Saturday Dec 1/12 

I didn't get out to see Cooper again all last week, Al did go out on his own though. When I came in to the barn Cooper was pushing his nose in the corner of the door to get out. As I groomed him he had this soft look in his eyes and was turning his head and mouthing me, not biting, just rubbing me with his lips. I wasn't feeling up to riding so I decided to take him into the arena and free lunge him as no one else was around. He was relaxed and not doing any crazy running, just nice and slow. He started coming in closer to me on his own and circling so I decided to try some liberty with him. He was fantastic! He loped a few circles around me and then came in when I asked for the yield and draw in to me. I played with him doing this for about 10 minutes then another boarder asked if I could do it again and show her. Cooper was doing some tight trot circles around me with his head turned in. I was walking around with him and was getting very dizzy. I tried to get him to go out farther but he just wanted to stay close. After we walked all around with him following me with no lead on, even down into the scary end of the arena.

When I was all done with Cooper the barn manager and the other boarder who was watching came in and asked if I might help her with her new horse. She would like me to show her some of the ground work exercises, 7 games and stuff for safety and respect. I told her I could try but that I was no expert and that I could loan her my Level 1 On Line dvd to get an idea of what it is. She was so grateful that I said yes to helping her and I felt so good that they think I have done a wonderful job with Cooper :)

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Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on January 6, 2013 at 1:41pm

Monday December 31 2012 

We did the same workout as night before, ground work with the 12' rope attached to the bit for about 10 minutes, changing sides often. We did some Lyons training, giving to the bit and hip, shoulder, shoulder work before riding. He was great at the back of the arena in the scary corners. He was getting very light on the bridle and bending around me with no pulling the the rein. I worked on slowing him down and trying to work at a walk.
143rd ride, again we followed another boarder around at a walk to the scary end of the arena and Cooper did really good, he tensed up a little but was very good.
We did a lot of jog and posting trot, did a few circles but not many. We had a great ride tonight, working on his stops again and he was getting very good at it when I said whoa. My cameraman disappeared through it all so no riding photos.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on December 30, 2012 at 10:27pm

Friday December 28 2012

We did some regular lunging at first for about 10 minutes on each side. Another boarder was riding around and by the time I was done she was finished but she came back in to cool her horse off.
141st ride, I tacked him up with the bit & bridle tonight and put the training fork on. I followed the other boarder and her horse around to the far end of the arena and Cooper did well, only tensed up a little in the far scary corners. Cooper was tossing his head a few times so I decided to take the training fork off and just do the pressure & release way and he was much better. I was going to end it there as the other boarder was leaving but them someone else came in to ride so I stayed on. We started to follow them around and then tried to do what they were doing. We then did some posting trot around the rail following like it was a lesson. We even went to the far end of the arena and did some circles. Again he had more whoa than go except for when we went in the circle, then he would try to bulge out at the shoulder. I tried to loosen the reins but then shortened them again quite often. I think we were working for a good 40 minutes on posting trot and circles. We did some good circles in the scary end of the arena, unusual, and then in the near end he tried the racing and bulging a few times. We also did some whoa and back up, he is getting much better at stopping when I say whoa. We also did a few rollbacks along the wall which he did fantastic. Only thing, a few times when we would stop he would automatically think we were going to do the rollback and he would start to do it on his own. He did really well for not being ridden in 3 weeks, the other person hasn't been riding him either. I was very tired and knew I was going to be sore the next day (which I was).

Saturday, December 29 2012

Groomed him then took him in arena and lunged in both directions. He was so full of beans tonight and trotting around very, very fast. He broke into a lope several times and bucked and kicked out and tried to change directions on his own on the lunge line.
We walked around, heading towards the scary end of arena and he just continued trotting faster and faster with his head held high and doing lots of poops. We went past the scary poles several times but he didn't want to relax, he just kept going and going. He broke into a lope several times and then I would draw the lunge in until he came back down to a trot then move him out on the cirlce again. I changed sides on him and then we continued going the other way, with just as much exuberance.
As he started to calm down a little I put the side reins on and continued working. We made our way back to the front of the arena and tried the trot poles and again he just wanted to go, go go.
He was very sweaty and I was so tired from all the walking that I decided not to get on and ride. He was still full of energy too, these crisp, cold days are really making them all crazy.
I walked him out to cool him off for about 10 minutes then untacked him and put the wool cooler on him for him to dry a little before leaving.

