Well, I knew this day was coming, and I was sure glad that Chota's mom could get her girl back, but I'm sure going to miss her around here. Of all the horses i've started, she is one of the special ones. She was sweet from the first day till yesterday when she went home..
Her Mom Keli, has great plans for her in the future and will keep me up to date on where she is and what's she's doing, and I'll do my best to keep you updated as time goes on.
Moose, my new project, is doing pretty darn good himself. The picture above is his second day with the pack and saddle. Yesterday, after getting the saddle and boxes on him, he just walked around. Before he would run around the round pen and then find a place to stand and he would not move unless I got in the pen and asked him to move. His moving around on his own, quietly is huge for him.
When I added the tarps to the mix, things changed. He stood like you see him here in the picture above. Then their was a big gust of wind and the tarps started to flop around a bit. It's then that he came ungluded. No bucking, just running hard and fast. He managed to get one of the boxes loose from the pack saddle and drug it around till I could get him stopped. As soon as I got him stopped he just stood while I got him all put back together. After that little wreck, he settled down. Why? Cause he realized that running and making a fuss only got him more work then he had planned on.
Getting a horse, and especially a young horse, to learn to pack, can be a exciting experience. It's the reason I encourage folk to get a little help if they need it. When it comes to training horses, stuff can, and will happen. It's important that you are prepared for whatever happens, cause it will.
Its pretty darn cold and windy today on the ranch. What to do?
It don't happen very often that we get snow, or really cold weather here in our part of New Mexico. So, when it happens it sometimes feels like I'm not getting much done with the horses. But, I have come to figure out, cause I'm smart like that, that horses don't really care much for this kind of weather either. So a snow day it is. I'll give them some well deserved time off and will just sit here with Kevin the cow dog and his side kick, Sadie.
Whenever you find yourself with time off from the horses because of weather, it's a great time to do a little reading. What do I read, when I read? Well, you can bet it's about horses.
My favorite read of late is a book called Equitation. It was written by Henry Wynmalen and was first published in 1938. This book is no longer in print but you may be able to find it online for sale. The book I have was given to me by his granddaughter and our neighbor and good friend Heidi Saunders. Mr Wynmalen was consider a master in is time and his thinking about horses is amazing.
It's a good read on a snowy day!
Was a wonderful day for a ride. Was in the 70's. Moose, a mustang horse here in training had a really big last couple days so I gave him the day off and took Chota for a big ride on the ranch.
Chota continues to make really good progress. Going from, not wanting to cross a small wash, to having the confidence to cross just about anything I ask her too. She will be going home the end of this month or the first of Feb. so trying to expose her to as many things as I can.
If you find yourself working with a young horse or a horse that does not have a lot of experience, take your time and make sure that the work you are doing on the ground will help the horse understand what you will want when you are in the saddle.
One way I like to do this is take the horse out for a walk and use the same skills you have been working on in the arena and see if the horse will do them in the real world. For example, take the horse to a spot where there are washes and ask the horse to lunge around and over and thru the wash without you being on their back. If they won't do it with you not on their back, they probably won't do it when you are in the saddle. This way it give the horse a chance to experence these obstacles without the influence, and sometimes confusion, of having you give them signals they don't understand from the saddle.
Teach your horse to jump barrels, or something like that. Teach your horse to walk across a large tarp on the ground. All of these little things will prepare the horse for what awaits them outside the arena.
I was asked to write a blog for a company in Australia. Here it is. Let me know what you think.
Yesterday, Moose the Mustang arrived for some training. The picture above is of him and his mom Pat. Moose is just a baby at 4 years old. He was started by inmates at a prison program. Pat is able to ride him but he is a little jumpy about things, so my job is to see if we can help him with some of that.
We will start today with some round pen work to make sure I can catch him and then we will go from there. Looking forward to working with him and his owner in hopes of making them both a good and safe team.
Chota continues to do well. We road in the arena yesterday working on following the rail and side passing. She is figuring things out as we go along. I'm wearing spurs with her now and she is a little irritated by them at times but, is starting to understand what to do and how to act, when I'm using them.
She is standing to be saddled and unsaddled. She is standing to be mounted and dismounted and, is looking for the bit when I'm putting her bridle on. All in all really good progress from Chota.
Helped my good buddy Brian and his wife, Amy, gather and work their cattle this past weekend. As you can see from the picture, it snowed on us. This picture shows the beginning of the drive. By the time we got to the house the cows were white. It was cold but fun to have the chance to see their place and help them out. They have a great place and are an even greater family. Looking forward to helping them again sometime down the trail.
Will try and keep you updated with info on what the heck I'm doing with horses and music.