Working On Ruby

The other day I worked with Ruby on most of the exercises that I've been learning. When I led her towards the barn and arena she got sticky feet (she stands still and doesn't want to move) as she usually does at a certain point. I had her trot back and forth in front of me while moving her towards the round pen. I also backed her up and finally got her there. But she wasn't as bad as before. I was afraid at first that she might spook at a bunch of deer who were grazing around the barn and arenas. I knew Sugar gets uneasy around them but Ruby barely noticed them. There seem to be a lot more deer recently, and I saw a lot of bucks, does and little fawns. 

When I got her into the round pen, I let her roll around on the ground first. I went to the barn for a helmet and reins. I decided that I was going to ride her bareback and practice a few exercises on her back. First I lunged her and let her pick the speed. Most of the time if I don't start changing her direction, she starts getting herself worked up. She will start tossing her head and adding speed and if she's really mad she'll buck a few times. Besides tossing her head, none of that happened this time. She's getting over being mad when we start and changing her direction really helps. She calms down and finds a comfortable gait without tripping herself or using up all her energy like she does when she's upset. I'm just talking of the bad times; it happens when she's grumpy but having calmed down she enjoys it more. 

At the end of the lunging (which went great!), I had her come in the middle with me. I spiraled and then came back to the center where I rubbed her all over. I'm telling her that with me she gets rest, if she left me then I would have her work again. Sometimes in the past with Sugar or Ruby they might come in and then decide they want to leave me. As soon as they 'disconnect' I make them work again. I could tell they regret it because they would try to come back in and make small circles to get closer to me where they found out that meant rest. I don't want them to come in on their own but instead to come when I ask them. So after a little bit I let them come in and see if they'll follow me. They usually never try it again and we both enjoy the rubbing I give her. 

When I was in the middle with Ruby I did some desensitizing with the stick and string and then the lunge line. This one doesn't have movement but my arm and the string or rope being tossed over their back, around their legs, around their neck and whipped on the ground. 


After that I did flexing; 


Lunging for respect stage 1 and 2;

And a couple different backing up methods.

Then I got on her bareback and practiced one rein stops, backing up, and more flexing but on her back this time. Another time I'll try the obstacles but I got her back to her paddock with no problems. Sugar came to the gate but I got her to back up (which was hard to do while holding on to Ruby) but then she didn't seem to care much and walked away. I don't like how Ruby walks off when I take off her halter. She's always too eager to leave so I stood with her a little longer and then I had her walk with me around the paddock. I took off the lead and had her follow me without touching her. I backed her up and then took off her halter. That's when Sugar became a little bossy.  It looks like she knew I wouldn't allow her to approach Ruby so she pretended not to care until I let Ruby go. When she does this I'll turn around and work with her in the paddock or have her backing up.