Yesterday was a great day.. had the chance to work with a lady and her horse..She is one of the ladies that we met when we went to meet the folks from the Back Country Trail Riders group....it was the first time that the horse has been away from her home alone... a real adventure for her and her owner.. the owner wants to start this young horse herself and is in no hurry.. and wants to make sure she is doing the right things with her.. So I watched her work with her horse in the round pen for a few minutes and she showed me what she does with the horse... she had done some pretty cool things like... the horse will turn toward and stop and wait for her to come up and rub on her... then she was able to throw the stick and string over the horses back and slap the ground with the stick and string... As you may know.. I use the round pen for lots of things but primarily I use it to gain the horse's respect, establishing myself as the leader and the other reason is to teach the horse how to be caught... what was happening was the owner was teaching the horse not to be caught. The horse would turn and look at her but would never take a step toward her... the reason? The horse knew that she, the owner, was going to come up to her, the horse, and do the thing she does with the stick... so the horse would plant her feet and not move... the owner also, when sending the horse in a circle, always had her hand up in the air pointing and the stick in the air driving, so the horse really never knew when she was doing the right thing... I traded places with her and showed her how to use her body to show the horse that she was doing the right thing... we traded places again and I was so impressed at how quickly the owner figured out what she was doing... she was willing to change and the change in the horse was incredible....The owner was also turning her horse in to the fence. Now when I am working with a horse that is very young or inexperienced I don't worry to much about it at first but I really want the horse to turn in to the circle and face me when they make their turn to go the other direction.. this horse had enough experience that she should have been doing that.. I showed the owner how to get that done and it did not take either of them very long to figure it out and make the change... By the time we were finished with the session, I had the horse turning in to the circle and had her taking several steps in my direction.. I'm sure that her owner will be able to make great progress with her horse after this short time together....They are talking about coming back and working with me in the future and I can't wait to see how they get along...
Butch got to the barn a little late yesterday and did not get a chance to work with his horse.. he did however catch his horse. You will remember that was big problem two days ago.. I asked him how catching Cowboy went and he said that he just stood there and waited for him to put the halter him.. then Butch tied him up for a few minutes and called it a day... I would like to see him spend more time with his horse but at least he came to the barn and did something...
Remember: If you want a better horse YOU will have to be a better horseman...
Time for coffee..
Will try and keep you updated with info on what the heck I'm doing with horses and music.