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A shining moment of accomplishment

23 May

I am a gushing horse-mama, I am so proud of Corona!!

I went to the barn last night after work. By the time I arrived, the horses had been turned out for the night. I walked over to the field where Corona and Roller get turned out and they were both at the opposite end grazing to their heart’s content. I whistled at the gate and they both looked up and ignored me, the delicious grass was clearly more appealing than I was. I started to open the gate to go into the field and at that moment Corona decided to abandon his grass-guzzling frenzy and he cantered over to me! I’ve never had him canter over to me – ever. There have been a couple times when he’s mooched over or trotted over, but last night he came over so eagerly that it really was something else to behold.

I brought him into his stall and put on his rope halter as we were going to do some groundwork a) because I love groundwork, b) because he was caked in wet mud and there was defintely not going to be any riding going on and c) to switch things up after our focus on preparing for the dressage tests of last weekend.

We went into the coverall and started with some friendly game, followed by the porcupine and driving games, then the yo-yo and then circling. I was getting some really nice responses but I definitely have to do some DVD-review to up our games. For the first time, I also introduced the sideways game and I was completely shocked at how quickly Corona seemed to get it. We played around the mounting block as well, as I’d like to start working on mounting from both sides. There is some definitely hesitation from Corona to have someone standing on the mounting block on his right side. Right now, he won’t stand square and tends to walk forwards or move his hindquarters over. After a few attempts however, I was able to stand on the mounting block and lean on his back from the right side.

Over the last few months, I’ve been putting Corona on x-ties in the barn when I’ve been working around him (previously I’d work on him in his stall but that stopped when he began being aggressive). He’s pretty well behaved on x-ties, but he has this habit of tossing his head up and down – it’s like a nervous tick and he’s done it since he arrived. The previous owner told us about it and said how they tried a variety of things to try to get him to stop, but were unsuccessful. I’ve never liked that he’s done it, because I know that he does it out of stress, but I have noticed that he has improved a bit since first arriving, and he tends to do it less after being worked. To be honest, I somewhat just accepted that it’s one of his quirks and hoped that with time, he’s just do it less and less until it stopped. Over the last few weeks, when I’ve been finished with him on the x-ties, I’ve been unclipping him and asking him to stand still for a few minutes at a time before turning him out. He’s done quite well and has responded to my corrections (ie: backing him up using the porcupine game when he walks forward).

Last night, I decided that I wasn’t going to put him on x-ties at all. I was going to take this “standing still” game up a notch and do it while I brushed him. This horse blew my mind. He stood like a gentleman the entire time and I hardly had to correct him at all. I couldn’t believe it. At first, I held the rope, but he was doing so well that I lay the rope over his back. I brushed him and brushed him and brushed him…then I picked out all of his feet and he didn’t move an inch! To say I was elated would be an understatement, I couldn’t believe how polite he was being….and…there was NO head tossing. None. Not even a shake! He was so relaxed…yawning, resting a hind leg, he was really just happily standing while I worked around him. Even when I fiddling with equipment beside him and not touching him, he was totally complacent. I gave him some carrots – no problem, no pushiness, no rude head butts, just standing still, happily embracing whatever I was doing.

I love this horse. A lot.

I took photos too…and have been staring at them with pride ever since!

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Redemption!

30 Apr

It seems as though Corona and I are back on track! We had a superb weekend of riding and groundwork that more than made up for our issues last week.

On Saturday, the weather was very “blah” – really grey and dreary with some rain. I did the barn work and decided that I’d focus on doing some groundwork with Corona. I had watched a portion of my Level 1 Parelli DVD and was feeling pretty inspired. Corona didn’t disappoint in the least. I have been focussing on games 1-3, but decided to add in games 4 and 5. Corona was a gem. In Parelli, you use an incremental set of requests when you’re playing with your horse. Level 1 is considered a suggestion, level 2 is a request, level 3 is to tell and level 4 is to follow through…they also explain it as adding pressure through the hair, skin, muscle, bone. Corona is normally pretty good at responding by level 3 (I’ve got level 1 and 2 before, but very inconsistently). On Saturday, he was consistently responding by level 2 once he figured out what I was requesting. It’s really great to watch him showing signs of relaxation and curiosity as well. I introduced a game called, “touch it” where you ask your horse to touch an object with the aim of encouraging their curiosity and play instincts which in turn supports their confidence. While my “driving aids” left quite a bit to be desired, Corona happily investigated the objects (large metal barrel, part of a wooden skid, pilon) and wasn’t spooky towards them at all.

