Monday October 1 2012

I tacked Cooper all up and first did some ground work with the 12' lead and rope halter, falling leaf, c-pattern to the back of the arena and then to the front. We did some responsibility circles at a trot and he maintained them for the most time, a few times I had to cluck and just raise the stick and he continued on. The we did some Clinton Anderson changing eyes stage 1. I put the bridle on and did a little giving to the bit and clock work. I had to stay in the middle while doing the ground work as there were others in the arena, 2 riding and another doing groundwork.

125th ride

I had a hard time getting my foot in the stirrup, it seemed so high and yet I had it down a hole. Also struggled getting my leg over the cantle as usual. We stood at the mounting block for a few minutes, just relaxing and doing some flexing with the bridle. Then we walked off staying on the inside, doing some serpentine at a walk, yielding the hindquarters and lowering his head and trying to lengthen the rein which was hard for me. I was a little tense in my legs, trying to relax them as we walked along. Once I felt comfortable I started off on a trot/jog and just as I started one of the horses spooked and bolted, Cooper jumped sideways with his head high and the other riders horse almost took off too. Noises were coming from the feed room, the crinkle of feed bags and of feed being poured into bins set them off. Cooper walked by the door and saw the girl in the feed room then when we passed it the noise from the bags happened again and he jumped, but it was just a little one and I managed to keep him on the path.
He seemed to be dragging himself around tonight, I think he was tired and sore. I don't work him hard but tonight was the 4th night in a row for being worked. Sunday he had a good workout with another rider who just started to ride him, which included cantering that he's not used to.

We did a few circles in the close end of the arena and when we got near the back I just walked him until we got back to the front and trotted again.
We practiced walk and whoa on the rail and then went into the middle and did it as the other 2 started cantering on the rail. We had a few good stops with the verbal whoa and one time he started to stop just from my seat, making progress One time when there was no one near me I did a whoa and went into a back up and the next thing I know there is another rider right beside me yelling circle, then she was right behind me as I was backing. I said sorry and she said sorry but I don't really know who was in the wrong. I think riders on the rail have the right of way but she circled in right behind me, I am still learning the arena rules. I have been told to stay in the middle when I am doing groundwork but I was riding and still staying in the middle out of the other riders way.

Then we did some turn on the haunches and turn on the forehand. I had the elastics on my feet holding them in the stirrups so I managed to get my foot back to have him yield.
Al rubbed his legs and stifles with Green Cool and I stretched him on all 4 legs. Didn't braid his mane or tail so hope he doesn't find anymore burrs.

Going to give him a few days off, we might go see him tonight but not going to ride. He's getting his feet trimmed today so just going to groom, maybe take him in arena on the 12' rope and check him for soreness then give him a treat.

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Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on November 2, 2012 at 11:48am

Tuesday Oct 30 2012
131st ride using the rope hackamore. There were 5 other riders in the arena tonight, 3 new horses, and Cooper didn't want to stand still near the mounting block at first. Al walked him around in the middle of arena as I had to excuse myself then I just got right on with no ground work. We are not supposed to lunge or do circling which they consider ground work when others are riding, more than 2 people anyway. 
By the time I got on there was only 2 other riders cantering around so we just worked in the middle. I tried to put weight in my inside stirrup when changing directions, like Linda showed the rider in the Figure 8 dvd. I seem to have a hard time pushing with the prosthesis but in the videos it looks fine, it's the other leg that looks bad. We started some posting trot, I was forgetting how to do the diagonal thing, trying to remember 'rise and fall with the one on the wall' and was still getting confused. We did some circles then I ended it after about 15 minutes as I was not feeling well and felt worse bouncing around. Cooper was really good again tonight. I was told they had been indoors a lot because of the storms and most of them were a little wired, but he was great when I rode him.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on November 2, 2012 at 11:45am

Saturday October 27 2012 we walked around into all the corners on the ground first, stopping at the feed room for him to have a look then we did a few circles as we made our way to the mounting block taking our time to get there. 

130th ride, used the lead rope tied to the rope halter. He stood nicely, we did some flexing on both sides and he waited for me to ask him to move off. He did really well tonight, going around rail with other horses doing a big trot and being able to move him into the corners when we went near them. I'm getting more confidence in being able to direct him and try not to be worried about his spooking. I still have to learn to loosen the rein a lot more and give him the responsibility. I hope to work on this more when there are not many others in the indoor.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on November 1, 2012 at 4:06pm

I have to check my videos to see what we did the other days of October, can't remember.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on November 1, 2012 at 4:06pm

Friday October 26 2012

When we got to the barn Cooper had a new bump on his chest. This time the other side of his chest so now he has matching breasts! I walked him around inside the indoor using the 12' rope and rope halter, doing some circles and change of direction at a walk and a trot. He was not sore but I took him to the wash stall and cold hosed for 15 minutes. Dryed him off and gave him treats before bed.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on October 23, 2012 at 11:55am

Sunday October 21 2012 This is what the other rider wrote:

Rode Cooper today, he was really good! Rode for about 45 minutes doing a lot of work at the trot. Lots of big circles both ways and circles that were off the track to get him listening to outside aids and teach him not to go past them.Made sure he was trotting at a constant speed, which helped when they went to do circles. He was more balanced. Also worked a lot on his bulging. He was way better with that today.

