Bop/Buddy in his big boy clothes!
I get asked this question a lot by owners and folks who follow my training of horses that come here. I understand why they ask. They are interested in the progress of the horse and how he is under saddle. What I think most of them don’t know is most of the horses that come here are being ridden at home. True we do get a colt or two to start under saddle from time to time, but more times then not, the reason a horse is here is because he has other issues. Trailer loading, crowding a persons space, the list goes on.
I remember a horse came here because he was bucking his owner off. That sucks for sure. So, what I did was start the horse from the beginning of our program. That means I did not ride him for the first two weeks. We focused on his lack of respect by teaching him some skills on the ground and establishing myself as the leader in our herd of two. Around the end of the third week I rode him for the first time. When the owner arrived on the fourth week to take him home he asked me if his horse had bucked me off during his stay. I told him, no he hadn’t. The owner seemed disappointed somehow. Disappointed that I had not gotten buck off and hurt, I guess.
Now sure, most of the horses that come here don’t do a lot of things well. They don’t move forward like they should. They don’t flex like I think they should. They don’t stop well, or turn well. But the owner can fix those things in time, if they follow our program. These other issues of respect and submission are issues that are better fixed on the ground. Honestly you can’t fix the problem of lack of respect from the saddle. Those that have tried usually get bucked off and end up on the ground anyway. Having said all these things, there are people who don’t have a ground work program or their horses, have never done ground work. They get by and servive. I have never been that lucky. The times I have cut corners have resulted in someone, usually me, getting hurt. I have done many if not all of the same things that others have done with horses. I just figured out, I don’t have to take as many chances as I have in the past. The result is I’m still doing what I love, so far.
We are all in a hurry to ride our horses, me too. But we will be better served and safer, if we have our horse’s respect before we get in the saddle. Once you have your horse’s respect and can control him on the ground, most of the problems you’ve had with him in the saddle, bucking and the like, will just go away. Most of the time I never have to address the problem, it just goes away. Wish I could do that with some other issues.
Will try and keep you updated with info on what the heck I'm doing with horses and music.