Sunday, August 14, 2011


Yesterday I rode a little in the morning (I don't want to get rusty for when I ride Starbuck for the first time so I'm planning to ride other horses in the meanwhile) and I felt too lazy to do longeing.  I did want to get Starbuck out of her paddock though, so I felt like it was a good opportunity to walk Starbuck all around the stable grounds for the first time ever and work a little bit on her leading.  Basically as long as there aren't any distractions and we're walking somewhere she's gotten used to, Starbuck is good, respectful and calm on the lead.   But add a new route, orange trees rustling in the wind, stallions prancing and neighing at us, small children running around and cats and dogs popping up at strange intervals and NOT SO MUCH! ;-)

But I can't complain because in the end yesterday we got through the whole walk without her rearing or attempting to run into me, the only consistent problem I see is that she tends to crowd me.  I'm teaching her the word "aparta" ("move away" in Spanish), which works really well in her paddock (even at feeding time) but again, not so much with distractions, but I think I also need to lay down some basic personal space rules.  So I'm going to start walking with my dressage whip to prod her away when she crowds me (instead of my elbow) and backing her up every time she gets ahead of me (instead of bopping her on the nose with the lead rope which just seems mean).

Here's a video about leading from Clinton Anderson who I'm not 100% sold on but seems to have some really good ideas:

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