Monday, September 8, 2008

Back in action

Good day bloggie friends! I am finally feeling back to my old self, notice I did not say normal? I don't really know what normal is......
Anyway, I am just about over the kid induced crud until the next virus comes along.
I managed to work on my wood art and ride Mr Harley wild pants this weekend. Oh yes, he was a wild boy. It had been just over a week since I last rode him and he was full of the wild oats. As usual when I asked for the lope he went into his rendition of a rodeo bronc, bucking and twisting and trying to get that head down. Too bad mama has his number and I do not get intimidated or mad anymore, nope we just roll back and lope the other way. When he continues so do I with more roll backs and loping off, I keep the mantra "make being bad more work for him". So, after about four rollbacks he decided it was just not that fun anymore. We finished the ride up nicely by working on the headset and staying in straight lines when we lope. Harley is a gawker, by this I mean he positively must look at everything around him, ALL the time! Keeping his attention is like trying to get a three year old child to sit for pictures! LOL I really have to stay in the moment when riding him and concentrate on keeping his attention on me.

Sunday evening I rode again and set up my little trail course again with some new elements for him. I hope to show him in trail at this next show in two weeks. I only tried to show trail once with him when I first got him and it was a true nightmare. He was so scared of most of the obstacles and I basically just helped him through the entire class with his little heart just pounding on my legs.
He was much better last evening and no buck at all. I do not have an arena here to ride in so most of the time I either ride in my three acre pasture or in the area in front of my pond. Yesterday I rode in the pond area, all was going well until the wild ducks decided to take flight and spook Harley. I couldn't blame him they startled me as well. We recovered nicely and worked on our flying lead changes on the straight aways. Harley tends to get chargey after lead changes during patterns so the last clinician told me to work on lead changes on the straight away until they become a non issue for him. I have been practicing this and am happy to say last evening he did all of them without getting reved up or chargey. YEA! It is so great to make progress on things. Yesterday's trail obstacles were a rope gate, L shaped back thru, three pole lope over and the rope a steer head. Harley is a little nervous of the rope gate, I think because I have him on electrified rope fence. He did work the rope gate pretty well after a few tries. The back thru went well, we just have to work on slowing Harley down. (a common theme with him) The lope over was sort of like learning to jump hurdles, he wasn't sure if he should jump or stop or what. He got the hang of it but we need lots more practice. The steer head was funny, he doesn't mind the swinging of the rope (even when I whack him accidentally) he just FREAKS when I drop the rope! I am not sure if he thinks it is a snake or what. Not sure how to solve this one, I guess just keep practicing dropping the rope. Any suggestions??? The roping of the steer head is a required task in our trail classes as is opening a gate and trailer loading. There are then three additional obstacles chosen by the judge. Well I am off to the wood shed to create some more.

Happy trails........


Pony Girl said...

Glad you are feeling better. I didn't know that Harley could be such a frisky fella after a week off! Sounds like you have the right theory in getting his focus.
I would've jumped at the ducks, too, LOL! On a trail ride once, my sister was crossing a raised bridge on her mare and ducks flew up out of the creek. The mare jumped and my sister about lost her lunch! ;)
I don't know what to do about the rope scaring Harley....I would imagine just a lot of rope work and drop, dangle, drag it all around him. Have him follow you while some of the rope is dragging alongside you. If he follows it, it will incite his curiosity and since it's moving away from him, he won't spook. i think it will just take time. Good luck!

Jamie said...

I am glad you are feeling better too. I hate it when things jump out at me when I am riding. Heck it is enough that they think a garbage can is going to eat them, and it doesn't move. LOL

Gecko said...

I've missed your blog so much, I love reading about Harley, it inspires me and makes me want to go out and see my horses!