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JR Session 2; Wizard Session 47: Baby Carrots are Your Friends

February 9, 2009
JR targeting a traffic cone

JR targeting a traffic cone

Monday 2/9/09

JR seems to be enjoying the attention and the work. I put my Moritz dressage saddle on him since it’s wider than my Stubben Portos. It looks like it will fit OK, but it might be narrow (it’s also too far forward in the picture). I’ll try to get a better photo of the saddle fit when I have an assistant hold the horse or snap the photo instead of me doing both ;^)

saddle1

In only his second longeing session, JR has improved by leaps and bounds (no pun intended). I am using clicker training to mark good behaviors on the longe line. It appears that JR understands “go” but has little “whoah” or any gait variations on the longe. He also does not respond as much to “good boy” as Wizard does. Wizard comes to a full stop if I even think “good boy”, almost to the point of propping.

I kept JR on a much shorter line than last time and it really helped. The first few rotations, he hopped about, cantering, trotting, changing leads, and wobbling in a shape very unlike a circle. I worked a little on “whoooooah”, rewarded with a click and a baby carrot. I spoke very quietly and praised frequently, feeding the line a little and not using the whip at all. I then got a good trot in each direction- click and treat. I asked him to move off again and he walked- good boy! Click and treat. JR seems to be getting the hang of the clicker. Our session had very little aerobic work since I was trying to keep him at a walk and trot so afterwards, I let him stretch his legs in the arena. Wheeeeeeeee! Lovely flying trot and a few wild bucks for good measure. He immediately came back toward me when I called, which was very cool.

Wizard is on vacation from riding until I get my farrier to check out his feet. I did notice that the venice turpentine made his sole smooth and mayyybe a little tougher. I’ve noticed a personality change in Wizard in the past week or so- he’s not his normal laid-back, sweet self. Instead, he’s a little removed and sometimes I see his ears pinned back. Once he saw the bag of baby carrots, his mood brightened considerably :^) We did a little bit of work with clicker training (10 minutes), targeting jumps and doing stretching exercises. He tolerated grooming and I started a Panacur Power Pac, chased by a tub of Dengie.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. WendyU permalink
    February 11, 2009 9:10 am

    Hey Sarah! Sorry to hear that Wizard is sulking. I’m sure he’ll be happy to get back into the action soon.

    I recently shot some photos of a horse that must be a distant relative to JR.

    And the icing on the cake is that I made a cheesey video (videography is not my thing) to show how Jag and I are doing in our dressage lessons. We’re both newbies and enjoying it. I hope it gives you a nice chuckle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFADGLamKgo

  2. February 12, 2009 11:55 pm

    Thanks Wendy! Certainly looks like a cousin of JR- lovely horse.

    Wizard has an appointment with the farrier on 2/21 so hopefully we can get him comfortable with the footing.

    I loved your video, BTW!

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