As few people know, I have been training my mare Creampuff to be my barrel racing project. I'd like to get feedback as well as chart my progress. I may also be able to post pictures and videos of the journey!
July 25, 2011
Rode her on the barrels after she hasn't been on them in about a week (due to extreme local heat and chores sucking the life out of me). I started the exercise with the "logs," which stand about 6" high -- there are 4 of them arranged in a medium-sized circle (the diameter to the inside of the logs is about 8-10'). We trotted in both directions and did a real jump (not just a Cavaletti step). After about 5 minutes of this, we moved on to the barrels.
I started out trotting between them, stopping to rate (backing her), and turning at the walk and then trotting back out. I was anticipating some argument at the first barrel, per usual, and she went through like a dream. Same for the second barrel. The third was the challenge!
Just as we went into the turn she side-stepped and crow-hopped, turning back toward the gate and giving a medium rear. I had a crop, but I somehow got my hand caught up in a rein with the handle and had to untangle it. I turned her back around and returned to the third barrel, circling it at the walk and trot about 4 times before we continued back to the start. After that I went back to the logs for a couple rounds at the walk.
My curiosity got the best of me and I went to the security room to review the camera, just to see how high she went. The barn manager joked with me about it and said she "thought I was coming off with the second rear," but I'd felt my seat slip (I slid back a little bit and pushed myself back up) during the first episode.
This isn't the first time My Little [Psycho] Pony has done this, and I've learned to make it a humorous experience, rather than a terrifying one. I never get rude or forceful with her, but I'm more than happy to make her a little sweaty and tired!
After the "mishap" run, we did the pattern about 3 more times. She was an angel for every last one, and required very little encouragement from me to get her moving. I think she'll be less sour about working and into the regime in no time, just in time for local club shows! (I'm thinking that a tie-down may be in order for now.)
I can't get the video to work but if you'd like to see it I can e-mail it to you; my Adobe Flash Player glitches constantly and I can't get YouTube to upload without it.