Ok, lets see...I've been on this site from my phone over the past week since I've been camping out on my sister's couch. I hate doing journals from my phone so I waited to come home in order to do them. I have a lot to catch up on!
Monday - 5/13/13
We took the horses out on a trail ride. I was hoping to go to the barn alone to work on Sabee again, but my sister is eager to get some miles on the trails so we went out. Sabee did very well. He's confident on the trail and takes care of my sister. He even jumped a little log for her (which she loved!). The "Whoa" still needed work, of course. On the way back, he was in the lead and we were trotting up a hill...and he was going to pleasantly I had the urge to just jumble things up a bit.
I asked Raina to canter and blew past them, and my sister took the challenged and kicked Sabee into a canter to race us. I hit the top of the hill first and pulled Raina up, my sister pulled Sabee up maybe 50ft past us, and Iseul flew past me before being able to pull Alahna up. It was fun :)
We made it back to the barn and rested a bit before getting off the ponies
Wednesay - 5/15/13
I went up to the barn to work with Sabee. He came up to me in the field and I brought him into the outside arena. No one was there so I had the arena to myself. The BO said that Sabee's previous owner was a 17 year old girl and the only thing she used to do with him was run, run, run, run. And we don't expect him to do that.
I unhooked him and he instantly trotted away and looked for an exit. I wanted to free lunge him, not chase him like a maniac...but he just kept looking for that exit. So I gently pushed him. I was far enough away to keep his attention, but not too close that he felt he needed to bolt...but he did bolt. Again and again and again, and kept looking for an excape route. My heart broke.
I just kept following him at a slow, easy walk and eventually he settled himself down. Everytime he stopped and looked outside the arena, I just lifted my arm and his attention would come back and he'd walk on. I wanted him to tell me "Thats enough, I'm done" by turning in to me and walking over, but that never came. He DID finally stop and look at me, instead of looking for an exit, so I was really happy with that.
I walked over to get him and he'd scoot away, his eyes wide like I'd chase him off. So we started over with me just walking behind him and pulling his attention back everytime it wandered outside of the arena. Eventually when I stopped walking, he stopped and looked at me. I walked over to him and he let me near him, and I pet him all over and walked away. He followed.
Its a shame that he feels he needs to constantly be in high gear. He will learn that's not what any of us want from him anymore.
I saddled and hopped on him and worked on some halts. He did SO much better that day. Instead of forcing the halt on him, I simply asked him to halt (sit deep, breathe out, pull back) and I didn't release the pressure until he complied. It was more or less a "Figure it out. How do you make the pressure go away?" kind of deal. By the end of the half hour, he was STOPPING! So happy with that!
I asked him to trot, but instead of giving him a kick, I squeezed. He got a little faster at the walk but didn't trot, so I squeezed about 3 times for encouragement and his trot was fabulous.
Happy with everything we got, I untacked him, brushed him down and put him back out into the field.
I was actually aiming to work the snot out of him that day to try and shed some weight, but when I saw how he reacted to me out in the open, I decided to take another route. The weight can wait. He needs to learn to relax first.