Rodney’s Progress, April 2016
Grooming 🙂 😦
Ground ties. Stands like a rock. Shifts weight to put down the hind foot when I work on that side. Rodney is so good about grooming that I get surprised – and yes, frustrated – when he suddenly flings his head up in the air. He remains intermittently head-shy about brushes near his face [Head Games]. Towels are fine. Seems silly to me, but I don’t get to make that decision.
Coping well with walks & hills [Hillwork]. Very well. During our last hill set, Rodney expressed himself in a NSFW manner. He has a habit of displaying his Happy Meter [Taste Vs. Authenticity]. He often does so during grooming. He LOVES his weave poles, even when he’s not hitting on me [Speciesism]. This is the first time he has done this during something he considers work. There was a time when hills were a source of hysteria [Explosion].
Coach Kate [Lesson, photo] suggested ground driving close enough to touch the horse. She meant the occasional pat or tap with a stick, as one would with a normal horse. I have modified this to something between ground driving and body work. I’ll drive Rodney with my outside hand – no glove – resting on his butt. If he cuts in, I’ll reach out to shove him over. The contact from my hands seems to address Rodney’s bottomless need for reassurance.
Riding, or Not 😦
We had one brilliant, calm, relaxed ride [View from the Top]. Then he went back to having issues. Okay, but edgy. I tried several more times. I fiddled with tack [Headgear Adventures]. I stopped. So, I have not been riding, or even sitting on him. I’m waiting for winter to stop faffing about and finally go away. Rodney does better in the warm.
Previous progress report was in February. [Rodney’s Progress]
Gratuitous Prize Idea
A local dog show had color-coded towels as prizes. What a great idea. For a schooling show perhaps? Back in the mists of time, I saw an Appaloosa show do this with plastic cups. Would also work with mugs.
Thank you for reading,