Sunday, May 30, 2010

Prince: Taking it up a notch and having oh boy moments...

May 29 2010

Prince and I had an interesting play time this morning. We started off with some simple things. Sideways, jumping, and some other things then I wanted to play with our circles at the canter. I decided to change places in the riding ring so that Prince wouldn't have to feel the pressure from the fence as much. We started off with some circles at the trot. I had to stop part way through to move all the tires and barrels and such. The rope was getting caught on everything. So after that we started again. Prince did 20 circles with rhythm, relaxation and connection at the trot. I was really proud of him! Then I asked him to canter. He cantered 4 laps and wasn't pulling on me quite to much. I waited until he was a little bit more connected and then brought him in. The only reason that Prince cantered with slack in the rope when we normally are in the riding ring is because of the fence so I really want to get him to me truly connected to me. 

Going the other way was a lot more difficult. Prince didn't have rhythm, relaxation or connection. He was pulling the whole time. He did how ever cantered some thing like 40 laps... I lost count. It wasn't consistent but he did try! The only thing was that they weren't good circles :( I am really not sure what to do. I am thinking that maybe he just needs extra room because he is a stocky horse and is a LBI. But I can't put him on the 45ft line because there isn't enough room in the riding ring. Soooooooooo......... I have to figure something out. I was really proud of him for trying so hard to maintain gait though. Hopefully I shall be able to figure it out next play time. I have been doing a lot of thinking though and have some ideas. I will let you know how it goes :) 

Naturally,
~Keri

Ruffian: Circles, and leading by the tail

May 29 2010

This morning I played with Ruffian first. We had a lot of fun. We did some Touch it first. Then we did circles! I kind of realised that recently I haven't been letting Ruffian move enough. Not that would have stopped him if he wanted to but we just were doing smaller things and that isn't enough for Ruffian. So today I made sure that I let him move his feet. I decided to put a purpose to it though. I am going to start asking Ruffian to maintain gait at the canter on the circle. At first he would canter about half a circle and the start trotting so every time he broke gait I would change direction. Pretty soon he was cantered more and more. Once he cantered 1 complete lap I brought him. He had a lick and chew and then off in the other direction. It took a little bit but Ruffian figured out the game and he cantered 2 laps!!! Really good for him.
After that I was going to teach Ruffian to go sideways at a trot but when I asked him to go sideways in front of a fence he got really confused.... he started kicking, rearing etc. At first I thought it was dominance but then to me it looked more like he was confused. So I slowed down and he started going sideways really well. Ruffian can go sideways over almost anything and with out a fence... but we haven't done it with a fence in a long time. So once I slowed it down he caught on and did it really well. Interesting!!
Then we did leading by the tail. Our Online Challenge. Ruffian would back up no problem but he wouldn't go straight so we went to the fence to help with that and I had my carrot stick on the other side ready to help him if he needed any. This really made a difference and we got 5 straights steps. So that was good. After we did that a couple times we ended.

Ruffian stayed around and so I scratched him and then I went to get Prince!

Naturally,
~Keri

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Prince: Just doing some little things

May 28 2010

Prince and I didn't go up to the riding ring but we just stayed in the corral and played. At first we just hung out and I scratched him for a while when we played with our Online Challenge: Smelling the tail. What I was doing was doing a lateral flexion to get Prince's head around, which was working but I found that if I held Prince's tail and then guided his nose around he wouldn't move his hindquarters away. It worked much better that way and Prince had a easier time too. So I think I shall do that from now on. After that we did a little bit of sideways and stick to me just at the walk and then we ended. It was really nice just hanging out with Prince and taking it easy.

Naturally,
~Keri

Twosox: Just playing...

May 28 2010

This morning I went out early again and played with Twosox first. For the last couple weeks Twosox has been coming over to me every time he sees me. He is so sweet! :) Today we didn't do a whole lot. We did some Touch it, circles, jumping, and then we practiced our Online Challenge: Smelling the tail. Twosox did really well on one side but the other side he had a really hard time bending to it so we had a little bit more trouble. Eventually we got it though and that is where we stopped. The mosquitoes were really bad so we went back down to the corral. I wanted to take a look at Twosox's feet so we spent the next little while doing that. Then I let him go he stayed with me for a while and then I had to go inside for a couple minutes and then came back out to play with Prince.

Naturally,
~Keri

Friday, May 28, 2010

Ruffian: Advancing our leading by the tail, and jumping.

May 27 2010

Ruffian and I had a lot to fun. We started out with the Falling leaf Pattern at the trot. Ruffian did really well with that. He loved it! Then we did some jumping. At first Ruffian wanted to go around the barrels so we played with that until he could jump them and not think about going around. It was fun! He was really interested!! When I felt that Ruffian was in a learning frame of mind we did our Online Challenge: Leading by the tail for 10 steps with the rope on the ground. Ruffian did REALLY well. At first I had to use the rope a little bit but then he remembered and go really light and put a lot of effort into it! It was really neat! I think I shall have to get a little bit more challenging with the tasks... all three horses are doing them so easily! :)

We didn't play long because it looked like rain. Ruffian stuck around for a bit and stayed with me and then he moseyed off to find some grass. :)

Naturally,
~Keri

Twosox: Jumping, close range circles, and more!

May 27 2010

After I played with Prince I played with Twosox. We didn't play long and we just did some small and slow things. It was still fun though. We did jumping from a stand still, straddling the barrels, sideways over the barrels, sideways towards me, close range circles, change of directions at the walk, and to end we started our Online Challege: Smelling the tail. Twosox caught on really fast. We only did it to one side today but I am going to make sure we can do it on both sides. Then I let Twosox out to graze on the side stripe of grass. And then went and played with Ruffian!!

Naturally,
~Keri

Prince: Online, Liberty and Freestyle

May 27 2010

This I played with all three horses. We had a huge thunderstorm last night so it was really nice out, even though it was wet. It isn't nearly as hot as it has been for the last couple days. The horses weren't we though so I saddled up Prince. But before I did that we played at Liberty for a little bit in the corral. We did our Liberty Challenge: Figure Eights Prince did so well and after we did a couple figure eights we stopped !! Yippee! Then we just hung out together for a while before I saddled Prince. Then we went up to the riding. We walked up there at Liberty then played for a while at Liberty. I had Prince haltered but just looped the lead rope over the saddle horn. We did jumping, stick to me, close range circles, sideways, touch it and lots of other fun stuff. Then we went and did our circles. I asked Prince to canter 5 laps each way this time. I figured out why Prince has a hard time cantering at a certain spot going each way, he has to canter straight the fence and then turn quickly so he feels the pressure of the fence and will break gait but once he is past that he will normally pick up the canter again. So I shall have to think about what I am going to do about that. 

After that we started our Online Challenge: Sniffing the tail. I haven't actually done this with Prince before. I have taught it to Ruffian but not Prince or Twosox. So I was excited to see how Prince would do. Well, he surpassed my expectations by a long shot! He caught so fast. We aren't any where near 30 seconds yet but it is an amazing start! I did it on both sides and both sides were really good.

Then it started to rain but that was okay. Prince and I headed over to the fence where there is a tree hanging over the fence. Then I decided to mount up and just sit there with Prince while we waited for the rain to stop. It wasn't to long before it let up enough for us to go back out. We did sideways over a barrel first, with out me touching my reins. Prince was so light!! It was really fun! Then we went and practiced our Freestyle Challenge: A full forequarter pivot, Prince pivoting on his hindquarters. Going to the right Prince did it beautifully, he put effort into it and we got our full pivot. It wasn't perfect, a little bit more practice and I think we shall have it just where I want it for the challenge. To the left was a little bit harder. We had a little misunderstanding near the beginning and that kind of messed it up but we still got it. :) 

As we were finishing up my mom was just finishing up doing circles with Knightly and since it had rained the ground was hard and so there was a beautiful circle where Knightly had trotted and where Prince had cantered earlier. I decided to try doing some circles with Prince... again he totally shocked me!! We trotted them and I mean Prince was incredible! We trotted 4 circles each way and I only had to make 3 corrections each way!! Plus I was able to sit his trot the whole time!! I was so happy! Prince was amazing!! :)
Then it started raining again. So back to the tree we went. This time it really poured!! While we were waiting for the rain to stop I was looking at the hill that we walk up every day to get to the riding ring... I have ridden up it but not down it... so I decided to try riding down it. So once the rain let up a bit off we went. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!! Prince walked the whole way down, we took it in zig zags and we made it! Prince was totally cool and listened to my direction perfectly! Then we rode into the corral and straight for the shelter because it had started down pouring again. What a ride!! I unsaddled Prince in the shelter and then made a dash for the garage with my saddle and theraflex in hand, fortunately the rain was letting up a bit so it didn't get to wet... :) Then it was off to play with Twosox!

Naturally,
~Keri


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Our Challenge...

To get me to try some new, fun and different things I have decided to challenge each of my horses and myself to one task in each savvy that we are playing in, once we accomplish the task then we will move on to the next one. This way we will get to try some new things, or things that we have been playing with but I want to take to a new level. I am starting out simple and once I see how things go I will make things harder and harder. Each play time I will play with each task and type about it in my normal blog entries for each horse. Once I have a task complete I am going to video tape it that way I have little progress videos!  Here is a quick list of what we shall be playing with...

Prince:

Online: Sniffing his tail for 10 seconds
Liberty: Figure eights at a walk
Freestyle: A full forequarter pivot, Prince pivoting on his hindquarters.

Twosox: 

Online: Smelling his tail for 10 seconds
Freestyle: Standing on the pedestal with all four feet, confidently.
Liberty: Coming soon


Ruffian:

Online: Backing up 10 steps by the tail, with the rope on the ground.
Liberty: Coming soon
Freestyle: Coming soon

So as you can see I haven't figured everything out but I am still working it all out. I already have a couple ideas of things I want to do with Prince next. It should be fun!

Naturally,
~Keri

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Twosox: Lovely ride

May 25 2010

After I played with Prince I played with Twosox. I figured that I could squeeze him in before the bugs got unbearable. We ended up having a WONDERFUL playtime and ride! It was perfect!! We did jumping, circles, a little bit of cantering on the circle, sideways, straddling the barrel and lots more! We both had so much fun!

Our ride was really fun too. We did Follow the rail and some other stuff. We did a lot of trotting. Twosox's trot is so nice! He will now trot longer and longer because I am getting really good at not moving my reins while he is trotting and even when I had to correct him he didn't break gait! So that was really cool!

The next thing we did was I asked Twosox to climb up on the pedestal with all four feet. At first he wasn't to sure but pretty soon he figured it out! I was really proud of him!! He learns so fast and riding and playing with Twosox is so much fun! So we didn't ride or play long but that was okay. When I let Twosox go he stayed with me and then the bugs started really bothering him so he left. It was definitely a great play time and ride!

Naturally,
~Keri

Prince: Online and Freestyle fun!

May 25 2010

This morning I went out and played with Prince. Again I was up early so that I could play before the bugs got bad. I saddled up and then we played in the corral for a little bit. We did things like Touch it, sideways, and some other things and then off we went! Once we were in the riding ring we did Figure eights, jumping a single barrel, circles at the canter Prince did 4 to the right and 5 to the left, well actually more than that to the left but Prince kept breaking gait at a certain spot so I we kept going until he cantered a couple good ones.

Then we rode! We did some Follow the rail to warm up first. It was a lot of fun because I would throw some indirect and direct rein in and lots of other fun stuff to keep it interesting. At first Prince wanted to trot, but I wanted to walk so we stuck with it until Prince could walk everything and then I asked him to trot and we trotted a couple rounds with out any changes of directions or anything. It was really nice! I think I finally got the sitting trot down on Prince's normal trot, which is pretty fast. Doing a lot to BB riding has really helped but now sometimes I forget that I can actually do a rising trot when the trot gets to fast... ;) Then we did Figure eights! It took a while before I got what I was looking for in the Figure eights. Prince again wanted to trot so I took it at first but then realised that it wasn't getting us any where. So we went to the walk and did it there. Prince did very well and he really started responding to me and I didn't have to use my reins nearly as much! At the beginning when Prince was trotting I was really surprised at how well I was able to actually ride it and do everything else... multi-tasking! ;)

Then we did Point to point. At first it was a little messy because I was trying to find exactly what I needed to do to help Prince but not be to big. So we played around with it. Finally I got it figured out and it was great! We got some really nice, straight point to point. Nearer the end I felt that Prince was starting to lean on my leg a little bit so I grabbed my carrot stick again and that way I could support what I was asking with out getting harder with my leg. The bugs were just starting to get bad so we ended. It was really a nice ride and play time. :)

Naturally,
~Keri

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Twosox: Oh Boy!

May 24 2010

This evening was interesting. I went out to play with Twosox seeing as it was to hot to play with him this morning by the time I had played with Prince and Ruffian. We had a very interesting play time. We started out by playing in the shelter a little bit. Mom and I put up some new boards on the front so that there would be a little bit more shade in there in the afternoon. So I wanted to make sure that Twosox was okay with them. He was fine. Which was good! 

Then we went up to the riding ring to play. This is where it got interesting. I wanted to play with getting Twosox to canter on the circle more and as I have mentioned before Twosox isn't that keen on cantering. He will canter a couple strides but that it is. So off we went. We didn't really get any where. Twosox did canter more but I felt like he really wasn't understanding it. So by the end of the session he was totally drenched in sweat and I was covered in dirt and sweat. It was still hot out so that didn't help either. So anyways I have a lot to think about. Our next play time should be interesting, hopefully better though :)

Naturally,
~Keri

Ruffian: Short but totally amazing!

May 24 2010

After I played with Prince I played with Ruffian. I didn't ride because of the bugs but that is was okay. We still had a lot of fun. We did side sideways, circles, change of directions and last but not leave jumping!! I stood two barrels upright and asked Ruffian to jump them. It took a couple tries but the he calmly trotted up to them and flew right over the top and didn't even touch it! It was really incredible! Then after that while we were doing circles Ruffian offered just them! I was shocked because jumping barrels that were upright were not Ruffians idea of fun... it was the last thing on earth that he wanted to do. So when he offered to jump them I was really surprised! 

After that we ended, but not before a big long rest and lots of rubs and scratches! :)

Naturally,
~Keri

Prince: Conscious incompetence!

May 24 2010

Today I welcomed myself to a new level of conscious incompetence! I will go into details a little later on but basically I am learning that I have gotten Prince to be light and now I am basically yelling at him... anyways more on that later!

Mom and I went out early today because it was supposed to be really hot. I got up at 5:40 to get everything done in time so that we could go out at 6:30/7:00. It was really nice getting out early. The horses came in so that meant that we didn't have to go get them, which was nice. I played with Prince first. They were up in the riding ring when I got out so I went up there. Prince, Ruffian and Twosox came over to me when they saw me. Such sweet horses! I gave them all lots of scratches and rubs and then haltered Prince. We did some Stick to me and Touch it in the riding ring and then we went down to the corral. Then I saddled up. Then Prince and I played down there for a while. We did Touch it, Sideways, and some other things then we went to the riding ring. 

We did some zone 3 driving. One thing I was particular about was that Prince kept me in zone 3. It took a little bit because Prince would slow down a little bit or speed up. So it was fun! Then we did circles. Going to the right Prince did well. He cantered 5 laps because for the first 4 he cantered 95% of the circle, he would break gait at one point and then pick the canter up again but I wanted at least one complete circle at the canter. So he did 5 to the right and 4 to the left. Prince did very well! 

By this time it was getting hot and the bugs were getting bad but I still rode. Prince doesn't seem quite as bothered by the bugs as the other horses. We did Figure eights first. Prince wanted to trot so we did. It was so cool! Prince was responding to my body so well and if I had to correct him I could feel him correct himself! I did have to use my reins a little bit but I was okay with that. We kept with the pattern until Prince slowed his trot down and I was happy with it. One thing I had trouble with was staying totally focused and there were a couple times that I got mixed up so I really had to know what I wanted and what I was going to do to help Prince have success.

Then we did Point to point... at first when ever I had to correct Prince he would turn to far so we were kind of going in a zig zag. So I tried a couple different things. Then I figured it out. I have helped Prince get sensitive and now he has so sensitive that when I use my carrot stick to correct him I am being to big. So I played with it and it was incredible the change! When I had to correct Prince I would make sure to use my body and focus first and if I needed to use my carrot stick it came off my shoulder just the slightest bit and Prince would correct himself and we would carry on. It was a real eye opener!! Our point to point definitely got straighter ;) It was totally amazing just how light Prince is. I knew he was lighter but I had no idea he was this light!

Then when did a little bit of Follow the rail just to end the session and then I got down and unsaddled. Since it is really hot the bugs (House flies, horse flies and mosquitoes) are bad. I can't believe the size of the horse flies this year! I think they are getting bigger and bigger each year!!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Naturally,
~Keri

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Undemanding time with my herd!

May 22 2010

Yesterday I was pretty tired and so I didn't feel like doing a whole lot with the horses play wise so I just went out and did a couple chores and then spent some undemanding time with the whole herd... Prince and Twosox especially! They wouldn't leave me a lone!! It was really fun! I spent a good 2 hours out side with them and loved every minute! Starting Monday I will get back to my normal play routine, which I am really looking forward too also!

Here are some pictures that I said I would post:


And these two are my all time favourite:

Have a great weekend... what is left of it ;)

Naturally,
~Keri 

Friday, May 21, 2010

Ruffian: Jumping and zone 5 driving.

May 21 2010

This morning before my mom and I went out for the day I played with Ruffian. We had a lot of fun and I am really impressed at how well Ruffian did! We did zone 5 driving with one rein up the hill and into the riding ring then we continued on and played with that. At first Ruffian wasn't confident enough to put me directly in zone 5 so we walked a long the fence and he kind of went sideways for a bit and then as soon as he put me in zone 5 we stopped and I just rubbed him. Then after a couple minutes we would continue on. We did this going both ways and by the end Ruffian could walk confidently with me in zone 5. While we were doing this it crossed my mind at how much Ruffian has changed over the last couple months because before I would have had to let Ruffian move his feet before he would have been able to concentrate on me and what I was asking on him but now he doesn't always have to move his feet before I can teach him something new. It is so cool!
After that I asked Ruffy to jump the barrels that were standing up. It took a couple tires but after the third try he did it. He flew right over them!! He is incredible! Then Ruffian I just hung out for a while. I scratched some itchy spots and rubbed his head, which he loves!!  Then I let him go and we ended up playing at Liberty for a little bit. We did Stick to me, sideways, jumping, Touch it and lots of other fun stuff and all with the gate open!! 

Naturally,
~Keri

Prince: Circles and Stick to me!

May 20 1020

 After I played with Twosox I played with Prince. We didn't actually do a whole lot but we still had fun. We started out with Stick to me. Mostly at the canter. We played around with cantering in straight lines... something that is hard for us before Prince can canter way faster then I can run so he ends up getting a head. It was fun though.

Then we did circles! This time we started out to the left. Prince cantered 4 laps no problem. So I brought him in and gave him a rest and then we went to the right. Prince cantered the first 2 laps no problem. While he was cantering around I noticed that his cantered looked really uncoordinated and then I realized that he was cantering on the right lead on his front leg and the left lead on his hind legs... I know that there is some specific term for that but it has been a long day I just can't remember it. Anyways.... just after I noticed that Prince started trotting so I let him trot a couple strides and didn't ask him to canter again because I wanted to see if he would correct it himself. He trotted for a couple strides and picked up the canter again and he cantering probably again. It was so interesting! Plus I was really proud of Prince because he corrected himself! :) After he finished the rest of the 4 laps I brought him in.

I decided that since I didn't have time to ride I would just take Prince over to the fence and ask him to line up like I was going to get on and then just rub him and spend some time there. Prince offered to come over to the fence. What a sweet horse!! I rubbed him and we spent 5-10 minutes just hanging out. Then I let Prince go while I was on the fence but he didn't leave. He stayed there for the longest time before he moseyed off. 

It was a really great play time no doubt!! I am so proud of where all my horses are right now!! 

Naturally,
~Keri

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Twosox: Yo-yo's and circles

May 20 2010

This morning I played with Twosox first. We basically did Yo-yo's and circles. We played with getting Twosox to back up faster. We backed up the hill, which really impressed me! Then we played in the riding ring. At first Twosox wouldn't only go faster when I went up my phases so we took the time it took and finally he started putting effort into backing up faster at a lighter phase.

Then we played with circles! I want to start getting Twosox to canter more on the circle so I started by asking him to trot really fast. After he could do that I asked him to canter, he would canter a couple strides and then start trotting again. So we played with that for a while. Slowly Twosox started cantering more and more and we ended when he cantered 3/4 of a circle twice!! Hopefully we will be able to build on that over the next couple play times.

I then let Twosox out on to the side section of grass to graze. I was really proud of Twosox because I had to leave him up there to go get Prince and so I wasn't sure how he would handle that. I left the gate open so that he could leave if he wanted to. He started to leave when I left but then decided to stay. He was happy to see Prince and myself when we came back though! 

It is really interesting because ever since I have helped Twosox gain more confidence in areas like the shelter and such he has gotten three big scrape marks on his face :(  He has gotten so confident that he gets himself into tight places. Poor guy. Fortunately his forelock covers most of them so the bugs won't get in them. I am glad though that the Twosox will now go into the shelter by himself because with the bugs being really bad at least he will get some relief! 
Naturally,
~Keri

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Prince: Just having fun!

May 19 2010

This morning I was pretty tired after I trimmed Ruffian I didn't plan on doing a whole lot with Prince. I had a couple things in mind that I wanted to play with but nothing much. We started out with some zone 5 driving with one rein. It was so much fun! We did Transitions, Touch it, and some other things. One thing we did was I asked Prince to step over a pole one foot at a time (stopping after each foot was over) and then backing up over it one foot at a time. I was almost at the end of the rope and Prince responded beautifully! I could see Prince thinking about what foot I wanted and some times he would just hold his foot up and wait for me to tell him where to put it! It was really fun! 
Then we did Figure eights. We started out at the walk and got them going well and then went to the trot. I was looking for the belly of the rope to be on the ground and Prince to maintain gait. At first they were nice but not quite what I was looking for so we kept with it until Prince kept the slack on the ground. I can see the improvement! After that we did circles first at the walk and trot and the at the canter! I asked Prince to walk first and he would walk so far and then start trotting so I would ask for a walk again and then go back to neutral. Finally Prince got it figured out and maintained gait at the walk then we did a change of direction and went the other way. 

Our circles at the canter were really good. Going to the right was a little bit harder this time, to my surprise. It is so important that you have a strong send!! I had a feeling that my send wasn't good enough and Prince let me know! So when I sent Prince to the left the send was much better and Prince cantered 4 laps no problem! I was so proud of him! We also got some really nice draw at the canter!! 

I wasn't going to ride but I decided to climb up and ride for a little while anyways. I put my savvy string on the halter and grabbed my carrot stick and off we went! I have really fallen in love with one rein riding and one rein zone 5 driving! I can see the importance and it is just plain fun! Back in Level 1 one rein riding was my least favourite thing but now it is my favourite!! Prince and I did really simple stuff but it was all fun. We climbed up on the pedestal, front feet on, all four feet on, just the back feet on, and three feet on...  I stood on Prince, we did some Follow the rail w/t, sideways, I layed across Prince, then I think the funnest thing was there were two barrels standing up and where really close together but just far enough apart that we could ride through them. So we rode through once going once way and then turned around and went through in the other direction. I had to lift my legs up or else it would have hit the barrels, Prince was just tiny enough to fit though. Then I asked Prince to go through but stop in the middle. Then I stood up on both barrels and asked Prince to walk through, turn around and go through the other way, stopping in the middle to pick me up. I have always wanted to try that but never had the chance too. Prince was amazing though and did it perfectly!! 

After that we just hung out for a bit and then I took Prince's halter off and we rode brideless over to another barrel and Prince dropped me off there. It was fun! When I let Prince go he stayed with me and even followed me as I closed the gate and then after I left he left. It was a really, really fun play time! I have pictures but will post them later.

Naturally,
~Keri

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ruffian: Online and Freestyle again!!

May 18 2010

After I played with Prince and Twosox I played with Ruffian. I wasn't going to saddle him but then I decided to because the saddle was there and it wouldn't hurt. It took less than 2 minutes to saddle Ruffian. He stood there perfectly fine and was a true gentleman! 
Then we went and played! We did some circles, change of directions, transitions, sideways, yo-yo's, and lots of ther things. One thing we did was I set two barrels up side by side so that they were double the width and asked Ruffian to jump them. He walked up the first time and jumped right over them like it was nothing more then a single barrel. It was really cool! I asked him to do it one more time but trotting up to it. No problem and no buck! 
So then I got on. Ruffian had to problem with that. We sat still for a while then I decided to try walking a long the rail to the other side of the arena where it is sandier.... not a good idea. I knew that there was a chance that Ruffian might roll and he did. Saddle and all. Fortunately everything was okay, Ruffian, my saddle, me, and my confidence. Nothing broken. I asked Ruffian to get back up and I fixed my saddle, dusted it off and back on I got. We did how ever go to the other side of the riding ring where it isn't as sandy. The rest of our ride was wonderful! I still can't get over how light Ruffian is and how willing he is to try! We did follow the rail, direct, in direct rein and 9 step back. Ruffian was soooo light on our 9 step back up! We went back something like 7 or 8 steps and he put effort and speed into it!! He is so fun to ride! If we can get past this rolling thing he shall be a really amazing riding horse, not that he isn't now... as long as you stay away from the sand ;) 

Ruffian didn't leave when I let him go. He stayed around and checked everything out again. When I got down to the corral and was just about to leave all three horses came over to the game and watched me leave. It was sweet! Just before I went into the garage I looked and Prince was still at the gate watching me. It was so sweet but at the same time it was hard to walk away while all three horses are watching you! :)

Naturally,
~Keri

Prince: Circles, Zone 5 driving and Freestyle.

May 18 2010
This morning I went out and played with and rode Prince. I saddled up at Liberty and then haltered him, just changing it up a little :) When we were up in the riding ring we did some circles at the trot. Then we did some change of directions. Prince got really light and connected to me by the end. Then I asked Prince to canter 4 laps each way. Going to the right was no issue at all. But while we was cantering to the left something happened and he spooked really bad. He quickly relaxed again though and so I didn't bring him in. So again our circles to the left weren't as nice as the ones going to the right but they will get there! Prince did canter 4 laps and I brought him in for a long rest.

After that we did zone 5 driving with two lines!! I tied my 45ft line into two lines but before I did that I put each line through my stirrups. Doing that made it a lot easier! I couldn't get over how light Prince was! He has never been that light! We started off with following the fence and doing some transitions, w/t/back up etc. Prince did really well with that so then we did Figure eights! We started off at the walk and Prince was so light! It was amazing! Then we did a Weave at the trot. Prince maintained gait very well through that. After that we did some sideways, Touch it, circles and change of directions. Then we ended. I wanted to make sure to keep it short and interesting!

Then we rode!!! We had a really good, long ride. Prince and I did Follow the rail, A million transitions, Sideways, Point to point at a trot, Figure eights, closing a gate and lots of there stuff!  We had a lot to fun! First we had to close the gate so that was interesting. It was a lot of fun trying to figure out what the best way to do it was. Prince did really well and was so light! Then we did Follow the rail and a million transitions. Prince responded so well to me. It was great! After that my mom gave me some different things to do. One was get Prince to put his one front foot in a tire and then move his hind quarters around. That was a lot of fun! We did it going both ways and Prince was wonderful! Then the next challenge was to go sideways over some barrels then pivot on the hindquarters over to the pedestal and get up on there. Then do a indirect rein while Prince had his front feet on the pedestal and go the other way. Prince did everything perfectly except we had a little bit of trouble with the in direct rein while he had his front feet on the pedestal. He kept wanting to put all four feet on it. But we got it!  I was really impressed at how well Prince went sideways over the barrels!!! He put a lot of effort into it!

After that we did the Point to point. Prince didn't want to go in a straight line, he had other ideas. So we played with that and by the end we were trotted in a straight line from one end of the riding ring to the other. It was fun! To turn and go the other way we would do a 9 step back up and then do an indirect rein and then trot off. I am teaching Prince that he doesn't have to bend his head the around every time we do an in direct rein. Even though I don't ask him he does it. So we are playing with that. By the end he was doing an almost perfect indirect rein with his head slightly tipped. It was really good!

I decided to bring Twosox up to the riding ring and play with him while I rode Twosox. It was a lot of fun and I am really  proud of both Prince and Twosox. They both did so well!! We started off with some friendly game and then did some stick to me, sideways, circles and Touch it. Twosox was a little unsure about being close to Prince but by the end he was a lot more confident. We ended with me sending Twosox to the pedestal and asking him to climb up on it and then Prince and I coming over and standing on it also. At first Twosox wasn't sure about whether he could stand on the pedestal with Prince, who is the boss horse but at the end he was able to.

The whole time I was playing with Twosox and riding Prince it was really amazing because I felt that Prince was totally apart of me! He was in tune with me and knew when I was talking to him and when I was taking to Twosox. They both were amazing! I then got off, unsaddled Prince and let Prince go and took Twosox over to the small gate and let him out to graze. Then went and played with Ruffian who had let himself into the riding ring and was waiting ;)

Naturally,
~Keri

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ruffian: Online and Freestyle!!

May 17 2010

After I played with Twosox I played with Ruffian. I brushed him and then we went up to the riding ring. I saddled him up there and then we were off!! We did Stick to me, circles, change of directions, sideways, jumping, touch it and lots of other stuff. Ruffian did really well and was asking loads of questions!! It was so much fun! 

When I felt that Ruffian was ready to ride I got on. I checked our lateral flexions first then we stood still for a while. Then we did Follow the rail! I was sooooo proud of Ruffy! He did so well! I was very impressed at how well he followed the rail and even though he stopped a couple times he did very well. We then did some direct and in direct rein. Ruffy was pivoting perfectly! He would pivot right around when I asked him for a direct rein and when I asked him to do an in direct rein I didn't need to support him or anything he was amazing! I actually couldn't believe how light Ruffian was! 

After that we stopped on the rail and after a rest I got off. Ruffian had a big lick and chew a little late. I wanted to make sure to end on a really good note considering it was Ruffian first ride in a saddle in over a year and I haven't ridden him in a while. It was a lot of fun though.
Here are some pics... 



Naturally,
~Keri

Twosox: Online and Freestyle.

May 17 2010

After I played with Prince I played with Twosox. Twosox came over to me and followed me over to the gate at Liberty then I haltered him and brushed him. The bugs were starting to get bad so I decided to try putting some fly spray on Twosox. I wasn't sure how he was going to handle it because the last time I put fly spray on Twosox he didn't like it. So I started off slow but Twosox was perfectly fine with it!!! He stood there totally relaxed while I sprayed him all over with it. After that I saddled up. Twosox is so much taller then Prince! It takes a lot more strength to get that saddle up there :) It is worth it though ;)

Then we went up to the riding ring. Twosox and I did circles, sideways, jumping, touch it, change of directions and lots of other fun stuff! We did 30 laps to the left but it was getting warm and I wanted to make sure to leave time for Ruffian. Twosox did 30 laps and had 7 corrections but some of those were kind of my fault. Plus we haven't done them in a while so it was pretty good.

After that I rode Twosox. He did so well! We did Sideways, Follow the Rail, Transitions, direct and indirect rein and 9 step back ups. Just some simple things. It was really nice riding Twosox in my saddle again. His trot is really nice and I can sit it 90% of the time. While we were doing follow the rail there were some things that I needed to fix, there were some spots that Twosox would really got far from the fence so we fixed those and then went back up to the trot. It was so cool because there was a couple times that I was able to put Twosox back on the fence and he still maintained gait at the trot!! It was really great!

Sideways was a little bit of a challenge but we got it in the end. When we were doing 9 step back ups Twosox would put his head up and brace while he was backing up. I played around with some different things and found that I needed to have more feel in my hands. I guess I was being a little bit ridged and Twosox was telling me that ;) I love the fact that horses never lie! Twosox did really well the whole time. I am really enjoying riding him because he is teaching me so much but also because I get to teach him! Parelli Principle #7!! Horses teach humans and humans teach horses!

