We've had a couple of rainy days here at the ranch. Not complaining, but it does make working with horses a little tougher. Today we made up for lost time with a good workout in the arena. I got Cholla to just some barrels and continued to work on her ground skills.
Today she wore her fist "real' saddle and, handled it like a pro, no problem at all.
She will wear a saddle just about everyday she is here from now on. Just like you and me putting on our work cloths for the day, same will be true for her.
She also spent some time tied to the rail. She is still a little impatient, but that's to be expected. She's only two after all. But, she continues to improve and, is learning the best thing to do is catch some shut eye.
It is a real joy to watch a horse make progress. And, yes, its great when they do things like jump over barrels or wear a saddle for the first time. And, even standing tied it a great accomplishment. But, I'm talking about the things that most people would not even notice. Like, the first time a horse stands in the alley way to be unsaddled. And, does so without moving. Just waiting for you to give them direction. Or, the fist time a horse lowers their head to allow you to put on the halter and, keep their head their while you tie the knot.
There are so many things, little things, that go in to making a good horse. They don't lick it off the fence. They have to learn it. And, its up to us to teach them. Not just how to do a behavior but, teach them how to learn. Something they will use the rest of their lives in a two legged world.
Time for a refreshing beverage.
As you can see above, Kathy is starting to ride a little more these days. She has not ridden in years because of her back injury but she is determined to do a little more in hopes that, the outside of a horse will be good for the inside of this sweet heart.
I'm working with horses and people again so if you could use a hand with a horse or just want to improve your horsemanship please let me show you what I can do for both you and your horse.
The folks at the Cowboy Symposium in Ruidoso New Mexico have asked me to step into the role of the horseman for the event.
Craig Cammeron has had that spot for the past 20 or so years. I'm not sure why he has bowed out but I sure do appreciate the chance to show what we can do to help people with horses and horses with people.
https://craigcameron.com is one of the best horseman I have ever met and it is a humbling honor to try and fill his shoes.
We just found out about this a few days ago and I can't tell you how excited we are. I have folks, Keli and Johnny who have already offered to help me out with some horses to work with.
If you are in the Ruidoso NM area and would like to have help with any of your horses I hope you will contact us. If you know of anyone in that area that could use some help please send them our way.
In the past, the goal was to start a colt in 2 days. A great goal. But, often it would result in a lot of bucking and dust. It's not the way I start colts and you'll see why when you attend the Cowboy Symposium in Ruidoso NM http://www.cowboysymposium.org . Call them for all the info and we will see you there.
Thanks and tell all your friends.
I have a new student coming out to work with me and the horses. His name is David. He has had some experience with horses, but most of what he know has to do with riding and not training.
In the photo above you can see David working with Mona. He is Long Lining her. I do this with all young horses before I ride them. This method teaches the horse how to turn right and left and, how to stop and back up. When the horse first experiences this method they can become nervous. Earlier, this horse started to buck. Why? She had never felt anyone pulling on the bit in her mouth. She thought by bucking she could get rid of it.
As you can see in the picture she settled into the program and did great.
If you would like to know more about Long Lining please contact me here or use the contact info on the home page.
It's been awhile sense I have posted to my blog. No excuse. Just have not felt up to it.
I'm working with one of my buddies horses this past month, getting him to be soft and start to understand the concept of collection. In the picture above you see Gunnie, that's his name, wearing the solid rein. He started out in a bungie cord rein. Why you ask? So that if, and when, he tried to find the answer to this problem of collection, he could stretch out his neck or grab hold of the bit and pull. With the bungie cord rein he can do those things without it grabbing hold of HIM. He can stretch the reins out but will not find comfort till he puts his head where he is being asked.
He has been in the bungie cord reins for a week and yesterday was his first day in the solid reins. When I ride him I use my regular set of looped reins and then pick up this second rein. This method is call the double rein method. It was invented by, now, a good friend Al Ragusin. He has tons of info on his web site on the rein and how you can get yourself a set. They have proven to be one of the best tools I have used to help a horse to understand collection and to correct a whole host of other issues.
Here is his website. I don't make a dime off of promoting Al and the double reins but I think they are worth the price. Anyone can do it and learn the process. Everything on his site, the instructional information and videos are all FREE.
Al told me the other day that I have used the double reins longer then anyone else. I've known Al for several years but, have never met him face to face. We talk on the phone from time to time and I do look forward to meeting him. Please share this around so that others can learn about this wonderful process.
Kathy and I are planning on putting a clinic on back in Kansas in July. If anyone is interested in attending or coming just to watch, please contact us. I will be showing the double reins and how they work, as well and working with folks one on one to help them with any issues they may be having with their horses. Please spread the word and lets see what we can make happen.
This passed week I've had the opportunity to work with a horse to help him learn to get in the trailer. The horse belongs to a good friend who I have helped in the passed with other horses she has had. We had some bad weather the last couple of days but, it did not stop us from doing our work and getting him use to loading.
Most horses don't mind getting in a trailer. But, some, are just a little nervous about life in general. And, on these guys, it can be kind of tough. He did a great job, large part, because of the work that his owner has done with him in the passed. He had skills that made teaching him to load SO much easier for me. Most horses that come to me for this kind of training take 3 days just to teach them the skills they need, so you can start to teach them how to get in the trailer. Not a problem with this guy.
It's not a difficult skill to teach, getting in a trailer, but it does take some understanding of what's going on in the mind of the horse and giving the horse enough time to learn that he's not going to get hurt and, that there is nothing to be afraid of.
