Thursday, August 13, 2009


Have you got a minute? You might want to get that cup of coffee or some other drink this might take a while.
It all started at 9:30 this morning. Jaime, my horsemanshipX friend arrived as I was round penning Haycee/Halley. He gave me some pointers and we moved on to other things like backing up which I wasn't aggressive enough at or smooth enough. Then once that was covered we addressed shoulders moving over, and yielding the hindquarters. My problem was that I wasn't upping the anty enough making her move faster. She was just moseying along. She was doing the movements, but not with enough flow and speed. She was going in her own sweet time. She still hasn't learned to stay out of my space. So after about oh a half hour or so we had her moving good. Then I started to do the C-exercise where I ask her to cross in front of me then when her tail gets passed me I ask her to yield her hindquarters and turn on them swinging her front end across in front of me and move in the opposite direction. I am basically asking her to do a 180 degree turn around. She did this okay for where we are at in her training. Next I saddled her and sent her off loose in the round pen and worked on her transitions up and down, you know walk to trot to canter and back down to a walk. She was doing this pretty good although she as I stated in an earlier post didn't like going clockwise. Mostly the problem was my being in the correct position not too far behind the drive line and not too far ahead which would slow her down or turn around completely. I got the hang of that pretty good. But are you ready? The rodeo was about to begin. It was not pretty or for the faint of heart, which I almost did a couple times. My britches were probably a little wet but with the sweat and dirt who would know. Jaime told me later he had never had a horse this rank. Which gives me a lot of confidence. I am really raring to get back in their with her. Now remember this horse has been ridden on trails in a parade, at the fair, etc. You would think she would be a safe horse. She was calm happy to be near us. But inside we found an explosion which I found last Friday when I tried what I am about to tell you about. You've read about that nice guy who would never hurt a fly, in the news who went on a killing spree? Everyone who knew him said they always thought he was a nice guy. That is really this horse. She showed her true colors when Jaime began to flank her out. (That was the reason I asked him to come and show me how to do this correctly 'cause last Friday's take on was not what I thought should have happened.) Well anyway all was well at first, He put the rope where the flank cinch would go on the saddle she handled that okay almost as if she had done it before, not big deal. Even when he moved the rope back to her belly he went nice and slow and easy and light moving her forward around the pen. But then He upped the anty adding pressure trying to show her the release was to slow down and stop and face him. Again all was going well, but he upped the anty more and she blew. The resistance exploded out of her literally, urine exploded out of her like vomit while she grunted and and bucked. Fortunately I wasn't in the pen with them I was safely outside observing. So he kept after her and seemingly she would calm down and he would up it again. I'm thinkin', I don't know if I would go there. Well, he did and she blew up again. After, I don't know how long she tried to bust down my fence even with me standing their waving a flaggin stick (golf club with the head and with a plactic bag attached) trying to keep her off the fence. He lowered the intensity so as to bring the horse back into the middle and got me in there with the rope on her flank in my hand. My job was to keep the pressure on and release it at the right moment his job as to keep her off of both of us, because she would come in and try to run us over pushing us around. Needless to say she blew up a couple more times almost getting us tangled up. The ole plaque was moving in my arteries and what seemed like mach speed. Finally, we stopped on an easier note, not what we were exactly wanting. We were looking for a change in attitude, a slight give or surrender, but we didn't get it to our liking and because my round pen is not up to this kind of cowboyin' stuff we decided to lay her down. Forcing her in as gentle a way as possible to lay down and give up. Now think about it, a horse is a prey animal, corner them and they will fight to the death or surrender. With the flanking out, because I saw from day one and he saw today she has the latent dominance over people that she has learned we need to get that out of her and help her make a mental change that says I give when any kind of pressure is placed on her. This might never show up in a horse except when you are riding along and she doesn't want to go anymore or do what you ask and she blows up on you. It has happened twice to her owner. So we have to do something. Back to laying her down. A prey animal will finally lay down and give up to what she thinks is death at a certain point. So we both got in there again (I don't call myself 'El stupido' for nothin') after a good long break to gather our courage and slake our thirst out of my dirty water hose. So Jaime had the rope dallied around the saddle horn and her front left foot tied up on the other end. He also had the lead rope so that he could get her head to counter bend opposite of us and my job was to hold another rope tied to her halter to keep her head from going past a certain point where she would swing her hindquarters into us and then get away from us. I also had to stop any idea of hers from turning towards us and swinging her hips away. So Jaime held her foot up and asked her to back up while I held her straight. Believe it or not at this time we had been working with her for a couple of hours but she still had resistance and fight that showed up. Sometimes when she moved back, especially at first we would give leg back. But then take it up and repeat the process. You see the thing is she would give to a certain point then decide she wanted nothing to do with and blow up when you put a little more pressure on her. That is what we have noticed. This could have disastrous results with someone riding her and this resistance comes out. So we persisted and kept asking for more than just a step back now it went to actually putting her knee to the ground and then release and repeatedly doing this. Til finally, she went all the way down with just her butt in the air, resting and trying to catch her breath. After a few more tries she went all the way down. Jaime gently asked her to lay her head all the way down fully laying out on her side. She had given up and relaxed. Then we just let her lay there for what seemed like a half an hour, while we rubbed on her all over. Then we thought it was time to quit. So we got her up and did a few ground maneuvers to reinforce staying out of our space and to do it now when we ask for and stopped. Total time for the session, 4 hours. I didn't plan on that. But this could be a dangerous horse. Some think it cruel to lay her down, which actually was gently done, or the flanking out some might think was cruel, but she needs to learn not to resist pressure and to stop thinking she can be the dominant one over humans. She needs to learn to submit. Hopefully, tomorrow when I get in their with her she won't take as much to get her to give. I will probably let her wear the flank rope without pressure while I move her around the round pen. Then lay her down again.
This horse to the owners and maybe to others probably appears to be a gentle horse. She wasn't spooky or anything. In fact, she was calm as a glassy sea until we asked her to do something she didn't like. We had to do this sort of thing for the safety of ourselves and future riders. And it has to be done until she will stop and stand when the pressure is put on her flank. It is her thinking that has to be changed. To put a little spiritual spin on it that is what has to happen to any human being in order to come to Christ. What this horse needs is to truly repent and go in the other direction mentally. Hopefully, I will be able to get her there. It is scarey, no doubt. I have been a little bit tongue in cheek about this episode. But I will tell you what. Both of us were genuinely afraid, but we had to hang in there with her. I want to see her a better safer horse. I'm sure her owner does too. But, this is not even a riding issue, it is a mental issue. She has learned not to fear man and to push to get her way. If that means bucking and pushing in to her handler to get them to back off that is what she will do. And this is what I have to deal with now. To be honest, my eyes are wide open with an I've just seen a ghost kind of look and I am not looking forward to getting into that pen tomorrow. But I will take one day at a time and deal with the issues as they come. Pray for me and this horse, for wisdom in knowing how much and how hard to push her and for safety for both of us. I believe God knows this animal, and if Jesus was here He could ride her no problem, just as He did that colt when He rode into Jerusalem that last time. I hope my angel is a real bonafide cowboy. :}Hopefully, the fight will have gone out of her and she will be submissive even when pushed. But I won't take her for granted. I will try to be ready. That is all I can do. I don't even know how far I will actually get her by the time the owner takes her home. But I personally think she needs another horse. But really, as I said earlier, you wouldn't know that just by looking at her or even handling her some. She seems real calm. Her resistance only comes out when you up the anty. I guarantee that at some point whether she likes it or not the anty will be upped and she will blow up unless this can be nipped in the bud.
Til next time, God bless.

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