Friday, July 18, 2008

More ground driving

We worked on ground driving again today. She is quite calm in the round pen and for the minimal equipment I attach to her. I started with just a little lunging, then attaching the surcingle and long lines, piece by piece, until she had everything on, doing a circle or walking a little in between each step. I like doing a little work each time I add an element. I think it's just too much all at once if I slap on the surcingle, add a line to each side and off we go. If I do that, I have no chance to really see how she's feeling that day and how she's processing each step. So, we're always slow. We always make progress of some kind, but not always as fast as I think it should be. I need to get over it, realize she's a barely two-year-old filly and do the groundwork until it is done. And by done, I mean, she's got it all and knows what I want, before I climb aboard to ride.

I know there will come a point, where I just need to get on and go. We're not there yet. I continue to work with the saddle and laying over her, putting a foot in the stirrup, but that's not where all my concentration is now. The emphasis has to be on understanding. I feel like she's barely gotten a chance to be a "kid" and now I'm making her work. I don't mind that fact, but I don't want to push so hard that she hates it either. I hope (knock on wood) that I take each horses' personality into account before I even put on a halter, let alone ask them to do something for me.

So, ground driving; she caught on much quicker this time. She knew what I wanted and was showing me her stubborn side. I only drove her outside the round pen for a few minutes until she was in tune with me and listening well. We did a couple of things well and stopped. As Clinton Anderson says "Horse training is the opposite of stop when it feels good."

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