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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

August 28, 2011


There are times, and this is one of those times, that it feels so good to be tired.  I've had nothing but H-O-R-S-E since 8:30 this morning.  Finally had to quit as I'd sweated myself darned near dry.  

I started early this morning with Journey.  We worked with horizontal flexion, and yielding from the ground with a rope halter.  I can sort of get it the trainer's way, but still feel very awkward worrying about the rope being this way and that.  Actually getting it done easier in my own way, which is incorrect.  So we have a lot of work to do on that one ?simple? little move.  Journey was at least attentive today, which is new.  We had a rubber meets the road episode when she wanted to blow me off because I'd let her out to the yard, and she began wanting to rub me with her head BACK-UP-LITTLE-HORSE.  They all can have something that just bugs the crap out of you, and that one is it.  We got through that trauma, and did under saddle work.  I've not done this particular type of work with Journey yet and did not realize just how freaking bad her steering response is.  We'd only been doing straight line work out on the trail, so that was a wake-up call that she is even less ready for her job.   Today she used muscles I'm sure she never knew she had! We worked for almost 3 hours and with the obstacles to bend around, and bend around, and bend around I was never bored.  Then I took her out to the field and thought "she should be tired enough to try a little canter."  Where-in she promptly tried to buck me off.  So we did bent our way back around, and the spotted wonder DID IT RIGHT.

I came in the house and LSEGH handed me a toasted tuna salad sandwich, a deli dill pickle, and potato chips (nom nom nom) and iced sweet tea.  I stuffed that down sitting in front of a fan.  Then put on non sweaty clothes, and went outside to get Phebes.

We worked on some of the new obstacles again.  The Barrel Board Pin Wheel continued to be our nemesis.  Phebes kept wanting to move into pressure to get away from the board.  So we had a short intense lesson on MOVE-OFF-THE-FREAKING-LEG.  That took about 30 seconds and she tried to bite me on the foot which promptly ran into her lip.  So we quickly accomplished a training objective.  MOVE-OFF-THE-LEG and DON'T-BITE-THE-RIDER.   So we attempt the Barrel Board Pin Wheel again, and again, and again, and again (catching on here?) dropping the board off the barrel usually at about the halfway point.  Dismounting, placing the board back into position to repeat the entire process.  Though it sounds as though I was not accomplishing anything worthwhile, it actually desensitized her to the rattling, falling board.  Yay!  And (drumroll) we managed our first full (rather distorted) circle around the barrel and did not drop the board.  Yay! (again)

So the Barrel Pinwheel Move went from a grade of F- to a good solid C+.

We now have landscaping timbers (the wonderful LSEGH) for cavalettis, but I have to rig up something to hold them the six inches off the ground.  I also need to space them the proper 3 1/2 feet apart.  We walked and trotted them flat on the ground and Phebes bumps one with a hind hoof every single time.  C+

L-Backing went well.  We did it from both directions and she got off-course the first time and moved a timber because she stepped on it.  Regrouped and tried again and she did great!  Reversed great again!  A-

The Weave oh.......she is so delightfully good at this, just floats along through them like ballet so fluid and pretty!  A+

The LOG DRAG who knew?  Phebes is a brush dragging fool!  A-

We are on our way!

Still to do are the embankments (she's good on hills should be a no-brainer), the straight back up, the mailbox, a wooden bridge, lead departures (God help me), spray bottle, mount & dismount, gate, the hat pick up, a jump, noise control, side passing, the rain slicker, the tangled vine curtain, trot transitions, turn on the forehand, tarps, turn on the haunches, and some kind of water obstacle over a tarp.  So we have 4/22 ☺. 


  1. What an awesome weekend! Very happy for you two.

    I know they sell cavaletti holders - PVC rectangular block things, so you can set up 4" or 6" cavaletti. I can't remember which catalog I saw them in but I know they exist. If the fundage is lacking you could probably talk the LSEGH into knocking something together for you - I'm thinking a 6" piece of 4x4, with an 8" piece of 2x4 nailed on either side of it, so the ends of the 2x4s stick up. It'll be stable enough to stand in the grass but will collapse easily if a horse plows into the cavaletti. And super cheap!

  2. Great work!! And great exercises on the ground! What wonderful variety and challenge you are giving both of your horses- I just know that they'll eventually ace them, and be terrific horses for doing all these exercises. Plus, you are giving me ideas for some I'd like to do with my horse.