Today we were supposed to have another training session but Ezra had to cancel. At first I thought I would ride Mac but thought again and decided it is always good to do ground work and we need to work on longing and voice commands so I decided to try my hand at longing in the arena today.
Oh, I also thought I would give the fly spray another try, as he seems to be so afraid of it! I held the bottle and let him sniff it, then I'd point it away from him and spray it and that was just too much. So I went back to just holding it in front of him. Then I tried to move to his neck and just stroke his neck with the bottle. Well that alone was scary but I was able to hold the bottle in my hand and pat him all over with my other hand. I think maybe I should just wear the bottle around my neck for a week or so!
I took the bottle down to the arena with us and put it on the fence post so he'd see it every time he went by. We've gotten more tuned in to each other so that I can easily move his shoulder or haunches and it is easy to get him out on the line - yay! I worked on keeping my body in the right position so I didn't give him mixed signals. Going left was better and easier than going right - that is not unusual, as horses are "sided" as we are and one direction is easier than the other. One of the objectives in training is to work the body so the horse is even in both directions.
We worked on walking and trotting. I can easily "disengage his hindquarters" to get him to stop from the trot but I've got to figure out how to get him to go from a trot to a walk and continue going forward and not turn in to face me. I'll have to do some research and homework on that.
We did some good, steady trot work in both directions and then I worked with him again on the fly spray and on letting me hold the spray and pat him at the same time. We also worked on me working around his head and ears and getting him to lower his head if I touch his ears and poll.
It was a really good training session!
Afterward I ground tied him and put some Swat on his face and belly to keep the flies away then brought him back to the pasture where he had a nice roll - and flipped over a few times! There is an old wives' tale that says each time a rolling horse turns over he is worth a hundred dollars! :-)
Oh, I came back to add that after we were done longing but we were working on fly spray and ear stuff, Paddy called to Mac and Mac did not call back!!! That is really good progress - that means his attention was with me, not back with his friends!