Sebastian has found he really likes the pedestal. He looks around with a twinkle in his eye - I always have to make him get off. I wonder how LONG he would stay? I don't know if it is the "stretch" he enjoys or the view. He even will doze a bit...
What importance, if any, do you put in ground work? I'm NOT just talking about circle lunging, but mobile lunging, along the fence work (we are learning to walk sideways), cut backs, and various obstacles like the pedestal, poles, cones... I find Sebastian gets really bored doing any one thing for too long... its as if he needs a goal, a reason, or he doesn't see the point... endlessly going in circles I think bores him. I notice his energy stays very nice and is very light on the rope if I don't have him go more than three times one way while lunging. However, much of it could be due his age ... he turns four in June.
It has taken a bit to learn the techniques myself, but I have been pleasantly surprised by HOW MUCH personality I see in both horses when I interact with them this way. It's kind of like "hanging out' and communicating with them on a totally different level - a working together in a way that can never be matched with riding. Perhaps the most valuable thing that has come out of these ground exercises is I find my horse has learned to WATCH me. And I've learned a lot about individual body language from both of my horses.
Both of these photos are from my new iphone... the don't replace my NICE camera, but sometimes a candid, no frills photo is all that is available.
The following video is "Part 1" of a series of posts from Janine's blog "Hoofprints of Enzo and Kaspin". She went to "Equine Affair" and saw Guy McLean. She will be posting more on her blog... so check it out! :) Guy will be at the Midwest Horse Fair (Madison, Wisconsin) this weekend, April 20-22) How I wish I was close enough to drive there. It isn't far from Northern Illinois where I grew up and my family still lives - I might just have to plan a visit next year at this time :)