Brooke and I have been spending alot of time working in hand and on ground manners. This week we tacked up in full riding gear for lunging; bridle with bit, saddle, girth, vienna reins and lunge line. Day One was a bit of a challenge and she thought it was OK to spend the entire time galloping around on the 20 meter circle with me attached to the end of the lunge line. She worked herself into a soaking wet sweat - good thing it was in the mid-30's. She didn't want to trot on the lunge line, let alone walk. She had one speed - FAST. Well, at least she didn't mind the stirrups bouncing against her sides or the vienna reins (sliding side reins) attached to the bit. And I discovered she is not a fan of Rock music - I had Classic Rock on the satellite station and I think it cranked her up even more. I decided to take the mellow approach so we changed to Watercolors jazz. She liked that much better.
Day Two - horses came in a couple hours early because it was literally pouring rain. Before I worked Brooke, I rode her next door neighbor Vodena. Which meant Brooke had no one next to her while she was in the stall. She did have a neighbor, Becket, across the aisleway and could see him but it was not the same as having Dena next to her. She had a major temper tantrum while I was riding - screaming, carrying on, banging against her stall walls. So I dismounted Dena, walked back up to the barn from the indoor arena and moved good ole Blake next to Brooke. He has a calming influence on every creature and nothing seems to bother him. I went back down to the arena and Brooke seemed to be appeased for a short time. At least long enough for me to ride Dena without her screaming back at Brooke.
After untacking Dena and putting her back in the stall next to Brooke, it was now her turn to stand in the crossties to be tacked up. I decided to use a lunging caveson over top of her bridle and attach the lunge line to that instead of the bit. She stood pretty well in the cross ties and was rewarded with crunchy cookies while she stood. We made out way down to the arena and I tuned the music to Watercolors again. I attached the vienna reins and Brooke decided to start going to the right today. Surprize surprize! AND she TROTTED on the circle - no canter! I changed from right to left after about seven minutes and she trotted again! Like she had been doing this for years. WOW! So when we changed to the right again, I did ask for a canter and we worked on transitions up and down from my voice. I was very pleased with her!
Back up to the barn and lots of cookies for Brooke! She stood extra quiet in the cross ties so I pulled out my mane comb. Dare I try to pull her mane? YES and she didn't care! More crunchy cookies as well as peppermint ones. I was able to pull 1/3 of her mane. She's a hairy girl for sure. I ended on a good note - didn't want her to get fidgity. I gave her a big hug before I put her blanket back on and then back into her stall next to her BFF.
What a great day - lunged like a champ and let me pull her mane! I will finish it over the next few days and update with a photo:)