What I forgot to tell you yesterday was that when we were practicing our driving he was quite relunctant to go down to the 'spooky corner'. I know that I don't have the skills to just take him there but it was important that we go. I can't have a horse that's easy to steer only when we go where he wants! So I put on my patience hat and we slowly and surely made our way down to that corner. Think how a sail boat tacks back and forth. Or that we looked drunk. We probably looked like a drunk sailboat.
So on Saturday I decided that we'd start our lunging session down in the spooky end. I do vary up where I start and where I finish in the ring. We work our way up and down. I also had the pole out for us to practice going over. And he was perfect. Whatever I asked for he gave promptly and obediently and did not spook even a little bit. Even when we heard Irish groaning in the next field. He was rolling and making the loudest noise possible while Steele was being worked. Coincidence I'm sure. I then hooked up the lines to practice driving. Again there were no real issues- other than our steering is awkward. Irish is riveted by the driving: while he largely ignores our lunge work he stares the whole time when I do that.
That afternoon Irish's young friend came out for a session with him. It went very well- he had a lot of forward that we channeled. It was nice to see his trot get it's bounce back. The nice thing about Irish is that he will always give you what he thinks you're asking for. It helps with learning how to ask correctly. Steele was in the next paddock. He made sure that Irish realized that he was free. First he napped right up by the fence, then he spent some time running up and down the fence singing songs like 'born free' and 'baby we were born to run'. He then rolled, loudly and with gusto:
|how do you like it huh? (photo by Cynthia)|
So all in all Saturday was a success.