Tuesday, April 5, 2016

No Treat April

We'll get to that in a minute.

In about a month I'll hopefully have new clinic footage!
First of all, I had an EXCELLENT ride tonight. Katai seemed a little crabby when I was tacking up but wasn't sensitive anywhere and wasn't fussed about me tightening her girth. I'm guessing that she's maybe just as sick of the cold rain as I am. At any rate once I climbed up she was amazing.

She was really listening, other than one resistant moment at the beginning, and I was able to get her to go forward or come back as I asked. She was working through fairly well from the beginning and got very connected by the end. I had made it a goal to really use the whole arena so I started off riding her around the outside. A risky endeavor since Katai usually get's quite hot on the long straight lines however, tonight she was great and I was having so much fun that I must have had a big smile on my face for the whole ride.

After a couple of times around in both directions I gave her a walk break. Then when I picked her back up she actually listened and was calm and not rushing. I walked for a bit and then went back to a trot and did some shallow serpentines. I'll be honest, they were more for me than her. She was actually doing really well at changing the bend but I knew that I needed to get my body under control. I'm happy to say that I was already able to do better.

I've been doing stretches and some Yoga since my lesson on Sunday morning and I can tell that my lower back was all tied up. I'm not completely back to myself but I was able to control my left hip better and wasn't collapsing (at least not that I could catch) when I was going to the right. I'm going to keep working on it and see what L thinks on Sunday.

Hopefully both Katai and I can continue in this direction!

In other news Katai has been getting very opinionated about treats. I've always used treats with her for training and as rewards for specific things but every once in a while I go a little overboard and then usually catch myself and cut back for awhile. Earlier in the year I cut her down to about four treats per ride. One to catch her, one to put her bridle on, one after a good ride, and one when I put her back out. However, this time that hasn't seemed to make a difference and she's still giving me nasty pinned ear expressions and being pushy in little ways where she thinks she won't get caught.

I'm done with her having her ears pinned every time I look at her so I'm cutting her off entirely for April. My hope is that I can then reintroduce a treat after a good ride but honestly if this works I might just say no more treats for the pony mare.

I honestly think it stresses her out too because she's trying to figure out how to boss me so that I'll give her treats. Take that way and she doesn't need to try to control that anymore.

Lest anyone think I'm being mean, I'm cutting my snacking volume way down for April as well ;-)

8 comments:

  1. Bridget is forever cut off from treats because she can't just politely eat one and resume normal life- it turns into days of pushiness. Glad your ride went so well! Sounds like things are really coming together!

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    1. They really are sisters from a different mister :-)

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  2. Happy things are going well. I give my horses treats but only one after a ride, with the exception of when I show off or teach Poppy's tricks.

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    1. I'm hoping that I can also go back to the after ride treat. I think that's appropriate so hopefully pony will cooperate and I can bring that back!

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  3. I don't give a lot of treats for just that reason. And Carmen never gets one while her ears are back. :)

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    1. Yeah, I think it makes sense and I know some horses that just can't have them. Katai also never gets one when her ears are back. They've been back when she knows she won't get treats, as I'm grooming her etc, and then she's perky and happy when I'm putting on her bridle and get's a treat after. Ponies are tricksy

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  4. I guess we're doing that here too this month. Horse, not donkey, after he nipped J and J's sister expecting food from them. And for me, he started to get too treat focused, and that's annoying. I do dump some over the gate from time to time so he can eat them off the ground (cuz I just bought 20 pounds of them!). The rule with Bellis, and eventually Mag will be if you ask for a treat, you don't get one.

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    1. I agree Lytha, it's like instead of just enjoying being with you they're only there for treats and it's all they can think about. I've already started to get my pony back and that's wonderful.

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