Friday, December 31, 2010

Harness News & Clinic Details

Tuesday evening, Daisy was trailered over to Jean's. I have absolutely no pictures, but that's alright.
With the help of  my friend Lisa, we harnessed Daisy for the first time. It mostly went well!
Except for what you see below. 
I have no idea what those straps are called, but the two parallel ones are supposed to be right there....but there are no keepers to keep them from sliding. How's that supposed to work? What's more, this is a horse size harness, but Daisy's a small horse. The harness fits her fine, but how it would be able to fit a bigger horse, I don't know. In a few places, we have it on the looses hole possible. Like I said, it fits her, but her being a "small" horse, I can't see this fitting anyone bigger...which is a little strange.
But the 'biggest problem' is still those straps.

We simply put them through that other strap (so I have no idea what the terms are for the harness parts. Crupper I know... that's about it.), which works, but I just wonder if that's where it belongs? That's where I'm putting it from now on in any case, though.
I ground drove her in Jean's arena with the harness. It was so fun, it's much easier to do with the harness. Lisa gave me some tips as she watched me go around...I hold my reins and whip the right way  now ;) I was holding them like a lunge line for whatever reason, but now I can hold them like regular reins.
The pictures in this post were all taken with my cellphone; I forgot my camera.
Yesterday I took her out and ground drove her outside in her paddock.
She was a really good girl.

We have excellent weather right now.Yesterday and today it was in the 40's!
The clinic was very cool as well. It was done by Joann Long of Gentle Dove Farm. Various obstacles were set up around the the end, there was a "car-wash" (tarp cut in strips to walk through), followed by cardboard and flowers to step on on the ground, then a tarp with pool 'noodles' and empty plastic bottles all over it to walk over. Along the way, there were noise distractions. We all rode in a long line with a leader (me) through the obstacles, one after the other. It was cool the way it was done because you were constantly keeping your horse busy trying to keep up, or turn at the same place as the horse in front of you, that you didn't simply ride up to an obstacle and try to get your horse through. It flowed nicely. By the end, Daisy went over the tarp half way unfolded, didn't even flinch over the crackling water bottles under her feet, and got through the car wash with all the strands down (we started with no strands, then went to one, then two, then a few more, etc). We practiced a technique called "head-away" where if there was an obstacle that could potentially spook your horse and you didn't have enough time to completely work through it, you bend their head the other direction and shift there hips toward the object. At the very end of the clinic, we rode the horses around, getting closer and closer to, a flare in the middle of the arena, which the horses were surprisingly good with. We also heard and air horn, and if the horses handled it well at distance 'a', we would step closer, and then closer, etc. Most of the horses were alright with that.

If I have time, I want to do another post tonight. But if I don't get to it... Happy New Year's eve! ;)

1 comment:

Cat said...

Daisy looks good in her harness. I like the first picture when you can see in her eye, that she's looking a little hesitantly behind her. The clinic sounds great. I would love to be able to do something like that here, I think the closest we've got is the Le Trec obstacles phase. I've found that putting Wolfie into shoulder in, and his head is turned away from what he's 'spooking' at, really helps give him something else to think about and look at and means we can get past various 'scarey' things. Have a Happy New Year!


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