Bitsy in Blue!
Another big ride for Bitsy yesterday. She did ok. Not great, but she hasn’t been doing this long. I took her on a pretty big ride. Not long but intense. We road about 5 miles but she did it at a trot or a canter. She shied at a couple of things but not bad.
When I got Bitsy back to the barn we worked on getting her to collect a bit and then I dressed her in blue tarps and let her walk around in the round pen.
I don’t suggest you get a blue tarp and tie one on to your horse. I have been working with Bitsy and the blue tarp for about a week. I knew that she would not bolt and try to climb out of the round pen with the tarp on. The wind picked up yesterday in the afternoon and I knew that having the tarp move around on her as she stood or walked, would get her to understand that nothing is going to hurt her if she will just relax. She did.
It was way too windy to do anything with the other boys so I let them stand tied on the rail. Teaching your horse to stand tied is a great exercise and you can do it, no matter where your horse is in his or her training. When it is windy, horses get a little nervous and worried. Tying them to the rail and letting them learn that when they are tied to the rail that nothing is going to happen to them. Having said that, you want to make sure that nothing WILL happen to them. Make sure you tie them to something they can tear down and drag or that they can get their feet caught in. It's important to be safe and make sure your horse is as safe as you can. If you or your horse get's hurt it's for, well nothing. Take the time, prepare your horse for the world, outside the arena or round pen. Your right, it take, sometimes lots of time. But you won't be sorry you did.
I posted a video of me catching the Stallion yesterday and you can find it on my Face Book page under Mackie Redd horsemanship if you are interested in seeing how I do that.
Friday was a pretty good day for Bitsy. As you may remember we had a bit of a problem when we went out on Wed. So, I spent more time with her on the ground getting her to not worry so much about things happening around her. Well, Friday when we went outside for our ride I took her pass the scary large white box. She looked at it but did not show any interest in it. That’s good, in case you were wondering. Then one of the cowboys on the ranch saw us and stopped. In the past, Bitsy would get nervous if she saw a truck or car coming down the road. We rode up to the truck and had a nice visit with Clayton. Bitsy just put her head down and was a perfect lady. We will do more ground work the rest of this week as well as ride. Her mom will be coming this coming weekend to see her and ride her.
The other two boys are doing better and better everyday. The Stallion is pretty easy to catch and will start to wear a saddle this week and we will see about riding him later in the week. The Gray may get ridden today or tomorrow. He is settling down but both of them have a long way to go.
Saturday was the roping at the Way Out West arena. This roping was in Pat Jone’s honor. You may remember that Pat passed away with cancer last year in Feb. Kathy and I went over for a bit and got a chance to see folks we have not seen sense we lost Pat. Brought back some good memories and the proceeded made from the roping will go to Cowboys Against Cancer.
Benjie working with Bitsy!
Yesterday started out with Kathy’s car having a flat. You may think: “What’s the big deal?” Well everything that happens out here is a big deal. There is no tire store just up the road. So, I had to take the tire off and take it to town. No big deal right? It takes an hour to get to town. So, big deal? Yes!
Anyway, got that done and decided that I would replace the brakes on her car. Again, big deal. Kathy had picked up the brakes awhile back and it really needed to be done. But, the back brake pads were the wrong ones. The front ones were right so I changed them.
By the time I could get to the horses it was 4pm. I worked with Bitsy in the round pen getting her use to things that flutter in the wind, like a big blue tarp. She did not like it, at all. But in time she would stand still and tolerate it.
The other boys got tied to the rail. After a few hours working with Bitsy I put everyone up and fed.
Today will be more of the same for all the horses. Have a riding lesson with Steve and Lou this morning then I will get started with the outside horses.
Tomorrow will be a roping at Nancy’s, Way Out West Arena. It is in memory of her husband and our friend Pat Jones, who passed away last year in February. Will be fun to see guys I have not seen or rode with this passed year and a good time to remember our friend.
Our friends from across the pond headed home yesterday. Benjie and Filly were getting ready to leave when, somehow, they accidentally locked their keys in the car. The trunk of the car. Nope, they didn’t have a spare. So they were hoping to leave and get on the road by 9am. Turns out they did not get the keys out of the trunk till 2pm. We took out the back seat and tried to crawl in and find the keys, but they had already packed the trunk and it was not possible. My neighbor Mark came by to go horseback and was able to get the keys out by fishing with a wire and snagging them.
We sure hope the kids are safe the rest of their trip. We kind of miss them around here.
I did not get much done with horses yesterday but today will be different. I have riding lessons with Steve and Lou this morning and then back to the horses.
Has been a bit windy but it's nice and warm.
Lou and Steve!
Bitsy and circles!
Was a big scary day for Bitsy yesterday. I took her out on a pretty long ride and as we were finishing up we came by a house out here on the ranch. The folks there are just moving in and they have a large white POD box in their driveway. Well as we were coming down the hill toward that, Bitsy was scared to death. She tried to run awayBitsy from the object and it was all I could do to get her back on track. After I got control we did circles as we got closer and closer. Every time she would get a little nervous we would go back to circles. Eventually we got up to within about 30 feet of the scary box and I let her rest. She was not trying to be a bad horse, she was just scared and all she could think to do was get away. Needless to say we will be taking that trip again and again.
Bitsy has been here nearly 60 days, and as far as settling down in the barn and the arena she has been doing better and better. For her it’s just going to take time, and experience, to know and understand that, not everything wants to kill her..
The other horses are excepting their saddles well and we are continuing with the ground work and trust exercises. Won’t be long before we are riding them too.
Benjie and Filly after their ride!
Yesterday seemed a bit long, as Benjie would say. The horses all got worked. And, it was a beautiful day to boot.
