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Eric Hought

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Just riding. Tempest is beginning to show me that the subtle cues that I have been giving are beginning to show up. Today she showed me that she can execute a side pass while walking along the logging road. The sequence of cues are close the front door, keep her body straight and ask her to move away from either leg. It really feels good when the hind leg moves laterally away from my leg.

The development of this skill opens up many new skills. She can now open and close the gate and remain settled.

I have ridden her 15 times as of today. The ride was 7½ miles long and took slightly over two hours. She walked, trotted and loped with easy transitions. Her departures are beginning to feel good. Keeping it as simple as possible, I ask her to transition from the trot into the lope on the correct lead. I just lift the rein of the lead I want, cluck and bump with the outside leg. She can do it because she understands right rein, right foot, etc. She does it easily, consistently executes it and remains settled. Settle on a slack rein. I can't over emphasize the importance of contact, no contact. When she feels my hands she knows something is supposed to happen. Everything is soft, quiet and consistent, therefore she knows what to do. Wait for her to respond, give her a chance to be correct or incorrect, then, fix it if needed. To fix it, just try again. Keep riding and wait.

10/28/01 - IN & OUT of the ZONE

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