June 24, 2014

Something New

With under 2 months until fair, it finally hit me that I need to start getting Ypke out and about. Instead of one lesson per week at home, I decided to switch to two lessons per week at a local boarding facility to expose her to more activity.

Originally I was going to haul the beast there last Wednesday, but she refused to load. I gave up after a couple of hours but continued to work on her loading skills after that. Yesterday, she loaded in under 15 minutes and we went on our way to the lesson.

I expected a lot of drama, but surprisingly she behaved just like she does at home. I rode her around the roundpen for a bit before moving into one of the larger arenas to work on patterns. All in all, it went pretty well. She kept on trying to trample the cones (nothing new there) and wasn't halting as abrupt as I would have liked, but I can't really say it went poorly.

Pattern 1:
Start at Cone A, walk until you are halfway between Cones A and B, do a trot circle, trot to Cone B, halt, 180* forehand turn, back 5 steps (biggest issue was halting and trampling the cones)

Pattern 2:
Start at Cone B, trot until you are halfway between Cone B and A, do a small trot circle to the left, halt, do a small trot circle to the right, halt, back five steps, 90* haunch turn (biggest issue was halting straight, keeping the circles the same size, and trampling the cone)

It was a good experience for both of us!  She didn't spook, and I didn't feel nervous, so that in itself is an accomplishment! She was hesitant to load on the way back, but after about 15 minutes or so she hopped in.


  1. Sounds like you guys accomplished a lot! And 15 minutes to get on/off the trailer isn't that bad... Much improved over not getting on at all! Nice job :)

  2. have you tried the loading exercises with the clicker?


Thank you for reading my blog! Be sure to leave a comment — Ypke, Jethro, and I love to hear from our readers!