Monday, November 18, 2013

Ground Driving Lite

The ending before the middle or beginning. That's how this story is gonna go.

I worked Griffin in three parts on Saturday with one intermission to shoot starlings (bangbangbang): I trimmed his front hooves, I worked him in the round pen, I ground drove him for a half mile.

The trimming you don't ever get to find out about (sorry, it was routine and boring). The round pen work is going to be presented in another post.

The ground driving though? It was brief and pleasant.

Feeling a bit lazy and a bit curious, I just tossed on the bridle with the long reins. No saddle or surcingle to keep those puppies from getting tangled if he acted up.

I was hoping that he was tired enough from our round pen work earlier that it wouldn't be a great issue; and it wasn't.

He had moments where he got things a bit tangled when he dropped his head very low to do his bloodhound impression (he does this ALL THE TIME on the trail/away from the barn), but because he understands how to give to pressure, I was able to do a one rein stop with the untangled rein so that I could untangle and move forward.

We wove around the back open field awhile as the sun danced off the tufts of grass.

Griffin was a little forward at times, but he was really good overall.

I found that when he was most forward (going the last 300 feet back to the barn) I could easily redirect his want-to-trot energy into miniature serpentines back and forth within the width of the trail. It served two purposes: redirecting energy from trotting to walking and listening to the directional pressure (learning to turn). The latter purpose was very beneficial as in the past when he's been under saddle he often gets cranky about so many requests for directional change. I think I'm going to be repeating this exercise frequently so that he can [hopefully] put together that it isn't an awful exercise worth pitching a fit over.

Still so thrilled with my little grey horse, and increasingly excited for December to be here when I will lift my "no riding the grey horse" ban I've placed on us both.

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