Sunday, July 19, 2009

Empty Barn

In my 26 stall barn, there are only 10 horses this week. The county fair began on Friday and so many of the boarders and school horses are gone to the fair to show in the 4-H shows. Though it's nice to have the place to myself, it's rather too quiet! Yesterday I was at the fair from 9am to 4pm. I volunteered to help out with the 4-H shows and was asked to help with the "Project Judging" yesterday and two shows on Thursday. We didn't do this "Project Judging" in Minnesota and I found it fascinating and strange. There is WAY more required for these Ohio kids than I ever had to do. My part of the judging was to ask each kid a serious of questions. The questions and answers were provided for me, I just had to go to the correct tab in the binder, based on which project book and year they were in the project. A few of the kids didn't know ANYTHING, like a few 2nd year girls who didn't know what a GAIT was! Even some of the older kids didn't answer their questions very well. But after looking through some of their books, I had LOTS more sympathy for the ones who didn't know. You would practically have to memorize the entire book to be able to get 10 questions right on the first try. I only had to grade for a few hours. The rest of the time I hung out in the barn with the kids and the Moms.

After the judging was over I went to the barn and put Junior out for about an hour while I cleaned his stall and buckets.

Today I went out and rode for a good while. We worked on 90 degree turns away from the rail at the jog and then did a LOT of work at the lope. He wasn't very slow today but he hasn't done much since our lesson on Thursday so I let him burn off some energy before asking him to come down. We did some lead changes and He did a few that were pretty nice, but mostly he will anticipate and change too soon or start to bounce up and down when I start to ask. I need to slow down with that I think, and have more of a plan. He is very willing to please, so I just need to make sure I'm clear about what I'm asking. There was just an article in my Horse & Rider about lead changes and Mugwump had a nice post about it, too. I'm not giving him any negative reinforcement but I don't want him to get a bad habit about getting anxious. I already have plenty of "anxious" for the both of us!

Ended the day with walking slowly with a good frame, stopping and keeping the frame, and walking on again. Overall he's doing really well and I know by next summer we'll have lots more finishing done.

1 comment:

  1. 4H is pretty in Maine too, but the caliber of horsemanship and the quality of riding is something that I think is lacking. I know it is different in different areas. I'm a big Pony Club fan myself. I was never lucky enough to be a part of it, but I like the model they use and the steps they have. To my knowledge there is only one pony club in Maine which sucks.

    Glad you had a good ride on Junior and spent some quality time at the barn.