The Stallion wore a saddle pad and surcingle, and did a pretty good job. He did not offer to buck but is still a little nervous. I wanted to pick up his feet to possibly put hobbles on him. The owner told me they had been doing that. Well, someone for got to tell the Stallion. When I reached down to touch his leg I thought he was going to fall over with fear. So, I started working with his front legs with the lead rope, I’ll have to tell you how to do that one day, and in just a bit he was letting me pick up his front feet and hold them there for a bit.
The GRAY horse took the saddle well again. I saddled him in the barn next to the saddle room. Want to start teaching him to stand still and not move from the spot I put him in, when we are going to saddle. He did ok. I had to put him back in his spot a couple of times but that was to be expected. We did some groundwork with the plastic bag. He was a little freak but slowly started to settle and relax.
Bitsy had another good ride. I’m starting to ride more with our legs less with our hands. Part way thru out work out Bitsy start to fight my legs, so when I asked with the spur she acted like she wanted to buck a bit. I got after her for that and we had a bit of action, but she soon settled down and got with the program.
Benjie and Filly are off to see the cliff dwelling in the Gila National Forest. This should be a big adventure for them and I’m sure they will have pictures.
When I got up this morning there were 4 or 5 mule deer in the back yard eating on a flowering bush. I have seen tracks around the house but had never seen them. Love this place.
Coffee time for me.
Benji and Filly
This past weekend was a busy one. Sunday afternoon we went to the “meet and greet” at the art show in Deming New Mexico. Kathy and a hand full of artist from here in Hillsboro had their art on display there. Kathy’s work was displayed beautifully and she got the chance to visit with a lot of people about her art and, even sold a few pieces. Kathy continues to come up with new ideas that are amazing. I don’t know how she does it. Just when I think she has run out of ideas she comes up with something more interesting and more beautiful.
We came home from that event and took care of horses. Our guest from across the pond were eager for a trail ride so, I gathered up a couple of horses and off we went. Benjie is an actor, trying to make his way in Hollywood. So, this ride was good for him. He was thinking now he might be able to get involved in some work in Hollywood where horses were being used. He has very little experience but he did a great job. His wife, Filly is an experienced rider. Having ridden all over the world. She had not ridden western so it was a real treat to see how the other half lives.. We had a great time to say the least and am hoping that we will get to do more of that down the road.
Friday I worked with the outside horses I have here. I saddled the GRAY for the first time. He has been ridden before and therefore had to have been saddled. He did great. He is still very nervous about what’s going on around him, but he is coming around.
I slipped a surcingle on the Stallion Friday as well. I wanted to see how he would react to something on his back and the pressure of the cinch. I was surprised when he just walked off without a care. He did not buck, or ever offer to. He is still very nervous but is making really good progress. I can see me riding him in the next week or so…
Cowboys from across the pond!
Filly and the Stallion!
Yesterday I had the chance to work with a few folks who, although having been around horses all their lives, realized that they did not really know much about them. Jeep, Benjie and Filly were amazed at what they horses could teach them in the round pen.
Filly went first. She has ridden horses all over the world but had really never had the chance to work closely with a horse. She did great. Then Jeep, whose family has always had horses and whose father was a trainer, said that he never really thought about how the horse felt. His father would tell him to saddle the horses and ride them and he did. He had a great time but had a pretty tough horse to work. Then Benji took his turn. He worked with Bitsy who has really made some good progress in her training this past couple of weeks. Benji did a great job with her as you can see.
Today will be more of the same. All the horses in the barn are making good progress and this passed week has seen all the horse continue to settle and relax..
Jeep and the Gray!
Benji and Bitsy!
Kathy and I have visitors from across the pond. Benji and Filly are a couple of young kids we met at a bluegrass festival we attended in Cal. This passed January. Benjie is an actor in Hollywood ca. and Filly is a teacher. They had some time and needed a break so came to see us.
I took them to the barn yesterday afternoon to see the horses and they watched me work for just a bit and were very excited about what they saw. They are going to meet me there this morning. I want to give them a chance to work with some of the horses. Hope to have pictures.
Yesterday was a day of big changes for the Gray and the Stallion. They both, on the same day, really started to slow down a bit and seem, you noticed I use the word “seem”, to be starting to want to get in the program and give up their places in the herd. That’s a big deal for me and a huge deal for them. Really looking forward to seeing how they are today.
Bitsy continues to make really good progress. I’m looking forward to getting her outside to ride next week.
Kevin the cow dog getting a drink of water!
Usually when horses get to me they have never been handled or they have been spoiled. Either way they have to learn that I’m really on their side. Most of these horses don’t want you to catch them. Lots of reasons for that I guess, but if you can’t catch them their not much use to you. I have a program for that too.
One of the things I will do with every horse that comes here is put them in the round pen for the first couple of days to make sure I can catch them. Nothing more frustrating then turning out a horse in the arena, or other area, only to find out you can’t catch him. I have a round penning program that, with a little work, will insure that I can catch the horse. One of the other things I do, with every horse that comes here, is have the horse drink water from a bucket that I’m holding. Drink from my hand if you will. See, a horse can go up to three days without water, without hurting him or her self. Horses know they cannot live without water for very long. They can go a long time without food, but with our water they won’t last long.
Why do I do this? It’s because the horse does not see much value in me, the human. Most of the time we, the human, provide them with water using automatic drinkers and such. So, the horse does not look at that water-er and think, “how sweet of my owner to provide me with water”. It’s always there. Same with food. But when a horse figures out that if he does not drink water from my hand he’s going to get pretty thirsty, It’s not long and he will start to look to me to provide that water. NOW, I have value.
I have never seen, even the most nervous and scared horse take more the a couple days to figure this out. So, I have taught the horse that he needs me to survive, and, I’m not trying to hurt, but help him.