Yesterday was a pretty brutal day for Joey and me. We did a little day working for the ranch to the west of us and the wind was howling and it was cold. The day was long and by the time we were finish, Joey and I felt like someone had beat us with a stick. We got the job done and that felt good.
On Monday, Joey put the first rides on Mona a two year old filly that I have had here in training. I had been waiting for Joey to get here before we did much with the horse. Wanted it to be Joey's project while he was here. The horse was probably ready last week to ride but Joey wasn't. But, as you can see in the picture above, Joey and Mona got along just fine.
It took a lot of courage for Joey to over come his fear of getting buck off or hurt, to get on this horse. But, he did it. Not just this horse.
But he also rode SBI. SBI is a two year old thoroughbred that is here in training. SBI is young, reactive and big. Joey was way nervous about getting up on SBI for his first ride, but he did it.
SBI was a lot more nervous then Mona, but Joey kept is cool and we had no wrecks.
Joey has come a long way here as a young man and as a horseman. He has a really bright future ahead of him should he choose to work with horses. Heck, Joey has a bright future ahead of him no matter what he decides to do. The horses could just use more Joey's in the world.
Joey goes home this week and we will miss him around the ranch. He has made some real friends here. Folks who will never forget their time spent with him.
Some folks ask how do I get the horse to accept their first ride without them bucking? The answer to that later.
In the picture above, Joey is holding down Mona a 2 year old filly that I have here in training. Some you may be wondering why in the world would I do this? And, that would be a good question. This is not a skill that I teach most people. Why? Mostly because they do not understand the reasons for it and the horse and the handler can get themselves in a wreck if they perform this skill wrong.
The reason I lay a horse down to make a point to the horse. Some horses do not want to give up their place in the herd. I understand that and, try to help the horse see that giving up their place will only benefit them down the trail. However, not every horse sees it that way. So, for horses that are not willing to give to the program, more extreme measures are needed.
See, a horse only lays down for two reasons. One, it so rest or sleep. Two, to die. If I lay the horse down, in the horses mind, because they did not lay down on their own to rest, they think this is it. They are about to die. When I have the horse safely on the ground I can touch the horses in places, on her body, that she would not allow me to do, when she is upright on all fours. The horse realizes that I'm not going to hurt her. She then starts to relax. She begin to see that I can lay her down anytime I see fit. And, in her mind, that is a kind of control she, probably, has never experienced in her life.
When the horse gets to their feet, they look at the human differently. They realize that the human is the leader. And, they will start to try to figure out how to get along with this new leader of the herd.
I do not recommend you go out and try to put your horse on the ground because she won't stand tied, or , she won't get in the trailer. These, and problems like them, can be fixed using my program. It is not necessary to use such extreme methods like, laying your horse down. I would suggest that you find someone who knows what they are doing and why they are doing it, if you feel your horse needs this kind of work.
Mona learned an important lessons yesterday, and I think, Joey did too. Even when you have to use extreme measures to get your horse to understand what you want, you can still be kind and, as gentle as you can be.
Coffee is on me!
Yesterday, while we were waiting for the horses to finish their breakfast, Joey and I were talking about how the barn was looking and, I mentioned to him that I always wanted to build a place to plant some plants. Well, he start to clean the area we were talking about and the next thing I knew.
Joe was starting construction. This was a project that he started on his won without any prodding from me. He's got some time, so I'm excited to see what he comes up with.
In the picture above, Norma and Sandy, are enjoying the sunshine while they watch me work with SBI.
Norma is here working with "G" and is really coming along well together. G has some issues with his head and Norma is learning how to get along with him. They are doing great.
Sandy is here with Chaka her first horse. They both have a lot to learn but are both eager students.
If you have questions about horses or a problem with your horse, I hope you will drop me a line and let me have a shot at helping ya.
SBI just started to wear a snaffle bit for the first time a couple days ago and in the picture above you can see how he is getting along with it. His owner, Jack, was here a couple days ago and we got to talk about the horse's future here with me. Jack is very happy with the way that things are going for SBI and he will be able to stay here as long as he needs. That was great news for me. Why? I won't have to be in a big hurry with the horse and can really give him a good slow start.
