September 28th, 2015: Softness and More Roping

Today we did more roping, but this time I roped Jewel’s hind feet. She was such a good girl about it! The basic idea is that I have my lariat looped around her hind foot at the pastern, then I stand about 20 feet away at a 45-degree angle from her hip. From there, I put gentle pressure on the rope and then wait for her to give to the rope by resting her foot calmly on the “toe” of her hoof. As you can see from the video, she still struggles a little against it for a few seconds but she gives remarkably quickly for how little experience she has had with a rope around her legs. We will just revisit it until she gives without any bracing. All in all, she did an amazing job!

After the groundwork, I stepped up on Jewel. We started with some short serpentines, which are coming along so well—she is balanced and reaching equally with her hind and front for the majority of the time. I rode around on the rail for about 10 more minutes working on soft feel and not leaning on the reins, and she felt amazing! She definitely felt the softest she’s ever been, which means we are making some good progress. In fact, she felt so good that I stopped there. I got my rope and practiced throwing and uncoiling it from her back for about 5 minutes (during which she was great), and then got off. To top it off, I came home to see that we have raised over half of our goal already! Great day today 🙂

Here are a couple short clips from our groundwork and ride: