Tired Boy Post-workout
After starting Kasa with a (quite literal) bang a few weeks ago, he has had several different experiences in training. Most of them, he took in beautiful stride, but some others are taking a little more time and a nice dose of patience. An upside to my inability to physically work Kasa right now is that the hands-on parts have been passed on to my student/friend/instant-assistant, Allie. This has been her first chance to work with a young, green horse in such detail. Here are few things that Allie has helped introduce Kasa to over the last few weeks:
While continuing to fit in moments of ground work whenever possible, we have introduced Kasa to lunging with side reins and had several sessions so far. In the first few, we spent a decent amount of time getting him to accept being worked on the right side. Although we had worked through leading on the right, the concept of moving forward AND allowing the human to remain on his worry side was a little tough to process. Our goal at the moment is to simply be able to lunge on both sides in a calm and rhythmic manner while he continues to breathe deeply. He's getting very good with voice cues, but continues to breathe like he has kinks in his hoses.
Allie and Kasa Lunging (Day 3-above, Day 5-below)
Our first free jumping session was a serious success. I will normally introduce poles in the ground work extensively before jumping a horse. I want them to see poles and jumps as puzzles, not as something to be worried about. Without me being able to really work both sides evenly (aka. thumb woes) at the moment, we hadn't been following my normal track, and I wanted to see if my potential eventer could even jump. After setting up the chute, Allie walked him through once in hand over ground poles to get a feel for how the session would go, and he walked over them thoughtfully and with no hesitation. We subsequently set him loose and guided him over a cross rail with the same result. His first vertical was a breeze, though becoming rambunctious, but his first oxer caused him to stop in process. After taking a moment, the oxers were also a breeze. The videos below show his first vertical and his highest oxers of the evening.
One of the more minor, but certainly more difficult training issues we have come across comes in the buzzing, monstrous form of clippers. He is completely wary of them when they're off, but they're surely going to be the cause of his demise when they are turned on. We've moved from simply getting groomed with them in the same county to getting groomed with them switched on in the grooming stall.
I'm hoping that next month's training update reports some more free jumping, long-lining, and maybe even some under saddle work!