Friday, May 29, 2009

Parelli in the woods

I took Destino hiking a few times this last week. Something that I find very enjoyable is to play the 7 games as we hike. It seems to make it a bit more meaningful to Destino and to myself =)

First we walk down the trail. When he crowds me I use the yo yo game to back him up a bit. I also will have him move his front end over and then yo yo him back. We did this lots tonight, so I decided to try something. I turned him to face a steep hill and we did the sideways game! We have NEVER been able to do the sideways game at home, but tonight he did it perfectly both directions with the hill in front of him! The hill was very helpful because if he went forward, it was REALLY hard. He found it was much easier to just go sideways! Yea!!

He is afraid of water. So, I have him put his nose on trees that grow close to the stream. The touch it game!

I drive him over fallen trees, then disengage him and pop him back over the tree.

I have him do the figure eight in between tree stumps.

I play the squeeze game between myself and a tree, or myself and the creek or a tree stump and a tree.

When we get in tight situations, with trees and brush close in on the trail, I'll yo yo him back and bring him forward and yo yo him back. He has learned to yo yo back very straight.

I also yo yo him back over small fallen trees. They will pop up a bit, touching his legs, as he crosses them, IF he steps on them. He is learning to pick his feet up a bit more AND to not be afraid when a tree branch touches his legs!

Tonight I swung my string up in a leafy tree. It would catch a branch and shake it, high up over his head. When he could walk up and touch that tree with his nose he got a Good Boy and a treat!

THEN I jumped up on him again. Lots and lots of times. THIS time I had Hubby take a photo so I could prove it! At the end of the hike, I jumped up on him a few more times, then I actually SAT up there! Straddling him!! It was so exciting! Hubby was nervous, but Destino took it all in stride. He is such a good boy.

Getting ready to hop up there!

Ta Da!! Hubby caught him with his head up, but he was pretty relaxed. After this shot he dropped his head and licked and chewed. When I straddled him, he had his head down, relaxed and sighed! Yea!

I think that taking him hiking and playing the games has solidified lots of things for both of us. It is sure a lot more fun that just playing at home in the round pen. When we are hiking we get to see other people riding, deer cross the trail and there are a bunch of cows up there to watch as well. Not to mention all the trail experience he is getting. Another big plus is that it's GREAT for me! Exercise is NOT my favorite thing to do, but exercising WHILE training Destino seems like a win win!

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