Monday, November 3, 2008

Jumping and Leg Yields and Pedestal Work

Bo has been working on his dressage and jumping this week, as well as perfecting standing on a pedestal.

The pedestal work has been interesting to watch as Bo thinks about how best to place his feet to be able to balance on his pedestal. He's tried several different placements, but has now settled for a wider stance in front, with his hinds tucked up underneath him and rather close together. He's also found that arching his neck a bit and dropping his nose on the vertical helps keep him in balance.

We've also continued work on leg yields both left and right. I've added a very physical cue by stepping toward Bo and crossing my legs to move him over. I don't know if he's mirroring my actions or he can simply see the cue more readily -- he is only 31 inches tall -- but a the light bulb came on very bright. The leg yields also encourage him to round up and use his back, arch his neck and drop his nose on the vertical. Hmmm, I guess it's all the chicken or egg theory. Or as Alexandra Kurland says, "Everything is everything else."

Finally, Bo is jumping freely. I initially had the jump up against the fence line to I could funnel Bo into the jump. I've now moved the jump into the middle of the round pen, so he does have the option of going around -- which admittedly he does use on occasion -- but he's jumping of his own volition.

Finally, last night I introduced Bo to leading off the ATV. I want to use the ATV to put some mileage on Bo until I can get him trained to drive. Bo's gotten a bit, um, fluffy over the last month and needs to burn off some calories. We can do both walk and trot off the ATV.

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