Saturday, June 23, 2012

pulling stuff

Shyloh is soo much fun! 

Beth gave me a lesson on long lines to help Shy and me with her line driving. We worked on keeping contact and a the dreaded trail obstacle. . .tarp with board. Beth noticed Shy is not confident with a person behind her, so she gave me some exercises to do to increase her confidence. Basically, I stand at her head and move backwards a little at a time until I can move behind her. Then I repeat on the other side. Shy's goal is to stand still and not move her head or her butt. So that is why Shy will go over the tarp and board when I lead her, but not when I drive her.

After we conquered the trail obstacle, the real fun began! On a whim, we brought the sled out. Shy had not seen the sled in quite some time, so she was a little iffy about it. I walked her around it a few times until she got comfortable and hooked her up. Whoa! When it started dragging behind her, Shy got her quick legs. But she did not go far and before we went halfway around the arena, she was fine dragging it behind her.
Sorry about the crappy quality, cell phone pics from far away!
I suggested that Beth hop on the sled. She was a good sport about it and got on, even though she had her reservations. I had Shy near her head for safety. When Shy felt the weight, she stopped. It was a struggle between stopping and going, but eventually Shy made it around the arena twice with Beth. 
Then it was my turn! Shy was done at this point. She refused to move forward, despite our consistent tapping. Eventually, we got her moving and she went about half the arena. Shy needs to build up pulling muscles and learn how to balance herself while pulling stuff. But if we keep it up, I'll be riding in a one horse open sleigh by snow time! Or at least a sled in the snow. . .
I worked by myself with Shy on a different day. I used the exercise Beth showed me before we began any work. To my amazement, it made a huge difference! I did not have to spend the first ten minutes of line driving getting Shy to stop straight and not constantly step to the side. She stopped perfectly!

I worked with Shy on the dreaded trail obstacle and she acted like it was going to attack her! Why oh why mare? But I did some lunging in each direction around and over the obstacle and she finally went over it. I am beginning to think that she does does stuff to see if I can make her. 
This is the extremely edited version. . .We spent a lot of time on this.

I brought out the sled again and hooked Shy up. I really need to get something much shorter than the sled that I can walk behind. When the long lines are too far back, Shy is not as responsive to directions. But, we did it and I decided to add some weight to the sled. I used a 40 lb. bag of alfalfa pellets. At first, as always when Shy is pulling weight, she refused to move forward, but I got her going. Why does she always refuse to move forward? And nothing will make her until she is good and ready to go. Finally, when she was ready to walk, we did a few laps around the arena and called it quits. 

It's nice to finally get some practice in with pulling and line driving. There is not enough time in the day or days of the week to do everything I want to do with Shy! Maybe if I didn't work. . .


  1. What a good girl Shy! She is looking great :)

  2. Awwwww, she done good. I love how she lowers her head as she walks over it.

    1. She was being pouty because I was making her work! She clearly is not afraid if the thing, I don't know why she keeps refusing it! Stubborn.

  3. Work does get in the way of life's pleasures, doesn't it. But so necessary to pay for our equine habits. You and Shy are doing great things together.

  4. She looks awesome!!!!!! What a good girl. :D Have you thought about using clicker for pulling weight? You could click her for walking forward and slowly extend how far she goes, then eventually wean the clicker out. It might help!


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