Monday: Was not the best day for us. I worked Desi in the outdoor arena away from the herd. I started with the basic walk/halt at her side and made sure that she stayed halted while I walked away from her. She didn't seem like she was paying much attention to me, she seemed more focus on the other horses and tractors across the road. I believe I expected her to remember too much from Friday, and we ended it early, both of us frustrated, but on a good note.
Tuesday: I decided that it was probably best that we worked in the paddock with the other horses, that way she might pay more attention to me. The footing is decent and I figure it doesn't have to be prime footing if we are just doing very light work on the ground. I did a LOT more walk/halt next to Desi and she did amazing. I decided that we should try some trotting, and she did fantastic also! I finally asked her to halt and I backed away from her and stood about at her shoulder. I asked her to walk on and she walked on around me. I was ecstatic! I was only using a lead line so I didn't ask her to trot around me, but when I asked her to halt she stopped immdiately! So very happy!
Wednesday: About the same type of thing. "Warmed up" by halt/walk/trot next to her using my voice, worked on also backing up, and then asked her to walk around me with just the lead rope. I decided it might be time to use the lunge line and lunge whip. I got what I needed and asked her to walk, suprisingly she went right out on the circle. I asked her to trot and it didn't take much coaxing and she started a nice trot! She walked and halted right on command also!! When I asked her to go the other way I ran into a problem. Desi would stop, look at me, and try to go the other direction. It was difficult to get her to go back the other way with the lunge line and whip it seemed like a lot to handle. I asked a few friends about it and they said that if she wants to go the other direction, let her, but make her work more.
Friday: I put that idea to practice. Also I used the lunge line and just a regular whip. It was nice because Desi responds very well to my voice, and if needed I just lightly twirl the whip and she moves forward! Have I mentioned I am so proud of this horse?? She did decide to change the direction twice, when she did I had to trot, but not her lazy trot, I really had her move forward. Accidently when she was trotting I meant to say walk, but I said halt, and guess what? She halted!! I walked up to her and scratched her and told her what a good girl she was! She only tried changing directions twice and didn't do it again after that. I couldn't believe the progess we have made in a week!
Mind you, she wasn't an untrained horse when we started, but she wasn't as well into her training as some people had said and to see her catch on so quickly and like working like she does makes me so happy!
I am hoping to have her canter maybe not this week but next week. This week I only work three days due to Thanksgiving. Have I mentioned I'm going to WI over break with my room mate?! I am very excited.
The indoor arena was just filled with new footing from a show ($35,000 worth of footed donated!) I think I should have her canter on good footing.
Anyone have advice about training a horse to canter on the lunge? How can I tell that she is ready?
Thanks for reading!