Kevin the cow dog!
Not much going on here on the ranch. I don’t have any horses in training right now and we are getting ready for some trade shows coming up, so mostly working on things around the house.
Played a little music with my neighbor last night, Ron. He has not played in years, but I talked him into it. We sat on his back porch and watched the sunset and played, you are my sunshine. Had a good time playing and watching the bats try to roost on his house… wild.
Need to do more work around the place, getting ready for our trip, so better get after it..
The round pen clinic, scheduled for last Saturday, was canceled because of 3 inches of rain in the round pen. Sucked that we could not have the clinic but was great for the country. We will re-schedule in Oct. so be looking for that info in the future.
Was a pretty slow weekend around the place, which was nice. That won’t last long. Kathy has a big show coming up the end of Aug. and the second weekend in Sept. So Herb has got me helping him make The Cowboy Man Bar. He usually does a pretty good job of keeping up but he asked if I could give him a hand and I said yes. If you want to check out what he is doing go to www.herbsbodyshop.com for updates and info. He told me that his sweetie is always coming up with something new for him to make.
We are in the process of selling a couple of our horses. Tim and Ziggy. The folks have been out to ride the boys and they love em. So, they will be leaving us here this week or next. Will be a sad day around here when that happens but we have learned that you can’t keep them all, and besides, they will be going to a really good home where they will get ridden and have a job, so it’s all good. I guess…
Pepe headed home yesterday. His owner, Laurie, came out and we rode a little in the round pen, just to show her some things that I would like for her to continue with and then we went out side for a little ride around the place. It acted like it wanted to rain, so we did not get to far from the barn, but far enough that she could work on somethings with him. He has a long was to go but I know that Laurie is up to the task.
We are putting on a round pen clinic this Saturday in Silver City New Mexico. Starts at 8 am. If anyone is interested in attending just let me know and I will forward you the directions. Should be fun. Andrea, a sweet woman that Kathy and I have worked with in the past is hosting it.
Kathy and I have enjoyed the company of a good friend from Texas, Randy. He brought our trailer back that he has been working on for us, and he brought his grandsons and one of their friends. Catfish, Bully, Bruiser and Tyler. We have a mountain, the Brennda Mountains, out behind the house and the boys took a hike up to the top of one of the peaks before dinner. They are leaving this morning but we have had a great time. I had the boys work some horses in the round pen yesterday. Randy, had been working with the boys at home and they did a really good job with the horses.
Today Laurie will be here in the afternoon to ride Pepe and then she will be back on Friday to ride and then take him home. He has come a long way sense he first got here, and he has a long way to go before he will be a finished horse but I think that Laurie is up to the challenge.
I got an email from a friend after my post yesterday asking if I would talk about tying a horse and how to do that and why I do it, so here we go.
I think that tying a horse teaches them a lot about how they need to be and act. It teaches them patients and teaches them to just relax. These are qualities that are very important in a horses life but takes time to teach.
You want to make sure that were ever you tie your horse that it is as safe as you can find or make it. The best is to tie them where there is a solid wall that if they pull back or rear the will not be able to get their foot stuck like they may in a fence or a set of pipe pens. Having said that, I don’t even have a special place where I teach this skill. Wish I did, but I don’t. If you find yourself without a place like this, not to big a deal, it’s just nice if you do.
There are several devices that I have found on the market that are a great help in teaching this skill. The tie blocker is one that comes to mind, but there are others. What I do is I tie my horse as close to the rail as possible with the rope going thru the device or wrapped around the rail. Now, make sure the rail is solid and can not be pulled over by the horse, or anything else for that matter, this is important. If you are going to not use a device and just wrap lead rope around the rail, just wrap it around twice. We are not trying to tie our horse hard and fast. If the horse should pull back we want the lead rope to slip thru the device or slip around the rail. Most horses that pull back when tied are usually afraid. Once they are a few feet away from the rail they will stop pulling, so when that happens you just put them back up to the rail and start again. After just a few times of this, the distance they pull back will get less and less. I suggest that you use a rope halter that has no buckles to break. If your horse ever does pull back and breaks the halter, that’s when you will have a real problem. Once they know they can break the rope or halter they will pull harder and harder until the break it again. This is a tough habit to break at this point. It can be done, but it’s not for the faint of heart.
It’s a lot of work to pull back and it won’t be long till your horse will not want to pull back at all, and you will have a hard time trying to get him to.
This is just a very brief explanation of how I go about doing it. There is much more involved and I suggest that if you are not sure, get help. If you want or need more details email or call me. I would be happy to help you with this skill.
Waiting for me!
Good ride with Pepe yesterday. He still gets is pants in a wad sometimes but he seems to come back to calm faster each time. So that is good. Will ride again today. Getting him ready for the trip home with Laurie.
I have talked about barn sour horses and what causes it and what we can do to help our horse get over it or learn to deal with it. One of the things we do a lot around here is tie our horses up. Not tie them up like a kidnaper would, although there are times, but tying them to the rail. This happens here just about everyday here when a horse is in training. Why tie our horses? Good question again.
