I will not have access to blogger from Monday to Friday. Just sayin'. :)
Horse Journal 2-18-13
I haven't been writing much in here because Joey and I haven't been doing as much. I think weather is to blame, again.
As far as training the bow goes: Joey can bow his head to the ground between his front legs and lift his left leg at the same time, on cue.
Mosie still hasn't gotten the second video up for training the bow; but I saw she mentioned in one of her comments to somebody else that one of the next steps is to get Joey to extend his right leg. After thinking forever on how to make that step up (and wondering if I should even attempt it on "my own", meaning without any idea of what I was doing), I decided that we would go about it like we did the leg-lifts --- I mean, it's kinda the same thing only uncurling out.
So the last three sessions, besides reviewing what we already know and just plain messing around, I've been lifting Joey's right leg and slowly uncurling it to the front until it's resting, extended on the ground in front of him.
I even started saying an unconscious verbal cue right from the start: "Forward". I never thought about what verbal cue I was gonna use; it just happened, like most of my verbal cues, because I talk to my pets while working with them.
During the first leg-ex. session, because he had no idea what I had in mind, Joey's leg was quite stiff as I slowly uncurled it to extend as I lowered. Since then, in three sessions, we've done it the same way numerous times and I think he's starting to get the idea of what I'm looking for. He's not one who will generally try to figure it out on his own; he needs a lot of guidance during the first few lessons. But with most things, he's a pretty quick learner. And he usually remembers things well.
Sometimes, he still thinks I mean "back" when I say "left". And when we go into "forward", he thinks I'm looking for "left".
In other news, he bit me on purpose for the first time ever the other day --- just chomped down on my arm and left two large bruises. We were girthing up for a ride, and even though he didn't appear to be girth-sore when I checked, I still wonder if it was just a knew-jerk reaction to some sharp pain from the girth. Either way, I let him know that biting is not okay period by telling him to get away from me and leave me alone for a few moments. He stood, saddled, looking very sorry and dejected on the other side of the paddock while I checked my arm for severed skin underneath my sweatshirt. Then I went over and clipped the lead line back onto his halter and we continued on with our ride and breakfast as if nothing had ever happened. He hasn't bitten me since, though he watches me closely while fiddling with the girth.
As far as riding goes: for the last four days or so, we've been riding consistently. I haven't been pursuing that partner-connection as much (or rather, I just haven't been completely focus on it). We've just been riding for the fun and sake of riding.
I've noticed that his brakes hardly work at all from anything faster than a fluid trot. The only time I felt in full control while trotting and cantering was when I felt like I had the bit too high after I experimented by tightening/raising the bit in his headstall. It can be kind of a problem, and I'm not really sure how to fix it.
I also want to take note here that Joey has not been acting completely like himself lately. He picks at his hay and acts bored and grumpy --- or did until we started riding again. I think maybe it was because I couldn't get out to spend time with him because the weather was bad.
Back to present day.
I do have an update to post since this entry in my Horse Journal was written; but I am out of time for today (and have already done two posts today). Unfortunately, it will probably have to wait until the week after next. :/
Thanks for reading! I would love to hear your comments!