This morning I went down early to work with Ruby so I could do it before she ate her breakfast. I don't usually work her before her breakfast but it's easier for me now because recently it got hot again.
At first she was fine when I led her to the big arena. She had a little bit of sticky feet but I expected that. I started to work with her by moving her feet backwards, forwards, left and right. I did yielding her hind quarters, lunging for respect, backing up and some desensitizing. I did the lunging on the lunge line at the end in the big arena. I could tell she was getting worked up and started acting like a grumpy 3 year old.
My parents were taking a walk and stopped by. So I let Ruby come and say hello, especially since my baby sister was there too. There's something about Sophie that Ruby loves to sniff. I don't know but it's very cute!
Next summer or sooner I want to start new things with Ruby and Sugar. One idea that has been in my mind a lot is getting them in the water. I have lakes, rivers, ponds and creeks where I live so finding a place to swim in will be easy. I've been learning the Fundamentals and also found a video on getting the horses in the water as well. And it's by Clinton too! Score!
In this video, he's training a rescued horse named Cider. There are more videos on Cider's training that I've watched as well. Maybe I could get the horses in the water this year if it stays warm but if it's not possible, l I'm looking forward to try it in the summer time. Another goal is to get them trail riding. I have been riding Ruby a couple of times since she was back but's it been hard now with both horses.
A big problem I have with them both back now is Sugar feels like she's the boss and gets jealous of Ruby very often. Every time I bring Ruby back into the paddock from training, Sugar would come running up. As soon as I open that gate, Sugar would pin her ears back at Ruby and often chase her out of my hands. When that happens, I have to be careful of where I'm standing because Ruby or Sugar could run over me. So it gets pretty wild...
The last time I went to get Ruby, Sugar came up while I was putting her halter on and chased her away. I decided to do some chasing myself. I kept at a slow but threatening pace toward Sugar and made her run around the paddock while keeping her away from Ruby. It's amazing how I can use my body language on her! When I quit trying to chase her, I just relaxed, looked as if nothing mattered and walk up to her without her running away. If I wanted her to move I've learned to 'ask politely' and if she doesn't respond, I take it a notch higher. Horses talk the same language.
And of course another problem with both of them at the same time is extra work. But that's not much to complain about and I'm so happy to have them both back. Although I do admit I take to Ruby more.
This morning I went down to the EQ center to work with Ruby. The other day I went to clean the paddock and say hi to Ruby and Sugar. This morning I took Ruby out. I first groomed Ruby in her paddock then took her near the arena where I saddled her.
I didn't get on her right away but left her bridle off so I could work with her on the ground first. I started with desensitizing with the lunge line and whip (stick and string). She did very well!
I also did Yielding the hindquarters and a few other exercises. Then I put her bridle over her training halter (to help me control her more) and checked her cinch before getting on. Her bridle wasn't a Clinton Anderson one and since she's been using that kind for her six month training it was harder on her for this bridle, especially the bit. It was harder for me to flex her head around with the bit, I felt like it was hurting her more. The more she obeyed me the less it would hurt for her on that bit. I mostly did one rein stops at a walk and some at a trot. She is getting used to me and most of the time she will stop as soon as I sit deep in the saddle. I also did yielding the hindquarters and backing up. She did great on the backing up, the bit didn't hurt her then. Most of Clinton's bridle and bits are softer on turning and flexing. The bit I used this morning was better for backing and going forward. I personally prefer Clinton's!
I forgot I haven't mentioned this but I got a huge surprise yesterday! I got a text from Mrs. Davis that I had a present from her and Sarah in the barn! I found a gift bag with my name on it and a whip (stick and string) right next to it. What I got inside was a No Worries Clinton Anderson hat (I'm never gonna take it off!), lunge line, Clinton Anderson halter, and another halter but not Clinton's although it also came with the lead (those two pieces are turquoise too, my favorite color). I'm so excited that I'm getting to start my own tack collection! So far they seem to come in black and turquoise, even my gloves have those colors.
I'm so thankful I got those presents!! :D I'm actually working on an art project of Ruby and Sarah using one of the photos I took of them when I was in Nevada. Hopefully they'll like that!
Yesterday I was in Reno, Nevada to see Ruby and get taught some of the Fundamentals by Sarah (Clinton Anderson Ambassador). I took a lot of pictures too!
Sarah took the day to show me what Ruby learned while she was with Sarah the past six weeks. She showed me and Mrs. Davis (Ruby and Sugar's owner) backing up methods, flexing, yielding the hing quarters, lunging for respect 1, desensitizing, and more. Then she got on Ruby and showed one rein stops walking, trotting and cantering. She also showed flexing, yielding the hindquarters and backing up.
What I was amazed about most was how well Ruby did her one rein stops. Sarah just had to relax and sit deep in the saddle and Ruby would stop. I got to learn how to do this as well. Since I was a different rider and rode differently, Ruby didn't catch on very well at first. But I got her to stop immediately at a walk and started getting better at a trot. I didn't practice very much on a canter because we didn't have time so we had to move on to the next exercise. But now I can practice the stops at home when Ruby comes home on Sunday!I took this picture of Sarah cantering Ruby and showing us the one rein stops:
My trip to Reno Nevada is tomorrow!
I'm taking a break from my other school work and am watching a lot of Clinton's fundamental DVDs. I'm also thinking and remembering some questions I could ask Sarah (Clinton Anderson Ambassador) who will be teaching me.
I like to be prepared if a horse does something and I have to react quickly. Here is one of my questions I wanted to ask her:
Is there some way I can position myself so that I'm safe if the horse spooks, (on the horse or off) and get the horse to calm down without making it worse? If I was on the ground, I don't want to make the horse feel trapped if I pull back and scare the horse where she might run over me. Or if I let go of the rope I don't want the horse to run off where she might trip on the rope.
This has happened to me a few times on the ground. I would turn the horse so he could see the thing that I know would scare him. That way it's less frightening because he would expect it. Most of the time though I don't have enough time to turn the horse.
Surprising enough Sugar is actually the one who gets spooked the most. Sugar is the lazier one of the two so it takes more to get her moving. But it doesn't take much to scare her even though I did a lot of desensitizing and she's gone through her work in Nevada.
Ruby used to get spooked a lot too. As soon as I started learning "desensitizing" I worked on Ruby. Before she left to Nevada I think she was better than Sugar is now.
Anyway back to getting spooked, I also wanted a solution for getting spooked when riding. I did find an answer for this one! This is actually the answer I was looking for! Here is a video where Clinton shows what to do: