Friday, July 12, 2013

a la Kate and Lucy

If I'm completely truthful, I'd never heard of the Pessoa system for lunging prior to reading about it on a few of your blogs. And then Kate's recent post on how to DIY Pessoa system...I just had to do it.
In fact, I realized that I had ALL of the materials I would need for this project just sitting around my apartment. I had a lot of old, retired climbing rope waiting for use (had already made some of it into a nice long set of reins), had two old snap clips I'd removed and replaced from lead ropes in favor of solid brass that won't rust and stick, had a carabiner, had knowledge of lots of climbing knots. BAM. Really had to do it now.

I decided to improve a little upon the design of Kate's by using a hollow pool noodle for the rear bumper guard. Kate had noted how her first fleece attempt hadn't gone well so it got me to thinking. I cut my pool noodle just a little too short, but its an easy fix for later.

The only purchase I made for this project was a pool noodle. So total project cost for me? $1.88!! Compared to the listed price tag on most websites of ~$210 I'd say I made out like a BANDIT.

So I cut the rope and tied everything together (used a different kind of slip knot) and then headed out to the barn to try it out on Griffin. I knew there would be adjusting to do, and he is far more patient with this than Q can be with new things. I want Q's first experience to be positive, and to better guarantee that its best that its done when the device is "finalized". (In fact, her first time with it will probably be when you visit next week, Saiph!! You'll get to see and laugh if she throws any antics because of the butt bumper.)

Hi, I'm Griffin and I'm ADORABLE.

Prior to the Pessoa, Griffin has had zero in the way of working with any sort of consistent contact while lunging or riding. The type of training I have done with him has created a very soft horse who responds quickly to light cues. If you ride him and are heavy handed he gets PISSY. When he's slow to respond or distracted when I cue him to trot and heaven forbid I have to boot him forward with my heels he gives one of his little squeals in protest and then trots. Sensitive little guy who takes immediate offense to something before then chilling out.

I was actually quite shocked how well he responded to the Pessoa. He stretched all over at first figuring out where he did and didn't find pressure, but he settled and worked happily after a time. We did 20 minutes or so of trot and canter work. He was sweated up nicely by the end. A great work out for the little man.

Aside from sweat and respiration, I could really tell he was having to work more than usual by his insistent squealing and grunting every time I asked for the canter in the beginning. I'd ask. He'd object noisily and then bump up into it, grunting for the first two or three strides.

I noticed that when he's frustrated and distracted (read: Kenai barking) he is rarely on the correct lead. This is hopefully due to his babyness and will get better with time.

Overall, I was very pleased with how everything went and how well the device seemed to work for him! Best $1.88 I've spent in awhile! Haha. Thanks again to Kate and Lucy for figuring this out!!

Griffin: Hmm, maybe I'll move like this?
Or maybe like this?
Okay, okay, this works!

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