In the picture above, I have Joey working with SBI in the drive lines. I worked with SBI first so as to get him to settle down and understand what was going on. Most horses do not relax a quickly as SBI did. I was really impressed with how well he took this new exercise and really impressed with Joey, and how well he figured out how to be soft with the horse.
Chaka: This horse is really coming along well. I bitted this horse for the first time yesterday. She has been ridden in a bit but I had not seen that.
When I'm working with a horse I don't know I assume they know nothing. That way I don't get myself hurt. She took the bit "ok" but did not like it when I removed the bit. That tells me that she has not had a lot of experience. We will be riding her before long and the double reins will really help this horse to understand the idea of collection and will give her owner, Sandy, more control.
"G" is really starting to settle down here. I don't have much trouble with him but, i'm starting to notice that when his owner Norma is here, he get a little out of sorts. The reason for this is, G wants to know if Norma will be the same leader as me. That takes time for the human to learn how to be the type of leader that their horse needs. Norma is up for the task and that's really what we are working on the rest of the month while he is here.
All in all, all the horses are making the type of progress that I would expect.
My new student Choca has been making really good progress. And, just as important, so has her owner Sandy. This is Sandy's first ever horse and she could not be more excited. In the picture above, Sandy is learning how to communicate with Choca using the round pen to get that done. It is so exciting to still see people get moved and motivated to become better horseman.
Norma and "G" have been working a lot together this month. Norma is getting ready to take G home soon and is spending as much time as she can here with me to work on her horsemanship skills so that when they go home, they will have a good clear path on where G needs to go. Norma is a long time horse owner with lots of experience. But having said that, she still knows that she needs help and direction from time to time. To be honest, I never really got along with G. But, after spending the passed couple months with him, I have really become attached to the guy. He really is a sweet and willing horse with lots of skill. Just took us a little time to find it.
SBI wore his first snaffle bit yesterday and he handled it like a champ. SBI will be making his living on the track next year and we are getting him ready for his training there. Making sure he has the basics so that when it's time for him to go to work, he will have what he needs. He is wearing the saddle. But, yesterday he came in to and started to buck like he had never wore one before. All this tell me that he is just not ready to be ridden. He will. He's just not ready yet. All in all he is doing really good and about what I expected.
My side kick, Joey, and I, got the chance to daywork for a few days for my friend Brian and his wife Amy. In the picture above Joey is riding Barz, Kathy's horse, as we head up the mountain looking for cattle. Joey did a heck of a job for his first time out. We branded a few calfs on this trip and Joey got to experience what it means to work cattle. He's thinking that cowboying could be a wonderful life. Time will tell.
Chaca has been with me for just a couple of days. I went with her owner, Sandy, to pick her up and I have had the chance to work with her a couple of times in the round pen.
She is 9 years old and has been ride in the past. Sandy, is wanted to a good safe mount for trail riding with friends and that's our goal. Chaca will here for at least 30 days. At the end of that time we will decide if she is ready to go home or will need more work.
She is a Rocky Mountain horse and is sure a pretty thing.
SBI is making really good progress with ground work and stepping to the rail. I have been having my side kick, Joey, work with SBI and Mona here lately and, together, they are all making some really great strides.
"G" is going to stay another month with me and this month, we are really going to work with his mom Norma. She was out last week to ride with us and she is really being to see the advancement that G has made.
Keep checking out the blog for more info and share with your friends.
G's mom, Norma, stopped by yesterday to take a lesson on her boy. Norma has not been able to get out to work with G in awhile, but she is back in the saddle. In the video above Norma is learning that she does not have to use as much hand when riding G as she has in the pasted. With the double reins she can focus on where she wants to go and less on getting him to go there.
The month of December will be spent working with the two of them, getting the use to each other and teaching Norma what G knows.
To tell you the truth, I did not really get along with G when he first came here, but he has really turned in to a gentleman and a joy to be with and work with.
Norma and G will be with me another month and I'm excited to have them.
SBI continues to make really good progress and is starting to trust a little bit more everyday. Joey is working with him from time to time and they are really starting to get along.
Will try and keep you updated with info on what the heck I'm doing with horses and music.