The Tucson Barn!
As I said yesterday, I’m the one that usually gets the horses that buck, for whatever the reason. The sometimes-troubling part is, I get them and folks don’t tell me they buck.
I had a horse in here a couple years ago that a guy had bought for his wife. He was hauling the horse a ways, over 3 hour drive, to bring the horse to me. He called me when he was getting ready to load the horse, then called back 2 hours later and he still did not have the horse in the trailer. I knew then that the horse had some issues we would have to work on, they all do when they come here, but that was not surprising. Anyway, I had to go and get the horse from one of the neighbors here on the ranch. By the time they got the horse to the ranch it was dark and they could not get to our place. I took the horse home the next day and we started the program.
I was under the impression that the horse had been saddled and ridden, so on the third day or so I took the horse to the round pen with saddle and pad. I saddled the horse and when I asked the horse to move forward he came unglued.
I called the owner that night and told him what had happened. I reminded him, the owner, that he had not said anything about the horse having problems with bucking. He then went on to tell me that the last time they had tried to saddle the horse they had him tied to the kids swing set. He said the horse started bucking and tore the swing set down and dragged it around the yard until they could get him caught.
I was able to fix the horse’s bucking problem. That was not much of a problem. The problem is folks don’t always tell the trainer what’s wrong. In this case the horse had a problem with saddles and swing sets.
The moral of the story is: If and when you take your horse to a trainer, do him a favor and tell him the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, about your horse. That way the trainer can help the horse with whatever the problem is.
Stallion in his big boy saddle.
Yesterday was the first time I have ridden the GRAY. He has been ready for awhile but I just could not seem to get around to it. He did fine. They have ridden him before so that was really not his issue. When I got in the saddle you could feel him shaking underneath me. He would flex from side to side but he was stiff and unsure.
Today I’ll work more with him getting him to settle and trust me more. All takes time.
I put a foot in the stirrup of the Stallion for the first time yesterday and stood up in the stirrup for the first time. He is still nervous and moves around when I’m trying to get on him so we will just keep chipping away at it, doing more and more ground work till me being in the saddle seems like a good thing. Again, it all takes time. I know of trainers that would just go ahead and get in the saddle and if he bucks he bucks. And I guess that fine, I mean I know it works. cause I’ve seen it done that way. But often the horse does buck, and if he does and gets the rider off, he figures out that if he bucks hard enough he can get rid of his problems, being the rider at the time.
You can teach a horse to buck as well. I’ve seen that done a bunch. I get horses here that folks want me to fix cause someone along the way has taught them to buck. How do you teach a horse to buck you ask? Very good question.
The way I’ve seen it happen the most is, a person saddles a horse and when they ask the horse to move the horse starts to buck. They have not gotten on the horse yet. So, rather then fix that, they get afraid and won’t get on. They take the horse back to the barn, unsaddle him, and then feed him. Others have been taught to buck by the owner, or rider, getting on, the horse bucks up a bit and the rider, either gets bucked off, or jumps off. Then they take the horse to the barn, unsaddle him, and feed him.
The horse figures out that all he has to do is hump up or buck and they will take me back to the barn and feed me. Folks don’t mean to cause the problem but the do.
We will talk more about this tomorrow.
A look at the barn.
I’ve been away from the blog for a few days. Kathy and I went to Tucson Arizona to look at a boarding and training facility to lease. When we were there this past winter, at the Tucson Rodeo, one of my clients Jan, Took us around to a couple of barns. This particular barn was one she use to be in. Anyway, we got a call about a month ago from the owner of that barn, wanting to know if we would be interested in leasing the barn from her.
There are about 20 horses in the barn right now but, the barn, has no trainer. This looks like a good fit for us so we are considering it carefully. It would mean that we would be a little tied down, like a real job I guess, but we think it may be worth it.
We love this area and our home and want to keep them both so it may mean having to take this. It won’t be for a little while and I plan to keep writing my blog. There will be a lot to write about there with all the horses and, we think, a really good chance to be in front of a lot of people to have the chance to show them what we do.
The GRAY and the Stallion continue to make good progress and both are scheduled to go home the end of June.
Bitsy has come down with, what we think is, pigeon fever. I’m calling the vet today to get her in so they can look at it. It may mean that she will have to go home early to recuperate and then come back to finish her last month here. She looks fine and is eating and drinking but she does not feel up to working. Will let you know more about that as time goes on.
Stallion in his big boy saddle!
Bitsy got the day off yesterday because she worked pretty hard the day before. But, the boys did not.
The Stallion was ready for his first saddle. He is still not very sure of himself and when I put the saddle pad on, no big deal. We have done that before and he was ok with it. When I put the saddle on him, he was ok at first but got nervous and jumped out from under it. I gathered him and the saddle up and we tried again. This time I went a little slower and he moved around a little but no big deal. As I cinched the saddle up he got a little nervous and moved just a bit. I was able to get the saddle on and cinched. Then, I let him move around in the round pen. He was a little worried at first but he never bucked or offered to buck. We did a little work in the round pen and then I tied him to the rail for the rest of the day. He did great.
The Gray has been saddled before and that’s not a issue with him, but he has not been bitted very often. We did that with a little molasses on the bit and he is now eager to get that bit in him mouth. We went to the round pen and did some ground work and then I let him were the blue tarp for part of the day. He was nervous but did not get overly excited.
So all in all and good day.
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't 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.
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.
Will try and keep you updated with info on what the heck I'm doing with horses and music.