Thursday, May 13, 2010

A conversation with Jessie

I was up at six and had the horses moved and Jessie saddled by six-thirty. Armed with with my index card of exercises, fresh from re-watching the DVD's for the ??th time, we were ready to go.

The first exercise, Yield-to-Stop at walk, trot, and cantor, went pretty well. Jessie stops easily and isn't crazy about yielding or flexing, but I could feel her trying and getting softer in the process. The next exercise is the same except I add a bending circle around my inside leg and her head is supposed to stay tucked. Sounds easy enough. Here's the transcript:

Me: Hey, why are you popping your head back? Keep it tucked. Don't stop walking. Keep moving forward. Don't bail on the circle. Okay, okay, stop. Let's try this again. How can I get you to understand?

Jess: Simple. You give a cue. I'll do a series of things, when I get to the right one, let go.

Me: Do you speak English?

Jess: No, you idiot. You cue. I'll give you a series of choices, when I get to the one you want, let go. That's how I'll know.

Me: Okay. Here goes...Hey, you pulled your head back to quickly after the flex.

Jess: That's when you let go. I thought that's what you wanted. Listen carefully. I'm quick. Whenever I feel you let go, that's how I'll know what you want. Do it again.

We trot off, I give the cue..

Me: Hey, you stopped!

Jess: You stopped riding. Hello! Remember our deal.

Me: Crap. Okay once more....Yeah...good girl...that's it...now you've got it.

Jess: Ahem!?! I've had it all along. Now YOU'VE got it.

Me: Well, maybe...for now...
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