After I got off I let Twosox out onto the side strip to each while I went and played with Ruffian!

Naturally,
~Keri

Prince: Liberty and Freestyle!

 May 17 2010

This morning I went out to play with Prince. This week is supposed to be really hot and the mosquitoes are out so I have to change my schedules around. This morning I just decided to go out and see what the bugs were like and start with Prince. I planned on saddling Prince up and riding ring so I got everything out. As soon as I got into the corral Prince, Twosox and Ruffian turned and faced me. It was really cute! It is interesting though because in a herd it is the horses responsibility to pay attention to where the boss horse is. Recently I have been noticing that as soon as I get into the corral, Prince, Twosox and Ruffian are paying attention to me. Prince even more so than the others. It is really interesting! 

I decided to saddle Prince up at Liberty. I noticed that our draw has gotten better too. I saddled up Prince, he left once but that was kind of my fault. He came back though and we continued on. I ended up playing at Liberty for a long time. We did some circles. Nothing really fancy just some close range circles with change of directions, which were really cool! Prince was so connected to me and he was responding really well to my body.  So I decided to try some figure eights. There were two tires there so we used them. At first Prince got a little bit stuck on the one end so I helped him through it and we got two really nice figure eights and Prince didn't leave once!!! I was sooooo proud of Prince!! Those are the best figure eights we have ever gotten!! We then did some Touch it, Sideways, Stick to me and we played in the shelter. I sent Prince in and did some other things. It was so much fun!! 
My mom then came out and since I had done quite a bit with Prince I climbed on and we rode around bridleless. It was so incredible! Prince was light and he tried very hard for me. I started out with some simple direct rein, sideways, and backing up. Prince responded to my body so well that I hardly even needed to use my carrot stick! Then we went over to the two pedestals and I asked Prince to climb up. I wanted him to put two feet on either one. So that was my end goal and first we did two feet on one, four feet on one etc then I asked Prince for it and he did it beautifully! We stood there for a while and then climbed down. The whole time Prince was extremely light and I remembered to use my body first in every situation! 

I climbed down and unsaddled Prince and then we went over to the manger. It wasn't the play time I expected but it was definitely an amazing one!

Naturally,
~Keri

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Prince: Circles, zone 5 driving and more...

May 13 2010

WOW! Prince and I had the most amazing and fun playtime this afternoon. I wasn't going to do a lot with Prince because I had been out all morning and I didn't really feel like thinking a lot. So I didn't go out planning on doing anything other then letting Prince graze on the front yard but as I was going out I decided that we would go up to the riding ring for a little bit and just do one or two things then come back down and then I could let Prince graze. 
Mom and I had to clean the corral first so we did that and the whole time Prince followed me around. If I left the corral to empty the wheelbarrow he would wait for me and then when I came back he would be right beside me again. It was so sweet!! After we were done I haltered Prince and we were off to play. On our way up the hill we switched to zone 5 driving and then continued up the hill and into the riding ring. I am really starting to love one rein zone 5 driving! It is so challenging but it is so fun at the same time. Prince is getting really responsive and I am working my way back farther and farther. Today I was at the end of the 22ft line for 90% of the time. It was really cool! Prince and I did some Touch it, Figure eights, transitions, sideways, and some other fun stuff. One thing we did was we walked up to a pole and I asked Prince to stop part way over, straddling it. He stepped over it with his back legs so I asked him to back up. Prince is responding so well to my body and when I need to help him out more I can use my carrot stick for the most part. I rarely need to use my rope now. 

Ruffian and Twosox came up to join us in the riding ring it wasn't a problem for the first little bit but then I decided to sent him out so Prince and I rounded them out and drove them on out. At one point Prince even cantered to stay with me! Which was really special because he normally can trot to keep up with me. After the horses were out we did a little bit of stick to me w/t/c. Prince and I are playing with getting Prince to canter closer to me. We are at about 8ft right now. So that isn't to bad :)
After that we did some jumping a single barrel and straddling it. At first I asked Prince to jump it from a stand still and then a walk and then a trot and then I asked him to straddle it. Prince was very connected to me and it was really neat! Prince is so cool!! 

Then we did circles. Prince once again amazed me. I wanted to play with maintaining gait on the circle at the canter so when I sent Prince off I knew exactly what I wanted. Prince took off at a canter and he cantered three laps... just like that. Once Prince can maintain gait for 4 laps then I will make sure that that is really consistent before I ask for more. The problems that I ran into before (last year) was that I asked for to much to soon. So I know what not to do this time around ;) I brought Prince in for a long rest and then after that I sent him back out in the opposite direction, to the left, his hard side. Prince did really well but there were some poles that were in the way so he broke gait a couple times. The first couple times I didn't change direction because he picked up the canter again right after he got over the poles so I left it but then he started breaking gait more often so I did one change of direction and he cantered another 3 laps to the right... I can't remember if he broke gait again or if I just asked for a change of direction but some how I got him going to the left again. I tried to find a better place for him to circle with out having some many obstacles in the way but there wasn't really any better place. It didn't take to long before Prince cantered 3 laps to the left and I brought him in and gave him a really long rest because he tried so hard and put out a lot of effort. So our circles to the left weren't as pretty as our circles to the right but that is okay. If the poles and other obstacles  hadn't of been there and I pretty sure that Prince would have cantered the circles right away. I will know for next time though... more the obstacles :)

The last thing we did before going down to the front yard was figure eights. I debated on not doing them because of the amazing play time we had already had but I decided to do them anyways. I was looking for Figure eights at the trot with the belly of the rope on the ground. We started off at the walk and then after a complete figure eights I asked for the trot and Prince did so well! The last figure eight I got was beautiful! The belly of the rope was on the ground the whole time and Prince was responding so well to my body!! It was great!

So I didn't exactly do "one or two things" but that was perfectly fine because we had an amazing playtime and Prince was incredible... but then he always is... :)

Naturally,
~Keri

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Twosox: Online and Freestyle

May 12 2010

After I was finished playing with Ruffian I played with and rode Twosox. Since my saddle was up there I decided to saddle up Twosox. Again it had been a while since Twosox had my saddle on him. Last summer I rode him English so he hadn't had my Fusion on in over a year... and the last time he did have it on the saddle strings and back cinch starred him mega time. So again I didn't make any assumptions but just took it one step at a time. Twosox didn't have any problem with it! Again I was surprised!! He took it like an old pro, didn't buck, run off, nothing!! We did some jumping, circles, Touch it, sideways, and some other stuff. 

When I felt that Twosox was ready to ride I got on. It was soooo nice riding Twosox in my saddle! Everything went perfectly and Twosox did a fabulous job. The two main things that we did some Follow the rail and Circles. We did Follow the rail first. Twosox offered to trot so I took it and we trotted a little ways and then I asked him to slow down. So then did some really nice transitions. Again I had to make sure that I didn't bother Twosox's head at all while he was trotting or he would break gait. I had to make sure that I had a totally casual rein. He is so sensitive! I love it! If I did have to correct Twosox while he was trotting I had to make sure that I was really soft. One really nice thing about riding Twosox in a saddle is that I could sit his trot! Which really helped because if I am off balance even a little bit Twosox will feel it and break gait. This horse is so fascinating. It really makes me thing about all that Prince puts up with! I am glad that God gave me Prince as my first horse and then Twosox second. I would not have wanted it any other way! 

After we got some really nice follow the rail we did circles. I had to really make sure that I used my body first and then just a VERY little bit of rein. If I used to much he would go to far and then we wouldn't be on a circle either. It took a little while for me to figure out everything but once I got it we got a great lap or two and then we went to the center. I really concentrated on where I was focusing, and everything else. Going to the right took way less time. I think we got it in something like two laps! Then we did some 9 step back ups. I experimented with how light I had to be so that Twosox would respond but not put his head up and get worried. It was interesting and I finally got it!! :) 

Then we ended. I got off and unsaddled. The nice thing was that there were no rub marks!! That is always nice to see :) Twosox didn't want to leave me after I let him go. He just stood there with me by the open gate and so we spent a little bit of time together before I went to pick up my equipment. Twosox  is really teaching me a lot!  