After our groundwork I decided that I’d tack him up and take him for a walk around the track (and by the scary horse-eating corner). Off we went and, while there were no squirrels around, there were about 50 Canada geese in the same corner!! Just our luck. Corona was hesitant, and I can’t really blame him, but I tried to just coax him on….all was going relatively well and then the buggers took off!!!!!!! Off we went down the track snorting like a fire breathing dragon. He wasn’t as wound-up as he had been with the squirrel and I was able to get him moving more relaxed once we got to the other end of the track. I decided that instead of going back over to the geese, I would ride in the in-field (ie: the middle of the track). This way, we were about 50m from the geese – far enough away so that it wouldn’t cause a heart attack, but close enough that perhaps we could have a teaching moment.

The walk went so well, that I inevitably decided to trot…then that went so well that I asked for a canter. I’m so happy I did because we had a wonderful relaxed canter around part of the field with zero issues! I let him cool down after that and called it a day.

On Sunday, the awesomeness continued. I didn’t do any groundwork but rode with CG and Roller. Off we went around the track when I heard something…I turned around to see an ATV coming our way with a trailer on the back. Super…and where was this all happening?? Oh yes, in THE SCARY CORNER! The ATV passed us on the other side of the ditch (there’s a ditch with a few trees/bushes separating the Boss’ property from her neighbours), the driver got off and started throwing wood into the trailer! He looked at us, I thought he was going to offer to stop while we went passed, but no….he continued. The horses were AMAZING! They looked, Corona hesitated for a minute and needed some strong leg to move forward instead of spinning around, but after a bit of encouragement, he just walked by. We then decided to stay down at the other end as we didn’t want to jinx things. We decided to go and ride in the in-field again…and good thing we did because the guy then started up his chainsaw! I guess he decided it was a good day to clear brush and cut down a couple of trees.

Corona was excellent…and I don’t mean excellent “all things considered,” I mean he was truly outstanding. CG and I had lots of fun, and da-da-da…Corona and I cantered some large circles on a long rein while the chainsaw was going! I was grinning from ear to ear.

What made the day even better was that we officially declared it Spring at the barn – that means taking the blankets off the horses and watching them indulge in their newfound nakedness…it was rolls all around and I’m pretty sure I saw the horses smiling too.

Spring also means moving water troughs with help of two-legged and four-legged friends 🙂

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2 weeks in summary

25 Apr

It’s been a busy few weeks in my horsey life as well as my non-horsey life (there is such a thing!)

In non-horsey news, I have become an auntie for the second time! My new nephew was born last Monday and is happy and healthy. While it is very exciting, it is also somewhat sad, as my brother and his wife moved to California in January so my parents and I are not able to get our hands on the little bundle of joy. It’s an odd feeling to only “know” someone through photos or skype and I don’t particularly like the feeling. While it sounds odd, the only thing that makes it somewhat okay is that we don’t really know what we’re missing…never met him, don’t REALLY know how cute he obviously is, so I can’t truly know what I’m missing out on. On the other hand however, I really miss my neice, who turned two just three days before my nephew was born. Since she lived here up until January, I unfortunately DO know what I’m missing with her, and it’s a horrible feeling. Skype is great, but it is no match for the in-person interactions.

Now for the horse-related updates…

Amber:

I’ve been riding her and loving it. She is quite a technical ride but I don’t mind at all, I’m learning a lot from her and find the experience very rewarding. We have still only walked and trotted because I don’t feel like we are ready to canter yet. I have found that we’re making progress with her stress level when I ride. I give her a very long warm up just at the walk which really seems to make a difference and put us on the right foot for our trot work. I’ve noticed that she’s extremely headshy when being ridden, but not so much on the ground…it’s a bit odd and I don’t really understand it. I only noticed it when I started riding with a dressage whip and I changed the hand I was holding it in. She would get tense and high-headed anytime it passed over her neck. Perhaps she was mis-treated in the past? I guess we’ll never know.

Corona:

I just love him. I’ve been steadily working him with a purpose and he is loving being back in action. We’ve done a fair amount of canter work around the outside of the ring but I’ve yet to let him canter around the track. I’m going riding after work tonight so perhaps if everything is quiet, tonight will be the night. I’d really like to let him do it, but I don’t want to sacrifice the relaxation we’ve established.

