I am trying to get a little better about uploading new videos of Aspen and myself on our youtube channel which you can see at www.youtube.com/samanthamt7 :) We love comments and 'likes' on our videos!
Yesterday I had a fabulous time with Aspen! We spent a little while warming up on-line and then moved onto freestyle where we played with extreme friendly game at the halt and at the walk while I used my flag and carrot stick/string to create lots of noise and commotion. She did incredible! We also played more with follow the rail and walk/trot transitions using partial disengagement. We're still bareback so if you know of anyone that has a Fluidity saddle for sale please let me know! :) She's on the cusp of the Standard Wide and the Super Wide so we're considering both sizes right now. To end our time together I took her for a walk down the road. It's the first time she's left the property since I brought her home and she did great! We walked a couple miles with another boarder and her horse. Aspen came across traffic, dogs, other horses running the fence lines, tons of wind, sheep, mail boxes and all sorts of potentially scarey things and she stayed very LB and calm! I was on foot but I feel that after another walk or two we'll be ready/safe/confident enough to ride down. It was a wonderful way to wrap up an awesome day together.
If you're a Savvy Club member then you received your DVD on "The Project" with Michael Wanzenreid. What a great video! I am going to rewatch it again and take more notes but this is my first set of notes.
- The Project is a combination of the horse's Horsenality, the Patterns, and the 7 Games.
- The Project is a 3 step program.
- Before beginning anything you must feel to see if your horse is receptive to you/playing games.
- The length of the attention span is important, how long does your horse offer to stay with an idea or put effort into committing to what you want him to do.
- Horses want to know the purpose of your play - for example, what is the figure-8 pattern for? Focus? Impulsion? This is where Horsenality comes into play.
- Certain behaviors are good, such as being curious, but make sure you're getting the right behavior from each horse. A Left Brain horse will most likely always be curious, so it's the Right Brain horses (especially introverts) that need to be curious.
- If a Left Brain horse is too curious or destroying your target in the figure-8 pattern it's tension - the horse should feel overwhelmingly relaxed at your end point/release. If he's fussing with things then he's not mentally/emotionally there yet.
- Make your games about a particular spot or end point - be particular without being critical, stay focused!
- Longer lines, faster speeds, or liberty = more interesting for your horse / more challenging for you.
- Horse should feel for your destination.
- Just do what you can do at the moment. Don't get stuck on getting something done just to do it. You must WIN each part of the pattern/game. Break it down, take your time, and go for quality/success.
- Remember to always separate, isolate, and recombine.
- Do your pattern/game long enough so he knows what the answer is.
- As soon as your horse knows what you want move onto the next thing.
- Wait for him to ask, then show him the answer.
- The project works for LBE/LBI horses because they do not have to work hard to get to their destination. It works for RBE horses because it focuses them. It works for RBI horses because it gives them a safe spot.
- The idea is that the horse can either be doing The Project with you or get busy doing something else under your guidance.
- Do not make this into a job, do not become too predatorial (direct line, stick happy, etc)
- Step 1, send horse to the destination for as long as it takes for him to KNOW it is there for him to go to, Step 2, send in front of and behind object - helps with drive and draw, also helps horse start to ask questions and not just go on autopilot, Step 3, go around cones, gain confidence and comfort by doing part of the pattern.
- A release can simply be going off pattern/going straight.
- If your horse isn't interested in you or your Project it is an opportunity and challenge for US to become more interesting than whatever else the horse wants to do.
- You can expand and reduce concept to fit needs and skill level.