06.08.30: Workin' Hard

Yesterday began with our Remuda which turned out to be an almost all morning meeting. It went really well. We worked a bit with the 45' lines just to experiment with them, and we also did another conga horse simulation experiencing driving with two reins. That was much trickier than I expected, and honestly, I think my conga horse was confused about the reaction they were supposed to have. It worked out and we got John to help us after we all came back together.

We finished up with the simulations, and John asked for people having some troubles with their horses and gathered three or four of them together to do demonstrations with. It was really helpful to see him break things down and analyze what was going on. Each issue was actually an issue of confidence in some form, and John was able to sort things out and put the owner in the right direction.

We ended up running a bit longer on the demos there, and it was unfortunate that we didn't get to work with all the horses. After that we all headed to the coverall to watch Don do a demonstration with the yoyo game. He brought in Frontier again, and began breaking down the yoyo game and explaining how to use it in advanced levels. He showed how to teach Frontier how to back up to something, and build his confidence with it. The yoyo game is made up of transitions, from forward to backward, and also transitions in gait. Don set cones around the ring and then began working with Frontier going from trot or canter to a halt at each cone. It really helped that Frontier loves to play with cones... It became quickly obvious that the transitions were building suspension in Frontier's body as he had to work to keep his body in the right position to handle the quick changes. He worked in a short space for a while of about 10 feet asking him to go forward then backwards and then forwards over and over, it became quickly obvious that Frontier was getting his body in order to be able to handle the beautiful high level maneuvers that come down the road.

He finished up with Frontier and we headed off to do another conga horse this time working on the yoyo game. Our horse was really nice and we were all sensitive and did a pretty good job. There were no major complaints, which is always good. I think more times we do this the more we get the feel for how it works. I just hope that is transferring to our horse.

We finished up with that and headed to lunch. After lunch I ran to town really quickly with Lacy to look at some supplement stuff while she grabbed some chap stick for her really blistered lips. We got back and I hurried up the hill to give Roscoe his lunch and sat in the pen while he ate and checked over my notes. I wrote down several things I'd like to begin to work on, and organized myself to help progress in different areas.

As Roscoe was eating, he stopped to look off in the woods, and I was sure there was something there. He went back to eating; I suppose satisfied in his conclusions. Not ten minutes later five wild turkeys wandered out of the woods and began eating in Prince's pen right across from me. They were perfectly content to eat away while Prince was gone, and I sat less than 10 feet from them. I even got up to move around to take pictures of Damo looking at them with curiosity. They never minded a bit, not even when Roscoe finally finished his lunch and I took him out of the pen. I'm sure they went to clean up his mess too.

We headed off to the playground working on our driving game from zone 3 and were pretty darn successful. I could keep his attention very well and stay focused in that mode. He is much more comfortable with me being there, and does very well when driving. It sometimes takes a bit of work to get him moving, but that’s not uncommon. I had a hard time keeping his focus when we were doing things other than driving game, but hopefully some of my questions will be answered today if we have time, if not, hopefully tomorrow.

We moseyed around working on various things for a while. He went over teeter totter (yes, a horse sized teeter totter platform) without too much trouble at all. He was pretty darn curious about it, I think because it moved. We checked out stumps, and the hallway, and tires, and logs and all sorts of things. I worked on his yoyo game a bit, but that still is not going as well as I'd like. I will have to work on that more today.

I sat down on a log and let him eat a while as I looked over my notes and made some notations about what I accomplished and didn't accomplish. We finally headed back up to the pens and I was off to take a shower. Dinner arrived after that, and we had a good time laughing about dreams and such during dinner. I finished up and then headed off to feed Roscoe. He was glad of his dinner, and happily dug in.

I gathered my things and headed to the cabin to begin working on Lillan's surprise gift. That came along nice, and hopefully we can get a lot of work done on it today because I think she's supposed to be back tomorrow... I believe today we are supposed to have a lecture with Linda, we'll see what happens...

Next Page: Thursday, August 31, 2006: Fried Brains