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About LunaMorrow

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    Sunshine Coast, Australia
  • Interests
    Horses, friends, family, chocolate and learning.

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  1. Yesterdays play with Darcy went really well. I went through the mounting procedure HiM style and Darcy went really well and was ok with trot at a longer range and over the barrels. When I got on, I ran through our rein positions for a while and focused on having them nice and flowing. At one point when I was asking Darcy to back with one rein it felt like he had picked himself up and his back rose, but I'm not sure as I haven't felt it before, I released on it regardless because it was a nice backup too . It'll be something to keep a feel for and make sure I release on. Then I asked Darcy out on some walk circles and whenever I felt him straighten I asked him laterally and then forward again nice he softened. To mix it up on some of the laterals we would finish and others we would go forward to. After about 10 - 15 minutes Darcy was really light on the reins and I could just lift the inside one a little bit and shift my weight a bit and Darcy would respond with lateral drift. I left it on a good try and hopefully we can progress on it today
  2. Totally Brought a New Horse to Do Skills Checks With!

    Thats such a good idea. I strap my iPod to my camera tripod with some baling twine and it works well too
  3. I gave Darcy the day off yesterday which he made the most of and enjoyed, maybe a little too much because today he saw the halter and decided he would rather eat grass than do something with me. He trotted out into the paddock and I followed him and then I got him doing a serpentine from using my bellybutton energy on his shoulders. Then I got him out onto a circle and used his hindquarter to keep him on the same circle. I gradually made the circle smaller and when Darcy tried to walk I asked him up again to trot and kept making the circle smaller. Then I asked him to yield his hind and after about a circle he did and then I drew him in and he had a bit of a lick and a chew. I walked off towards where I'd left my stick and string and Darcy came with me. Lesson learned for both of us - I learnt that I've made him work too hard a few times in the past week and Darcy learnt that sticking with me is much nicer than going out on his own. After that we did some of the short range HiM things just at a walk, practicing sends, stops, lateral drift and just moving nicely with lateral flexion on the circle - first with the halter and then with the neck rope. Darcy gave me some great tries and was really picking himself up and he managed to lower his head by just a fraction compared to last time. Then we went on with the neck rope and while he wasn't quite as flexed, I could tell he was still trying hard. I had a lightbulb moment with the lateral drift. When I was turning against Darcy to point my belly button at him to ask for the lateral drift he was bracing up and his head would come up a bit and he would stiffen through the ribs, then when I asked him to move laterally his hindquarter was lagging. Then I tried curving a bit and pointing my hip at his pocket and he picked up and moved laterally without the bit of brace. So I think my bellybutton lightsaber must be too intense and Darcy thinks I'm yelling at him, or me turning against him is pausing his forward for just a moment and thats causing the brace in him when I then ask his to go laterally when I've just blocked him. I have some pondering to do!
  4. Was it a try or not?? 20/03/2018

    Hi Vicki. Thank you for the tip. Ive also found that he is happier yielding laterally from my hip and when I turn my belly button to him he is bracing a bit. I think my lightsaber is offending him! Whoops.
  5. Was it a try or not?? 20/03/2018

