Monday, May 19, 2014

The Other Good Pony

Poor Jetta has been getting the short end. With me trying to get Misty all ready to sell and show, I've been riding her way more often. I haven't ridden Jetta since last Monday during our not-so-good jump school (if you can even call it schooling).

But despite the jumping fail, she's actually been REALLY good lately. I wrote about our last awesome ride and how I could definitely see us getting to second level by the end of this year. And after our ride today, I can say that should be the case!

I finally have my sweet, hard-working (if not still a little bit hard-headed and stubborn) horse back. Can't believe a month ago we were dealing with bucking, bolting, rearing and spooking. No more! She didn't hardly put a foot wrong.

I started out with our clicker training session. The due date on our class project is coming up quickly and I'm afraid we're not going to have enough time to get to our goal behavior. But, she learns so fast that hopefully it won't be a big problem. This was only our second session and there was a huge gap between the two so I was bracing myself for her having forgotten everything. I needn't have worried because she immediately started touching the cone to get her treat even when it was sitting on the ground, so I started shaping for a new behavior.

She was touching the cone for a second. But the end goal is to get her to pick up the cone and hold it in her mouth, so I started waiting for her to hold her nose to the cone for a couple seconds instead of just a split-second. She quickly picked that up so I started waiting for her to mouth the cone a little bit. She caught onto that fairly quickly, but unfortunately when I thought I was reinforcing her for mouthing the cone, she thought she was getting reinforced for wiggling her lips all over it. I wanted the next step to be her biting the cone, but she was happily going to town with her camel lips all over the cone so there wasn't the opportunity to reinforce her for the new behavior.

I ended up having to hold the cone for her and wait for her to bite it out of being upset lol. She got kind of offended a couple times and left when she didn't get her treat (we were in the roundpen) but she always came back. Ended it on a good note when she bit the cone three times in a row.

Next time we'll hopefully get the biting the cone behavior more set then if I can get her to actually pick it up off the ground I'll be happy.

After the clicker session I lunged her and got on. I was expecting her to be a witch because I haven't ridden (or even lunged) her for a week plus she's in heat. But I couldn't even tell when I got in the saddle. She warmed up really well so I decided to run through some second level movements. 10 meter circles are really nice. She has great rein-backs and a nice collected trot. Shoulder-in wasn't quite as nice as our last ride (where they were literally perfect) but still acceptable. Medium gaits need lots more work. Simple changes are ok, but she still gives about three trot strides before she walks and I usually have to give a bigger half halt than I'd like. But she picks up her leads from the walk perfectly. The canter serpentines on the same lead are a little interesting. She gets kind of worried and braces, but doesn't try to change so we'll keep working on those.

Overall, an awesome ride. We're going to keep chipping away at second level and start putting all the pieces together to ride a test at a show and hopefully once summer rolls around we'll get a lesson or two to clean up any loose ends. I'm excited!

And, here are the pics of Jetta jumping last week.

Can we just say how good she's looking? That neck!

Proof that we can actually jump 3'3" like normal people. Except where on Earth is my leg??

Warming up over the 2'9" I think this is the one picture where Jetta deigned to actually pick up her feet over the jump.


  1. You both look great! Those jumps look scary for a western girl, haha! Y'all have guts. ;)

  2. She looks so good! And I really like that picture from 'under' the jump.

  3. Your leg in that one picture is like "bye bye friend!" haha just joking :) Y'all look really good and even though I'm a Misty fan I do love me some Jetta :-D

    1. Oh, it's true though! I think it's trying to move to the next planet...

  4. Jetta is looking good! I don't think I realized how thick she is!!