Learning:

I may be auditing a Cindy Ishoy clinic this weekend. She has competed in dressage in several Olympic and Pan Am Games. I’ve actually never audited a clinic before but think it would be really interesting. Originally, I thought the level of riding at the clinic was going to be far beyond my own level so I wasn’t sure how much I would realistically take away, however it appears that a number of ridings are at the same level as I am so this is added incentive to attend.

I found out about a Parelli Level 2-3 clinic that is happening here in May as well. While I’m definitely not at Level 2 yet, I think I may take advantage and audit this bad boy as well!

And speaking of Parelli…my DVD’s have finally arrived! I don’t think I mentioned it on here but I finally took the plunge and purchased the Levels 1-4 DVD’s back in March. You can sign up for a free 30-day membership trial on the Parelli website and during this trial you also get member pricing on items. Soooo instead of paying $500 for all the DVDs, I paid about $250! Conveniently (note sarcasm), the Level 1-2 was out of stock, as was Level 3, so I received the Level 4 first which was of little functional use. Don’t get me wrong, I watched it anyway to see what I was aiming for and I was actually pleasantly surprised because I could actually see myself getting there someday (ie: the horses were not jumping through hoops of fire while a dog was sitting on their heads).

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Confidence and determination

27 Mar

I wish there were more non-work hours in the day that I could devote to horsey items such as riding and staying up-to-date on this blog! I guess I will continue to hope for a big lottery win, but given that I don’t play the lotto, my chances aren’t looking too good…

I’ve been out to TB’s twice since my last post – once last Wednesday evening, and then again on Saturday afternoon. What can I say, other than I absolutely adore Quinn. He’s such a nice horse, incredibly calm and level headed and a quick learner too. He’s not the most patient boy, but he’s only a baby so I’m keeping that in mind as we work on patience. Throughout the whole process, I’m trying to keep in mind the big picture – that the goal for this boy is to find a forever home. This is very important so that a) I don’t get too attached and b) so that I can focus on things that will help him get a great home. First impressions are extremely important to potential buyers, especially when the market is flooded with good horses. As a result, I’m really paying attention to ground manners and teaching them consistently as part of our lesson time. Quinn is pretty good on the x-ties, he fidgets a bit, and paws, so I’m trying to stop that. He’s also a bit fussy about his ears, which has repercussions for bridling, so we will continue to work on that too. He also is not a fan of standing still for mounting. It’s been a bit of a dance trying to balance teaching him to stand while I get on. We have made improvements though – on Saturday he stood still until I was in the saddle, then he decided to moonwalk backwards which tipped me onto his neck. I caught my balance quickly and then we stood still for about a minute so he received a lot of praise for that. Riding-wise, we are getting the hang of each other. Our ride on Saturday was excellent. He moved off my leg incredibly well and was feeling pretty light in my hands. I was doing a lot of transitions and various figures and also practiced straightness using the quarter lines. All-in-all, I’m really enjoying working with him. I’m going out to work with him again tonight and possibly do a double header with a TB mare named Amber! I got an email from TB yesterday saying that there’s a potential buyer for Amber and that she could use a few sessions with a strong rider – quite flattering!

On the Corona front, I had a PHENOMENAL time with him on Saturday. We started off with some groundwork, where I really focussed on establishing my own personal space and asking him to stay out of it. The whole “I want him put down” incident with the Boss has given me a new and more confident/determined attitude with him. Whether good or bad, I see it as my mission to prove to everyone around how great this horse can be. Whether it’s a fluke or not, who knows, but since I’ve had this confidence with him, things have changed for the better. I basically will not take his crap – any of it. Ever. Why? Because if I do, I am risking his life. Period. I’m not willing to put his life on the line so I need to be the best that I can be at all times.

Usually when I work with my “savvy” stick and string, Corona tends to spook at the string anytime it’s dragged across the ground. Not on Saturday! Could this be a result of my confident attitude? Perhaps! Regardless, I was really happy and this has made me even more confident! Funny how that happens – confidence leads to good results, which leads to more confidence! We did lots of groundwork – leading, backing up, yielding the hindquarters and forehand, basically focussed on the Parelli games #1-3 and practiced yielding to various pressures while at the same time keeping out of my space. I ended the session with some trotting in hand and not getting in front of me when I would stop. I wish I had a video of this. This horse was stopping dead in his tracks without getting ahead of me. Amazing. I wished the Boss had seen it, but she was in the house at the time. I dream of the day when I show all the doubters what this horse can do, I can just imagine their jaws dropped on the floor and Corona and I riding bareback and bridle-less into the sunset (yes, I may be getting *slightly* ahead of myself)…

After our groundwork, I tacked him up and we went on a nice walk around the track. The wind was howling and there were snowdrifts everywhere. We didn’t last too long out there but we had a great couple of laps. Super relaxed, I was asking for flexion and yields and my furry friend was more than happy to oblige. There was no spooking, no acting up, it was just blissful.

