Monday, September 3, 2012

A Short Workout With Ginger (pt 4)

Weather, work, and family obligations have kept me away from the stable for over a week.  I did get to work Ginger briefly the other day.  She has been integrated into the field with the other mares.  She was keeping to herself on the wooded side when I went to fetch her.  So, that's an improvement in her living arrangements.  She was a little antsy when I mounted her, so I took her into the arena to work it off.  To my surprise, she stood still while, and after I mounted.  I dropped the reins, and gave her neck and withers a good patting and scratching, reinforcing it with an enthusiastic "good girl!"  Don't know what caused it to click, unless it's been the constant correcting her each time she tried to walk off before I was settled in the stirrups.  I also don't know if she'll remember it next time. 

She seemed nervous, and wanted to move out, but I kept her to a walk for the duration of the workout.  She crossed the various obstacles without any problem.  She got anxious whenever horses in the adjoining fields came to the fence to investigate.  I wanted her to know that, as a team, we outranked any of them.  I spoke sharply to them, and swung the ends of the reins at them, being careful not to hit Ginger.  All the while, keeping her in her position on the rail, and moving forward.  That seemed to calm her down.  The kicker came when one of the mares charged the fence with her ears pinned back.  I slapped a fence post (I couldn't reach the mare) with the reins, and shouted at her.  Ginger held her ground.  I had to laugh when Ginger wanted to turn back and do it again.  I kept her moving forward, but the mares didn't bother her anymore.  We cris-crossed the arena and negotiated the obstacles for about half an hour.  Then we finished up with mounting and dismounting, praising her profusely for standing still. 

You never know how each session will work out.  We'll see how much she retains next time out. 

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