The following is a training diary from the past week.
Monday before riding practiced walk, big walk, trot, walk, halt along the wall on lead, developing a soft, slow trot that won’t jar my neck or old bones. Under saddle Spring trotted a few steps. They were very soft and comfortable to sit. Did pirouette under garrocha pole both directions. (When Zelador and Zeloso were learning to pirouette under the garrocha pole they also created their own game: raise the head and bump the pole out of the rider’s hand, sending the pole to the ground. It’s a great game! The rider has to dismount and fetch the pole!!! I decided that Spring Song wasn’t going to figure out that particular game. My plan: if her head is in a position to bump the pole, I’ll not continue with the pirouette, but go on to something else. I’ll only pirouette when Spring Song’s in the right position.) Tossed gymnastic balls around.
Tuesday the horses outside were calling and running. Spring Song did some calling and was obviously having trouble focusing on the work with Dominique and me. We opted for a short ride. Tossed gymnastic balls around. Garrocha pole she ducked her head under the pole. When we considered the trot the horses outside were running again. Spring started swinging her head. I’d already played at liberty and Dominique had longed her so when the horses started running Spring was at the end of her rope, pushing her to obey and relax probably wasn’t going to happen.
Wednesday longed just a little, rode, trotted two circles to the right and two circles to the left. Spring was as smooth as silk, it’s so easy to ride her trot. Dominique tossed a gymnastic ball to me when I was in the saddle. Once she tossed it too low for me to catch it. The ball hit Spring Song. She didn’t bat an eye. Just stood there quietly. Tossed balls onto the pedestals and they bounced to me. Pirouettes under the garrocha pole both directions. She ducked her head under the pole again.
Sue Parker came at 11:00 and we saddled up Zelador so he could demonstrate ridden games and liberty games to Spring being held by Sue.
Zelador under saddle:
1. I tossed hula hoops to a cone.
2. Sue tossed them to me in the saddle while holding Spring.
3. I tossed hoops towards Sue, I think she caught one.
4. Gymnastic balls tossed by Sue to me.
5. Tossed balls to Sue.
6. Bounced balls off of the pedestals to each other.
7. Gymnastic ribbons: I made big circles, small circles, zig-zags, fast small circles, trailed the ribbon behind me. Spring was very interested. She followed Zelador.
Without the saddle: I had Zelador on a lead line.
1. Fetched and delivered mail.
2. Sat on bean bag. Spring was VERY intrigued. When I led Zelador away Spring wanted to investigate the bean bag, but stopped about ten feet from it. Studied it, then walked to it and sniffed it. Sue was careful to make certain Spring didn’t bite the bean bag or put her hoof on it.
3. Up on the tall pedestal.
4. Stepped into the tubs, front feet and a back foot.
5. Fetched and carried a toy.
6. Rotating top pedestal (Zelador did a great job). When Zelador placed his front leg up on the rotating top pedestal Spring Song lifted her front leg in the air a few times.
7. Bowed on one knee.
9. Wouldn’t lie down. Sue suggested Zelador didn’t want to be subservient to Spring, he preferred to assume a dominating position (taller than Spring Song). Sue took Spring Song to the stall. Zelador then did a lie down.
10. Alice the Camel, popped one balloon on Zelador’s back. Spring didn’t move, but she did tense up when the balloon POPPED.
11. Zelador caught the towel
12. Zelador held the badminton racket and I threw three small balls at it.
13. Spanish Walk.
I forgot to Jump Rope from the saddle and forgot to have Zelador go sideways over the pole at liberty and under saddle. Bummer!
Zelador understood that his job was to demonstrate activities so that Spring Song could learn how to do them. Zelador was very good and proud.
Spring was watching Zelador in the arena for about an hour.