Tucson after a long day.
Had a pretty good day with Tucson on the trail yesterday. He continues to make good progress. He was a little shaky when we left the barn. As you go down the drive way there are several things, all of which he has seen before, but he was a little nervous and acted like he did not want to go out the gate. I quickly put him in a couple little circles and he settled right down. We went thru the gate without issue and down the road.
We did a little round pen work yesterday before the ride just to see if he remembered how he was suppose to act and if he would catch me. I had to spend a little time with him, reminding of what to do, but he got it. It only took about 10 minutes or so. That’s good.
Tucson is moving forward with very little cue from me anymore. That was an issue his owner had with him when he first got here. So, that’s good. He is getting better about standing to be saddled and unsaddled. He is getting better about standing still to be mounted and dismounted. He is taking the bit with a little less resistance each time and is learning to lower his head to have the bridle removed.
All in all he is doing well. Will do more of the same today.
Tucson watching cows!
Tucson and I spent the day yesterday making the big ride from Ted’s barn, where I keep outside horses for training, to our place. We encountered some new things for Tucson along that ride.
First we passed a windmill, drinker and black rubber mineral feeder all in the same location. Tucson was sure enough nervous as we passed by, but he kept his cool and we made a few zig zags to get thru the obstacle course. Then thru a wire gate. Not long after going thru the gate we came to 4 very scary black cows. I’m not sure if he has ever seen a cow before or not but from the way he acted I don’t think so.
His reaction to these things did not come as a surprise to me at all. He acted like any other young, inexperienced horse would act. The really good thing is, he did not loose his cool and try to get away or get so excited that I could not control him. The ground work pays off here.
After we left the 4 scary cows, right away we saw a coyote, a pretty big one, and Tucson eyed him as we crossed over a saddle in the mountain. Not long after that, more cows. By now Tucson was still watchful but was starting to settle. A darn good ride. When we got to out barn I tide him to the hitching post and went for the truck and trailer for a ride back to Ted’s barn.
All of these issues Tucson has with cows or anything that he has not encountered before will just take time for him to get over. He will not be here long enough for that to happen, but his owner is certainly capable of getting him experience in the outside world.
I got a couple pictures from atop Tucson yesterday. He continues to make really good progress in the saddle. We are doing more riding and less and less ground work. He still needs the work on the ground, but like anything else, once a horse has it figured out, it’s better to review and work on other skills then to keep pounding on something that he already is doing well.
We are working on flexing to a stop, circles at a walk and a trot, following the rail and side passing, really leg yielding, down the rail.
Flexing to a stop is something that I don’t see many people work on and I don’t hear many trainers out there talking much about it either. I think, and of course it’s just me, that flexing to a stop teaches a horse so many things that it is invaluable. What skills does it teach a horse, you ask? Good question, again.
Flexing to a stop teaches a horse to stand still when being mounted. How does that work you ask? When I get on a horses back, that I own or am training, I want the horse to not move till I ask him to. So, when I get mounted I start to flex my horse from side to side. If my horse starts to move off without being asked, I will flex him to a stop. I will hold that flex till the horse stops and softens to my hand. The instant that the horse give to that pressure and looks back at me, I will let go of the reins and tell him what a good boy he is. Then we will flex from side to side, getting him to relax and stand still. Teaching a horse to stand still when being mounted is so important. Most accidents that happen, happen when people are mounting or dismounting their horse.
Let’s talk more about flexing tomorrow.
Had a good day with both the big Yellow horse and the big Gray horse. Oh and I almost for got about the big Black horse. When I say big, I mean really big.
The yellow horse and the gray horse suffer from not having any ground manners or skills. Because of their size they have, pretty much, been able to get their way. What do I mean by that?
What happens with horses that have no respect for 2 legged creatures is, they will walk past the handler when being led. Walk over the handler, or, when standing with a human and they turn their heads, they will whack or bump the human with their heads. Or, whenever they turn around the will bump into or, step on the handler. These are all ways that a horse shows no respect for the human. What usually happens is the human does nothing about it. They move out of the way so they don’t get stepped on. When that happens the horse has moved up in the herd of two, you and him. This is how horses dominate one another.
But you say I don’t want to dominate my horse, that’s mean. And that’s sure up to you, but I promise you if you do not control, or dominate your horse, your horse is going to dominate, or control you. That’s what horses do to horses. And, if you think that your horse is going to start thinking like a human and come around to your way of thinking, you may be better off to take up model trains.