Naturally,
~Keri

Ruffian: Saddling...

May 12 2010

Today I decided to saddle Ruffian. I hadn't put my Fusion saddle on him in over a year and the last time I did he bucked like crazy. So that was what I expected today. I didn't make any assumptions and the whole time that I was saddling I was watching to see how Ruffian was taking it. I was also watching to see if he went internal because he has done that before. Everything went smoothly though. I did the first stage in the corral so that the saddle wouldn't slip on the way up to the riding ring. Ruffian was fine. We did some sideways, yo-yo's and some Touch it and then I tightened it up a couple more wholes. Then moved him around a little bit more then we went up to the riding ring. For the first little bit I make sure to stay away from the one end of the riding ring where it is really sandy. Ruffian has rolled with a number of saddles on him before.... and riders. But Ruffian did perfectly fine. Even when I asked him to trot, nothing, no bucks or anything. So we did some circles, transitions, change of directions and some other things. Even when Ruffian cantered he didn't buck. I was shocked but very happy! I never expected him to take it this well! We continued on. I set up the barrels so Ruffian to jump. Mr. Parelli says that if a horse is going to buck he will most likely do it after a jump. So this would be the truth! 

Ruffy jumped it the first time no problem. But it did it from a walk so I asked him to go over another time. This time he jumped it and added in two little hops at the end but that was it. After a couple more times where Ruffian trotted up to the barrels and jumped them and didn't buck we stopped. I was so proud of him. He was asking loads of questions and we were both having fun! Then we did some Figure eights. Ruffian has gone from strongly disliking Figure eights to loving them! He has gotten so light and really pays attention now. It was fun :)

I wasn't going to get on and ride because since it was the first time Ruffian has been saddled in over a year I didn't want to push it. I wanted to end on a really good note. But what I did do was sit on the fence above Ruffy and do some different things. I put my foot in the stirrup and bounced as if I was going to get up. I layed across him, knelt on him and did some other things. The whole time of course I made sure that Ruffy was fine with it all. He was though. Then I got down and took the saddle off. I was soooooo proud of Ruffy! He was fantastic! I am going to take it slow and get him used to a person riding ring again. But for my confidence and his I am going to make sure we are both super ready :)

After I let Ruffy go he stayed with me so I decided to let him out with Knightly on the side strip of grass by the riding ring. 

Naturally,
~Keri

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ruffian: Just grazing...

May 11 2010

This afternoon I brought Ruffian out to the front yard to graze. Ruffian had a good time I think and I had a lot of fun playing with my little brothers while Ruffy grazed. It is such a good sport! Even when we were making lots of noise and when they were running around Ruffian just kept on grazing :) it was fun!

So yeah. Not much to say about it. Ruffian just grazed for an hour... and enjoyed himself a lot! :)

Naturally,
~Keri

Twosox: Trailer loading simulations...

May 11 2010

After I played with Prince I played with Twosox. We had a great play time. When I first went out (before I played with Prince) Knightly and Twosox were lying down. So I went over to Twosox and sat with him for a while. It was really amazing because this was my RBI... and he was letting me sit by him while he way lying down! Over the past months he was slowly been letting me be with him for longer and longer amounts of time but it has been over a month since I have had the chance to be with him while he is lying down. Normally he would be okay for a little while and then get up. But not today. Today he was calm the whole time and even let me sit on his side!!! It was so cool!! I must have sat there for a good 5-10 minutes before I left to go play with Prince. 

So to start off with Twosox and I went and played in the shelter for a while. He was very confident going it and just as confident staying in there. Ruffian followed us over and he came in the other side and was sleeping there. I did some different things with Twosox and then I decided to try tying him to the rail. I tied it in a way that I could quickly loosen it if anything happened. But nothing did. Twosox was totally fine. One time he backed up a bit but then felt the pressure from the halter and stepped forward again. It was great! Then Twosox fell asleep!! It was wonderful! He was perfectly happy and content. So there I was, Ruffian on one side sleeping and Twosox on the other side sleeping... it was really cool! I had some time to think while I was standing there and I was thinking about different trailer loading simulations that I could do with Twosox. One that I thought of setting up three barrels a long the fence but with a 3ft gap and then putting a pole going from the one barrel to the fence and then sending the horse in, kind of like a trailer stall. Then once the horse was okay with that I would put another pole behind the horse. Simulating a trailer. I figured that it would probably take a couple play sessions to get Twosox okay with being in there etc. But I wanted to try so we did it up up in the riding ring.... it took less then 5 minutes and Twosox was in there happily and so I tried putting a pole behind him... he was perfectly fine! Couldn't have cared less! 

Here is a picture of Twosox....

 


What a special horse! It will be really fun the next time that we have a chance to play with a trailer! The after that I asked Twosox to back into it. He was a little unsure at the start but then he figured it out and was fine. He backed into it no problem. That was were we ended. It was a really good play time :)
Naturally,
~Keri
 

Prince: Success with circles...

May 11 2010

This morning I had a wonderful play time with Prince. We didn't play long but we had a blast! As we were playing it kind of hit me that unintentionally I have been putting pressure on Prince and myself to progress. It isn't like we aren't having fun when we play but I think that there are sometimes when we aren't having as much fun as we should be... we have lost some of the play. I have been playing with Prince more over the last month or so because I want to advance and I love being with him but I think that in doing that it has also been like "I have to advance with Prince because he is my main horse and he is the one I am farther a long with" Now that is fine to a certain point. It is true that Prince and I are advancing together and what I learn with Prince I apply to the other horses but I don't want to loose that joy of just playing with Prince because it is fun. So this morning I really focused on making sure we had fun and seeing it as a game! 

The first thing we did was zone 5 driving and the whole time we were doing it I was thinking "Is this fun for Prince?" "What game am I really playing?" Because everything that we do with our horses is one of the seven games and so Prince and I were driving from zone 5. I had to think "How can I make this fun for both Prince and I" and how I did that was by seeing it as a game myself.  So we first did some transitions... yo-yo's... we did it along the fence because I only had one rein. Prince did very well! Then we did Figure eights!!!! At first they were a little messy but then Prince got the pattern and I have to say they were pretty good! We even trotted quite a bit of it! It was a lot of fun... for both of us :)

Then we did circles! My goal was for two laps each direction at the canter... and not just any laps, two good laps. So off we went. Every time Prince brought gait I would change direction. I don't know how many change of directions it took but it wasn't long before Prince cantered two laps very nicely!! So I brought him in and let him rest. That was to the right, his easy side. So then after a rest we went to the left. Prince figured out the game very quickly and he cantered two laps right away and then I brought him in. I was really surprised actually. I didn't think that Prince would do it that fast! 

We then went back down to the corral and we went into the shelter and rested in there and then I let him go. It was really an amazing play time! It was fun for both Prince and my and we accomplished a lot!

Naturally,
~Keri

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Twosox: Grazing time!

May 10 2010

After lunch I haltered Twosox and brought him out onto the front yard to graze for a while. I am thinking that since I normally play with two horses a day the third horse I will bring out onto the front yard to graze for a while. It doesn't take a long time and that way I will get all three horses played with in one day. Plus I know the horses will like it :) 

So today was Twosox's turn. He really enjoyed the grazing time. There weren't that many black flies but the house flies where bothering Twosox. After about an hour or so of grazing I took Twosox back to the corral. It is really fun just being able to hang out with the horses and let them graze.

Naturally,
~Keri

Ruffian: Online and Liberty!

May 10 2010

After I had finished playing with Prince I played with Ruffian. He came over to me just as I was finishing so I decided to play. We had a BLAST!!!!! played by the fallen down tree and I asked Ruffian to jump over it and go sideways a long it and some other things then we went down to where there was an even deeper puddle of water.... well it was more then a puddle, more like a pond! It was up to Ruffian knees! He had so much fun in the water though. He was splashing and he loved trotting right through the deepest parts! Then we did some sideways and I backed him into the water. Ruffian totally loves water!! 

