2021 Time to Drive!

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Willow Flats

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Thanks Marsha! I needed some encouragement!!!! I gotta remember we are making progress when I have a setback here and there.

The temps are climbing again here! Hoping to get a short drive in early tomorrow morning before it gets real bad in the next couple of days. There is other stuff I need to get done in the cool of the mornings. Rocko won't have any trouble standing around that's for sure.
 

Willow Flats

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6/9 - 30 minutes driving Annie.

I set up poles and had Rocko cantering over them to build up his hind end and work on his balance in his stickey direction. Happy to say he is getting better at getting on the correct lead in that direction. Just decided to get the ground work in. Was really fun driving Annie though who is just naturally forward! ☺
 

Abby P

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30 minutes for Rowan today. We drove in the arena again, a fair bit of trotting, lots of circles and changes of direction. He offered one small buck the first time I asked for a trot but overall he was very good and I'm starting to relax more which is helping too. Afterwards I had my friend help me to get the cart balance adjusted, there was a bit too much weight on the shafts. Much easier with someone who can talk holding the shafts and telling me what was happening! I had to move the seat back 4 notches. I lost a bit of weight and also I had adjusted the length of the traces and not adjusted the cart since then. My friend's mind was a little blown how big of a difference she felt just from moving the seat a little! Hopefully this will make the next drive easier for Rowan.
 

Willow Flats

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30 minutes for Rowan today. We drove in the arena again, a fair bit of trotting, lots of circles and changes of direction. He offered one small buck the first time I asked for a trot but overall he was very good and I'm starting to relax more which is helping too. Afterwards I had my friend help me to get the cart balance adjusted, there was a bit too much weight on the shafts. Much easier with someone who can talk holding the shafts and telling me what was happening! I had to move the seat back 4 notches. I lost a bit of weight and also I had adjusted the length of the traces and not adjusted the cart since then. My friend's mind was a little blown how big of a difference she felt just from moving the seat a little! Hopefully this will make the next drive easier for Rowan.
Sounds like you two are making great progress! Yay! It is a lot easier to get your cart balanced when you have help and an extra set of eyes that's for sure.
 

Abby P

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It was so helpful! And yes, I finally do feel like we're making progress and it's awesome! The kick strap was a really good addition since it helps me not focus on the potential of feet in my face and that allows me to focus on things I should be focusing on. 🤣 He really is very well-trained in the sense of knowing all the cues and being a super good citizen about standing as long as is required for me to hitch him (I'm still talking aloud while I do it to make sure I don't forget to attach something important). He just has anxiety if he isn't sure what I'm asking (honestly he acts like he expects to be beaten for making the wrong choice which makes me sad) and since I haven't been driving very long this meant a lot of anxiety to start out because I had to learn by trial and error how he expected to be asked. I'd like to get us really solid w/t/c in the ring (it's a nice big grass ring) and doing some "cones" courses (I have no cones so they'll be made of random poles and jump standards) over the next few weeks and then hopefully start short trail jaunts by the end of summer. I was a little worried there for a while but I think we'll get it together!
 

Willow Flats

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7/15 - 45 minutes for Rocko.

We worked on rein backs and transitions and then went a little further down the main road today. A guy fired up a gas powered weed whacker right at fence line on the road and Rocko froze, took a good look and then just walked on by. We had a little traffic and no reaction there either. Someone took our picture and said they would send it to me. If they follow through, and it is any good I'll post it.
 

Willow Flats

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7/16 - 50 minutes for Rocko.

We drove with Annie today and I took him down into the large ditch not by way of the natural trail, but over an embankment on the side, which he was thinking was much steeper than it was. When we approached, he said nope and started backing up like a pro! (something he is usually loathe to do.) I was able to convince him he could do it, but we had to practice doing it several times before it wasn't a big deal. I want to take him over there tomorrow and see how he does.
 

Marsha Cassada

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7/16 - 50 minutes for Rocko.

We drove with Annie today and I took him down into the large ditch not by way of the natural trail, but over an embankment on the side, which he was thinking was much steeper than it was. When we approached, he said nope and started backing up like a pro! (something he is usually loathe to do.) I was able to convince him he could do it, but we had to practice doing it several times before it wasn't a big deal. I want to take him over there tomorrow and see how he does.
Embankments can be scary!
 

Willow Flats

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7/22 - 35 minutes for Rocko.

He did great!!!! Cantered in both directions and didn't break gait until I asked for the trot.

I've been working him over the poles and besides building up his hind end, he's getting abdominal muscles too. 🥳
 
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Marsha Cassada

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I've been working him over the polls and besides building up his hind end, he's getting abdominal muscles too. 🥳
[/QUOTE]
It is so satisfying to see muscle development. When Midight came to me she had a skinny chest with her front legs almost together and no hind end. Just a wide middle (we had her ultrasounded as she looked in foal!). Her backbone stuck up. Now she has quite a nice chest, good topline, and strong hind. Yes, she is overweight, but strong and she knows how to use her body. (We're working on the weight but it's hard.)
 

MajorClementine

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Still alive! Sorry I've been MIA. Between summer vacations and raising a litter of poodle puppies I've been crazy. The link to the hours is above for anyone who wants proof that I've actually done my job ;P

I sent Perry to the same wonderful gal who trained my Clementine 7 years ago and he's coming along slowly. He's easily distracted and wants to play but he's learning.
 

Marsha Cassada

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Still alive! Sorry I've been MIA. Between summer vacations and raising a litter of poodle puppies I've been crazy. The link to the hours is above for anyone who wants proof that I've actually done my job ;P

I sent Perry to the same wonderful gal who trained my Clementine 7 years ago and he's coming along slowly. He's easily distracted and wants to play but he's learning.
Hard to believe he that old already. I remember when he first surprised you.
Thank you for taking the trouble to tabulate us.
 
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