Thursday, January 22, 2009
Parking My Frustrations
Teaching a horse to park out nicely seems to be a bigger hurdle for me than it really should be. I think this is partly because I usually don't have anyone to help me from the ground to get the transition from the ground to the saddle, and probably partly because I don't have the most patience with this exercise. So, I have worked on this once or twice for about 2 minutes total with Louie up till now. He hasn't quite got it figured out yet. So today, since I didn't get out to the barn until after sunset, I figured I would bring him in, groom and spend some time "bonding," then maybe work on parking out from the ground since I had those left over grapes. Well perhaps the grapes were the problem, but I found myself fighting off his searching muzzle more than getting anything accomplished with his feet. I am glad that I finally found something that Louie likes as treats, but now I think it's time for them to be out of the barn, haha. So I am teaching him to park by rocking his withers from the ground to shift his weight between his front feet (using my feet to guide his). Well, it is slowly coming along, but I think I have a problem with patience with this exercise (meaning, it seems to take a lot longer to grasp this concept than some of the other things I have taught him). Perhaps it is a larger amount of information to process and therefore takes longer to learn. Perhaps I would see faster results if I switch my method to using a whip or tapping on the elbow. Whatever the issue, I have been a little bit frustrated and tired over teaching this concept, which is silly since it is so simple. He is onto the idea, and I swear I saw the light bulb switch on today for a second, then a minute later it was definately off. Young horses can be like this, one step forward- two steps back, at times, and I think I will just have to get up the motivation to work on parking out more regularly and move it up on the "importance" scale of things to work on.