Training Suze

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diplomaticandtactful

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Had fiddled a bit with the bridle and managed to separate the two reins on the ring so the the aids are easier to understand i.e. the rein is in a fixed position so the pressure is consistent. Did a bit of work with her on the yard, she was getting the hang of it ok, doing some nice controlled and tight turns.
 
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diplomaticandtactful

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Rode her from the yard across the first field and half way up the track where she lost confidence, managed to turn her and go into the other field and walk around there then got off and long reined her back to yard, gave her a snack reward and unsaddled, she did well as we had folks on the yard shearing a sheep when she was being saddled so first time she has done anything with strangers around.
 
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diplomaticandtactful

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Buddy been out in the box up to Bowmount Forest, where he hacked for 1 hour 15, got off and walked him the last 10 minutes as thought he had done enough.

Came home, unloaded him, the box was in the front yard and the ramp about 3ft from fence, so tight, but he knows what to do as he comes out loose. Suze was in the other yard.

After he went out to the winter field for a special treat, i brought her round and loaded her there - i would never load him there as you have to do it at an angle and there is little space. But she walked straight in, stood and had her reward, came out nicely and as she had been a star opened the gate and she went up the winter field too. Not good for her weight i know but she deserved a reward for doing something that a lot of horses would not consider.
 
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diplomaticandtactful

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Been trying to teach her to move off the leg sideways, she can do it but when i am standing in front of her, but now we went it from the side. Tonight with her bridle on she managed to not move forward and cross over sideways when tapped with the whip on the girth. Another little step forward in this case sideways.
 
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diplomaticandtactful

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She's doing so well!
This morning we had one of those sessions that began badly but ended well. She just didn't want to line up at the mounting block. For me that is a non-negotiable and has to be nipped in the bud. In the end after about 10 minutes i got her exactly where i wanted or needed her to be. I sat on the mounting block and scratched her neck and back, she rested her head in my hands and dozed. I eventually got on, walked 3 strides but she felt stiff, got off, unsaddled her. made her stand back at the block and gave her a massage and she was gone. I checked her feet again, she had a stone in them, which she had picked up from when i groomed her till i started working her. She eventually did the stuff at the block really well moving half a pace till she was right at the level i could really just step on and not pull the saddle. She went out in the field happy and relaxed.
 
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diplomaticandtactful

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Today i had planned to ride but she was comatose. so we just did some exercises lining up at the mounting block since she had found it hard and resisted on Tuesday. Perfect, she lined up, stood, i sat on the step and made her back up stand, then walk back in again, step by step, did that a few times then just made a fuss of her, she is asleep in the field
 
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diplomaticandtactful

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I love how you fit your work to her biorhythms! She is a lucky girl.
Don't see the point in flogging an asleep horse, i want her to enjoy what we do, so we did a little, then she had her nap. I didn't ride Buddy yesterday as he was utterly exhausted from being out all night pigging himself.
 
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diplomaticandtactful

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Suze hasn't done much other than a bit of practice long reining, been too hot or i've been to frazzled with buddy being buddy....

So today she was groomed hooves oil and pampered, saddled, did a little of of long reining then stood at the mounting block perfectly and got on. She still wasn't keen on forward so got OH to walk ahead of us and she followed out to the field, where she managed to wobble over to Buddy do a big cirle then walk back to the yard.

On the way back she forgot she was being ridden, she walked in a very straight line, purposeful, just like when she comes in for supper or breakfast. We halted on the yard. asked her to walk on and walked over to the feed store where i got off gave her a small treat and unsaddled her.

Very very good girl, when she forgot about it she was perfect, so we just have to figure out how to create that for her so she forgets the rest.
 

diplomaticandtactful

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She did even better today, we have a track going around the next field so she managed to walk up the hill across the top - very windy there, she got a bit flumoxed as she had to pass by Buddy but regained composure and managed to walk down the very steep hill on the far side - that would be hard as the feeling of the saddle would have been different. She couldn't manage to go through the gap next to the field shelter, so we went through one of the other small paddocks, but she couldn't get through the gateway there as the electric fence tape was on the ground. So we went back to the field shelter, got off, led her through the scary bit and then went to the little paddock entrance, made her stand and wait, moved the tape and we walked in and out of it and back to the yard. She did a very reversing when she got confused but we managed to either turn and go in another direction or get going again. Most she has done. She waited on the yard, bucket brought over, unsaddled and turned out. Very good girl.
 
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diplomaticandtactful

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Had hoped to ride her through the field gaps she was scared of on Sunday but she was a bit sticky so made it easy as possible for her. When she backs off, she can be got going again by turning sharply and then she manages better. we had a bit of a stand still and contemplate and reward her for trying, then another circuit of the small field and back to the yard practicing halt and then walk on. Not our best effort but still plenty to praise her for trying.
 
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diplomaticandtactful

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Today we revisited the corner she doesn't want to go through so i long reined her up to it but she started backing off so put her on a single rope on her halter and we managed to walk through it and did practicing standing in the scary space, backing up, coming forward, went through it a few times turning round, reversing, standing out of my space then coming to me. I suspect we haven't quite cracked it yet as she is not just walking right through without stopping but she did well so left it at that and do it again tonight. I left her standing there and told her to stay and she did so hopefully she will agree it is ok, I suspect she has been zapped by the fence there so turned it all off, tidied up any of the fence tape and openings and made it easier for her.
 

diplomaticandtactful

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Interesting with Suze today. I had wanted to long rein her through the bit of the field she was spooking about, led her through it yesterday but not just walking through still stopping. Today she just backed off long reining completely then refused to lead. So made her go in a circle come in change direction then got her leading. she was leading confidently chewing, dropping her head so she was good and she led without stopping through the gaps she was anxious about and also up the track past a big tent that was put up in the field next door yesterday. So while she didn't do what i intended, she did enough to be rewarded and released. She is a great learning exercise for me, I remember Antoine my trainer always said try to make it easy for the horse if you hit an issue so going back to leading and getting her comfortable again worked. Think i will try to get her out of the field in the box and do some nice walks on tracks to give her a break and just chill a bit more and then back to long reining and riding. She was just not wanting to do it, but we worked through it and ended on a good note. I really do not want to spoil this mare but at the same time i have to get her to do what i want when she needs to and today was a good compromise as she was relaxed and working nicely and we avoided a major fight which was never a good idea.
 
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diplomaticandtactful

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Another first for our brilliant little Suze comtois. Loaded, travelled away up the road, unloaded, had a walk then loaded again. She sweated up as it is humid but she loaded perfectly both at the yard and away, straight in, walked out confidently, inspecting sheep, looking at houses, very interested. Halted and waited, had a chat over a gate with one of the residents. Loaded very well given it was a tight space - we practice that on the yard - and dark as under a tree. She has a box of horse treats all hers - well Buddy got some as his face was a picture. What a super girl.
 
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