Sunday, December 30 2012

Wow, 3 days in a row, we don't usually go on Sundays but we went out earlier than we usually go and were finished up by 7 p.m. I didn't know what kind of horse was going to show up today! At first I worked him on the ground with the 12' rope attached to the bit for about 10 minutes, changing sides often. We did some Lyons training, giving to the bit and hip, shoulder, shoulder work before riding. We walked to the back of the arena and he was a completely different horse tonight, not like last night at all. Another boarder was riding so I decided to get on, he was very calm.

I asked the other boarder if we could follow her around the scary end of the arena and Cooper did really good, he only tensed up a little and when I put my leg on and some rein he continued on with no spooking.
We did some posting trot and changing directions in the middle of the arena, which he did a lot better than usual. We worked on circles and he was much much better. A few times he tried the bulging out, with his head in the air and I had to really hold steady on the rein until he started to listen, then I gave a release. We did some whoa work and rollbacks again. This time I was ready for him if he decided to rollback on his own without me asking him to do it. He only tried to do that once and I corrected him. We had a very good ride tonight, rode for about 30 minutes, he was much better than the night before! 

Hope to get out again tomorrow and the next day before back to work on Jan 2. I have had the week off for the holidays, it's been so nice seeing Cooper everyday.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on December 30, 2012 at 10:19pm

Wednesday, December 26 2012

Groomed him then took him in arena and lunged in both directions with just the halter on. He was very energetic and trotting around very fast. He broke into a lope several times and bucked and kicked out. The cool crisp weather making him feel good, glad I didn't ride.
I walked around while he was trotting and headed to the scary back of the arena and walked past the scary poles several times until he relaxed, then trotted past them and he did great. Walked him out to cool off, he wasn't very hot, the gave his some beet pulp and carrots then said goodnight.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on December 24, 2012 at 11:06pm

Monday December 24 2012

Went out to give Cooper some beet pulp and carrots. It was almost 9 p.m when we got there so only picked his feet and then gave him his treats. Won't be seeing him tomorrow for Christmas Day but out again on Boxing Day.

Merry Christmas to Everyone!!

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on December 24, 2012 at 11:04pm

Saturday December 22 2012

I lunged about 5 minutes both directions over trot poles, walk and trot. Then I got on a rode at a walk all around the arena following another boarder and her horse around the scary end.
The other boarder was finished riding and I asked if she wanted to get on Cooper and she said yes. He tested her, like he always does and then she did great trotting him around and doing circles. He was being very head strong with her, pushing out with his shoulders and not stopping very well in the beginning. I cooled off her horse while she rode Cooper. Her horse was very head shy when I went to rub him. She told me her horse is 18 years old and has been rearing at people, charging at them in his stall and is very head shy and doesn't respect people on the ground. So I got my rope halter and lead and tried a little natural stuff with him. He was very stiff and could hardly bend. He was good with the friendly games with the rope and backed up nicely from a touch to the halter but didn't understand what the wiggling of the rope meant and I couldn't for the life of me remember how to start the yo-yo game. I showed her how to back him while leading with the chicken dance thing and backing him up and out of your space. Would love to work more with him, he was very smart and picked the little bit up very quickly. She also told me she thinks I do a wonderful job with Cooper on the groundwork when she sees me working with him.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on December 21, 2012 at 11:54am

Thursday December 20 2012

I received my newsletter from Charlie @ today and it was an article from Jackie Cochran about Why You Need to Count to 10. I found this very interesting and couldn't wait to try it out with Cooper. I must look through my old emails and see if I got this one from Charlie. I am reading a lot of other interesting articles again while searching. Right now reading one from 2009 on How to Get Your Horse to Stop Right Now! and this has the count to 10 in it. 

I read Jackie's blog on here all the time but didn't see this one. I have since gone back and read it on Barnmice after she told me when she posted it July 2010. I also have read her first one about Counting to 10 which she posted June 2010.

When we got to the barn last night no one else was there so I decided to bring the big ball in from the car and take Cooper to the indoor offline. Al headed out to the other barns to let any other boarders know that I would be in the arena with the big ball so as not to spook any of their horses if they should come in when we were playing. As it happened though we weren't offline very long as he just wanted to stay near me.

