Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ben's Second Ride

President's Day brought lots of sunshine on a crisp winter day.   During the afternoon, I went to Ben's pasture gate, called, and soon had his warm breath on my face.   We went into the barn, tacked up, and started another training session in the indoor arena.

This session was the first where lines were attached to the rings of the bit as well as the halter.   Attaching the lines to both the bit and the halter would help stabilise the bit and lessen the movement it would have in his mouth.

Ben lunged fairly quietly on long lines at walk and trot.   At the walk, using the bit & halter for directional guidance, we did figure eights around the arena on driving lines.   Ben also quickly learned that the word "Ho", which he knows means "slow down" or "stop", was followed by pressure on the bit if he did not respond.   Once he BEGAN to respond, the pressure was released.

The work was generally calm and quiet.   There were a couple bucks and squeals, but nothing major.   And so, after a short session on the long lines, we switched back to a lead rope on the halter, removed the driving lines, and headed for the mounting block again.

Following the same routine as on Sunday, I stood above Ben, patting him, bouncing up and down against the saddle, and finally climbed on board.   Again, he stood still and enjoyed lots of praise and a few mints.

This time, Georg led us up and down the arena, left, right, around and around, stopping, going, and finally finishing the ridden work with a mint.

Sounds like boring work, huh?   :-)   However, watching Ben's big eyes get a little bit bigger, it is far from boring for him.   He is on a steep learning curve.   Every little step is a big one for this young horse.   And so far, he's making great strides.

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