Wally and Kevin
Thought a picture of Wally and Kevin by the pool would make me feel warmer. Didn't work.
Off to town this morning for supplies. To darn cold to do anything with the horses other then feed them. It’s suppose to start warming up here in the next day or so.
A trip to town is always interesting after being out here on the ranch. Is not one of my favorite things to do but it’s got to get done. So, will cowboy up and just go.
This down time with horses give me the chance to catch up on somethings that my girl wants me to help her with so it’s all good.
If there are things you would like to talk about, you, being the folks in blog land, just let me know. I will try to answer any questions about horse and training I can and if I don’t have the answer, I’ll come up with and answer that sounds good.
Snowed last night and is pretty cold this morning. Looking forward to the warm front instead of the cold front to come our way.
Herb of www.herbsbodyshop.com talked me into helping him with some work yesterday sense it was to windy and cold to do anything with horses. We made Lavender and Eucalyptus bars. Herb also went out and got the domain www.cowboymanbar.com which I thought was a good idea. I’m sure he will be posting something on line here pretty soon to announce that.
Think I’ll spend the day inside after I get everyone fed. There's always something to do around the barn.
Woke up to the wind blowing and snowing a bit. I don’t think it will last long but feels like a good day to work inside and get some things done on the website.
If you are looking for some great training tack we are having a great sale on our horsemanship training equipment. We have gotten our halters and leads, as well as sticks, from a company in Australia in the pasted. Not sure how much longer we will do that. We have found a company here in the USA that make a similar product and we are thinking of moving to them. Their price about the same, but the shipping will be much less and it will be something made here. We’ll see. In the mean time we have great deals on halters and sticks so check out the website under horsemanship and training.
Worked with Zeb just a little yesterday, it was windy yesterday too. He is still a little jumpy. I think the wind and weather has something to do with that. I don’t have any outside horses in right now so will start, as soon as the weather let’s me, working with Zeb more and more.
Starting with the basics even though he has had experience with riding. I really need to make sure he has a good foundation as we move forward..
Meg and Hanna
Friday and Saturday were spent working with some students, one on one in private lessons. I got the chance to work with Meg and Hanna again and we had a great time. Last month when I worked with them we work on round pen skills, hobbling and riding. This time we work on the next phase and that is groundwork. Their horses have never been exposed to these skills, and at first, did not like the idea of being told what to do. But, as soon as Hanna and Meg got the hang of the skills, their horses started to come around. They are going to continue to work at those skills. These skills will teach their horses to calm down and learn to be controlled by their owners… Looking forward to more work with them down the road.
I got the chance to work with Louise again. Louise came off her horse awhile back and I was so proud to see her wanting to get back in the saddle. I was very proud of her, watching her work with her horse in the round pen. You could see her confidence come up as we worked. She did great, and her horses did too. Looking forward to seeing how she gets along with her boys, and how her confidence grows thru the process.
Me and Sue!
Worked with Sue and her boy Buddy. They both continue to make good progress. Sue is spending more and more time with Buddy out in the back country behind her home. Buddy is starting to work on more complicated skills like, collection for short distances at a walk and a trot. Learning to keep his nose inside the circle and keeping it there on his own.
Looking forward to spending more time with these folks. Thinking about working in their area every month so we can keep up the progress.
It is a treat to work with folks who really want to be better at their horsemanship. Can’t wait for more.
Working on the basics.
When I talk about the basics, what I really mean is what is basic to the horse. Most of the horses that come to me have problems rooted in some very basic skills. For example. Can I catch my horse? You may say “yes”, but can you catch your horse without using treats?
I remember a time a few years back, when Kathy and I were asked to come to Chicago Ill. to help a show jumping horse. This horse was some where in his late teens and had been a show jumper all his life. However, he had started to refuse at water jumps. The owners had to either blind fold the horse to get him in the show pen or, they had to bribe the horse with treats. There were times when that didn’t work either. Now this horse had a lot of experience in the show jumping world, but he was starting to cost his owner a lot of money in entry fees. He would not stand still to be saddled and would stick his head in the clouds when they tried to bridle him. In his life time, he had broken the arm of two separate grooms and who knows how many others had been injured over the course of his life.
So, what did I do? Good question. We, the horse and me, started from the beginning. I first taught him to respect me and my space and to listen when I spoke to him. I was there for only 10 days or so and we worked just about every day.
We had the chance to go to a show just before we left to come home to New Mexico. When he walked to the show pen he walked in like a perfect gentleman. He took first place in that show and placed in the top three in the two shows after that.
So you know, I never rode the horse while I was there. I just worked on the basics, teaching the horse where his place was in the herd of two. He finished the season making money for his owner and his life was much better because of taking the time to take the horse back to some basic horsemanship exercises that I use in my program..
The moral of the story? If you are having problems with your horse, think about starting from the beginning and make sure he understands his place in the herd of two… you won’t regret the time you spend doing it.
Andrea working on the basics!
Most of the time when horses come here for whatever the problem might be, I have found that going back to the basics goes a long way to fixing the problem. For example. A horse that does not want to load, usually, does not know how to lunge well or take direction. A little work on the ground, working on respect, usually results in a horse that is eager to load.
I have had horses come to me that were bucking their owners off. I put them in my ground work program, and when it’s time to ride they do not offer to buck at all.
Getting a horse to go back to the basics is easy. Getting an owner or rider to go back to the basics is another matter. They, the owners, think that they are beyond the basics and view going back as failure. That’s a shame, because that’s really what most of us, and horses, need. It’s with the basics that you learn and come to understand how more complicated skills are put together.. So try it.
