Re evaluating Characteristics and our Sunday Workout

“As a rider, you must slowly and methodically show your horse what is appropriate. You also have to discourage what's inappropriate, not by making the inappropriate impossible, but by making it difficult so that the horse himself chooses appropriate behavior. You can't choose it for him; you can only make it difficult for him to make the wrong choices. If, however, you make it impossible for him to make the wrong choices, you're making war.” ― Buck Brannaman

“As a rider, you must slowly and methodically show your horse what is appropriate. You also have to discourage what’s inappropriate, not by making the inappropriate impossible, but by making it difficult so that the horse himself chooses appropriate behavior. You can’t choose it for him; you can only make it difficult for him to make the wrong choices. If, however, you make it impossible for him to make the wrong choices, you’re making war.”
― Buck Brannaman

So my plan is to just give a rundown of Chief’s Character and working traits now… And for me to be able to look back and to see if anything has changed in a month of solid groundwork.  And  I want to look over my traits as well.

Chief and I

  • Circling really well
  • Getting his attention on me has been better
  • Asking him to do a little more work keeps his attention regardless of if there are distractions
  • He still gets a little aggressive, and scared with continuation of too much pressure, sometimes this is my mistake, sometimes he is over reacting.
  • Still not backing really well.  Is backing better than he was, but still a little Resistant.  Still is better
  • Leading has improved so much.  Is “hooked on” really well.  He is being much more mindful of my space.
  • Trotting on a lead line has improved really well.  Barely have any bucking problems when asking to trot now on a lead.
  • I am learning to adjust my pressure to Chief’s responses, and in turn he is relaxing much more. My goal is to have him relaxed for the majority of the exercises but still responding properly.
  • Saddling appropriately the majority of the time,  is girthy, but we are working on that.  Kindness and reassurance is going a long way there.
  • He is getting better responding to the flag when he is naked.  He is very worried with the flag when he is saddled.  I am going to work on that this weekend when I have a few hours to spend working with him.
  • I on the other hand… I am getting better with the flag but not great
  • We are still working on changing direction, but moving along well with it.
  • I am happy with his improvements.  I would say we do work 4-5 days a week, I just wish I had more hours to spend.

Tuesday 9/23  Approx 1 hr 10 mins

Groomed and brought out to ring.  We worked in ring and on grass Tues night.  He was a little slow starting out, but was turned out 24 hours the night before and it was a warm day, so I was working with a little less energy than usual.  This is how I would prefer him all the time!!! He was distracted from the jump bc his girlfriend Crystal was getting ridden, so he only wanted to pay attention to her.  So I had to work to get his attention repeatedly, but he did what I asked.  We switched up circle exercises, rolling the hind, backing, and leading exercises.  Like usual.  Astrid told me to make the changes in my leading exercises and circle exercises faster, so he responds quicker.

I have a habit of applying more pressure when I am doing things faster only because I am a bit more awkward when I am asking.  But I am working on that as well.

During the leading exercises on the grass, he was responding well… Until at one point he wanted to be done and I asked him to move away from me with the end of my lead rope at a trot.  He was following me (leading/hooking on) and I let him get too close/ crowd me and he bit my shoulder.  I wasn’t thrilled with that so I turned around with all the leadership I had in me,  rolled his hind repeatedly a few times with some pressure, asked him to back a good amount, saw that he was sorry and trying to relax.  So I let him rest a minute with his attention on me and made him work again.  I re tried the leading exercises again before we went in and he was very respectful and kept a good distance.

It is like a dance, sometimes I am a OK partner, sometimes not… But I know with the right guidance he has the potential to be a great partner.  I just hope I can get him there.  Slowly but surely.  I wish I had a farm I could learn how to work him on daily. Sometimes I feel like the jobs I give him during our exercises aren’t enough.  But I know the repetition is good for him, and more so me.

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