Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Groundwork in Hell

I try really hard not to complain about the heat because I know for a fact that I will be 3000x more bitter when winter finally shows up. Seriously, I always get on Miss El when she says it's too hot, especially due to the fact that she complains about the cold when it's in the 50s. Despite my efforts, even I have to admit that it's been disgustingly hot around these parts. On Sunday, we had a heat advisory until 8pm, and that was only because the sun sets at 8pm. It was still 94 when the sun was setting.

But, gotta get things done, so me and Max took it easy. I've wanted to do groundwork with him, so a too-hot-to-ride day seemed like the perfect opportunity. When I got to the barn, he was out. All the horses in his pasture and the neighboring ones (so maybe 12 in total) had convened in the same general area. His two pasture mates ran up to me, wanting to go in, but there isn't much you can do when they aren't your horses. I caught mister mustang and sent him straight to his stall with both fans on. I chatted a bit with another woman who boards; she owns Max's neighbor. Her daughter goes to school near me, and she knows the Eq Team's president. Small world.

Obvious carrot bag stuck in waistband bc reasons
I took Max back out to sponge him, then it was back under the fans for another half hour before I actually did any work. I had him in just the bridle, and the set up was pretty simple: left rein in left hand, right rein in right hand, whip in outside hand, and I tried to keep my body right at his whither. Of course, he was thoroughly confused by what I wanted at first, but he got it fairly quickly. I basically did everything that I do in the saddle, except in this case, the leg and seat cues were gone, and it was all hand, voice, and the occasional whip. The inside rein did its thing while the outside rein remained anchored, only used when needed.

Inside hand, why you do the thing?
Since I basically had my hands in my face the entire time, it was much easier to catch myself doing something undesirable. There were a handful of times where my outside rein would come up too much, and there were a number of times where my inside hand would drop (which got me no response from the cue). Overall, though, he remained much more relaxed, and the work overall was much more positive. I can think of a million ways to make the entire experience easier: using long lines, at least one side rein for the outside, me being 6" taller. A fanny pack probably would have stopped me from spilling carrots all over the indoor, but I'm also not a compete nerd, lmao.

We finished out with some basic liberty stuff, i.e. follow me, stay put, back up, halt, don't mug me for treats because you will get nothing. The back up was probably the least successful (his backing up is questionable in general), but otherwise, he was a champ.

1 comment:

  1. Love groundwork! I need to do more of it in general - it's so helpful!


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