Well today's play session was just downright amazing. Amazing, amazing, amazing!
What I learned - don't over analyze things - just do it.
With that nugget of wisdom.... here's what we did:
We went in the outdoor to play at liberty. Because the pasture is too big of a temptation for Eddie to run off, but it brings a big challenge to the table of corners. Anyway, we went in there, and I unhooked him from the line because I wanted 'set stuff up.' But we ended up playing stick to me to the things I was going to move, but I couldn't because they were frozen to the ground. We went to the objects and landed at the pedestal where I had him stand. Then we led by the tail off of it (5 hairs - I'm not kidding you) and I asked him to go forward back onto it. Then I had him yield his HQ towards me and away from me while he FQ were still on the pedestal. Now mind you, this is without any pre-liberty online checkes. We just... did it!
He left for a little bit after that to see if there was anything else that was fun to do, but I played a bit of catching game and he came trotting back. I had an idea! CHASE ME! So I kept running away. It took him awhile to catch on, but by the end of the session he was cantering after me. (thanks Amy Fallow for the idea - you can never learn too much! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPuaAIXd1BE) So we mixed in some cutting game with that and he LOVED it! We'd run this way, then I would spin around and go the other way and he would chase after me with his ears pinned, but he was having fun of course!
Next was close circling game! Now, he always does it when I turn with him, but I wanted to advance it, so I was standing in neutural. At first he left, and went and grabbed the 12 ft rope. "Hmm.... how interesting! Is he telling me to go online?" So we did and I just left the rope on the ground, and I stepped on it if he went past 9 feet. He did 2 circles at the trot with the rope on the ground, like a good banana and exactly where his ribs should be. WOW! Then I took the line off and he did 2 circles at a walk with me in neutural. Like I said a little earlier, don't over analyze it - just do it. I think there's a time in your relationship where you can do that. Your horse knows the fundementals, he's smart, so just DO IT! Try it! If it fails, go back to the step before it.
We did a little bit of sideways after that, and he did very good with that too. :)
Guess what we did next? About a half an hour of freestyle! YIPPEEE!!!! I was thinking this morning and I decided to play with our Million Transitions and starting to not use the reins. Just the savvy string. the carrot stick is too cumbersome as of right now and I feel to awkward with it. Eddie doesn't like it either! Hey, it's true - Your horse is your mirror!
So we did just that, we played with a million transitions and it kept him guessing, even though we were going in an... oval. ;) He did them superbly!!!! I had to use my reins for about 50% of the time, but most of it was with my seat and/or the savvy string. He did much better with the savvy string. I just sat back for the back-up and he backed up 5-7 steps with just my seat and the savvy string! Then we trotted down the long ends and I just had to stop him with my seat! Wow!!! That's basically all we did for freestyle, but it was so cool. Just yesterday I thought our freestyle was going down the tubes, but it's spiking right now! That was the first, real Level 3 Freestyle session I've had with Eddie. And I loved it. He loved it too! I expected something more from him besides the average. ;) he liked the challenge too.
Lea & Eddie
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”