Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Had our lunge-line lesson yesterday, and everything was great until we asked for a canter. Lic fell into the strung-out death trot, pinned ears, tail swishing, some minimal bucking... She really hates cantering in a circle, and I don't get it. My trainer said sometimes it can be a balance thing, but I didn't look unbalanced to her... and then we switched places and got the same thing... attitude. Both times we eventually got a canter, but it was an on-the-forehand, really unwilling type of canter.

She canters just fine on a lunge-line if there's no person on her back, although she will sometimes throw some attitude about it, it's not nearly as bad.

Out on the trail, it kind of depends on the day, and on her mood. Sometimes she'll canter amazingly, right out of a walk, calm and collected. Other days, I get attitude, bucking, balking, anything to avoid it. I don't understand how it could be pain if literally she's good one day, bad the next, good again the next. I'm baffled, and so is my trainer. She has suggested getting some Easyboots, as there is some possibility of her being tenderfooted on the rocks... but still, some days we'll get a nice canter, and the next day, an attitude, on the exact same stretch of ground.

*Sigh* I guess I'm continuing on my search for cheap, used boots.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Different approaches

Well, Someone else on blogger gave me the idea to work with Licorice's innate talents (eating and being lazy) when training. Deer Run Stables gave me the idea to use buckets with treats as a training aid, and so far, it seems to be helping at least. Licorice likes to walk down the driveway as slowly as possible. Putting a bucket with a carrot at the end of thr driveway seems to be goading her along- now we're only stopping for no reason once or twice instead of ever 3 steps. Hooray for progress!

The other day, while doing this exercise, my stupid goats escaped. As we were already at the end of the driveway, I decided to test out Licorices herding talents. It wasn't a very successful attempt (actually, I ended up leading Lic while I chased the goats through a neighbor's yard... *rolls eyes*) but she was game to try... I just don't think she had any idea whatsoever what I wanted. But she didn't balk or argue with me. My trainer has told me that with ehr type of personality, if she senses there is a purpose to what I ask, she'll be happier to comply. It's the endless drilling that pisses her off. So she must have sensed my sense of purpose, I guess.

Yesterday I went on a trail ride (well, in my town a trail ride is basically a ride down the street) and hid a couple buckets along the way. I also carried carrots with me to treat good behavior. We ended up on state land, and another thing I noticed is that while Licorice does this sort of stop and start thing on the road, she didn't balk once on state land. I don't know if that's because cars and activity still makes her nervous, or if she just enjoyed the vast oppenness of the state land. Either way, she was good as gold.

I have a lesson today, we're going to do a lunge-line lesson to try to get Lic more comfortable with cantering in a circle with a person on her back, and for that matter, to get me more comfortable. I'm actually kind of excited.