Archive for the 'Driving Training' Category

Best Day

amywink September 26th, 2012

Here are a few photos of our September show taken by my brother, Marc, and his professional camera equipment (here’s his Wink Action Photo website). I’m certainly lucky to have had such a great personal photographer for Blessing’s first outing.

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Blessing’s Big Weekend

amywink September 16th, 2012

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So what I was trying to write about last week when Lily so rudely interrupted was our preparations for Blessing’s first show. That entry remains in the draft folder because this weekend was the show! We had a lucky break with the weather and Saturday was very pleasant. Blessing did very well for her first show. She didn’t really care for the in hand classes but came away with the Grand Champion Morgan Mare award anyway! She did not place in the Sport Horse Suitability class because she just Was Not Going to Play. Oh well, it was just for fun.

Once we got her in harness, however, she knew what she was about and started to work well. We had some anxiety as soon as she saw the audience in the stands, but Francine took over and got her straightened out from her pretzel position. Once we went by the stands about 3 times, she was fine. We had a practice class in the Give Cancer the Boot Driving Class and she did fine even after I took over the reins. :)

We did very well in the Working Carriage class and came away with a second place but we got 3rd in Reinsmanship. I’m trying not to be irked that I didn’t do better than last year’s show with Will but I didn’t get to do more than go around the arena while I was waiting for some serious circles!! We tried Cones for the first time and I think Blessing really liked going fast. We came away with another 2nd in Timed Cones and 3rd in Pick Your Own Route because I killed a cone at gate 5.

Of course, it was all fun and exciting and Blessing had a good time, I think, as did I. I’m still not quite as confident with her as I am with Will but we are getting there together.

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Perfect Drive

amywink August 12th, 2012

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This is the GPS track of a perfect drive. Not in the sense that every move is exactly correct, but in the sense that the entire drive went fabulously well. Though we had to work on getting our diagonals straight, we worked on getting our lines straight. Blessing responded to everything I asked her to do. While she started out not yielding to the right side, when I asked her to pay attention, she did and yielded to the right. While she didn’t appreciate my insistence that she move over ever so slightly to move straight (with a commentary flick of her tail), she moved over to go straight. Though we made a few circles a bit wide, we made a few circles with only a bit wide. Everything was smooth and relaxed and even, calm and peaceful. She responded to my hands and I remained relaxed. I didn’t lose contact, or let my reins get overlong, or forget Francine’s directions. Blessing was a good mare, suddenly mature and confident in her work, but not bossy or fussy. Such a perfect drive.

Here are the progressions of our diagonals.

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Then a diagonal and a straight line with a half circle to C and straight down the center line:

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Then some circles, in both directions:
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Why, Miss Lily, You have a License!

amywink August 5th, 2012

“And now, there she is, a full-grown lady. Wearin’ the greatest honor man can bestow. The badge of faith and respectability. ”

Lily got her Rabies vaccine (and tag) this week and I couldn’t help thinking of Lady and The Tramp when Lady gets her collar and license. Of course, Lily is not a Cocker Spaniel, but there is a resemblance. It is, of course, also a great relief to have her fully vaccinated and we can now commence with Puppy Kindergarten! I visited a prospective class this week and I think Lily will benefit greatly, though she does already knows some important commands already….no need to skip a grade and get into trouble! We’ll begin this week and see how it goes. I think she might also enjoy Rally/Agility and so when she gets to be 6 months old, we’ll try a class in that. Sometime in October!

She is learning quite a lot and took her first neighborhood walk this week. With that experience, comes training to exit the house. She didn’t take very long at all to figure out we weren’t going out the door unless she sat down and waited until I said “Okay.” She has some issues with leash-walking so we’ll focus on that for a while as well. But she is doing extremely well with our weekly trips to the barn–a very very important skill to learn. This week she stayed in the dog pen again and got completely filthy racing around in the dirt.

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But she cleaned up well after she dried off. whew.

Instead of riding along the carriage this week, we watched from the shade, observing both a nice carriage lesson and Malen exercising her beautiful mare, Lista.

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All of the time at the barn is working to make her comfortable with horses and dogs and other odd experiences that go along with a “barn lifestyle”. It’s a lot for a puppy to take in but she is doing extremely well. I was very pleased with her ability to be still and wait quietly while we watched the horses work.

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She only had one bobble when Malen rode Lista toward us and Lily decided that was quite alarming and she had to bark like a big dog. Lista just thought she was amusing.

Though I’m spending lots of time writing here about Lily’s adventures, I am now driving Blessing regularly and we are working well together. This week, we worked on our half-circles so we’d eventually be able to work on circles, which we both had issues with last week. I remembered to put my GPS on this week–last week, I took it but left it in the car…the week before, I left it at home. And this is what our work looked liked this week.
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Big Day at the Barn

amywink July 30th, 2012

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Blessing is turning out to be a gorgeous mare. She has always been very pretty, but now that she is in such excellent condition, she’s really kicked it up a notch–though perhaps “kick” is not the right term for a driving horse. We had an excellent drive on Saturday morning. I am starting her off in the round pen now, to get her warmed up, and harnessing her myself. This makes it clear to her who is in charge and she’s accepting that quite graciously, though her tail has a few things to say when my driving is a bit off. We worked on circles a bit and I need a bit of work on that but we’ll make it. She’s an exceptionally fine drive and I’m glad I’m not starting out with her as my first driving horse. I’ve developed quite a lot in my driving and I’m glad I’m a lot better now than I was when I started driving Will. I am sure he will appreciate my increased skills too whenever we get back to driving.

Lily had a big day at the barn too. She got to spend her waiting time in the dog pen instead of her crate, like a big grown up dog. She did get to spend it with Tex, though, who was Not Happy about not getting to go along! He cried more than she did. Whew.

She also got her second carriage ride, this one on the back of the carriage as we rode along on a lesson for another driver. She did spectacularly well for a young dog, as you can see from her posture here on the back step of the carriage

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She did check things out and of course didn’t hold still for the entire ride.img_5629.jpg, especially when her buddy, Tex hopped on board: img_5634.jpg

And after it was all over, she had a little chat with Blessing, who leaned out of her stall to check Lily out.

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Glad I had the camera ready. :)

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