty with that. Changes of direction are slowly progressing and getting better. Un tacked and re saddled him again at the end. He is very responsive after he calms a little from being scared, or if he is corrected with a little more pressure than normal. I am always careful to be respectful though.