Sunday, September 4, 2011

Back to school

Today, Griffin learned some new things in the round pen.  First, we lunged, did desensitizing, yielding the hind quarters, yielding the forequarters, lateral flexing and backing.  He's done all that before, although it has been a long time since I've consistently asked him to do any of it.  But we worked on perfecting his response to all those cues. We also learned to back up with a wiggle of the rope today rather than just the lead signal.   Then, I used a small lightweight saddle blanket to desensitize him and get him used to wearing it on his back.  He did great with this.  I expected that since I've put a fleece cooler on him before without any problems.  Then I got out the surcingle.  I wasn't quite sure what he'd do with it, since the rings on it were very jingly, and there were strings hanging off it, but after the blanket, apparently the surcingle was absolutely no big deal.  I practiced pulling it tight without buckling it first (no reaction, he got a treat reward for standing), then buckled it up snugly, but not tight.  He paid no attention to it, even through flexing and lunging.  And he's now becoming more comfortable with lunging.  He's finally starting to understand that I'm not just chasing him around (he responds by snorting at first, whenever I begin asking him to lunge).

Griffin says "What do we do now?".

Friday was my first day of classes.  Silly, I know, since then we got a 3 day weekend.  But both Wren and I made it through, although not without tears on my end!  I'm really dreading the next 3 years.  It's going to be so hard to sacrifice my time with Wren to school.  But I'm focusing on the end.  We'll make it...I hope.

In the meantime, I really love blogging (posting what I'm doing and reading other's posts), but it takes a lot of time.  Now my schedule is even more packed and to keep up with all the things I want to do, I think I'm going to have to let the blogging slide.  I will still check in once in a while (probably once or twice a week), and I think I'll still post, when I actually get to do things with my horses (which I plan to try to do every weekend), but my posts might be more brief...and I might let the photos do the talking more than me.  We'll see.  I am just letting you know that I'm not going to dissappear forever, just become a lot less present. 

In the meantime, you can see more of my horses in the pasture, since that is the view that I will miss the most while I'm down in Madison during the week in school.  Well, that view and my daughter's beautiful face, but at least she is coming with me to Madison so I get to see her every evening and we'll be together all night long.  Daddy is the one who will be missing out the most.  He only gets to see us on weekends now.  And now, I must go and enjoy my long weekend home.

The herd heads back toward the barn...probably for water.

Griffin lags behind.

But the herd is lolly-gagging so he easily catches up.  He shows Kachina he's her boss by pushing her forward in front of him.

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