Days 40-47 – Phil’s Courage’s Journal

Another show this weekend!

Phil was muscle sore in his shoulder area on Monday. He has been in a larger pasture and playing a bit wreckless. I thought it would be fun to teach Phil some tricks such as bowing and shaking. In this lesson, ground manners (my space/your space, no eating grass, lateral flexion 2 oz. of pressure) and head down cue were reinforced. Chiropractic stretching was accomplished along with teaching to bow. It was a win-win situation. It was fun for both of us.

Phil recovered from his muscle soreness by Tuesday. The remainder of the week I worked him on the ground in the round pen until he was soft and responsive before riding. This week we were working on the left lead. Phil will pick up the right lead every time from a walk or trot. I choose to teach the canter in the 60ft round pen because I don’t have to worry about keeping Phil in a circle. I can concentrate on rewarding him for picking the correct lead and not worry about Phil scooting off in another direction to avoid my leg. It also gives Phil a visual/ physical guide to circling and bending. Phil knows the pre cue to a canter as a “kiss”, so I only have to use a little leg for support.

I am starting to see a completely different horse. Phil is now trying to please me. We are starting to communicate.

This past weekend Phil participated in another show. He brought home ribbons in Halter, Showmanship, Equitation and even tried out pole bending and cloverleaf barrels. He was a gentleman the entire day.