Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Back Home

Mufasa enjoyed rolling in the pasture and sleeping in the sand with Flash yesterday after breakfast.

Across the driveway, Lucy and Pistol did the same.

Monday evening we rode for a few minutes before chores.  Mufasa met Brett at the gate and didn't move away from the halter at all.  At the tie rail, he moved his head into Brett's shoulder and was downright affectionate while being groomed and tacked up.

While Brett and Mufasa practiced their new way of interacting under saddle, I tried a few things with Lucy.  First, I wanted to ask her to halt -- thought, stop, release.  We walked along, I thought -- and she stopped.  Whoa, I never said stop.  I tried it again paying attention to my seat (I usually stop by stilling my body) and not giving it away.  Either I am incapable of not being still with my body when thinking about halt, or she is already there.  Either way, I'll take it.  I also introduced her to backing in the way Mark taught in the clinic.  From halt, I rocked her back on her haunches with my weight, and then took a bit of contact; not a lot, just enough to say I need something.  She thought, and chewed, and thought, and then took a tentative step back.  I immediately released and praised her.  After a few more tries, she was floating backwards in a smooth cadenced march, with nothing from me other than the initial ask.

We stopped and I asked her to walk forward.
She said no, thank you.  I like this stopping and backing stuff.  Let's do more of that.
Really Lucy; we need to walk forward.
Okay then, let's try a turn on the haunches.
She rocked back, but instead of going backwards, I asked her to cross her front legs and turn in a circle.  She was happy to give that a try.

I may have created a monster.  She doesn't want to do the same old things.  She wants to learn this new stuff.  Yeah, that's a smile on my face.


  1. I can almost see your smile from here!

  2. I'm curious to see where this goes with Lucy! Sounds like she enjoys the mental stimulation.

  3. And the softness in backing really carries forward into a lot of the other work. Sounds like the two of you are really having fun!


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