When I left you last I updated you on my progress with Ike and his training and the steps we are on in the #21 steps to broke series.
Well I am very happy to announce that we can check off #11 & #12 now! They include #11- walking out while mounted and #12- trotting while mounted.
As I explained in my latest post, when first working on the movig out while mounted, I prefer to have a second person in the middle of the round pen to help as a motivator to get the horse to respond and get the idea of moving out to the cues the rider is giving. I my case my husband helped me out.
At first I ask for the cues before he steps in so the horse gets the idea of the cue and he has a chance to respond by himself first. If nothing happens my husband then steps forward and gives a ground cue to move forward. Whether it's raising an arm, smooching or even using a lunge whip as a visual for the horse. After just two times with him helpin me Ike began to respond to mycue alone. My cue for going forward are squeezing with my legs and kissing at him. I found that clucking at him didn't have a strong quick sound like smooching which e responds I MUCH better. Just something to keep in mind with your own horse in case he responds to something better than another.
Getting him to start listening to my cue without the help of my husband after a little while was great enough progress for me for his first day. The next day I went out just me to work on the use a little more without the help of a person in the middle. I usually recommend having someone in the middle for the first couple days or on horseback to help just in case their slow to remember how to listen and react to the cues correctly. This was the case with Ike and I. My husband was at work so I didn't have anyone to help me so I figured we'll jump right into it and hope for the best.
It was slow at frat and it took some getting on and off to teach him the cue from the ground before it all came together again. This vein his second day all we did is walk and work in turning and continuing in both directions.
Day three went great... An I fact it went so great that I rode him out of the round pen and around our property and the house. He did excellent. I don't usually take them outside of the arena this early in training but he was being slow at moving forward in te pen and over time I have found that they move out better when they have someplace to go and something to do. So getting them out and around different things helps them move out an work on the going forward cues and turning.
Before moving out and around I had also worked in trotting him in te round pen. After a few times of lots of cueing he finally started to get it down and relax into a nice forward trot contueously for me.
Day four was even better. I did less ground lunging this time because in te future I want him to get to where I can saddle and get in and he will be just fine, without any surprises. Everyday I'll do a little less each time until he's ready for that. After walking and trotting a few times in the round pen and making sure he's listening to rein cues and turnig well, we headed bak out of the arena for more riding around the property. He did excellent! At first he wouldn't move out for me so I hand walked him around a little and then hopped in an he was just fine. Listened to all cues to move forward and turning. We also worked in trotting a little, as well. After a few rounds of riding around we headed back and I gave him a bath for his good effort and he'd worked up a little but of a sweat.
One thing I'd like to mention is that progress for each horse isn't always like that. I've had horses where riding outside the arena or round pen wasn't able to happen until we were a week or two into training. And then some horses, like Ike, I can ride outside after only a few days. Just make sure you read your horse and make sure that he's ready and YOU! It takes confidence to be able to take a young horse trustingly out onto the trails and out and about.
I'm also the kind of person that does not have te ability to ride everyday but once riding I try not to let more than two days go by without riding so that the horse stays in tune to his training. This is also good for a young horse to get a day or two break in between to process things and recooperate if it was a long lesson. So don't feel pressured to ride EVERY SINGLE DAY because it's not only unnecessary but it's beneficial to you and the horse, as well.
I hope you are all having good times and rides on the trails and in the arenas!
Let me know in te comments if you have questions or just want to leave a hello ... I'd love to hear from you!!
Until next time,
Keep your feet in the stirrups and your heels down!