Then we went back towards the turn around. We ran all the way back I sent Ruffy up huge hills and down again and lots of other fun stuff then we went over to the logs and Ruffian FLEW over them. He is so athletic! We also did some circles, change of directions and transitions then we went into the round corral and did some Liberty! It was so fun! Ruffian got a little bit worried when I asked him to circle. I think I but a little bit to much pressure on him when I sent him so we took it slowly and he gained confidence quickly. Before we did the circles we did some stick to me, yo-yo's, sideways, jumping and lots of other stuff. We were by the big log and I hadn't planned on asking Ruffy to jump it but I decided to try and Ruffian jumped right over it and then turned and faced me. It was really fun! 

I got to thinking about how Ruffian has progressed over the last couple months and it is amazing the difference. He is soooo willing to try what ever you ask him to do. He loves to play but he also loves to just stand still and have you rub his head. If I ask him to do something small like move over or lead by the chin he doesn't resist and then do it he softly responds. It is really amazing. Even our Liberty as improved! Of course we have a long way to go but the amount that Ruffian has progressed it.... well incredible! The best part is that we are both having so much fun every time we play! 

Naturally,
~Keri

Prince: Circles, Figure eights, and a trail ride!

May 10 2010

This morning I played with Prince. They weren't in the corral when mom and I went out so we went out to find them. They were in the field grazing. Ruffian was lying down so I went over to see him then I went to Prince. Prince and I played at Liberty for a little bit before I haltered him. We did some Stick to me, zone 5 driving, Touch it and sideways all at Liberty. It was fun! Then we went over to where my halter was and I haltered him. As I was haltering Prince the other horses left. Prince got worried. Not a whole lot... it was a LBI worried ;) We I decided to play in the field for a bit before going to find the others. We did some falling leaf because Prince seemed like he needed to move his feet. Then after Prince relaxed a little bit we did some figure eights. Prince would do really well going around each marker and then he would canter REALLY REALLY fast through the middle so I would disengage his hindquarters and start again. After a couple times of this happening Prince totally relaxed and we did some amazing Figure eights at the trot with the belly of the rope on the ground! It was incredible!

After that we went over to a ditch in the field and I sent Prince down it and then asked him to come backup again. At first he would walk down but then trot up but I wanted him to walk the whole thing. So we kept with it and on the third try Prince walked the whole thing! It was really interesting to see the look on his face as he did it!! :) 

Then we went and found the other horses. They actually weren't that far away. They were in the middle of the slash cut area. So Prince and I worked out way over to them. I let Prince eat some grass for a little bit then I saw a big tree stump that was probably about 1 1/2ft wide and 3ft tall. I sent Prince over to it and asked him to climb up on it. At first he was trying all sorts of different things and then he did it! He climbed up on the stump! He didn't stay up long but that was okay because he kind of lost his balance. So then we went on to the turn around and played there. On our way the horses left again... so it was just Prince and me! We played around a fallen down tree and then went over to the huge water puddles. Prince wasn't to keen on walking through it but he did it. 

Then I backed Prince into the round corral and to back right up to the log then I asked him to stay there. After that we did some different things. I asked Prince to jump the pile of logs, go sideways over a log, we did some short range circles, change of directions and different stuff. Then I wanted to play with circles at the canter. So Prince and I did that. We started off at the trot and I waited till Prince had rhythm, relaxation and connection then we did some change of directions. Then I asked Prince to canter. When he was cantering he was pulling like crazy... absolutely NO connection there! So we played with that. I decided to go into the round corral and try there because Prince wasn't getting lighter. Being in the round corral really helped. But then we had to play with Prince breaking gait. I tried some different strategies and the one that really worked was changing direction every time he broke gait. That really made a difference. Prince cut himself on the leg part way through but he wasn't bleeding to badly so we were able to continue on. At the end Prince cantered 3 laps to the right and 1 and 1/2 to the left. He had a much harder time cantering to the left for some reason. Prince was pretty sweaty so I let him cool down.

I wasn't planning on riding ring but I decided to seeing as he dried off really quickly. I climbed on with just my savvy string for a rein and my carrot stick. We didn't go anywhere for the first little while I watched my mom play at liberty with Knightly and helped her with a few things and then Prince and I went for a little walk around the turn around. It was so much fun! We went over logs, through water, up and down hills, and tones of other stuff all with one rein! Prince listened to my body and legs VERY well and I hardly needed to use my rein or carrot stick! It was so much fun! Then we went down a narrow path that the horses made. It was a lot of fun and I totally trusted Prince to watch where he was stepping. Then I had to go pick up my 45ftline that I had left in the bush. So Prince took me part way then when the path got to small and the trees were to low I got off. I lined Prince up to a stump and got off there. I couldn't believe just how light Prince was! It was amazing. Then I let Prince go and after a little bit he joined the other horses.

It was definitely a great play time and the great thing was that there were NO bugs because it was so cold! 

Naturally,
~Keri

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Ruffian: Grazing

May 7 2010

In between the time that I finished playing with Twosox and I started playing with Prince I spent some time hanging out with Ruffian in the shelter. He so sweet! He loves being rubbed and just having someone hang out with him! We must have spent a good 15-20minutes just being together. It was great! :) After I finished playing with Prince I haltered Ruffian and took him out to the front yard to graze for a bit. He really enjoyed that and since he doesn't get out a lot it was good for him. We had a great time running to different patches of grass and then we went over to the other side of the driveway where the grass was really long. He loved that! Then we walked up the road and watched the cars drive by. It was really funny to see the look on Ruffian face when he saw a forklift! Every once and a while he would check in with me and then go back to watching it. He is such a cool horse I really wish I had more time to play with him... more then twice a week. I think that maybe I will even just take him out to graze for a bit because it doesn't take long and that way we can spent time together and he gets human interaction.

Naturally,
~Keri

Prince: Online and Freestyle

May 7 2010

After I played with Twosox I played with Prince. We had a GREAT play time and ride. For the first little while I didn't even halter Prince. We just spent some time hanging out together. Then I haltered Prince from my knees. He did very well and kept his head nice and low for me. It was great! Then we did once figure eight. Just one... and it was probably the best Figure eight I have ever gotten!! I didn't use the rope once the whole time, Prince was just so in tune with my body that he listened so well and it was wonderful!!!! I couldn't believe it!! We did a little bit of stick to me. Prince was really in tune with me. We got to the point where I would take one step forward and then one step back and Prince would stay totally with me! It was cool! Then we did some sideways, hindquarter and forequarter yields using the porcupine game. Prince did very well at responding to my body and and recognizing where my focus was etc.

After that I got on and rode. We started out by doing basic direct rein. I made everything very clear and followed through my phases when it was necessary. Prince did very well. After we did some of those we did some indirect rein. I am trying to use my reins a little as possible. The indirect rein was harder then the direct rein but Prince caught on after a while. Then I decided to test it out and see if I could turn Prince as we were walking and not using my reins or carrot stick. The first one was incredible!! I didn't have to use my reins or anything! It was really cool! Since the corral was kind of small it was a hard to go anywhere but we made do with it. I didn't want to go up to the riding ring because Mom said that the black flies were really bad up there.

Then we did some Figure eights at the walk. They weren't perfect but I could tell that they are going to be getting better. After that we went just outside the corral and did some circles around some big rocks. It was really interesting. At first I was making the circles to small so part way through we started riding bigger circles and that really helped. Prince did VERY well and at the end I was only making about 3 corrections! It was so cool!!

After I got off I just spent some time scratching Prince. He was SO itchy!! It was a great place to end :) Prince followed me around for a long time he really wanted to be with me! It was really neat.

Naturally,
~Keri

Twosox: Yo-yo's and playing in the shelter...

May 7 2010

Today was incredible!!!!! I played with all three horses this afternoon and each playtime was wonderful!!

I started out playing with Twosox. We did some yo-yo's, getting them lighter and adding speed and distance. Then we went and played in the shelter. Twosox went in really nicely and was confident being in there. But when I asked him to back out he was okay most of the way but just after he got out I am not 100% sure what happened but he turned towards the fence, which was away from me, and bolted. So the rope was on the wrong side for me to do much. But the really cool thing was that he turned and face me!!! Then I was able to get the rope on the right side but he was really worried about it coming over his head. So we had to play with that. A lot of friendly game! He gained confidence quickly and so then we went back to the shelter. He was still okay going in so I asked him to come back out again and this time he was much better.