"He's one smart horse that's for sure!" He still needs constant aids but at least now he is doing what she is asking. She's hoping he will be able to do circles with very little aids soon. She also cantered him a bit too, did some circles at a canter. The canter is the next area that needs some work. He really runs out on you when he's cantering so she says she'll work with him on that next.

She suggested that I try doing some serpentine's (which I have started to do) or even like lines down the quarter line. I have no idea what a quarter line is? SThis will teach him to turn and go straight rather than turn and run to the side. I learned this when taking lessons so guess we better start to do them again. She also says that right now he's over bending when circling so hoping that doing this will correct it. I am probably dong this, over bending him and don't really know what to watch for. Coach tried to show me before in the lessons,  just supposed to see the corner of the eye and not tip his nose in too much or it will throw him off balance. 

Cooper has been so good lately with the both of us riding him now, and she has only ridden him about 3-4 times. I  have to slow down and just work on one thing at a time. We both do the same lessons, they are very similar at least and most of what she does I can do too, so that's a good thing, well except for the cantering / loping right now. I'm thinking that I just might try that soon though while using the rope hackamore and follow the way Jonathan Field shows in his DVD's when I do try it. I was almost tempted to try on Friday 

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on October 23, 2012 at 10:59am

Sunday October 14 2012

Cooper is being ridden by the young girl at the barn on Sundays who part boards another horse. She rides him with the English tack and worked on extended trot, trot poles and big circles and that bulging shoulder. She says he has been doing great and is such a good boy :)

Friday October 19 2012

I didn't get out for a week to see Cooper because of health issues. I think he was happy to see us, he was rubbing against me, I know I probably shouldn't let him do that, but we were having a bonding moment.

We did a little groundwork first with the rope hackamore and 12' lead attached. We did circles all around the arena, some trot but mostly at a walk. We went to the scary end and had a look in the feed room while the girl was doing the feed. He was very laid back and going slow tonight.
128th ride, I then got on and we stood quietly and did some flexing on both sides before moving off at a walk. I tried to keep a loose rein but found myself micro-managing as usual. The reins were too short also, going to have to lengthen them before I use them again. When we first headed off into a trot his head was up in the air and ears back, I was probably bouncing too much and posting on the wrong diagonal. After about 5 minutes and finally changing my diagonals he started relaxing and having a better look on his face. Every time I spoke to him he had one ear back and one forward listening. He was very good and seemed really happy with the rope hackamore on.
A few times I got in another riders way, but I didn't know they were coming in my direction. We finished off the evening with a few massages, he was so relaxed and happy.

Saturday October 20 2012 

I put the new bridle and sweet iron bit with copper inlay on him tonight. He didn't fuss at all with the bit. I walked him around into all the corners doing ground work first, stopping at the feed room for him to have a look then we did a few circles as we made our way to the mounting block. He stood nicely and waited for me to ask him to move off.
129th ride, w walked around the rail at first and moved into the middle when the other rider came up behind me. We walked for about 5 minutes then started a jog. He was doing really well. He had a little spook near the mirror when we changed directions, the other horse spooked at the same spot, hmmm.
We then started doing posting trot, gaining speed without me being frightened. We did circles in 2 corners and he was bulging out at the shoulders again, but after a few times he started to get better and when he gave me one really good circle we quit and did other things.
We did some serpentine in the middle of the arena then did some s pattern, if that's what it's called, from one short end of the arena to the other end and then back again. He was going crooked and bulging out and after a few s's he straightened up and started turning nicely. We did some turn on the haunches and turn on the forehand. He did the turn on the haunches great going to the left but a struggle going to the right. The turn on the forehand we did first against the wall and he was doing it very well in both directions.
We were all over the map tonight, I think I better pick one thing and work on that at a time and stop being in a hurry to get it all done at once.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on October 15, 2012 at 1:25pm

Thursday October 11 2012

Someone already set up the poles so we left them there and I lunged Cooper on 22' rope and rope halter, trot both directions over some poles.
Another boarder took over and had him doing some good trots over the poles. She got more of a workout than he did running around with him. He was doing much better tonight, wasn't sore at all.
After Al rubbed his legs down with the Green Cool and alcohol mix again.