If you could use a hand with your ponies I hope that you will give me a chance to help you out. You can check out the website for testimonials of folks I've worked with in the passed and see how they feel about the work we were able to get done together.
PS: I'm thinking about doing an Audio Blog. That would me talking instead of typing. Not sure anyone would be interested in that so, I'm polling all of you to get your take.
Would you be interested in an Audio Blog or, you want me to just keep writing?
Thanks for the help.
Well, a lot of us made it to 2017. I was not sure I was going to back in February, but I did. And, I'm glad. There is a lot more I want to do with horses and with Kathy before my ride is done.
Some of you may be thinking about what this new year will bring. Funny thing is, it will probably be more of the same. That's not all bad, especially when it comes to horses. Some of the things you have done in the past have worked pretty good for you. There's no reason to change what works. But how do you know if it works?
If you listen, your horse will tell you the things that work and the things that don't. At times it's not the owner or handlers fault. But, it is most of the time. I saw a video that someone posted of a jumping horse that was being ridden in the arena and the horse was all excited and the rider could hardly control him. The person who posted the video commented that that was one unhappy horse. My thought was, that's a horse that is over fed and underworked. I guess that's what I mean. We all see things differently and a person who is focused on the actions of a horse may miss the reason for the action. Their first reaction is the horse must be unhappy or abused. As apposed to someone who looks at the actions of the horse and looks deeper for the cause. At times it's easy to see and figure out. Just about anyone could do it. However, at times it takes experience and spending a little time with the animal. Not just a quick look at a video.
Of course, we all have our opinions and, as some folks seem to think, we are entitled to them. I'm not so sure. Or, if we are, it does not mean we have to air them. I don't know how many times I've thought I has something figured out with a horse only to find, I had no clue.
So, stick with what's working for you. But, be willing to try new things with your horses. But always remember: you're not going to make your horse anything more then what he is: a horse. Don't project your emotions or feeling on an animal that is not able to understand those things. Think more like your horse and less like a human, and you will find that your horse will give you more then you ever imagined.
I'm doing better. I'm riding a little bit these days, when it's warm. I go back to see the surgeon next month. I'm guessing that will be the last time. He will take x-rays and make sure my screws are staying in. I still get tired easy and, am sore and stiff. They told me it will take up to 2 years to fully recover so I have another year to go.. But at least I get to go. There are a lot of folks that will never get that chance again.
I got a nice email from one of my clients a couple days ago. She wanted me to know that her horse, Chota, who was one of my students here for 90 days had won the go round in the World Championships of the Barrel Futurities of America this pasted weekend and took 5th overall. This was her very first competetion and to say the least Keli was way excited. So was and am I.
Keli remeinded me that it takes a team to reach any level of sucess and I must say, it was an honor to be a part of this one. I have some videos of me working with Chota when she first come here to work with me that you might enjoy looking at again.
Here is her first ride: https://www.facebook.com/pg/MackieRedd/videos/?ref=page_internal
I'm so exctied for both of them and wish all the best.
I've been asked in the past how I introduce a new horse to my herd of horses. I do have horses come and go a lot here and my solution for those horses is much different then horses that will be with me a long time. Horses that are mine.
First, if the horse is here for traning, he will never be in the same pen with one of my horses or another outside horse. It's just safer if I keep them away from each other. That way I don't have to worrie about their being any issues. They in stalls that are next to each other and they can visit thru the bars of the stall but, they can't get their heads thru the bars and thus can't bit on each other. They get the company of another horse without going thru the process of who's the boss.
I'm noy sure how many folks that follow my blog train outside horses. But, if you do, you probablay already have this part figured out.
But, lets say you have just gotten a new horse the you plan to keep and you need to introduce him to your herd of 1 or more horses. You could just put them in the pen and hope for the best. I promise you, that nine times out of ten, their is going to be a fight and someone might get hurt. Kicked, bitten ect.
Here is how I would rather do it. I will ususally keep the horse in one of the stalls that the other horses can't get to the new horse. They can talk to each other, smell each other, and generally get to know one another, without the risk of injury. Trust me. If you put hourse out together that have never met, their is going to be a issue. Having said that, if you have lots of room, say a pasture, the chance of their being an issue is greatly reduced. Why? Becasue the subordinate horse will have room to get away from the aggresive horse, until they get a chance to know one another.
I will usually keep the new horse in this stall, letting him out everyother day while the other horses are in their stalls or in another area. After that week I will turn them out together. At times their are some sorting out that has to take place, but for the most part they already know each other and have figured out where they each belong in the herd with this new comer.
In the picture above and below is Zeb the Black and Mona. Zeb has always been a bit of a bully. Wan'ts to be the leader and wants you to know he's the leader. So I'm reluctant to put him with other horse. But, I just got two new horses yesterday and he was going to have to learn to get along. Zeb has been across the alley from both Mona and Chrlie for over a year. But, this was the first time they had been out together. Mona is only 2 years old but Zeb does not give her any issues. If anything, it's the other way around. Chrlie, who you don't see in the pictures knows he's not wanted by either of them. So, he keeps his distance and has plenty of room to stay out of their way.
You will notice that their is hay in the stall where Zeb and Mona are. Food can be a triger that will set a dominate horse off. The dominate horse wants to eat first and does not want to share. Be aware of that when you introduce horses to each other.
These horses have been together for over a week and they are getting along just fine. The new horses came yesterday and we are starting the process of them all getting to know each other.
Have any questions about this or any other issue you may be having just let me know.
Will try and keep you updated with info on what the heck I'm doing with horses and music.