I groomed Cooper quick and picked his feet, didn't tack him up, then we headed out to play. Cooper didn't even show much interest at all to it, guess he had enough when we were filming for our Parelli Level 1 On Line testing. He just wanted to stick close to me so I put him back online and just went for a walk, doing the falling leaf pattern. I had the flat halter on him and he was responding very well, almost like working with the rope halter. The lead was a little short so we were only working around at a walk, he tried to trot a few times and I slowed him back down. We walked to the scary part of the arena at the back where poles and standards are piled up and did some approach and retreat there until he was comfortable being there. I brought my life up to back him up. At first I had to wiggle the rope and then he just moved off of my body language. The lead rope wasn't that long so it still moved a little when I asked him to move back with my body. I should have used the 22' rope but it gets me so dirty in that arena, it's sticky dirt that gets on everything.

Then we started to do some turn on the haunches and forehand and I was applying that Count to Ten Rule. I went slow, turning him only a quarter turn at a time. He was used to just rushing through the whole turn and it took awhile before he started to slow down and rest at a quarter turn. We must have been doing this for a good hour, doing it on both sides. When doing the turn on forehand I moved my hand back like it was my leg and pressed my thumb into his side. I then did the count to ten before trying it again. On his left side, which is the side of my prosthetic he moved easily with a very light touch. On the right side, my real leg, I had to press so hard to start, he was leaning on my thumb and he turned his head a few time to hit me, didn't bite, but he was getting irritated and not moving. I found I had to tip his nose toward me with the lead and put more pressure on his hind to get him to step over. We worked on this until he was stepping over from a soft touch. He was catching on and starting to step over as soon as I brought my hand up so then I rubbed and rubbed (Clinton Anderson way) until he stood still then started over. After doing this we tried some sideways with me putting my hand right where the cinch would be and the other hand up near his shoulder or neck. At first he tried to squirt forward but he got this very quickly.

I tested his walk, whoa and back up and again he did excellent with this flat halter, I didn't have to touch him at all. Then I tested the touch off the chest and he moved with the lightest of touch and was moving off of just my intent, as Jonathan Field teaches, I tried to move him off the touch on the nose and at first he was trying to fling my hand off. I kept at it until he finally moved from this touch and let me keep my hand there and rub him.

I was planning on riding tonight but we spent so much time doing this ground work and I was way too tired to tack him up, so just took him into his stall and let him have his beet pulp and treats. Hope to get back at it again Friday night after he has had some dwell time from this lesson. I have to remember to do the count to ten before the praise and rubbing, which I found myself doing before the count was up.

Thanks Jackie for the great letter you wrote and to Charlie for posting it!

I don't think I will be the only one trying it :)

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on December 19, 2012 at 2:40pm

Tuesday, December 18 2012 I got some Gave  Farnum Cough Free and gave it Cooper in beet pulp first thing when we got there. He was getting pushy when I went to put the stuff in his feed bucket, not backing away from me when I was bringing my arms up and tapping and blocking him so I walked away without giving it to him and got the dressage whip to keep him out of my space and make him wait. I had just read an article on Clinton Anderson s website about this, how treats should be a surprise and if he gets pushy then don't give him anything

When he finished eating I put him in the cross ties  to groom him and pick his feet as he was fidgeting and not standing still. I know I should have ground tied but the barn was busy with people I didn't know and he might have backed into someone and I didn't want that happening. He was a little gassy so I took him into the arena with the regular halter and a lunge line and did some walk trot transitions in both directions. As usual he was a little stiff to start while going to the left and fast while going to the right. He was getting pinny eared a few times and I would step toward him and tell him to stop it and move him on. I didn't have a lunge whip so I would toss the end of the line at him and then he would focus on me again. Never thought until after that probably the reason he was doing that was that it was directed towards the other horse in the arena, a gelding, who is in his paddock and he is always trying to battle this horse (and another, Cooper is 3rd, this one is 2nd) for position in the herd. But still he was not to do that while we were working!!

