Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Jump Distraction

I braved the cold weather on Monday night to do something with the kids. It wasn't really that cold, but it sure wasn't warm. And now, since the time changed this weekend, it's dark when I get out of work, so it just feels so much later than it is. I would much rather be at home on the couch in this weather.

I figured the barn would be extra quiet tonight after the clinic this weekend - and I was right. I had the whole place to myself, and didn't see anyone.

I decided that I would do something with Cisco before I hopped on Phantom. The other thing that I hate about the cold is that I get sweaty when I ride, then I get super chilled and can't get warm. So I wanted to ride last.

Phantom nickered at me when I went out to the paddock to grab Cisco. She never does that. It gave me the warm fuzzies.

But Cisco was still my first victim. After a quick groom I took him over to the arena.

He immediately went on alert, worried about the scary end. I really just wanted a relaxed night, so I lunged him in the safe end. I just didn't want to deal with his drama.

He hasn't done anything in a week. So he was looking for a reason to get silly. He was pretty sure that reason would be at the scary end, so he kept gawking at that end as I lunged him.

I figured I would try to see if I could get him focused on something else. So I set up a cavaletti right at C. My last attempt at this didn't go well - he whacked his legs a couple of times on the poles, then lost confidence, so he would either stop and walk over it, or try to go around it. So I started this one really small, and worked our way up.

He was actually very good, and seemed to enjoy it. It did seem to move his focus away from the scary end, and he kind of dragged me onto the circle that took him to the cavaletti.  So I was really happy with how this went.

Here's a cell phone propped on a jump standard video. The biggest "jump" was either 12" or 15" tall, so tiny. The next step will be cantering into it, but keeping his confidence up is more important.

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