Friday October 12 2012

I lunged Cooper first over the trot poles and then walked all around the arena doing big circles.
127th ride, after the ground work I got on and rode. We walked all around the arena for about 10 minutes before trying a trot. Every time we tried circles he would get really fast and run out of the outside shoulder. I tried to do some extended trot on the long sides but Cooper just went slow, hmm where did that need for speed go here. I was getting frustrated and didn't stay on long. We did some square corners at a walk when Cooper wanted to follow the other horse and rider out of the arena, thinking he was done. When I got off we did a little bridle work on the ground before untacking and giving him his treats.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on October 10, 2012 at 10:29am

Tuesday October 9 2012

Lunged on regular lunge line with the bit & bridle, big circles at a walk, trot in both directions. Tried to push him to extend to a bigger trot and a few times he went into a lope but he listened to the verbal trot and quickly came back to a trot.
First we went to the left and he was a little stiff on his right hind. We walked a lot to begin then went into a trot. Only did this for about 5 minutes then switched to the other side. He was much better going to the right. After about 10 minutes on that side we set up 3 poles to trot over. I misjudge the distance and miss them a lot, either he went behind them or in front of them. When he did get the poles he did very well. We did that for about another 5 minutes then switched back to the left direction to do the poles. I got a few good trots over them. He was starting to get a little stiff again so we ended it and walked him out. Still need practice with the lunging thing, he wants to come in close to me and turns to face me when I say whoa. At least he is stopping so I guess I shouldn't be worried. He started to lower his head a little but did not stretch down like a lot of other horses do. One girl said she has the opposite problem with her horse, she just wants to get away from her when she on the lunge line.

After Al rubbed his legs down with a mix of 1 part Green Cool to 6 parts alcohol. The bottle said you could mix it like that to use as a wash.

He got a special treat of beet pulp with the carrots and equalizer tonight and really enjoyed it. Going to start giving him that again now that the cooler weather has arrived.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on October 9, 2012 at 11:18am

Saturday October 6 2012

I tacked Cooper all up and we out into the arena doing some ground work first on the 12' rope. We did falling leaf while walking to the back of the arena and then we did some circles back there and worked our way back to the front of the arena. He did some really good spins when changing directions. When we got back near the front Cooper slipped on both back legs. His stifles gave out both ways when changing directions in the falling leaf pattern. 

I then walked with him at my side around the arena while someone watched him walking. She said it was his right side and Al thought so too. So we just walked all around the rail for a few minutes and he started to walk a little better. I decided not to ride after this and we rubbed his stifles and legs with MSM gel before giving him his treats and saying goodnight. We were out of there by 9 p.m.,  early for us.

We didn't get out the rest of the weekend to see him as it was our Thanksgiving weekend here in Ontario.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on October 9, 2012 at 11:10am

Friday Oct 5 2012

I didn't get out to see Cooper all week. He had his feet done on Tuesday and I thought would just let him have the time off plus I have been so tired lately after work. Now that it's getting dark earlier again I might not go up as much through the work week. I really don't' like the indoor arena.
I tacked Cooper all up and first did some ground work with the 22' rope and rope halter, falling leaf, c-pattern to the back of the arena and then to the front. We did some responsibility circles at a trot and then a little cantering/loping.
I put the bridle on and did some bridle work the Clinton Anderson way, a little giving to the bit and shoulder over work.
126th ride 

I had an easier time getting in the saddle tonight. I stood right up and swiveled my hips sideways then stood a few seconds then swung my leg over, it was much better.
We stood at the mounting block for a few minutes, just relaxing, then we walked off. My camera man disappeared after I got on as there was someone else in the arena riding too. We walked around the rail and on the inside when the other rider came close to us. Worked on lowering his head and the stop, breath out, sit deep and say whoa and back up. After about 5 of these he starting getting it with just breathing out and sitting deep before even saying whoa.
I was a little tense in the beginning with my legs, trying to stretch them down we walked along. Once I felt comfortable I started off on a trot/jog. He was jogging very nicely tonight but when we went to do circles he would speed up like usual. One time down at the scary end when we went by the man door that led into the other barn Cooper spooked. A horse snorted just as we got past it and he jumped hard sideways. I yelped but stayed firmly seated and yanked on the reins and he stopped right away. Everything went so fast and then it was over and I didn't' fall off which really surprised me. We then walked around that corner for a few circles with the other rider to settle down. He was much better after that. Noises were coming from the feed room again, someone getting feed ready for the morning. He would raise his head high when we were walking up to the feed room door and lower it when I asked. I was trying something new, bump, bumping with my legs and then release when he lowered his head. I read this in a training article online and the other rider told me that is what she is learning right now too.
I rode around for about half an hour then when I got off my husband came back in. He missed the whole riding part and the spook.

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