|Bad media > no media?|
I mean I should probably not actually call these clinic. Really they're more like monthly lessons with my trainer's trainer but for right now clinic works and it's easier to type! This was almost a week ago at this point but still important to recap.
This one was similar to the last one but a bit tougher in a few ways. First, K's trainer had identified our ability level so she was more picky, as I'd suspected she would be, and second, we cantered early on and then Katai lost her marbles a little.
We started out warming up the walk and trot and K's trainer commented that she seemed way more relaxed and rather than just posing and going she was actually softer. Yay! success.
We cantered as part of warm up and it actually went really well. Katai went right into it and let me bring her back calmly. We cantered in each direction and then went back to working on walk. Katai was UP at that point and was not going to be told to go slower than a full hand gallop. With K's trainer's influence we were able to keep everything pretty calm and were focusing and trying to help her relax with lots of pets and verbal rewards when she was trying. we were working on getting her to listen mainly to my seat but she didn't want to listen to us at all in any way at that point.
|Not sure why but clean buckets seem to be a point of contention at this barn.|
They scrub them everyday and they're always super clean.
To her credit she never once pulled any real crap. No throwing down a halt, no bucking, no bolting, and no rearing. About the worst she did was walk through my aids, try to trot, or jig a little so really nothing bad at all.
It was tough though to just keep asking calmly for over 20 minutes just for her to slow down and relax when she wasn't listening at all. We did have a few break through moments and, the next day, it was clear that progress had been made so that was good. That day though was tough especially since I had a pretty bad headache which had been made worse by wearing my helmet and the relative heat after our cool spring.
Oh well, that's horses.
Our homework is all about relaxation. I'm taking it one step further though. Katai (and myself) have always been impatient. She had me pretty well trained to let her just push forward anytime things started to go south since not allowing her to go forward resulted in her going up or striking out.
|Me grazing Connor while he dried from his bath|
I can't believe this was over a week ago now.
Of course spring and mare hormones have been making this worse but this week on Tuesday we worked on trailer loading. She was SUPER anxious to hop on the trailer, hop off and be done with things and got angry when I wouldn't even let her on the trailer until she stood calmly. She was trying so hard to tell me that I was wrong and didn't understand but we ended with zero escalation and zero argument with her (relatively) calmly climbing on and off just because I literally stood there and ignored her for at least 30 minutes. We're going to do this a ton more and in the meantime I'm finding all the things I can think of that usually cause her to escalate and we're going to do calm, stubborn and patient on my part, patience training.
Under saddle I'm working on mentally taking the pressure off myself and her. We're doing easy work, lunging in a halter, and spending some additional time doing stretchy forward rides with just a bit more collection. We'll see what the result of all of this is but she's been really chill recently. This weekend I plan to do a bit more collection work with lots of interspersed relaxation to see if we're able to maintain. Things have been promising so far!