Sunday, April 4, 2010

Long Barn Day, Short Barn Post

At least that is the plan. The posts often get long. And I thank whoever is reading them, but they are really here to help me keep track of my progress and regress with Sham. So that is my excuse for the length.

Today was another quiet day at the barn. And again Sham was an easy catch. He trotted up to me from far away, and I was able to put his halter on with no walking away. In the outdoor arena we ran through our leading exercises and general groundwork. He was really good, and his backing out of my space is getting better and better.

But it also has a ways to go. He particularly struggles when I need him to yield his forequarters away from me. After some failed attempts at this, Robin and I experimented with a few ways of asking for disengages. We experienced some difficulties here and had to change tactics a few times. Ultimately we ended up going back to what we all know and building from there.

That calmed us all down (well, mostly Sham and I, Robin wasn't flustered) and into the arena we went for more groundwork. Then we proceeded to have a little in and out of the tie-stall work. Into the tie-stall for curry comb grooming. Out to the arena for groundwork. Into the stall for more curry combing, brushing, and hoof picking. Out for groundwork. In for mane brushing, saddle pad and saddle. Out for groundwork and the bridle (which he took a little more easily than yesterday).

The final session of groundwork we did with Robin leading and me up on his back. It went fairly well. I haven't been up there in a couple of weeks and I'm always surprised at how much bigger he is than any other horse I've been on.

So the day was long and there were some difficulties. But all in all it held a lot of positive growth. Sham was much, much better in the tie stall. And though he still crowds my space at times and occasionally gets a little too lippy, he is getting very comfortable with just hanging out with me. And mostly doing so by standing many feet away. Robin has a nice dorky shot that illustrates this.

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