The key of CZT is having realistic goals to progress through. My goal is to ride Solly out of our normal CZ of the main field. I can ride Stormy and Tara out but not so comfortable with Solly regularly as when away working I don’t get the time to be consistent with this sort of training with him. So. We’ve taken a LOT of time getting a really good liberty/online/ridden connection in the field but it’s time to stretch it now. If you’ve been following this CZT blog then you’ll see the consistency of walking out in-hand to the same place for a bit, then in-hand to other places and what I’m trying to gain is a consistent connection to Solly wherever we go, using repeated exercises to create a familiar walk and then expanding on that BUT never doing something SO different that we loose the path to what we’re aiming for….a calm, relaxed, harmonious connection.
Today’s aim was to go over and over the once place that has spooked both horses…up and down the hill between two fields SO…we did just that, over and over few times until there was complete relaxation and calmness walking up and down that hill, even stopping and backing up the hill which proved to me we were connected.
We even checked out the ‘spooky’ blue bag (of rubbish) up on the side of the hill too AND we did some things on our own without Mark and Stormy’s company which again proved to me that Solly and I were connected because if we weren’t Solly would have been looking for and worrying about where Stormy was.
Video of us coming down the big hill showing how connected we are as I ask for stops and backups along the way
First part of the challenge went well, walk over with and the hill challenge tackled to where it wasn’t scary any longer. The next challenge was on the return of the walk was for me and Solly to do some walking about in the field next to our horses one to get familiar with the area a bit more with the thought of riding a bit of it.
So, after walking and checking there was nothing out there to worry us such as deer or pheasants running out in front of us and knowing where the slippery pathways were I knew we were nicely connected and I felt confident to mount up.
We got on at the fence, rode around a bit then came back towards the fence, relaxed then went out again. I did a few approach the gate and go away again to keep my confidence and to allow Solly to see the herd which keeps his confidence.
I made sure I could move his hq’s and his forehand then transitions of walk/halt/backup and we even went down a hill and trotted back up…felt really good to be doing this after all our CZT preparation.
I didn’t overdo it but stopped on a very good note and praised Solly big time for being a good boy 😉
- Shelley – HorseSavvy