I also wanted to ride because I had just bought Corona a new saddle pad – I thought we both needed a little pick-me-up to signal our new found determination. It’s red with white and navy trim and really suits him, picture is below. There was a sale at the local horse store which I took advantage of (saddle pad, two pairs of black bell boots, maple flavoured treats), and I had to go anyway to pick up some Quietex – side note: the Boss sent me a text last week telling me to get some for Corona. I will emphasize here that it wasn’t a request. Apparently his old owner used to use it on him and suggested it to the Boss when the Boss was no doubt informing her of the drama of her wanting to get rid of the horse the week before. I didn’t ask details, I just bought it because if that’s what it takes to keep the Boss happy for the time being, then so be it. I don’t know how I feel about using it – I personally don’t think he needs it, but am interested to see how it affects him.

On another note – I’m pretty sure the sh*t is about the hit the fan at the Boss’. CG told me that on Sunday, the Trainer told her that he was moving as of this Friday (i.e.: the day after tomorrow). None of us have heard anything from the Boss on the subject. The Trainer was supposed to be leaving in May, but this change in plans is just moving up the inevitable chaos that was going to ensue in May anyways. Not sure what the plan is for the racehorses (4), or the other boarders’ horses (3). I had thought that the Boss was going to have downsized to a manageable number (4 or 5) before the Trainer left because she wouldn’t have the daily help the way she does with the Trainer. With the sudden change in the Trainers’ plans, things haven’t exactly worked out the way they had planned. Also, apparently the Boss has decided that she might start up again with one of the racehorses (Bally) who was retired (for a number of reasons)…given that the Boss is not physically capable of taking up a horse, let alone hitching a jogger to it, this should be interesting. When will the madness end?!

I should have some interesting updates to provide this weekend…

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Back to the drawing board…

14 Mar

I had a great ride on Saturday, the sun was shining and I was actually too hot (and I wasn’t even wearing a jacket!). I was nearly blind for the first 20 minutes because of the reflection of the sun off the snow, but I’m not going to complain about sun after the last 5 months of grey skies! Corona was great for our ride, nice and calm and we did our first trotting intervals since his injury! He was sound, and happy and really relaxed, it was great. In terms of his recent aggression, it was still there, but still much better than it had been so I was pleased.

I was taking a training course at work this week and we were let out early yesterday so I thought I’d get out to the barn for an extra ride. Caught Corona, he came to me willingly at the gate and with the good stall behaviour back the last few times, I thought I’d brush him in his stall. This turned out to be a bad idea. I started with picking out his feet and he was happy enough for the first foot, and then as soon as I stepped back to do his hind, he pinned his ears and moved back so that his butt was right up against the wall, leaving no room for me to pick up his foot. Nothing I did changed this, he just kept his ears pinned, tossed his head around and swished his tail at me. That was the end of the me in the stall. I decided to experiment and I put him in another stall. He seemed fine at first, I was able to pick out all of his hooves and then the ear-pinning started up again so I decided cross-ties would be the safest option.

I gave him a really good grooming with the curry comb and he seemed to love it, I found a bunch of itchy spots and focussed on those and he was like butter in my hands. This was great! Then I got the dandy brush out and it was like someone flipped a switch and the horse-from-hell came back! I couldn’t even rest my hand on him without him pinning his ears and tossing his head around. Off and on, something would catch his attention out the door and he’d prick his ears forward and be his normal self again, only to turn back into the devil a second later.

I tried bribing him for lack of a better word – basically giving him small treats in those short moments when he was non-threatening, but he kept reverting back to the anger. I tacked him up on the x-ties and he was fine. Rode him and he was fine.

After my ride, I tried the stall again and he was good until the tack was off and then out came devil-horse again, including turning his bum toward me. So back on x-ties we went and he was relatively good (compared to the first grooming).

Throughout my ride I was thinking about his behaviour in the context of the eventual move to CG’s barn (likely in the fall) and the fact that this would literally be my horse. The shadows of doubt reared their ugly heads and I began to wonder if perhaps Corona was indeed too much horse for me. I never want to get to the point where I’m scared to be around him, but I can see this happening in the future if things continue down this path. At the same time, I know that if I didn’t take this horse, that his future with the Boss would be uncertain (mainly due to her hatred for this horse and the fact that she sends horses to the meat man rather freely). There is no way I want this fate for any horse.