Consistently tying our horse, in a safe location, teaches a horse so many things. It teaches them patients. Yes it teaches them to wait for you. Some folks thing that, that is cruel and unusual punishment. The problem is people equate tying a horse to the rail with punishment. It’s not. It is a big part of a horse’s education, not punishment. This is, again, a case of the human putting human emotions on an animal that is not capable of understanding it. If you watch horses when they are together, which I have the opportunity to do everyday, you will notice that the will stand together, head to the tail of the other horse and……………. Do nothing. That’s right, they will stand next to each other and swish the flies from the face of their herd mate. They will stand there for hours and do nothing. When you tie your horse to the rail what does he do? He will stand there, fall asleep and do nothing for hours. So what’s the difference? The horse standing tied doing nothing is doing that for YOU. And he knows it. It teaches him to relax and wait for you.
I use this skill to teach the horse to not be in such a hurry to get back to the barn. Most folks when they get back from a ride will unsaddle their horse and feed him. Not here. When I get back from a ride I take my horse and tie him to the rail. I go and get something cold to drink and let him stand for a bit. This teaches him that when he gets back to the barn something is still going to happen. I don’t reward him for getting back to the barn by feeding him. This way he is no big hurry to get back to the barn cause there is going to be work there. Yes, he considers his being tied as work. I suggest that you teach your horse how to be tied before you attempt this. I have a program for this too..
Anna, Billy, Me!
Had a really good day with Pepe and his owner, Laurie, Firday. I had Laurie work with Pepe in the round pen for just a little bit and then had her ride him for a half hour or so. They both did really well and Laurie seems happy with his progress. He, Pepe, will be going home this Friday. I think that he and Laurie will get a long just fine.
We had some good friends from town come out to the house to look at some of our horses. Billy and Anna. They are looking at buying a couple of our horses. Like so many people these days, with the price of hay, we have decided that we really need to let some of our horses go. So they are looking at Ziggy and Tim. We really don’t want to get rid of them but, we can’t justify keeping them, plus if they can be some where, where they will get used and taken care of, we think it will be a good thing for them too. Anyway Billy and Anna came our and rode a little with me in the evening. It had rained just a little so the ride was very nice. I think they liked the horses so we will see if they decide to get them.
Good report from Jene and her horse, Casino. She said that she rode him the other day for the first time and they both got along great. She has not decided if she is going to keep him but so far she is very happy with they way he handles and behaves.
Wally at the pool!
Horses that are barn sour, that means they don’t want to leave the barn and or when they come home they will trot or try to loop back to the barn, have often been taught to be, by their owners. The owner may not mean to, as a matter of fact, most don’t even know they are doing it, but at some level the owner or rider of the horse is responsible. We always are trying to blame the horse, seems like. Horses have an unbelievable sense of where they are, and they know when we turn to go home.
So how can I fix or at the very least, help my horse with this problem? First, never run your horse back to the barn or the trailer. I have heard story after story, from people, that when they were young they would ride their horses out and then they would race back to the barn. Barn Sour! Can we all say it together: Barn Sour! Now the kids don’t mean to cause this problem but you can see how it could happen, and does. Most horses want to get back to the barn, they don’t need any help. Once a horse has been given permission to run back to the barn try stopping him. So how to fix it. It will take some real effort on the part of the owner to get this done. First never let your horse trot or run back to the barn. Now you may be in a hurry and I get that, but to help your horse if you have to trot back to the barn cause you forgot something or have to be somewhere, make your horse walk the last ¼ mile. This way he will start to calm down from the trot or canter. When your done with your ride, don’t just come home unsaddle him and feed him. I know, I know, sometimes you are in a hurry and from time to time you may have to do just what I’m suggesting you not do, but make it the exception and not the rule.
There are lots of other things that a person can do and we will talk more about them on Monday. But right now it’s time for. COFFEE!
Yesterday this fella was up close to the house. We have seen lots of snakes over the years sense we have been here. When we were building the place we killed 5 or so, right here around the house. The past couple of years we have seen fewer but they are still out there. Most of the time the horses don’t seem to mind them and the dogs keep their distance, which is a good thing. Thought you might enjoy seeing this guy. He is pretty average in size, almost 4 ft. They can sure get a lot bigger. He is a diamond back, or a coon tail, as they are called around here, because of the rings around his tail, like a raccoon.
Will ride Pepe again today. He continues to make progress and is starting to settle in to his place in our herd of two. He will be here a couple more weeks which will give us the chance to really instill in him some skills that is owner, Laurie will be able to use to continue his education.
Good ride with Pepe yesterday. He is coming along pretty well. The double reins are working out great for Pepe. When he collects he pays more attention to what is going on with you and less with what’s going on around him. At times he is a little nervous or excited, depending on how you look at it, when we start out, and when we are getting close to home. Most horses are like that and it just takes time for them to realize that leaving the barn does not mean we’re never coming back, and coming back does not mean we’re never going to leave.
Barn sour is a problem that a lot of folks face with their horses. Most of the time WE make our horse barn sour. When we are coming back to the barn, we may be late for an appointment, so we lope back to the barn or we trot hard all the way back to the barn. Another common cause of horses being barn sour is, when we get to the barn we quickly take off their saddles and give them grain or a treat, thinking that they deserve it, and maybe they do, but we are planting the, barn sour seed when we do these things.
Sometimes we do have to hurry back to the barn, for lots of reasons, but it should be the rare, very rare, exception.
If you have a barn sour horse how can you fix it, or at least help your horse? Lets visit about this tomorrow.
Coffee time now.