Monday, June 1, 2009

Figure 8

My boyfriend came out to the barn on Friday night and video taped me playing with Maddy. I wanted to do a run through of some stuff we have been working on so I could watch it and look for things I can improve upon. I am posting a little clip of Maddy doing some figure 8's with a little canter. In the video, she does a couple decent figure 8's, then I ask her to canter, she does so nicely, then she breaks gait and I ask her back to canter and she has a little tantrum. I am trying to figure out if I asked "too big" or if she was just showing her contempt at being asked to canter again. If it was contempt, do you get mad about it and match her energy or do ignore it and keep putting her to work? I ask because this is sort of becoming a pattern with her, she gets a little worked up in the canter and I am looking for some advice on how to interrupt this behavior.

13 comments:

Drillrider said...

It didn't appear to me that you asked too big. To me it appeared to just be a bit of a "I don't want to attitude". In that circumstance I would give my horse a verbal reprimand (whatever you normally use) and then ask for more work (about four or five more figure 8's) until she did it consistently right and relaxed without the additional attitude. I subscribe to Clinton Anderson's philosophy that you make the right thing easy and the wrong thing difficult. In other words, bucking and acting up equals more work. They figure it out quickly!

Callie said...

Interesting, to me she appeared a bit confused because of the obsticle she jumped. Anyway, she really looks great!

jmk said...

I wouldn't call that a tantrum, just a moment of being unbalanced and figuring out how to fix it. It looks to me like your mare just had to re-gather herself to break into a canter again. If you look at 46seconds, she is trotting pretty extended(no self carriage) and her feet are not in the correct place to flow into a canter easily...which is about the time you asked her to get back to cantering. To do what you asked and get the correct inside lead in front, she had to kind of crow hop the hind to get all her feet back into a right lead canter mode. My young horse does this sometimes too. She doesn't look irritated, just surprised at untangling her feet and trying to rebalance herself. Medium trot/canter transistions may help her figure this out without so much hoopla. If you ask when she is not strung out, you'll just help set her up to succeed more easily. If she's really young I wouldn't get to bothered by it just yet. Just work on transistions and really think about when you're cueing her to transisition up a gait and if she is balanced enough to do so. I thought she looked pretty nice and trying hard to comply.

photogchic said...

I knew I would get a new perspective by posting that clip...I think balance is the key to this mare...at least it is when I ride her...thinking about where she is at when I ask her to canter is a great idea. I am thinking when she breaks gait instead of immediately asking her back into canter, I should wait for her to balance out and then ask again. Transitions, transitions, transitions, I know:-) Thanks guys!

Anonymous said...

I thought I heard a click, I thought she was too close to the wall and I thought she spooked and farted. I wonder if the noise combined with being too close to the wall scared her.

Anonymous said...

She's gorgeous btw.

jmk said...

Well, when your riding her, you'll be able to feel her energy lowering before she actually breaks gait. You'll be able to ask her to maintain before she breaks gait.
Eventually you want to be able to do that from the ground too. If you're really attentive to her body language, you'll start seeing it before it happens and you can ask her to maintain before she transitions. It can be really fun to try and "see" it before it happens. You have to be fair to the horse though. If you miss the signs that she's gonna break gait, and she does break,you just have to wait til she balances and ask her to transition up again.
Have fun!
Jill

Molly said...

Gosh, I think she looks wonderful, such a beauty.

Seems to me she is being silly for just a moment, like teasing you. I tried to watch the video again but I couldn't get it to run the second time. I wouldn't do more than voice something to her to slow it down. You both really looked relaxed and communicating.

Drillrider said...

Whatever the reason for the behavior (spook, unbalanced or attitude), I would still have sent her around several more times until I received a consistent, relaxed and steady canter.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Who knows what goes on in their minds. It may have been a spook or a bit of an attitude thing. Whatever the reason it wasn't that big of a deal and I would have just worked her a little more to get what I wanted. She's gorgeous.

jacksonsgrrl said...

That kinda looked like a typical Jackson action which he will do at the beginning of a session; a feisty little thing of his own ...I ignore it and move on. He responds in kind and settles down....
If not we work harder and do a couple of things that he may not like, but I make him do anyway!!!
Sounds like JMK has the most technical answer for ya!
Loved your beach weekend pics!!! Wish I could come!!! :)
--Mindy

Flying Lily said...

It looks to me like she encountered the white thing, had to make a quick decision about what to do, got confused for a moment and buck-jumped it. And she is looking so gorgeous!

You might want to try keeping a better contact with the line - your line alternately goes completely slack and then snaps taut, and this isn't sending her your signal very clearly. You could try a more constant give and take so that she is getting a light connection to your arm. Can you work her this way without a whip i.e. voice commands? Get your hand back into activity...And again, what a beautiful horse!!!!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

She looked like her back foot touched the wall and that sensation and sound spooked her. You may have also been crowding her toward that wall, but it's hard to tell from the video.
I don't see any contempt or sourness, just a spook. Her ears weren't even laid back. And she leapt because of that block on the ground and not wanting to trip over it.

Looks like it was just one of those freaky things, but she recovered quickly and then did as you asked.

~Lisa