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Further Fun with Fabi

Further Fun with Fabi

Postby fabikat » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:57 pm

Well I dipped my toe in the water and now I will jump right in.

After mulling it over I decided that this is a good place to record this next chapter with Fabi. Does it matter if others are interested? I guess no, not really, although I hope some are. :wink: Does it matter if not everyone agrees with what I do? No, it doesn't, as long as both my horse and I are happy. We can not all like and want the same, be pretty boring wouldn't it?

Initially the idea is not to suddenly proceed onto new and wonderful things (in my dreams maybe). Firstly I want to improve the basics that we already have. When working alone there are many things I am aware of that I need to correct/improve both with me and Fabi but all to often it becomes easier to take the easy route or 'cheat' and gloss over the faults. We had become a little static in our progress and I was struggling to make a breakthrough. Very often I would ride on cruise-control for fear of doing wrong if I tried to improve something or attempt something new. :roll:

I do not know where this will lead or for how long. The journey may finish even before it has begun or maybe we will set off on a long and interesting journey. But there is only one way to find out.

The first thing that I have been helped with is lungeing.
I have always had a problem lunging Fabi and ultimately I stopped doing it because we both got too stressed and it wasn't high on my list of priorities. He still panics a little when we start but I can now keep control of him and lower his stress levels and we get some calm walk and trot. I am still not asking for canter but allowing him to canter if he feels it necessary and then bringing him back down to a slower pace.

It was when I saw the trainer work Fabi on the lunge that I decided it was worth giving the guy a break and seeing if he could help us. He reacted very calmly which is of course just what Fabi needed and had very good body language. He did not reprimand Fabi when he acted the idiot, just waited for the right reaction and praised him. I know this all sounds so basic and obvious but it is not until you see someone interact with a worried horse in the correct way that it really hits home. I knew I had to be calm before, which I was, but never got my body language correct. I also mistakenly thought before that he was being a 'norty' boy with me because he knew he could. Well, I was wrong, he was very worried. Now I know how to handle the situation and remain with him I am able to see the expression he has on his face when we first start work on the lunge. Hopefully with time the fear will disappear and we will have trust when I want to lunge him. We are working him without any kind of stick/whip because this fires him up more and atm a backup aid is not needed. I am still not 100% confident working him but now know what I need to do.
It just goes to show how long a fear stays with them if not worked on and removed, maybe forever. :sad:

Another thing that was an inconvenience/annoyance was Fabi losing concentration and napping (v.v. slightly) at the arena entrance when hearing Saracen call from the stables. I always left the gate open because I would ride down there from the stables but was advised to shut it. It becomes a more obvious barrier to the working area and on a safety note the horse is safely contained if anything should happen and we part company. Don't know if it is for this simple reason and/or he is already paying more attention to me but his concentration levels are better.
Again such a simple thing that has helped.

could go on and say more but will save it for the next post, I think I have already said enough :lol:
katy x
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Re: Further Fun with Fabi

Postby JennieF » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:44 pm

Looking forward to following you in this new Blog Katy - there are many similarities between Fabi and Bandit - the lunging is something I am working on too and have found that keeping him on a shorter rein so he is closer to me has helped as its generally when he stops and turns towards me then I try to send him away again that he panics - if I can keep him moving forward slowly I am happy - at the moment it is enough just to manage a couple of circuits on either rein at walk and maybe a little bit of trot without 'bogging off' at all :thumbup: which is a huge advance, as like you, I had pretty much given up on lunging but I would like to be able to and to work him more from the ground - he seems to be much more confident when you are on his back but a human on the ground is pretty dangerous !!!

Hopefully you will have some videos to post soon
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Re: Further Fun with Fabi

Postby spottygiraffe » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:46 pm

fabikat wrote:Does it matter if others are interested? I guess no, not really, although I hope some are.

I think I can safely say that we all are! I'm delighted that you've decided to blog Fabi's next chapter.

fabikat wrote:We had become a little static in our progress and I was struggling to make a breakthrough

Ah yes, how often have I felt like that....

I really like the sound of how the trainer you have found interracted with Fabi -sensitive horses like Fabi need so much TLC. I bet you wish you had had Fabi since he was a baby because it sounds like there are a lot issues that might have developed during his initial training, just like Isba. Just out of interest, the person who trained her as a 3-year old is known to be a tough cookie. Bad combination -sensitive horse, tough tactics. They need people to listen to them and then they will give you the world.

Closing the gate -yup, I've been there too and I agree that it makes a difference. I used to ride in an area that was 98% fenced off, but there was a small gap in one corner. It unsettled her every time we went past and I never felt relaxed because of it. Fencing off a proper arena and keeping the gate closed has actually been one of our milestones.

Looking forward to reading the next post, sounds like you've got lots to say :thumbup: Tell us more about how you came to decide upon trying the double.
Sarah x

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Re: Further Fun with Fabi

Postby fabikat » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:52 pm

Jennie said
its generally when he stops and turns towards me then I try to send him away again that he panics


Exactly the same as Fabi. They panic when they know they are going to be asked to change direction because they think that if they don't do it promptly they are going to be chased. Another thing that disturbs Fabi whilst lunging is when the metal of the rope clip clanks with the ring of the lunging cavesson. He seems to associate it with a signal for an imminent punishment, yanking of the head or chasing with the whip. I now desensitise him at the start of each session, just clinking and clanking the clips, keeping him calm and rewarding him. This was another thing that the trainer picked up on straight away.

Sarah said
sounds like you've got lots to say


yes, :-D as it's all new I have lots I could mention but need to ration it out a bit.
I already have my next post in mind, and yes Jennie I have a couple of short videos too.
katy x
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Re: Further Fun with Fabi

Postby Trudi » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:50 pm

Very glad you decided to blog :thumbup: I've found it so helpful over the years to just get my ideas down somewhere. Looking forward to more and to videos :thumbup:
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Re: Further Fun with Fabi

Postby Bonbon » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:31 pm

Glad you decided to include is in the journey, looking forward to reading more! :thumbup:
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Re: Further Fun with Fabi

Postby Chevalblanc » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:32 pm

:agree:

Wot they said :-D
Helen

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Re: Further Fun with Fabi

Postby M-E » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:38 pm

I'm looking forward to reading your and Fabi's journey, I know nothing of lunging, double bridles or SW so it's going to be real intresting stuff :thumbup: :thumbup:
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Re: Further Fun with Fabi

Postby fabikat » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:34 pm

oh dear, I hope I haven't got you all waiting with baited breath for great and wonderful things from me :lol:
And please don't feel you have to comment just because of my 'little paddy', or even read my blog for that matter.

As I say it is early days. We do not intend to push either Fabi or me too hard, the main focus is still on our partnership and enjoyment. I have spoken at great length to this trainer so he knows exactly where I am coming from and is under no illusion of what I strive for.
I admit that I have to eat my words ( I did say I would if necessary) as it is the same trainer that went to James Tuttle in France that I spoke badly about. A few things occured in France and I became aware that maybe not all was what it seemed. Initially I spoke with the trainer on the internet without any mention of training and he surprised me (in a good way) with a couple of comments he made so when he returned to Spain I invited him over to see the horses. The rest is history. I was so impressed when he lunged Fabi that I just had to give the guy a chance. I am big enough and ugly enough to say if I am unhappy about anything and finish training if necessary so no harm will be done.
katy x
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Re: Further Fun with Fabi

Postby JennieF » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:51 pm

So v true - "All is not always what it seems" ....... If you have met him and liked the way he worked with your horse that is what matters :thumbup: :thumbup:
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