Sunday, May 18, 2008

Malibu Lights

Yup, Malibu lights. That's the latest scary monster for Piper.

This weekend, we put Solar powered Malibu lights around the outdoor arena. Lights at each letter. It looks pretty cool!

For many years, I have ridden Jeddien outside in the dark. I find that riding in the dark, with less visual stimulous, it is easier to focus on balance and feel. We have done many hours of training after sunset. But Piper's night work was limited to walking up and down the driveway...

... Until tonight.

Leading him down to the arena, he was calm and happy. Horses can see better than us in the dark and he knows the lay of the land. Lunging, all was going well at the walk. But trotting must have gotten his blood up. Suddenly he "noticed" the light at B, stopped dead in his tracks, spun, and started backing up. And so began the real training.

Time and work progressed nicely. To one direction. Then, since horses are unable to reason that what was safe to the right will be safe to the left, he spooked all over again going the other way. So we worked some more.

When he was completely and utterly calm on the lunge, I got on. With a bit of insistance on my part, we got past the last couple of spooks and then did some very nice 20 metre trot circles and trots along the long side, passing each Malibu light as if we'd been doing so for years.

Next, our new judge's canopy styled screen tent goes up. That's gonna be exciting!

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