Well we had a clinic scheduled for this past Saturday but it was way to cold to get anything done so we were forced to cancel it. I think it was somewhere around 8 degrees that Saturday morning. Way to cold for my horse and me anyway.
We have another private clinic scheduled for 25th and 26th so we will see how the weather treats us.
Kathy has a big show in Blyth Ca. this coming weekend and we are excited about that. Herb, of Herb’s Body Shop, says the is going to be there with his sweetie selling the Cowboy Man Bar, so we are looking forward to seeing him and his girl and getting us some of those Man Bars.
Have had some folks contact me about starting their colts. Looking forward to that and hope it will happen.
So will spend the day getting ready for Kathy’s big show. Make sure the truck and trailer is ready to go and start packing her product. I know when I start, Wally and Kevin, the dogs, are going to wonder what in the world he’s doing and are we going to get to go.
So, practical horsemanship. What is it? Good question. Let me start by telling you what it’s not!
I see lost of clinicians doing lots of things in their clinics and demonstrations. I see them riding without a bridle, nothing on the horses’ head. I see them standing on the backs of their horses, I see them doing a lot of things that I don’t think is very practical. A lot of people, who love their horses, are just tickled that they can still get up on their horses. Forget about standing on their backs, even if they have to use a mounting block or get their horse to come to fence to get on him. Most of the people I see would never try to ride their horses with out a bridle, or at the very least a halter. You see trainers who teach their horses to rear-up, bow, lay down and the list goes on and on. But none of these things are very practical. Don’t get me wrong, I think they are very cool and fun to watch, but in the life of the average horse owner, these things are not very practical at all.
I see guys who can get their horse on top of their horse trailer and spin him while he is up there. That’s very cool, but I just want my horse to get IN the trailer.
So the things I teach are things that a person can, and will, use everyday, every time they are with their horse. Things that are not very flashy to the person who does not know what they are looking for, but very impressive to a horseman who knows what it takes to get there horse there. Practical things like, standing still to be mounted and dismounted. Standing still to be saddled and unsaddled, not having to tie them up. A horse that will stand in hobbles and wait for his owner. Horses that will stand tied to the rail, trailer, whatever and not pull back. A horse that won’t kick at you, a horse that does not bite you. A quite and gentle horse that everyone around sees and wants to be with. Why are these things practical? Cause your chances of getting hurt by one of these horse is much less then horses who have not been taught these skill.
Practical horsemanship will help to keep you alive so you can ride another day. The list of things that Practical horsemanship can bring you is much longer then the list of a horse who is ridden with out a bridle can. Yes, it does take skill for both horse and rider to do some of the things I see people doing. But I always ask myself how practical is what I’m seeing for those I’m teaching?
These folks I see doing some pretty cool stuff with horses are truly amazing and can get a lot done with a horse and it is for sure fun to watch, but at some point it just becomes a trick.
Someone who can take their horse on a trail ride or a pack trip in to the back country, or gather cattle and they come home safe, that’s not a trick, that’s good horsemanship. That’s practical horsemanship. Horsemanship that’s effective and fair to both horse and human..
Teaching a young Horseman.
Feeling a little better this morning but still not at the top of my game.
Will be working on my website sense I have this bit of down time. I want to get it so I can post some short videos on how to tie knots and short stuff like that, so keep checking back to see if I get it done.
Sense I have not been able to get out with the horses the past couple of days I have been checking the internet for interesting information on horses and horse training. I still see lots of people that call themselves horse whispers or natural horseman.
Both of these terms trouble me a bit. I understand why some folks who are watching from a distance may call someone who is good with a horse a horse whisper. Most really good and those who I would call great, work with their horses without saying a word to them. So, folk watching may confuse that with whispering.
Natural Horsemanship, or the term is so miss leading that I don’t even like to type the phrase. I think that most of you would agree that once you put anything on a horse, a halter, saddle pad not to mention a bridle or saddle, it is no longer natural for the horse. Now I understand why they use the phrase. Just like in the music world. When I use to play out a lot of folks would ask me, what kind of music I played. I never understood that question either. To me there are two kinds of music, good music and bad music. But, that’s not what they wanted to hear. They want to put what you do in a box they understand like, rock, country, bluegrass etc.
The same thing has happened in the horse-training world. Folks are looking for a place to put what you do, in a box so to speak, so they can understand it. To me there are only two kinds of horseman. Good ones and not so good ones.
So when people ask me what I do with horses I say: I help people with horses and horses with people. Most folks don’t understand what is happening with their horse as I am training him. They just want a safe horse they can ride on the trail and a horse that will bring them home safe. I call folks that can do that a horseman, and it’s that kind of horsemanship I practice, practical horsemanship. Let’s talk about that tomorrow.
My horse and me on a ranch we managed in Az.
Some of you may have noticed that I have not gotten to my blog the past couple of days. I have been a bit under the weather but am starting to feel on the mend.
Kathy and I have a clinic this coming Saturday in Silver City New Mexico. I will be holding private lessons with railbirds able to watch and ask questions. If the weather holds it will be a good time. I will be working with some folks I have worked with in the past except for one. So looking forward to that.
I got a call today from Jan, Tucson’s mom, and they made it home just fine. Jan is very excited about how Tucson is progressing and there are a lot of folks there that want to ride with her and her new boy. She is going to take it slow with him, which I think is a great idea. She does not have to be in a hurry and understands the need for the magic pill, time.
Jan indicated that there are lots of folks there who would be interested in doing a clinic and she is working hard to make all that happen for us. I can’t thank her enough, or thank the many folks that have confidence in what we are trying to do for horses and people. Kathy and I are excited about what Arizona may hold for us and our horsemanship program. I’ll keep you informed.
Will try and keep you updated with info on what the heck I'm doing with horses and music.