Thursday, February 2, 2012

Beginning with Training

We had temperatures in the 50's on Tuesday, so I took the opportunity to head to the barn, and spend some training time with Kit. This is video shot a few weeks ago, but shows a good sample of his reaction to having his feet lifted.

Arrived to ice and mud, but Kit was fairly clean, and happy to see me.  My goal today was to pick all 4 feet, and not get hurt.  I worked with him on tying then ask for feet alternately, avoiding the dreaded left front until last.  Hoping he'd figure out this wasn't so bad.  It took a couple of requests, but he did it, and all 4 were picked and clean.

So next we headed to the indoor arena for a little work time.  His shoulder is stable and my goal is to get him moving in a more balanced manner and using each of the fronts equally in his cadence.  Light lung work, at the oval, I'm not a fan of circle lunging as it so stressing the joints of the legs.  He only gave a little buck, but I could tell it felt good, and he was very responsive to my requests.

My only hurdle was he kept wanting to stop and face me, and I wanted him to keep moving, so we are working on communication.  We compromised and I took him in hand and we worked on figure 8's, moving his balance from right to left and back again.  We didn't do a lot as it was the first time.  But I count it as a very successful session.

How I gauge a successful outcome:
1. He was happy & listened well to queues.
2. He even lifted all 4 feet in the indoor, when I tapped them with the crop, this is the ultimate goal in foot requesting for me. So I'll keep you posted.
3. I walked away without any new bruises.
4. I'm still smiling as I think about it!





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