We got a little rain last night. Nice. Suppose to keep it up today. Cross your fingers.
My riding student Deb, rode yesterday. I took her out for her first ride outside. She did great and so did Charlie, I rode him out. The weather was not that great but we had a good time.
I don’ think I have talked about catching your horse, may have but don’t remember. The reason I bring it up is I was asked this question yesterday. A lady that just got a pony, from a pretty ruff environment, and was having a hard time catching the horse.
When horses come here for training I have to know that I can catch them in order to get stuff done with them. So I put them in the round pen for the first few days. But one of things I do is, NOTHING. That’s right, I just let them get use to their new surrounding for the first day or so. For some horses, especially those that have not been handled very kindly, need some time to just be, and that takes a little time. After they have that chance I start to teach them how to catch me.
The round pen is a great place to teach them to catch me. In a sixty-foot round pen it take about ten laps to reach a quarter mile. It has been said a wild horse will run a quarter mile, without looking back, if they are scared before they will turn around to see what is chasing them. So for horses that don’t want to catch you, you may have to let them go in the round pen till they let their adrenalin come down. When that happens they will start to look for another solution to the question of, how do I catch this guy? I have never seen this not work but it takes time and most of the time it takes more time then most folks want it to. It reminds me of a demonstration with did for a horse group. I was to work with three horses. The first two came along pretty fast and it did not take them long to figure out how to catch me. The last one, well he was a much harder case. I could tell that folks were getting a little uncomfortable and were beginning to think that I was not going to be able to get it done. One fella started to heckle me a bit, saying he would do this or that, which was to put more pressure on the horse. Well the horse already wanted to jump out of the round pen so more pressure may have resulted in the horse getting hurt or worse, someone there. I explained to the fella that I was sure his method would work, and if it was his horse he could sure do that, but I did not want to get this horse hurt. I explained that it was going to take whatever time it took. Sometimes it goes faster then we expect but most of the time, it takes longer then we want. It was shortly after that, the horse cross the round pen and put his head in my lap.
Bottom line is it takes the magic pill, TIME! Slow is smooth, smooth is fast. So if you want to get it done fast, take your time. Less is more.
Extreme horses take extreme measures. I have methods for that too. But for another time. Now coffee.
Will try and keep you updated with info on what the heck I'm doing with horses and music.