I was heading back in and he started to get pushy again as he headed towards my spouse, probably thinking he was getting treats again, so I did some more work at the walk, whoa and back up. Then we did some turn on the haunches, turn on forehand, change of direction stepping away from me. At first while doing the turn on the haunches he was not listening so I had to bump him several times with my arms to get him to step over and away from me. After a few times of this he stepped away from me very nicely. He would go fast away from me and I was having a hard time keeping up and then in the next moment he would slow down and I would end up walking into him. Next time I have to try and slow things down, try to do a quarter turn at a time then rest and reward then the do it again. We finished by walking, stopping and backing up with me doing the flapping of my arms to get him to back. He had his head lowered, licking and chewing and blinking his eyes, nice and soft and listening very well and ended it on a good note.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on December 19, 2012 at 2:32pm

Monday, December 17 2012 We went up to the barn to put a new halter on Cooper as he broke his likely from playing halter tag in the gelding paddock. He's got a big play drive and tries to get the others to play with him. While we were there I groomed him a little and picked his feet then gave him a carrot and an apple. He was still coughing a lot so we decided to get some actual cough formula and come back the next night.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on December 17, 2012 at 11:50am

Saturday, December 15 2012

I groomed and tacked Cooper up then lunged with bridle and bit on each side. He was a little stiff going to the left but after a bit of trotting he started to go better. We traveled around the arena while doing circles. I was going to get on but he started to get a little spooky with rain outside and it started to hail out, beating down on the roof so decided not to ride. We then did some Lyons giving to the bit and hip shoulder shoulder work. He did really good tonight and was relaxed and looked like he would be a nice ride after, but I was too pooped by then. He was a little sweaty but not that hot so I walked him around for about another 10 minutes to dry off, trying to get him to move out away from me but he wanted to stick to me. He would have done some lovely liberty circles but there were others in the arena so couldn't turn him loose.

I then groomed him some more and gave him beet pulp again with carrots, apples and a some coca-soya oil. I am using up the oil and not going to give it to him anymore as we are not trying a new supplement, ZenA-min. It sounds like it has some great benefits, hoof support, gastric support, improves skin and coat. It also says it is good form chronic coughs and heaves which Cooper has been coughing lately, that time of year since they are back on round bales again and closed barns with very little ventilation, so I thought it wouldn't hurt to try it. Also says it improves performance and horses have more energy, which he does not need, but it says they still remain ride-able so that's good.

The tack and feed place where I bought it says on their website:

Why Zenamin? 
Zenamin is an unique blend of quality minerals from several sources and various milling techniques. They are combined with Canadian kelp, high grade vitamins, enzymes and anti-oxidants. Quantity fed daily is the only difference between the average horse and a performance horse.

Benefits of Zenamin as a general supplement 
• Zenamin contains not one but several forms of trace minerals found naturally which allows the horse's body to absorb them better. 
• Kelp alone provides 60 minerals, 18 amino acids and 11 vitamins in their natural form. 
• Digestive enzymes help the horses get the most from their food. 
• Montmorillonite Clay, often called living clay because it principally consists of minerals that enhance the production of enzymes, aids digestion, metabolism and improves overall health. 
• Zenamin is high in Silica for skin, bones and tendons.

So I hope he benefits from it and it doesn't do any harm, it sounds great. I know several people who use it. 

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on December 17, 2012 at 11:20am

Thursday December 13 2012 

We went to the barn late and did a quick grooming time and picked his feet then gave his some beet pulp with carrots and apples.

Friday December 14 2012 

Longer grooming time and picked his feet then gave him beet pulp with a new supplement, Zenamin in the beet pulp. After he finished I tied a lead across the door and let him meet his neighbor for the first time and we've been there a year now. Normally Cooper runs at him with teeth bared and at others around him, mostly at feed time. Silver also teases Cooper by running his teeth along the metal cage dividers. He is not mean when he does this, his ears are up, he doesn't act mean at all, I think he enjoys getting a rise out of Cooper LOL Silver is in a private paddock because he is a little instigator and wont' stop trying to play with others. His owner says he never backs down and then he ends up getting hurt. Hmm, sounds like Cooper! I would love to turn them out together in the arena but Silver has shoes on all around and Cooper would get hurt for sure.

They were mouthing each other on the bridge of their noses, and grabbing each others halters in the neck area. Then Silver smelled something good on Coopers mouth and started licking him. Cooper raised his head way up but didn't pull away, it looked like he was really enjoying it. Then we dropped a little ball in front of them and they were both very curious about it. They played nicely for quite a long time but then it started to get a little rough so we closed their doors and said good night.

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