Stud with his halter on!
The two new horses are off to a good start.
I started working the Stud Horse in the round pen. His owner said he was hard to catch and turns out she was right. I had to rope him. But, once he was roped I was able to get him to settle a bit. He has not been handled much at all and is very nervous about everything that is going on. He jumps when you try to touch him or rub on him. It’s going to take this fella some time to trust, but we’ll get there.
The GRAY spent his morning learning to load in the trailer. When I went to get him he did not want to load and you just can’t have that if you’re going to have a horse. So we spent a little time working on the ground and then I asked him to get in the trailer. He couldn’t wait. We will continue this for the rest of the week and he should be good.
Rode Bitsy in the arena again and she is starting to understand neck reining. This will really take some time for her to really get good at it but, she will. She started her first day of hobble training and did really pretty good.
People often ask me should their horses be able to move with hobbles on? The answer depends on what you want your horse to do. I for one, don’t mind that they get around a little in hobbles. If something comes after them I want them to be able to get away. Hobbles don’t prevent a horse from running; it just makes it more difficult. If I am in the backcountry and I have my horses hobbled so they can graze, I want them to be able to move around so they can do that. I attach a bell to their halter so if they do wonder off, every time they jump to move, I will be able to hear them and know where they are. The bell also helps keep predators, bear and cats and such, at bay.
Bitsy after a good workout!
Friday was a very good day for Bitsy and me. I rode her in the arena and, as I said last Friday, we worked on getting her to follow her nose, go in a circle on a loose rein and we started to work on a brake. Well, she did great in all these areas. She is still a little uncertain about some stuff but she is starting to work with me in the program, instead of working against me. So, very good day of progress with Bitsy. She is learning to stand at the rail without issue.
GRAY after a bath.
The GRAY horse is starting to work at the end of a lead. He does not know a thing. He is worried, nervous, pretty much the same way Bitsy was when she got here. We will keep working on the ground, getting him versed in the exercises and as he starts to settle we will think about getting him rode.
This Sunday we got another horse in for training. This was a good surprise. Kathy and I did a round pen demo a couple years ago now and a fella that was there for it, that seemed to not be very impressed with what we were doing, told a friend about us and she, Wanda, brought us a stud horse to train for her. He is 4 years old and has never had a saddle on. So I get to start from the very beginning, which is what I do with all of them that come here so not sure why I keep saying we are going to start from the beginning… but I am. I will get pictures of him today for you.
I could sure use your help to get in front of more people, to be successful in this endeavor. So if you think about it, please tell other folks about my blog. It’s a good way for folks to get to know me and what I’m doing around the place and who knows, they may even benefit from the information. You can like my facebook page or just send the blog on to folks you think would like it. They don’t have to be horsey people either. I have a ton of folks that don’t even own horses that are reading it everyday..
Thanks for the help. Coffee anyone?
Lou being a leader!
Had a really good riding lesson with Lou and Steve yesterday. They go the chance to groom and saddle their horses as well as see the biting process. We went to the round pen and they both got aboard their horses. We worked on flexing and why that is important and then they did a little riding, learning how to use their focus to get their horses to go where they wanted them.
They are both good students and it won’t be long before we are out seeing some country.
Worked just a little with Bitsy and then put her on the rail. Will ride her today in the arena and work on following her nose on the rail and flexing to a stop. Should be fun.
Took the GRAY out of the round pen yesterday and introduced him to one of the stalls and then put him on the rail. He did fine. He is still very nervous about everything but that will pass in time.
Cindi loading her boys!
I forgot to tell you all about the visit of Cindi, one of my students, and two of her boys she brought over to work with me last Friday.
Well. She did, and we had a good time. She has a new horse RED and Thunder, who had been here before a year or so ago. Thunder was here for I think sixty days. I remember that when he came here he really had an attitude. Did not want to submit to the program, but he came around and I must say, Cindi had done a great job keeping him moving in the right direction.
Cindi wanted some help teaching RED how to collect. Seems that RED is having a little trouble with his back and Cindi, rightly so, thought if she could get him working on some collection it may strengthen his back. I showed her some exercises she could do using the double rein method that I learned from Al Ragazin. Here is Al’s site if you want to check him out: http://www.trainingyourownhorse.com
We then spent the rest of the time on a nice ride outside with Thunder. Cindi is very proud of how Thunder has come along. Every now and then though, he gets himself wound up and Cindi has to use small circles to get him thinking the way she wants. It’s like Cindi says at least the small circles work.
Very proud of both of them and look forward to working with them both in the future.
Yesterday my neighbor Mark came down with his horse so I thought it might be a good time to take Bitsy for a ride outside. It was obvious that she has NO experience outside the round pen or arena. She started out not wanting to go where I asked her, but got better by the time we got back to the barn.
Today we will spend time in the arena working on learning to follow her nose and flexing to a stop. She has a long way to go but we have made some pretty big strides the pass couple of days.