When I was brushing him after our ride and was talking to the Boss, I said, “you know, this horse is making it really hard for me to like him right now!” and proceeded to explain what happened during our grooming session. She didn’t really know what to advise because nothing happened that should have triggered this behaviour. She then proceeded to tell me that if I decided that I didn’t like the horse anymore, that she would get me a different one to work with and she’d have Corona put down because she wouldn’t want to just pass along the problem. On one hand, I was shocked, but not for the reason you’re probably thinking…I was shocked that she said she would put him down rather than send him to the meat man. Regardless, this isn’t something I want to even consider. I was hoping she would say that if I thought he was too much for me, that she’d find him a new home. Guess not.

I spent last night googling “aggressive horses” and watching Parelli videos in hopes of coming up with a plan. I’m still optimistic that we can reverse this behaviour, but I’m extremely disheartened at the entire situation.

I have an arrow for that!

7 Mar

As I’ve mentioned previously, over the last few weeks, Corona has begun to pin his ears whenever I bring him into his stall to groom him. Initially I had thought he was sore because the first time it happened I found a fresh bite mark on his neck, so thought maybe he had been involved in a paddock scuffle. However, the next weekend, the exact same thing happened, he would pin his ears whenever I’d touch him (with a brush, with my hand). Due to the weather, last week just happened to be the first week that I was able to ride him. I was a bit hesitant to put a saddle on him because I wasn’t certain if he was sore or not. I decided to do some experimenting to see what his reactions would be so I took him out of the stall (safety first!) and put on cross-ties. I did up the girth loosely (expecting that he would have a reaction if he was sore) and he didn’t flinch. I finished tacking him up and then we had a great ride with no issues.

This past Saturday I went out to the barn and his aggression in the stall increased from the previous 2 weeks. The stinker lifted a hind leg at me and half kicked out in slow-motion, and at one point he turned towards me to bite me. He would also turn away from me (and block me) when I went to go in front of him to get to his other side. Once again, I put him on the cross-ties to tack him up and then he was perfect for our ride.

At this point, I was fairly certain he wasn’t in any physical pain, mainly because the ear pinning came and went and he didn’t care at all when I rode him. The bugger was just being dominant. I shouldn’t say, “just” being dominant…it’s not a minor issue when a 1,200-pound animal decides to boss you around!

At home on Saturday, I proceeded to Google this behaviour and what could be done about it. I also asked for some advice from fellow Haynetters (thanks Lorraine and Elaine!).

On Sunday, I had a breakthrough. The more I thought about it after Saturday, the more I drew a similarity between what was happening in the stall, and what Corona does in the field. He is out with two other geldings and Corona is definitely the dominant one, or at least tries to be – the other two fight back occasionally, but for the most part it is him who is #1. There is a round bale in the field, and Corona clearly thinks he is the boss of the hay; he drives the others away from it and then will eventually let them come and eat. When I bring Corona into his stall, there’s normally hay in there because we’ve just mucked out and prepared the stalls for the night. This made me think back to the previous day and how he would block me from getting between him and his hay. I decided that I would take the hay out of his stall just to see what happened. Surprisingly, he was 95% better just with that. I actually groomed him in his stall, and he just watched the comings and goings in the barn, no ear pinning, no teeth, and there were no threatening leg lifts!

I put him on cross-ties to tack him up and there was some ear pinning and head tossing when I put his saddle pad on. Instead of moving away, I stood my ground beside him, talked to him and went out of my way to look relaxed. After about a minute, he stopped his head tossing, ears went forward, head went down and the lovely boy started yawning and chewing. I rewarded that and then put the saddle on and he didn’t even flinch. I felt like I channeled my inner Pat Parelli at this point and was pretty darn proud of myself. We proceeded to have a lovely ride through the snowdrifts with CG and Gracie.

After our walk, I had to sweat his leg (we’re still sweating his knee to try and get the last of the swelling), so I put him on cross ties and groomed him again. He began pawing quite intently. This isn’t a new behaviour, he doesn’t do it all the time, but it seems to be when he is frustrated or fed up with being on cross-ties. Regardless, each time he did it, I asked him to move over. It continued off and on so then I decided that if he wanted to paw, I’d just pick up his foot and hold it. This seemed to work well enough that eventually he stopped (it did take about 10 times of me holding his foot), but whatever works!