The next thing I am going to do with Twosox in the shelter is get him used to things making noise in there. When I had the chance to play with Twosox and a trailer last fall he was okay in the trailer but he was really unconfident with anything making noise while he was in there, same with the shelter. So I started tapping things with my carrot stick and doing different things. I could tell that Twosox wasn't okay with it but he stayed there with me and tried really hard! What a great horse! After a while he calmed down and was okay with me tapping the post.... :)

Ruffian had come part way over to the shelter and was looking at me. I really wanted him to come in to see how Twosox would do with another horse being in the shelter. So I sent Twosox to the other side and asked Ruffian to come in. He came in no problem. So I spent some time scratching him and loving on him while Twosox had some salt. I was really impressed at how well Twosox did! He has come a long way! After a while I took the halter off Twosox. He stayed in the shelter with me and Ruffian for a while and then left. It was really, really great! It will be interesting to see how Twosox does with a trailer the next time we get to play with one!!

Naturally,
~Keri

Prince: Porcupine game...

May 6 2010


Today we were having company over so I didn't get a chance to do a whole lot with any of the horses but I did get to do a little bit with Prince. I didn't have my halter so I just looped my savvy string around his neck and we did porcupine games all over. He was really light and did a great job! I was really encouraged by how well he did! After that we did some zone 3 driving and then every once and I while I would ask him to yield his forequarters over and go in another direction. Prince did very well with that.


At the end Prince stuck with me for a while. It was really good considering yesterday. I didn't get to ride him but that was okay. Hopefully soon! :)


Naturally,
~Keri

Prince: OH BOY!

May 5 2010

This afternoon was interesting. I wasn't planning on doing a lot with Prince so I decided to just play in the corral. I wanted to play with some things at Liberty so since the corral is smaller I thought that I would do it in there. I haltered Prince and then I set up two markers for Figure eights. It seems to be a reoccurring theme here.... we seem to be having issues with Figure eights Online, Liberty and Freestyle. Hmmm.... how interesting. 

So we played with the Figure eights Online for a bit. I was seeing how well Prince could do the Figure eight and still keeping the slack on the ground. He did okay but there were some things I wanted to play with. So after a while, and trying difference things I took the lead rope off. It didn't go to well. Even though we can do Figure eights Online with the slack on ground as soon as we get to Liberty it is totally lost. I am not sure why. Maybe I will wait until we can do figure eights at the trot with the slack on the ground... and then go to Liberty. Will have to think about that.

After while I got on. Now it probably wasn't the best idea but anyhow that is in the past now. While we were riding we did sideways, direct and indirect rein, point to point and some other things. It wasn't as easy as that though. I wasn't sure if Prince was confused or if he was just making assumptions. But either way we had to play with it. Prince wasn't listening to my body and so when I applied pressure with my leg he would either go sideways or move his forequarters over. Normally it was the opposite of what I wanted.

Eventually I decided to go up into the riding ring so we rode up there... bareback too! That was probably the best part of out ride, riding up the hill! That is always fun! Once we were up in the riding ring we did some Figure eights. I got frustrated because I ran out of arrows in my quiver and I took it out on Prince. I didn't beat him up or yell at him or anything like that but I know he felt my frustration and I know that I wasn't always fair. So after a lot of Figure eights I finally got one that I was okay with and we ended there. I feel really bad for Prince. Looking back he put up with a lot! Sometimes I think I take for granted what Prince gives me! The whole time did try but I wasn't asking right and it wasn't his fault. Anyways... it is all over now and we can improve from here! :)

Naturally,
~Keri 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Prince: Having fun!

May 4 2010

This morning I played with and rode Prince. It was a lot of fun. I actually saddled him too! That was a huge blessing considering it is bug season. I am so thankful that God provided a wonderful day! Prince and I played in the corral for a bit before we went up to the riding ring. We did some sideways, backing into the shelter and some other things with the shelter, close range circles at the walk, and some other fun things!
Then we went up to the riding ring. Prince was already so connected to me so we didn't play long before I rode. We did some circles, not 30 laps each way but just some circles at the canter. Prince cantered about 4 laps and broke gait 3 times. But that was okay it was pretty good considering we haven't done that for a while. Then we went over to a barrel and and I asked Prince to come to me, jump the barrel and then back up to it. It took a couple tries but finally Prince did a beautiful one! It was so cool! He jumped the barrel perfectly came to me then I asked him to back up to the barrel, which he did, he backed right up to it and didn't have any problems touching it too! 

Then I got up and rode. I haven't ridden in a saddle for a while so it was a little weird being able to actually do a rising trot instead of just sitting one all the time. It did help though. We did Figure eights at the walk and trot, sideways with a fence, with out a fence, over barrels and lots more! Prince was so light and responsive! It was wonderful! We ended with 3 laps around the riding ring doing Follow the rail. The really cool things was that Prince was trotting really fast and I was able to ride it and was 100% confident! Plus I had a carrot stick so that is even more challenging for me.... well it was. It is getting a lot better! 

It was such a good play time and ride! God is so good! I really didn't think that I would be able to ride much this month because of the black flies and bugs but it was beautiful out today and there was enough of a wind to keep the bugs tolerable! 

Naturally,
~Keri

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ruffian: Figure eights and circles.

May 4 2010

This morning I played with Ruffian. We had a lot of fun despite the bugs. We actually didn't do a whole lot but what we did do Ruffy did extremely well at. The major things were circles and figure eights. While doing circles Ruffian was way more connected to me then last time and was a lot more relaxed. Going to the left I only had to make one correction and to the right it was 2. When Ruffian was on his 26th circle going to the right he had a major spook at something or other but I was proud at how well he recollected himself and we were able to finish really well. 

We did Figure eights after that and once again Ruffy did very well. I think he actually likes then now! He was amazing! We didn't over do it though and finished on a really good note. By this time there were three kinds of bugs swarming around Ruffian. Black flies, mosquitoes and the normal house flies. Poor guy. It wasn't as bad for be because I had the bug net on so that was nice. I decided to go down to the corral and take Ruffian into the shelter and let him get some relief from the bugs. Ruffy trotted right into the shelter and relaxed. We stayed in there for a while and then I let him go.

Before I played with Prince mom asked me to try my Wintec Wide on Knightly. Ruffian came over and parked himself right in front of me while I was waiting for mom to catch Knightly. So I decided to swing my saddle up on Ruffy. He stood there calmly no problem. So I took it off and put it back on a couple times, he was fine. So then I put my saddle pad on and then the saddle, he was fine. Then I put the girth on the one side and let it touch is stomach, he was fine. So then I went to the other side and buckled the girth up loosely. Ruffian was still fine! I couldn't get over it! Here was Ruffian, a horse that doesn't like saddles (just hasn't had enough experiance with them), standing totally at Liberty while I saddle him! What a horse! I made sure to end on a good note and so I took the saddle off and Ruffy just stayed there sleeping. It was really cool! Ruffian never ceases to amaze me :)

Naturally,
~Keri

Prince: Sideways, circles and Liberty

May 3 2010

This morning after we cleaned the corral I played with Prince. We have a great Online session and a pretty good Liberty session. Online we did Sideways down the fence while I kept my feet still at the walk and trot. We also did one line zone 5 driving which was really fun. At first we went along the fence because I wanted to get farther behind Prince. That we really well and at the end I was 22ft behind Prince and we were doing lots of really soft transitions!! It was really cool! 

After that we did our circles. 30 laps each way. Going to the left I didn't have to correct Prince and going to the right it was one correction. After our circles we played at Liberty for a little while. Prince left a couple times but he would come back. Prince will stay with me if we do close range stuff but as soon as I ask him to do something like Figure eights he leaves. This time Mom was able to help and not let Prince go onto the other side of the riding ring. That was a huge help! We actually got some REALLY nice figure eights and Prince even trotted some parts! It was really cool! After a long rest I asked Prince to do a couple more figure eights. He left a couple more times but at the end we got a even better figure eight! We ended there. It was great to be able to actually play at Liberty and not just do close range things. 

Naturally,
~Keri