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 MAVERICK
Preparation Log

by

Eric Hought

6/1/04

Maverick #3

Maverick has 40 total rides and 67 miles this month with a total of 193 miles or more because sometimes I forget the exact mileage for each loop. He has fewer miles this month because I have made a conscience effort to ride him every other day to keep his mind open, looking forward to the next ride, if I miss him no problem and to keep weight on him. He actually has a few more miles because of the circles and backing up on the various loops. I still saddle and tie him an hour or so before the ride, unsaddle him and let him stand maybe an hour after the ride. Yes, he's learning patience.

Maverick is now able to execute the following skills probably at the 75th percentile as an average. He really is willing, open minded and fun to ride, no pressure. The list of skill development looks something like this . He stands still while mounting waiting for the suggestion to depart, I let him take me for a ride, open door/closed door, right rein/right foot etc., serpentine on flat or moving down hill, indirect rein response (neck rein), slow hands (stops), single rein stop #1 & #2, float his head at the walk and trot, circle foot patterns #1, #2, and #3, back up hill with rounded back high pole vertical in the face pushing with hind feet, back in circles, half pass, counter arc to the right and left, bridle in the face giving his body with the pole up moving tippy toe down a slick hill, trots self contained on a slack rein. He is beginning to hold his body mechanically correct more consistently. There are many more and they will come to me on the trail.
These skills are the foundation all of which have been developed mostly at the walk, make it easy for him to achieve success and Keep it Simple. During the second month of riding the range of motion, softness, advanced skills and self confidence continue to grow. I can see his self confidence grow weekly. Of course his physical conditioning improves steadily.

All the skill development has resulted from the hours of subtle cues and no pressure. The length of time for each ride ranges from 1 1/4 to 2 1/2 hours. He easily walks at a rate of 4 1/2 - 5 miles per hour. I have been calling it the Maverick March after his mother Mia who did the Mia March. I don't do anything to cause him to walk fast I just stay out of his way with my hands, legs and let him take me for a ride. If he pushes or breaks, we just do a #1 single rein stop, no problem. Time, time, time, no pressure, no pressure, no pressure and wait, wait, wait.

His water crossing skills are great. He walks up to a puddle, smells it, drinks and/or walks through . If he chooses to walk around the next one, we go around. "Wait a minute, you said, the one IN the saddle is the leader." No big deal because next time we come to a puddle and he wants to go around, I'll guide him through. The next puddle I may guide him around. How would you like to walk through every puddle? Don't wear it out, I want him to trust me, make no issues over it, keep him guessing and for him to understand its just something we do.

We will be traveling to a 5 day multi day ride this weekend and he will travel along. It will be good for him to be tied in or at the trailer for 7 days including 2 days of travel. Gail is riding Tempest on the 50 mile each day. Maverick won't do any of the rides, his 3 year old birthday is in July, but we will ride out on the trail for a couple of hours each day. Yes, mostly at the walk just looking at the country, getting some exercise and going the distance. As far as the skill development, he will tell me what needs to be done. All I do is listen, interpret, execute and evaluate hummm and I'll keep on riding.

Keep It Simple.

Maverick #4 

 

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