This is all about doing what’s best for your horse. Not what’s best for you. Having said that, doing what's best for the horse works out to being the best thing for us a humans. If we are the leader of our herd of two, we are less likely to get hurt on the ground. If we are the leader we are more apt to have control over our horse when we ride him.
Intuition, control, trust. These are the three principles that I teach in horsemanship. These principles are ancient, from the 14th century. They are proven principles that will help you with your horses if you will just take the time, the magic pill, to learn and understand them. It’s not hard, just takes time. But if you take the time, your program, whatever that is or looks like, will improve so much. How can I learn those principles you ask?
After the clinic I thought things would slow down a little but I was wrong. Have a horse coming in for training this afternoon and then one coming in on Friday for training. Then, Kathy and I are scheduled to put on a round pen demonstration at the Sierra County Fair this Saturday. Have to get a health certificate later this morning for Car, the horse, so we can be admitted to the fair grounds. Will need to shuffle a few horses to accommodate the horses that are coming in this week. It’s all no big deal just a deal.
It comes in waves like this and if I remember right it happened the same time last year. So it’s all good. I like to be busy, and being busy with horses is not a bad thing at all.
Kathy and I are still talking about the clinic from last weekend. We had a great time and it was such a feeling of success to see these folks working so hard with their horses, to be better owners/trainers. They have really taken to heart the things we are trying to share with them and that is exciting, not only for them, but for us too.
I just got an email from our contact page, from a lady that lives back in the mid west that want me to help her with her horse via the internet. I’ve never done anything like that and am not sure it’s going to work, but we are going to give it a try. She will video tape herself working with the horse and then send it to me to review. Then I will see if I can help her via email or video conferencing. Should be interesting and fun, and I hope it works for her sake.
Over the weekend I got a chance to see a group called the Mule Tones! They were great and I got a chance to play with them on stage. Brian and Amy use to be our neighbors. They managed a ranch to the west of us and we use to get a lot of chance to pick with them. They have a couple of kids now, and it has been a treat to get to see them grow up. They live in Crow Flat NM now and have a little ranch of their own. Kathy and I could not be more excited for them.
They came over to the house after their concert with the other members of the band, Drew and Jim. We sat around and visited. Talked about music and horses. Amy is a pretty accomplished horsewoman herself and Brian a heck of a hand with a horse and a cow. Kathy and I are looking forward to seeing their new place in the fall.
Emmett, their son, was crawling around and found Wally’s, the dog, dog box. He had a blast with it. Fit him pretty good too. I offered it to Brian if they wanted to take him home in it… just kidding.
Kathy and I have met some wonderful folks thru horses and music. Brian and Amy are a good example of that..
Have some interesting emails yesterday about horses. Have some folks that have a great looking horse they just want to give us. Why you ask? Great question. This horse has been bucking folks off, we seem to get those kind around here. So we are seriously considering it. May use him in some training videos and then see if we can find him a good home. We’ll see.
Another email was from a previous client who has purchased a new horse but is a little unsure and may want some help. May make another good candidate for a video..
But first coffee.
The Cowboy Bug Bar?
Thought you folks would want to see this. Herb is up to it again..
The Bug Bar Is here!
Herb called last night. You may remember Herb, he is the guy with Herbs body shop. Anyway, he called to see if I would help him make the Cowboy Man Bar for a couple of shows that he and his Sweetie, that’s what he calls his wife. Anyway, I said I would. Herb don’t have many friends and kind of keeps to himself, so I figured he really must need the help, so I will be busy with that for a few days I’m guessing.
Weather here has been just great. We have some friends that live back in the mid-west and they say it has been really, really hot. Guess that’s one of the reasons we don’t live there anymore, and the chiggers too.
Thought I would post some more pictures of the folks that were back from the east coast to visit. Hope you will enjoy seeing the kids working with horses.
Bill could not believe how sensitive the horse was to his body language. This was the first time that Bill had ever had a chance to work with a horse and he was blown away!
Mike and Susan, mom and dad to Kai and Cody, had a great time as well. We are looking forward to the next time they come back.
I got the picture of the kids from Belgrade (sp) who were here for a few weeks, so I thought I would share them with you this morning. Great kids and they had a great time. Come to think of it, I did too. Their Dad, Mike, and some of the other adults had a go at the horses in the round pen too. They all did a great job and had a great time.
Will try and keep you updated with info on what the heck I'm doing with horses and music.