Another week of nice progression for Rowdy! We continued to work on getting softer laterally in the snaffle through Flexing & continued to work on our gas pedal & brake through One Rein Stops (ORS). We were also able to begin establishing more cruise control through the Cruising exercise. Slate is wanting to break gait less & less throughout this lesson. While Yielding the Hindquarters was something we had worked on in the round pen, we've begun to refine it & ask for more responsiveness. We've also introduced Yield to a Stop.
With this colder weather, I've noticed that Rowdy does tend to be a bit cold-backed during our initial groundwork. With enough time to warm up, he comes out of it just fine & doesn't present any funny business once mounted.
He also got to experience the fleece cooler for the first time after working up a sweat.
Pending next week's snow & wind forecast, we'll introduce spurs so that we can further the lateral softness through Bend at a Walk.
With the snow we received yesterday & last night, it was a perfect day to introduce the sled on the ground. I like to introduce the sounds & the movements of the sled from the ground before I do it mounted from the saddle. I can build a horse's confidence by dragging it & allowing the horse to follow it. Then, I slowly let the rope out so that the sled drags beside the horse & eventually behind. Finally, I'll hook it around the horn to simulate what it will be like to drag it. Some horses can get surprised when the rope touches their rump, so that's something I introduce from the ground as well.
As you can see, Rowdy was absolutely unfazed.
Next week's update will be posted on Friday.