The last day of the Bryan Neubert clinic was a great finale to a wonderful learning experience. I have a lot to practice and work on, and feel that Petey and I had an amazing start to our journey of work under saddle.
We got to ride outside again, the weather was just beautiful. I brought Petey into the arena in his halter, just to make sure things were all headed in a good direction for getting on. Good thing that I did, because Bryan showed us a leading technique to get our horses more tuned into us. Petey was already pretty good, but this helped him get better. Especially when I got a little more coordinated with the long lead rope. Soon he was walking and trotting in hand with me easily. Good boy, Petey!
Today there was some fancy stuff! We got to play with backing up, soft feel, and some banana shape thing that I really still need to understand. Bryan was teaching it to us in the context of shaping up to take canter leads. (I should say, lope, I know.) Moving one foot at a time in lateral work is a definite goal for me. I have some history of getting tense and trying to hard in lateral movement. So, now, I try to stay out of those ruts, and work one step at a time. Sometimes I am better than others. Quite a project for me! I am hoping that a season of clinics with Phil Oakes will help with this.
I worked on something I’ve never done before…..getting my horse to back up by waving my feet out a bit in front of where they normally fall. My ex-race and jumping horse started to pick it up after a while. It was fun!
Toward the end of the session, cows were being moved just outside of the arena walls. Petey found this very intriguing. I kept him facing where the cow was as I learned a couple years ago in cow class. He held it together very well. Until we stepped outside of the arena. I had dismounted, and ws leading my big brown horse back to the barn. Just as I was shutting the gate, a cow whizzed by. It terrified Petey. And, he crouched down, trembled, and looked at me. It happened so fast all I could do was try to hold my calm space. After the cow passed, Petey settled right down and walked into the barn. His head was a little higher than it was on the way in the arena, so we walked around on the drive a little before I too him back to his stall. By that time he had made a complete recovery. Good boy, Petey!
I had also worked a little with the pony in the colt class again earlier in the day. I did enjoy it, and I learned a lot. However, it sure did make me appreciate my big brown horse even more. I think our trust in each other is growing every time we work together. I sure hope that pony is able to trust soon, it’s just so hard for him. Thank goodness his owner has him. She shared that she will never get rid of him. I respect and understand how she feels about the little guy. You meet some of the best people at a Bryan Neubert clinic. Hopefully there will be one here in Michigan next year…..