I also tried to reinforce the good behaviour on cross-ties with treats. We’ve been working on groundwork so I thought we could practice on the cross-ties and use it to my advantage. I would walk about 10 ft. in front of Corona, and ask him to “back up”, when he did, I’d give him a treat. Clearly the ears were forward at all times when this was happening.

I’m excited to see what this weekend brings, regardless, I’ll have my bag of arrows on and ready!

When it’s cold…take some photos to prove it and then get on with it!

1 Feb

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It was mighty cold last week, the barn could have been mistaken for an arctic hut!

 

I didn’t ride as planned, I thought the footing was too icy and I didn’t want Corona to take a bad step and hurt his leg further. Instead I decided to do some more groundwork, building on where we had left off the week before. Keeping in mind that it’s hard to make much progress when you’re only practicing once/week, I thought we did pretty great!  In the coverall, we worked on the friendly game, this week with the string flipping and flapping all over him, he didn’t seem to care. I let it dangle around his legs, he didn’t seem to care. Normally this is where it goes wrong with the string, so I was pretty darn pleased.

We worked on the porcupine game, this game needs work. He’s really good at yielding his hind quarters, but we definitely have not mastered any sort of lateral yield from the shoulder and even a yield backwards from his chest can be a bit challenging at times. It feels like there is something “locked” that is prohibiting this, but I can’t seem to figure out what it is. I googled it a bit this week so we’ll see what tomorrow brings.

The driving game – similar to the porcupine game, we seem to have a “forehand lock”…stay tuned…on a positive note however, our hide-the-hiney is coming along well and we did a full cicle in each direction.

The yo-yo game: pretty good again. Just needs more practice. We seem to have a tendancy to do this well a couple of times and then Corona decides he’s had enough and just doesn’t move and starts to barge over me. I’m not sure whether this is his way of saying, “I did this a few times, I’m over it, let’s move on” or whether it’s just luck that I get it those first few times. I’ll have to experiment a bit more I think.

Now here was the strange part: normally Corona is excellent at the circling game, however on Saturday he wanted nothing to do with it. Each time I backed him up and asked him to circle, he wouldn’t move, then he’d look at my stick and snort at it as if he was spooking at it. This was in both directions too. The first few times he did this, I immediately stopped and did a few minutes of the friendly game with the stick, that wasn’t a problem, he didn’t flinch. When I asked him to circle, he went again with the snorts. This repeated itself a few times so I put the stick on the ground and I proceeded to lead him over it. No problem. Pick up the stick, repeat, same problem. I walked him on a circle with the stick in my hand and then slowly backed away from him so that he began cicling around me, he would take about 3 steps on his own and then boom, snort snort and stop. I experiemented with some strange hybrid of the circling game and leading him and he’d last a few steps but he was bringing his shoulder into me (proof that more practice is requied at yeilding the forehand I guess!) and I also noticed that he was turning his haunches in towards me just an inch or two – not enough that I thought he was going to kick me, but definitely sending me a message that he was not impressed. I alternated this circling hybrid with the other 4 games and made sure to end on a positive note. Still thrown off by the whole thing.

The pièce de résistance however was yet to come! I’ve been wanted to practice lifting all four feet from one side for a few weeks now, but hadn’t really tried it because I wanted to start with the front feet and with Corona’s right leg really swollen, I didn’t want to make him put all of his weight on it, or ask him to flex it as much as he would have to if I was picking it up from the left side. Now that I think about the weight thing, it’s a bit silly because I”ve been picking his feet out normally since the injury without any weight-bearing issues. Anyways, I’m happy to report that I got 2/3 feet! I didn’t try asking for his right front from the left side for the flexibility concerns above. I was so thrilled!!!!!  First, I got the hind right, then I got the front left! I couldn’t figure out the hind left…every time I tried, he would lift the right instead. Regardless, I was so happy, I got the perma-grin!!

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Equestrian blogging & then some

Linda's Blog

The personal blog of Linda Parelli

Bob the Equestrian

From delusion to the hospital

Savvy With Sonny

The adventures of an adult amateur rider

Goal Habits.com

Daily Nourishment For Goal Achievement, Success, and Life

Confident Horsemanship with Anne Gage

The Relationship Coach for Horsewomen (and their horses)

Alternative Horsemanship with Samantha Harvey

The adventures of an adult amateur rider

School Your Horse

The adventures of an adult amateur rider

A Filly's Best Friend

The adventures of an adult amateur rider

Green Slobber

The adventures of an adult amateur rider