Sunday, June 10, 2012

Taking the Contact

One of the frustrating thing about trying to learn contact with Royal is that we haven't ever really felt "good" contact. I never rode much dressage pre-Parelli (apart from the occasional ride on a 3rd-lever horse), and his claustrophobia with the bit indicates he hasn't had many good experiences. So, with Game of Contact, we've had moments that felt pretty good, but I wasn't sure. Was that really "it" or not quite? Now, I know. On Thursday, Royal and I were toddling around in the field on our little "arena" and playing with contact, and it wasn't stellar. He would curl up behind the bit, go crooked, gnaw at the bit, and start taking little mincing steps. I was wondering if he was still struggling with the footing, which is getting better as it settles, but still is somewhat deep or inelastic in places. I'd been giving him lots of walk breaks, but could tell he was getting tired and I was wondering when we should quit. All of a sudden, I felt him take the contact and push with his hind end with a quiet mouth. It felt amazing. So, I quit then and there to end on a high note. We moseyed up the road (which had been graded that morning and was pretty nice), but were not attacked by any sheep. Success all around.

This weekend was unbearably hot (90s and humid), so I decided to torture him with baths and braiding. I usually only give him one or two baths a year (too much work) but he got the full shampoo and conditioner treatment, including his mane and tail.

He was less than happy.

But eventually he survived and got to graze in the sun to dry off.

After he was dry, I turned him out and he found the biggest dirt area and rolled in it right in front of me. And got up with a very smug look on his face.

"That's what I think of your bath."
Today was braiding day and it was not very successful on my part. My band braids tend not coil very well and get really bouncy. Which looks really sloppy and bad. So, maybe it's time to try yarn? I'm trying to go for button braids that are stable and secure, which will probably be difficult as I have very limited crafting skills. Poor Royal is going have to suffer through a lot of practicing.

He'll get lots of cookies.

1 comment:

  1. So happy to hear about the contact!!!! I just bought the GoC last weekend and have been watching all day and can't wait to play with it :).

    Yarn braids aren't bad at all! Once you get the hang of them, it just takes time. Do you know anyone in the area that can show you? that helps a ton!