Other than the photos yesterday, I haven't really mentioned our rides lately.

They've been pretty damn good.

Things we've been working on:

  • Voice commands.  I know Archie knows this, because he responds to voice commands on the line, but there seemed to be a disconnect between that and having me say, "Trrrro-ot!" and getting him to actually, you know, trot under saddle.  I worked on this primarily when we were doing our downward transitions, because of the frequency of change.  It was something like "Walk, good boy, three, four.... nine, trot!  Good boy! Three, four... fourteen, walk!"  Yeah, I want the horse that picks up the commands from the announcer's voice.  
  • Cantering.  The thorn in my side.  Trying to ask every ride and trying to push through his tantrums.
  • Trot-halt-trot.  We worked on this last night and the Kid was fucking amazing.  I don't get a square halt yet, but I think that's a little minor when we're still mastering the concept.  He still gets a little pissed off when I ask for the trot directly from a halt and it still takes a couple strides, but he appreciates my glowing praise.  Oh, and we were totally stalked by a giant yellow bee thing and it horrified me, because I mentally saw myself being launched and/or trampled when it finally stung my horse.
  • See the bee above his left knee?
  • Jumping.  I'm a coward and I lowered the jump poles.  But we're still going over it and we're working on varying between trotting and cantering out.  
Also, something attacked his face.  I think bugs.
In other life stuff, my mom is supposed to visit tomorrow night.  She hasn't seen the house and I'm excited to show her, but I also think the timing sucks.  We're all sad here and my house has bad juju right now.  I've been reading about pharms and behavior modification in dogs, in preparation for the vet visit on Saturday, and I found that the immediate and prolonged excommunication of the dogs was the absolute best and most severe punishment I could give them.  I kicked them out of the pack and, when they really return, they will be on their best behavior so as not to be kicked out again.  I've been crazy intense about working commands, too.  They've both been wearing their harnesses 24/7 and I'm still enforcing the concept that they don't get to move in the house until I give permission.  No going through doorways, no lunging to eat, just sit, stay, come.


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  1. I'm also terrified of bees when I ride. You're doing great with the dogs. I never thought about kicking them out of the pack, but it makes a lot of sense.

    1. It stemmed from a desire to be as far away from them as possible. I'm very uh.. "natural"? with my dogs. I establish a lot of boundaries - like having to do things to get things (sit for food) and not being able to get on the furniture. I've also tried tethering before with Scar because she challenges me the most.

  2. It's funny that you want Archie to pick up on the announcer's voice commands. A girl at my barn used to hate that her horse always did that so she'd spend all her time yelling out "and everyone canter" while she tried to convince her horse to keep trotting. Hilarious but effective

    1. When I think of the best trained horses, the easiest to ride, I think of an old lesson horse at my old barn (though, the Arch would never be a lesson horse.. kids would die). He was announcer-prompted and completely auto. I want that.

  3. I hate bees. Or any bug really. Horse flies have been terrible here. Big hugs. Sounds like you'll get the dogs straightened out.

    1. Arch is a giant wimp with the horseflies. He loses his shit big time. There have been a multitude of angry bug-induced bucks.