I was so excited about Kathy riding this past weekend I forgot to mention the clinic we put on in Deming NM. Diane was our host of the clinic and, altho the numbers were low, the fun was big. We got the chance to work with Diane's little filly. She was a little pushy at first but by the time the day was over she was starting to get the hang of having a new leader, Diane. Diane has a long way to go but she is very excited about what lies ahead for them both. One of the things we talked about was having horses. Some folks have tons of horses, we, Kathy and I have six right now. So what do you do if you have a full time job and a family, how do you work with all of them? The answer is, you don't. There is no way in the world, espically with winter coming on, that you would ever have enough time to do any of them justice. So at some point, you have to decide which one is going to get your attention. Is not an easy decision to make most of the time but if you want to have a horse that is safe and reliable, you will have to make that hard choice. Diane is in that boat and after the clinic, she could see that there was no way she could do it all, so two of their four will get her attention and I know they will make great progress..
Charlie, the colt I am working with, had on his first set of hobbles yesterday, and he did great. I think that hobble training should be a part of every training program, for lots of reasons. I think I have told the stories of my horse Car, getting his feet tangled in barbed wire, and standing there without fighting till I found him and cut him out of it. He had been trained to hobbles and knew that he was going to have to wait for someone to come get him out of this mess. If you are having trouble with handling their feet, hobbles will teach them that if there is something holding on to their hoof, that trying to take their foot away will not work. Great thing about hobbles is you are not involved, other then to put them on, so you don't get hurt while teaching your horse this skill. Charlie's dad hunts, a lot and Charlie is going to be going with him and will need to stand in hobbles from time to time so it is a must have skill for him.
Testing the Hobbles
Chances are, if you train your horse to hobbles, he will fight them the first time or two. But once he figures out that they are not going to come off or go away, he will put his head down and go to sleep. Hobbles make it possible for you to let your horse graze, when you are in the back country, without having to stand there and hold the lead rope. If something should happen, he can get away, my horses can run just as fast with them on as they can with them off, but when they do stop running they are much easier to find and catch. But even if you don't go in the back country, even if you keep your horse in the back yard, hobble training will help to keep your horse safe, cause if it's going to happen, it will happen to a horse.
I rode Charlie yesterday as well and he continues to make good progress. He does not have a very good steering wheel yet, but that will come in time. So more of the same for him today.. but first coffee
Will try and keep you updated with info on what the heck I'm doing with horses and music.