Saturday, March 25, 2017

I Feel it All

After longing, if Tesla is in a good head space and the ring is fairly quiet, I hop on and do some walk/trot/canter work to help me get my riding muscles back to mostly operational :P

I've been toodling in the little western saddle, and even with a 1in. pad and all that leather - she handles like the Trail Boss' old Jeep (legit you could steer that thing with fingertips). The slightest weight on my seat bones and we were turning!

I feel it all! 

Yup, pretty much her theme song:

Friday, March 24, 2017

The view from where we are

While I can see room for improvement: this is Tesla's weaker side and I'd like to see her tracking up and with a bit more go, LOL - never thought I'd say that!

 there are several things I love about this clip:

1. Canter departs are NBD

2. She is quiet and happy to work

3. Those Listening ears <3

4. That halt is killing me LOL

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Guided Mastery

At work, we had a workshop on Design Thinking that got me thinking :)

The speaker began by relating that most analytical people do not see themselves as creative, and how one famous Psychologist, Albert Bandura, uses a method to help people overcome their fears/phobias/assumptions. He began to describe this method:

For example, if someone had a snake phobia he would tell them there was a snake in the other room and that in 4 hours they were going to touch it. (most people left at this point). Then he went through incremental baby steps to gradually get closer to the goal: looking through a window at the snake, standing in the doorway, standing near the snake, etc. until the person was actually holding the snake with big leather gloves.

This was called "Guided Mastery".


This is exactly what I've been doing with a certain 6yr old:

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

This must be the place...

As I was bringing Tess up to the barn, one of the horses on stall rest & limited turnout caught sight of horses in the dressage arena and started to panic - which in turn started Tesla panicking...

I was close to an empty paddock, to I brought her into a confined area to hopefully talk her down...but she quickly got herself super worked up:

there was passage in circles around me (with a lovely moment of suspension: this counts as GP training, right?), she was blowing and snorting, and I worked her in a small circle around of the new trainers called out if I needed help, but by that point she wasn't calming down, so I unclipped the lead rope and stood outside the pen to let her get all her silliness out.  After putting on he best Black Stallion impression (tail curled over her back & everything) she finally realized everyone had freaked out for no reason, and I went in to collect her. I walked her by that dressage ring several times to desensitize, and then walked her all over the property, practicing our groundwork. The new trainer said I had handled it well, and sometimes horses just lose their

I tacked Tess up, and she gave me some lovely soft relaxed work:

Monday, March 13, 2017

One step forward, two steps back....

I read a great article on handling spooky horses last week (which of course I cannot find now, LOL)

The bit that stuck in my mind was about going slow, setting your horse up for success, and not allowing them to be over-faced (all of which I have tried to do with Tesla in building up her confidence). Which is why I could just kick myself tonight for allowing a scary situation to escalate because I didn't be more assertive.

I got to the barn early today, and got Tess ready and into the ring, ready to longe. There was someone finishing up a dressage lesson, and the trainer told me she had a jump lesson at 730, so I could plan around that (read: leave). I thanked her for informing me. Another trainer came in with two riders for a total of 3 newbies and Tess. I kept longing her even tho' the ring was getting chaotic (two trainers yelling and three beginners whizzing around - we can't leave every time there is traffic) I had her just walk in circles, and she was handling everything very well, even with riders cantering around her, circling next to her, and working over a bounce grid.

I brought Tess in to the middle of the ring to pick up our gear to head out, and the girls started jumping. Tess was nervous, but calmed down, and then people started jumping both directions around her at the same time and Tess lost her cool.  She tried to bolt, but saw me and stopped...In all reality I could've easily gotten trampled, and thank God we are both OK.

I am so disappointed that neither trainer could put a pause on the lesson and allow me to safely exit the arena, or even ask if things were ok (Isn't this also an important part of horsemanship? being aware of your surroundings??). When there was finally a break in the jumping, and I made my way towards the door, I yelled the required "Gate" and still one of the riders cantered directly towards me, spooking Tesla yet again.  I hollered "GATE, SLOW DOWN!!" but I guess she didn't hear me, so I held a dancing Tess as she trotted by in oblivion in front of us.

Tess calmed right down once we got to the barn, but I know it will be weeks for me to undo what happened tonight in the arena.

Sigh. Sorry Tess - I'll have your back from now on, I promise.