    Hi Jen. I'm getting some nice tries and hopefully it'll improve even more with practice. Darcy is getting pretty worn out from carrying himself, so I gave him the day off today. What was cool though, was when I went down to give him his dinner and when he was walking around he was carrying himself really nicely and engaging his bum. Its lovely to watch His head carriage is certainly higher when he goes faster and lower when he stops, but that should hopefully even itself out as his posture improves.
  6. Well today was interesting. I had a feeling that Darcy hadn't been truly softening through the ribs because his head level was still above his wither at the end of the lateral drift. I went out with the goal to get a better try with his head lower and even after many attempts and trying lots of different positions, I wasn't getting any better tries. He was quite obviously trying to pick himself up and try for me, as I could see him flexing around me and his stomach tucking up and his back rising, and when I offered the release forward again I got an few offers of vertical flex for the first few steps. His head was at an acceptable height (only about 10-15cm in total above the level of his wither) and he seemed to be relaxed, so I'm beginning to think that his head level is ok as it is. As an Arabian he has a naturally high head carriage, so his head is pretty low considering. We did have some good progress with the lateral drift, especially on the right. His hind had been lagging going to the right and Darcy gave me a few tries of bringing his hind end under him in the lateral drift which I released forward on. I'll keep working on it and releasing with the tries I'm getting, and hopefully we will be ready to try a nice lateral drift at the trot soon.
  7. Hi Meredith. This is still definitely a work in progress and I want to have it checked over because I feel like something isn't quite right but I'm not sure what exactly!
  8. Today Darcy and I went out to practice some of our HiM again. The short range with the halter on was going beautifully and Darcy was really trying in his upwards transitions to trot (which are looking considerably better than they did yesterday!). I switched the alerts for the ring rope around the neck and Darcy gave me some great tries with his flex and was feeling even better than yesterday. Then I asked him for some lateral drift at the trot and it all went a bit haywire. His hindquarter was lagging so I checked my position which didn't help, so I pushed some extra energy at his hindquarter and Darcy braced a little, then when I flicked my string a bit at his hindquarter to try to get his hind under him he lost it. He went really braced with his head up and was running through the rope, and he went totally right brained. I managed to disengage his hind and he stopped and looked a bit confused. Then I asked him out short range and did some no-yeild in motion with the stick and string and he went all right brained again. He calmed down after about a minute and I repeated on the other side. I finished on a good note with some nice walk circles with lateral flex. This was a first for Darcy to react like this to the trotting or lateral drift. I'm not sure if its because the halter has been hiding it or if Darcy has been containing it this whole time. I'm just glad that its out so we can work through it now. Looking back on it, I think I was trying to be 'more round' to try to help Darcy in the trot circles and was consequently pushing my hip at Darcy without intending to and basically asking him into lateral rift. but he would then hit the feel of the rope and basically phase himself. So when I asked for the drift it was too much for him.
  9. Yesterdays Progress

    Definitely. I'm more aware of it now, so I can usually stop myself, but sometimes I forget to not be a make monster!
  10. Yesterdays Progress

    Thanks Jen. I've discovered the little and often rule now. I'm keeping our sessions to half an hour and Darcy is much happier when we finish up now.
  11. Today I went out with yesterdays successes and lessons learned in mind. Darcy and I had a play with some short range with the halter on to warm up and he was really offering the flex. We did some nice sends, stops and lateral drift, and our transitions up to a trot had improved. I made sure to reward all of his tries by stopping frequently. After 10 minutes I swapped Darcy’s halter for the 22” rope around his neck. We repeated the short range and he offered flex again really nicely. Then I sent him out on just over half of the rope and he struggled a bit with the flex but I helped him through it by making sure I was in the pocket and using my belly button to ask him for lateral drift and I got a few nice tries from him. I brought him back in short range and asked for a really nice flexed circles each way and finished with that. I was very happy with what we had done so Darcy got a big pat and some grazing time on the nice grass. Hopefully we can film at attempt of the short range this week and long range soon too
  12. Yesterdays Progress

    Yesterday I finished watching all of the HiM videos on my Level 2 modules. I decided to go out and practice some short and long range things from the videos. I made sure all of my ducks were lined up and Darcy gave me some awesome tries. After about half an hour or so, I wanted to finish up with just a few short range circles and then I found an escaping duck. Darcy had stopped offering flex going to the right and would only do it when I asked and stop as soon as I offered the release forward. I ended up spending way too much time trying to work through it and got Darcy a bit annoyed. Eventually we finished on a nice flex. Looking back on it now I shouldn't have even tried to finish off with some short range circles, I should have just finished with the good tries I was getting because Darcy was getting tired from all of the hard work. Lesson learned. After we wrapped up I assessed Darcy to see where he was sweating and he had some sweat along his back and some between his hindquarters, but none around his shoulders, yay! I must have been getting some form of flex from him, even though its hard to tell from the pocket. Another lesson learned that he was probably lightly flexed the whole time and I couldn't tell! I'm going to go over the same things again today but try to finish our session quickly before Darcy gets tired out.
  13. We finally have progress in our COD's, yay! The spirals aren't fantastic but I'm more concerned about feedback on the COD's.
  14. This has been siting in my camera roll waiting to be submitted for nearly a month, whoops!
  15. Brace when asking for canter

    He is on the correct lead, just doing something funky. I have been getting him stretching out when he picks up the right lead and the speed smooths him out and he loves it. I have been doing the simple leads homework at a walk and trot, but not center yet until our right lead is good again. I haven't really done any of the gallop pattern yet as the canter lead has been more of a focus for me. Should I do it walk to trot style? Hopefully we can try the canter again soon, as its been too hot to try. Thanks