Today was Dart's first lesson - oh the excitement that his training is getting under way. It will be a long road over this summer but it has begun. My breaker/natural horsemanship trainer, Mark, came around since we couldn't get Dart back onto the float to work with him. All up we probably spent 30-45 mins with breaks every 5 mins.
He is remarkable today; so quick to learn which is exciting considering he has spent the last 18 months in a 300 acre paddock with old mares and cattle left to their own devices. He is 3 years old this month so I think he has had a good youth so far.
Mark started today moving him off the carot stick, tap him on the shoulder, making him yield to the pressure which he picked up straight away, leg yielding left and right. Standing there I couldn't help but be proud and start making plans for the future based on 45 mins of ground work today - knock on wood. He went onto walking him on a circle which is when the shoulder taps came into play when he decided to stop or drop off the arc, quick tap and squeeze of the rope and he was back.
Every 5 minute break was proceeded by a deep breath and lick and chew of Dart's lips, he is a thinker, must be the warmblood in him. Mark then began changing rein to the right where we got some resistance to change but we eventually got him to get on the right arc, moving in a constant circle. Repeating this action Mark then asked for the trot, Dart picked up a bit, head up, smelling the clouds, falling to walk, stopping, repeating the small taps with the rope on the but to get him going again.
To end the session Mark gave me the keys and had me walking backwards on a large circle, standing on a diagonal from his shoulder with the rope and the stick guiding his shoulder, should he fall in from the circle. He passed with flying colours, following my 'circle' with starting turning into ovals and rectangles and began to go all over the shop really. I better grow that eye in the back of my head.. Following me he stopped, walked on again all from my movements, without any pressure needed from the rope or the stick.
A job well done for our first lesson together and I have now been charged with writing up notes about our session to prepare for tomorrow's lesson. I'm happy with my baby and hopefully I will be able to get some photos or video in the next few days for you all.
Until tomorrow :)