Pittsboro, NC

Sooty- 06/08/2019

Had a very short ride (only 20 minutes). Sooty was amazing despite it being extremely humid. I did worked on his groundwork and he struggled a little bit with ‘bring it’ on his left side but after two times asking and him struggling to find the answer, he kept getting it right away. He had no issue lowering his head when I asked and kept stopping fairly square. The ride was very smooth and easy. Did a lot of walk with a few laps of trot and a lap of canter each direction and his canter was just a slow and smooth one, I even had to encourage him to keep going a little bit. Ended with a cool down on a loose rein and worked on some emergency stops.

Sooty- 05/31/2019

We took Sooty and Lena to Raven Rock. Sooty was very good, though quite forward. He didn’t spook at anything and instead had to lead Lena a few times past some “spooky” stuff. I tried to get him to walk into the water, but ended up having to lead him to it and I managed to get him to at least take a drink from it before I got back on and we continued our ride.

Lena – Straightness Training Asymmetry Report

FINALLY, after signing up for the Straightness Training Mastery online course in early November 2018 I am doing my asymmetry report on my TB mare, LenaΒ 

πŸ˜€ . I did start it as soon as it came in the email coaching, but I felt like I didn’t have a thorough enough report, and never completed it. I kept working with my horse, but then I got busy for about 2 months and didn’t work my horse much. SOOOO, here it is. It isn’t fully filled out, but that is a life lesson for me! I suffer from extreme paralysis – by – analysis so I’m posting it here not completely filled out. And I’m going to deal with it! 

Lena – TRT Method, Challenge One

This is from the TRT Method website. It’s their first challenge for their members / online participants. This is the Facebook post. I’ve already been using the TRT Method with Lena for a few months to work on her trailer claustrophobia.

It’s amazing how you THINK you are using yourself, then you see yourself on video and go “OMG! I’m nannying my horse!”.  HAHA.  I need to let her make the mistake and THEN correct her.  I see I’m trying to prevent her from making the mistake of getting too close.  But I’m going to post it here because 1. It’s good to owe up to your imperfections and 2. I think I should get brownie points for training the Karuma (the cat), too.  πŸ˜‰ 



Continued Ed – ST Operant Conditioning Quadrant Review

I started by reviewing the recording of the ST webinar “Operant Conditioning Q-in-Q” (quadrant in quadrant). I got through the +Punishment and +Reinforcement when I got sidetracked (imagine that) by looking up Pavlov’s “Classical Conditioning”, Skinner’s “Operant Conditioning” and found a cool TEDed video. I then got sucked into a podcast series which is / was an actual Psychology 1100 course at the U. of Connecticut taught by David B. Miller. The podcast episodes I listened to were;

  1. #76 Habituation
  2. #77 Conditioning
  3. #78 Reinforcers

Lena – 05/16/2019

I wanted to do something with her in the last bit of daylight I had left, so I put her cavesson on and we went into the arena to do some ground work and light lunging.

I focused on getting crisp halts from a walk first. And if they were not crisp we did some crisp backing up. Watching the flies bother her reminded me that if she can feel a fly then she can feel my light hand pressure on the cavesson. When she wasn’t being responsive to a light pressure then I used a tap of the whip on her chest. Soon she was giving me very responsive halts from a walk to a light pressure (and not my body language) on the cavesson. And when she gave a prompt halt from a clear, light signal I gave her a soft verbal ‘good, Lena’, a touch on the forehand and a rest.

Lena is fairly sensitive and in the wrong program I could see her being a bit dangerous due to over reacting. I experienced it over her trailer loading issue when I first got her (she was very panicked when it came to the trailer and hurt herself a few times and behaved in a way that could injury a person) as well as her reaction to pull back and panic when being tied. All you have to do is ‘grrrrrr’ at her she she gets wide-eyed.

Just as she is prone to overreact to discipline actions, or overly strong requests to do something, she also does not like overly animated praise. A loud voice, strong patting or even vigorous stroking sort of spazzes her out. For her praise seems to be well received in the form of rest, a firm placement of your hand on her neck or forehead (no scratching or vigorous rubbing, please) and a quiet verbal reward.

So that is what we did tonight (since we haven’t been doing much at all for the past 2 months). About 20 minutes of in-hand type work and a little big of lunging in the walk and trot over ground poles. But the focus was just on the volume of pressure to get that walk – halt transition from a light pressure on the cavesson and an acknowledgement (that she appreciates) for her correct response.

She did a few great halts that were square. πŸ™‚

Sooty- 05/16/2019

Had a good short ride. He had a little bucking fit at the canter, but it was short lived and easy to sit. He had a little “drop” spook at a tree limb down in the cavaletti field while trotting which was also short lived and easily sat. I tried him in a hackamore for the last portion of my ride and noticed he was more stretchy in the walk with it, but still rooted a little bit, and was more inverted at the trot with it. He has very easy steering though and still amazing braking mainly from the seat.