The new GRAY is spending time in the round pen getting comfortable with his surroundings. We will start to work today on his ground skills and making sure he can catch me. Was going to start with him yesterday but by the time we got back to the barn the wind was blowing pretty hard.
Bitsy's first ride.
Yesterday was a nice day of surprises. I rode Bitsy for the first time yesterday. After a little groundwork, Bitsy seemed ready. So, I put my foot in the stirrup and stood up. She moved around a bit so I got off and explained to her that, that was not acceptable behavior. Just took a couple of times and she stood perfectly still while I got my self settled in the saddle. We did tons of lateral flexing at a stand still and then I asked her to walk off. She was uncertain of what I wanted at first but it was no time at all that we were moving in small circles. I let those circles get bigger and bigger. She wanted to trot so I let her and we did that for about ten minutes. Then back to a walk until we finished her ride. She did great and it won’t be long and we will be seeing the big world outside the arena.
We got a phone call from the fella I get my hay from in Deming New Mexico. His daughter, who has attended clinics that we have put on, is graduating he needed out address. While talking to Kathy about that he mentioned he had a horse that he needed some help with. So, yesterday Montana, my daughter, and I went down to pick up the horse. Clint, the owner, told me that the horse was very nervous and it was not easy to catch him. In less then 5 minutes I had the horse caught and started heading toward the trailer. I asked how he was at trailer loading and Clint said it would probably take all three of us to get him in. I shook my head and said it will only take one. After about 15 minutes of working with the horse I had him in the trailer under his own power.
This horse, cause I know your going to ask, has no name, or at least Clint never told me his name so we will just call him the, GRAY for now.
Zeb the Black!
If you are looking for tools to help you with your horsemanship you really need to check out the sale I'm having on training equipment.
I promise you it's the finest equipment you have ever used or I'll give you your money back. Compare my equipment with anyone else's out there, for price and quality.
Zeb the Black smiles when he see's me coming with it.
Quatro and Lou!
Steve and Lou are off to a good start as they take the trail of horsemanship. They are very much like so many folks I meet that have been horseback riding when they went on vacation but don’t know very much about horses. Well, that all changed yesterday as they started their journey in horsemanship.
They both did a great job with the horses that they will be riding in the next couple of weeks. They are starting to learn how horses think and what horses need. All of these things will make their experience of riding horses more meaning full for them, and safer. Both were very excited about what they had learned and can really see the value of learning what horses know.
Have a private lesson with one of my students from the valley, Cindi. She is bringing over a couple of her horses for me to help her with. Looking forward to that and hope to have pictures..
Photo by: Kathy Reed Redd
I have two new students coming out today to start horseback riding lessons, Steve and his wife Lou. They live in town and have been trying to get out here for a couple months. So, they, and me too, are excited about getting started. I love it when folks want to learn about horses, not just riding.
Riding is simply the art of not falling off, but horsemanship is the ability to apply intuition, control and trust when it comes to working with horses, one is fun, the other is an adventure. I’m really happy that they have chosen the adventure. So we will get started this morning now that the wind has laid down for a bit.
Pocket Update: Pocket, the dog, is doing better and better. She still does not want to jump up on the couch or anyone’s lap yet and from time to time she will let out a little yelp. But she is back to staring at you when you are eating, and for that dog, that’s a good sign.
It has been pretty darn windy the past few days so the horses have not had the work that they need or deserve. But, now that the wind is slowing down a bit we will get them back at it.
Cold here this morning 25 degrees, but it’s warming up fast.
She's getting better!
As I talked about yesterday, trust is something that takes time. Most of the horses that we have around our place, and have for some time, I don’t trust very much. By that I mean I’m always on guard when I’m around them. I’m not scared of them but I’m always watching to make sure that nothing startles them and they jump in my lap.
For example, if I’m shoeing a horse I try to always set them up so that they can see. If someone comes down to the barn while we are doing this I want to make sure that the horse has a clear view of anyone that may come in. I do that so he won’t get surprised and jump, because he has been startled, and jump on top of me.
Then there are horses that I’ve had in my lifetime that I trust. I know how they are going to react if someone does come down to the barn unannounced. I know that they will just wait. They will wait for me to tell them what to do, if anything. I trust them.
I think it's good to always have your guard up when you are around horses. I tell folks when they come here to work or at clinics, horses are living breathing thinking animals, and they are not always thinking the way we would like.
Make sure your horse earns your trust before you blindly give it to him, only to find yourself hurt because he did not act the way you thought he would. Even when you have trust in your horse, things still can, and will, happen.
The best we can do to minimize our chances of getting injured when working with horses, is teach our horses that we are the leaders. Subservient horses do not kick the leader and they will do all they can to get out of the way of a dominate horse. That means make sure your groundwork is solid on your horses.
Will try and keep you updated with info on what the heck I'm doing with horses and music.