Monday July 1 2013

I was just going to pick his feet and groom him but when I was finished I decided to take him out on the regular lunge line and flat halter. Al put the treats in his bucket before I was done grooming and Cooper was trying to back into his stall. We did some circles, walk, trot, canter transitions while another boarder lunged also. He did great tonight, listening to my voice cues and keeping a loose line on the lunge, even at a canter this time. The other boarder commented on how well he was on the end of the line and said she wishes her horse would not pull so much. He's still having trouble picking up the correct lead at a canter going to the left but gets it every time going to the right. One of the DVD's I have says to make him go faster and he will change leads but it wasn't working so I brought him back to a trot and asked for the canter again, several times before getting it. He did lots of blowing and licking and chewing tonight, very relaxed with a lower head and not paying too much attention to the other person lunging. He did want to look out the door every time we went so when he did that I just squeezed and released until he brought his attention back to me. I cooled him off by walking around the arena on a shorter line with him bending around me. Then his favorite part, treats in his bucket at the end of the night.

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Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on July 23, 2013 at 10:51am

July 22 2013

I haven't done much work with Cooper lately, just going out to groom him, which he loves when he doesn't have to work LOL. I went late Friday night and groomed him but then didn't get out all the rest of the weekend when the weather had cooled down a little, which would have been perfect for playing outdoors, as Al had my truck while he spent the whole weekend working on his car.  

I spent about 30 minutes just grooming him and rubbing & scratching him all over, which you could tell he loved as he would stretch out like parking and his lip would be going in circles. He stood ground tied when I left him in the aisle a few times while I went to do something. He did try to follow me a few times but I would go back and place him in the spot and tell him whoa and off I would go again. I would look back at him and his ears were up watching me.

Then we went into the indoor arena and did some ground work with 12' rope and rope halter. We walked from the front to the back of arena several times doing the falling leaf/circle c pattern. I had him go out the back door when we got to that end a few times, stopping and giving him time to process it, he would stare at me with his ears up in the air like he was saying, ok, what next.
Then we did some sideways along the fence and in the middle of arena, bending and flexing. I tried to get him to come to me sideways and he seemed to have forgotten how to do it, going to have to work on this one again as it is good for mounting at the mounting block.
We did some yielding of the hindquarters from a touch and one time I had to really jab hard as he was ignoring and he jumped backwards and every time I moved toward him he would back up so I pulled his nose to me and moved his hips away, then he was very touchy after that. Did some yield forequarters with the Buck Branaman's back and across exercise.
Then we did some walking while swinging rope and hitting myself to keep him out of my space and then backed up while twirling the rope. I watched this on one of the videos on Parelli Connect with Linda doing it. He really paid attention to this and stayed far back, something different for him with me hitting myself, ouch, that hurt. He would have been very nice to ride tonight but again as usual, I was too hot and tired out after the ground work. Wearing this silicone sleeve on my prosthesis to keep it in place so I can walk better without tripping makes me really hot!!

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on July 3, 2013 at 8:59am

Tuesday July 2 2013

We did flexing with the halter in the aisle. Then I put the bridle and saddle on and went into the arena and did some flexing with the bridle. He whips his head back straight while doing this on the right side. We then worked on the touch and rub exercise to yield the hindquarters. He would start to yield before I pressed my thumb in his side so then I would do the flexing until he stood still then try again. We did some falling leaf/c-pattern across the arena and some circling with the bridle and mecate set up in the far scary end of the arena, which is getting less and less scary. We also did quick small circles and changing eyes exercise before getting on.

I stretched again before getting on for our 159th ride together. I got on and pulled my legs back before putting them in the stirrups and my legs were much more comfortable tonight, last night they were hurting and pinching. We did flexing at a standstill when first mounting and then yielding the hindquarters while mounted. Cooper did a lot better tonight with yielding the hindquarters on the prosthetic leg side, I only had to tap him a few times with the dressage whip then he was moving off of my leg when I brought it back and turned my body to look at his hind end. He was still walking a circle at the beginning but I remembered to shorten the rein more and then he crossed the back leg over. We did the one rein stop at a walk and then again did it at a trot, letting him go where ever he wanted without steering.  At first he was being lazy and not wanting to trot and I was a little frightened to use the whip or the end of the mecate in case he took off faster than I was ready to go. I almost tried to do the passenger lesson by following another rider around but when we went into the trot he was going quite fast so I did the one rein stop a lot. I noticed in some videos that I grabbed the rein up to abruptly a few times; have to watch myself with this. We followed the other rider all around the arena and down in the far end that is the scary part. He pricked his ears up a few times back there and so I looked where we were going, squeezed and clucked and he moved on softly. He is already getting better and softer on the bridle every time I ride him and I had a very loose rein almost the whole night, forgetting sometimes though and grabbing both of them. When I did that his ears would pin back and when he was on the loose rein he looked happy.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on July 3, 2013 at 8:50am

Thanks Jackie! I've been going back to the beginning with the riding part, trying to get him softer in the bridle and work on a loose rein. Right now I am following Clinton Anderson's Riding with Confidence series which is very similar to all the others. So far I have gotten up to exercise 6 and trying to work on the one rein stops at a trot. I won't be going to a canter for a long while, never know though, he did very well last night even riding down in the scary end of the arena.

Comment by Jackie Cochran on July 2, 2013 at 5:22pm

Good for you Margaret, you are serving as an example of good horsemanship! 

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