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JR Session 39: Coneheads

June 5, 2009

JR

Thursday, 6/4/09

The swelling in Wizard’s leg has decreased considerably. The only time I can see him favoring the leg is on a circle. I put him on the longe line so I could get a better look at it. Then I turned him loose in the arena and he blew off a little steam and seemed QUITE happy to move out on the leg- he snorted and tossed his head and was overall silly. I think we’ll be back to work pretty soon.

JR was also pretty silly. We’re going through another rainy spell so the horses are getting turned out whenever possible, but they have had a little more time indoors than usual. He bounced around on the longe line and played the Magnetic Gate Game, which involves him pulling like crazy whenever he gets close the the direction of the gate (it does not matter that he’s at the far end of the arena!). I took the Magnetic Gate Game as an opportunity to work on contact and asking him to bring the circle in and back out.

We worked with side reins for part of the session and he’s relaxing more in them and bracing his neck less. It’s still a habit but I see his neck in a relaxed position more and more frequently during training sessions.

There were four traffic cones set up in a square in the center of the ring. I asked JR to navigate the cones in several different patterns. Loop around one cone, then loop around two, then loop around a different cone. It was a good way to keep my eyes ahead and ask him for more complex maneuvers.

The boys have a few days off while I an busy with Belmont Stakes activities, but hopefully we’ll be back on track with some nice weather in the forecast.

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