Friday, September 19, 2008

Good Boy!

My usual schedule has been disrupted of late so today was the first time I've ridden in a week. I did make a quick trip to the barn on Tuesday following Indy's agility class to tell Phantom that he hadn't been abandoned. I left treats in his feed bucket for later and rushed home.

This pudgy body was pretty sloppy in the saddle today, but Phantom is very forgiving. Per usual he started out anxious and inverted. I did some forehand pivots to remind him that my legs are there. Sure, they're short, but that doesn't mean he can ignore them. Also did a couple of back ups. Posting trot work included serpentines and circles.

We did quite a bit of canter work. Right lead work was a struggle to get him round. Especially when my position is less than stellar. Left lead work was not bad.

I left the sitting trot work for a later ride. Finished with our usual stretchy trot on a long rein to release all the tension from our connected and lateral work.

Phantom is such a good boy. Sure, he has his moment -- we all do. But he puts up with all my mistakes and gives me a semblance of what I'm requesting. What a guy. Definitely a keeper today.


Okay, so our homework includes working with our dogs on turning around in place in preparation for teaching "left" and "right." Sure, Teacher Jessica's blue merle Sheltie, Bounce, makes it look easy. However, the rest of us where challenged by sitting dogs who twisted as far as they could for the treat but remained firmly in place. Right.

If I hold the treat in just the right position, Indy will remain standing and do a 360 to follow the goody. But I can't manage to consistently locate that sweet spot. Unfortunately, the "turn around" just doesn't go with the breed or color (Indy is a steroid version of Bounce) I've got my work cut out for me this week.

For the first time since we partnered up, Indy ignored the puppy food kibble that I use as treats. He was just too excited in class. However, he was VERY interested in the dried hot dog treats that Tiger Lily shared with us. So I got some hot dogs and cut them up to nuke for about 4 minutes. It works! Dries out the hot dog but it's still a yummy lure for the dog.

Indy gets a "good boy" also. He's a quick learner if I'm consistent. But mainly he's outstanding for his entertainment value. Where Lacey was such a sweetie, Indy is a clown.

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