Since last posting, I spent 7 sessions of UDT with Sonny in the pasture. The 8th time I went out, guess who was waiting on me at the gate ? !! Then came in when I opened it for him? !!
However, since then he started moseying away from the gate when I got into the feeding paddock, and the last 2 sessions I had to walk into the pasture and play the catching game to get him to come to me. But at least we're not back to the point of him winning the catching game and escaping into the pasture without coming to me at all. It's probably time for another session of pasture UDT. Since the weather started to clear, really even when it was still cold, wet and miserable,,,I have had several sessions. Things s l o w l y progressing, occasionally backsliding, but one really good area of progress is squeezing over the barrels. One day about 3 weeks ago, Sonny seemed to be thinking "she's not going to quit asking me, so I think it'd end up less work overall to just jump the darned thing", and so he did. Yay!!!! Double Yay! I've been working on that for sooooooooo long. Since then he has consistently gone over them on (usually) the first send. I also have been working on freestyle, using the bareback pad. (don't even ask me about the saddle situation----ugh!) Played mostly with follow the rail, lateral flexions, direct & indirect reins. I even remembered to play with lateral flexion and indirect rein from the ground with online play, and I'm sure that has helped him to understand it a lot. Also, he's gotten much better about giving me permission to get on. He rarely tries to evade it at all, and is very patient as I clamber aboard (usually from the top of a barrel)
Our Parelli group -PPoMT (Parelli Partners of Middle Tn) had a lesson in Jan, and I was an auditor. Carol Herring , 2* PP is our regular instructor, and it was a great day. I enjoyed watching the lessons, and learned several things--all of which evade me right now, though.
V and I found a nearby stable that has a large outdoor arena, roundpen, playground, and fairly large indoor arena. We've only been able to go there once for a couple of hours, but the roundpen playing helped with our circles. The most exciting thing that has happened is that Sonny & I were participants in a L2-3 clinic this past weekend with 4 * instructor Kathy Baar. Wow! I learned so much, and so did Sonny. Sonny was extreme LBE on adrenalin the first day, very oppositional at times, and our circle game looked cruddy, he even bucked and tossed a snitty kick at me to let me know what he thought about things---something he hasn't done in a long time. But on Sunday he was respectful and listening, in part because Kathy had me up my leadership and demand for respect of my bubble on Saturday, and in part because he was LB, but not extreme on so much adrenalin. Some of the new things we learned are : Falling leaf, backwards S, and Rockslide. I'm still a little unsure of rockslide, but I 'got' the concept of the other two, just need lots more practice on them. I learned several great ways to use point to point in the yo-yo game, and traveling circle game, even with adding the 3 new patterns into the mix. My head was spinning! I also learned how to combine a squeeze game and flow it into a sideways. Very cool stuff!! Sideways was one of the games Kathy had us working on several times, and finally,FINALLY I think I have the tools/skills to get our sideways up to L2. It is very much improved already.
V was one of the other participants , along with D, and 3 other very nice ladies. New Parelli friends! Very, very fun for me & V to take our boys to a clinic.
Kathy had all 6 of us riding in a small arena, and Sonny did so well, I was very pleased with him. We did lots of follow the rail, direct & indirect reins, lateral flexion, and some transition up to trot. We both got quite frustrated trying to get the sideways under saddle, but I think once it gets consistent on the ground, the freestyle version will come along. One very cool thing that she taught us is how to get the beginning of hindquarter yield WITHOUT any reins. If,,,,,,,,,,no- when Sonny & I get that going good, then sideways freestyle will be a lot easier. I also want to try it the way Linda taught it in the Red L 1 dvd, ,using the CS.
I'm very excited to try the figure 8 at the trot soon, It dawned on me after the clinic that the falling leaf (and backwards S) amounts to the horse doing figure 8's in front of you as you walk along (forwards or backwards) The technique to get these 2 patterns was so awkward for me to learn!!My brain twisted part of itself into knots trying to get the CS into the right position(s) , and change so quickly as Sonny passed in front of me. I hate being such a klutz. Carol Herring , 2* instructor who was there helping Kathy with the clinic actually had to *show* me by leaning over me from behind and moving my hands and arms with us both holdling the CS. Then it did finally 'click' with me,,,still awkward, but at least the brain knots were gone, and after more practice opportunities with much help and encouragement from the instructors, Sonny & I looked downright awesome (if I do say so myself) doing falling leaf going uphill on Sunday afternoon !!
Kathy explained in a way that I'd never understood until the clinic about how you can yield the HQ and communicate differently as to whether it's "game over" or "yield HQ & change direction". That is the BEST! I never quite figured that out before, and it is SO helpful for several uses. I feel confident that it is going to fix our figure 8, change of direction on circle, and I would have never gotten falling leaf or backwars S without it. I even used it getting Sonny to circle back to the back of the trailer as part of trailer loading on Sunday evening. I hope Kathy saw us, she would be so proud.
Spring is officially here, PPoMT has another lesson on April 2nd, and I am attending the Carol Coppinger , 6* instructor, Supercamp April 22!!!!