Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I wasn't kidding about moving tons of manure in the last blog. I figured out I moved 5.3 yards of the stuff. According to Cha Cha a yard of soil = 3,000 pounds so I moved 16,000 pounds of manure= to 8 tons. That is alot of manure. The thing about it is, I had fun doing it. It was great exercise and I wasn't that sore the next day.
On another note, I worked Raven on monday evening and boy is she getting really responsive or I am getting better with her. I am still trying to get the haunches in and haven't quite figured it out. She moves her hind end over nice, but I cant' get it at the right time. I think I get it on one side a little bit, but on the other side, no. At the end of the session, I kneeled on her back. I am wanting to stand up on her like many others do their horses. And I had her kneel several times. I am still wanting to work on this so that I can have her stay down until I get on her then ask her to get up. It will happen, it just takes time.
And Last night I had a friend working with Jake. I am going to teach him this horsemanship stuff using Jake. And Jake was so good. He will be a good teacher for Ken. Ken has ridden with me before, but I really want him understanding what horsemanship through feel is all about and how to achieve it. And He seems to want to learn it. So I taught him some exercises to do that will help him learn about pressure and release. We had a good time just working on these beginning exercises- lateral flexion, vertical flexion, disengaging the hindquarters and back up. As he gets good at these we will move on maybe next week with more.
I am also getting a horse to work with in the next week or so. Just waiting on coggins test and tehn get him over here. He is a 13 year old Tennessee Walker that is pushy, and bucks when going into a canter. I'll have him about a month and will track him on this log for you. He is only about 14 hands and round as a barrel. He needs to lose some weight and be worked with daily. I think that is alot of his problem. The trouble is his owner lives in CA and comes here in the summer and rides maybe once a week. So I guess I am riding the rough off of him for her. But I will try to put a good foundation on him for her so that he transitions ok for her. We will see how it works out.Well gotta go for now.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

tons of manure

horse dookey that is. Yeah, I shoveled alot of it this morning. I don't know exactly how much, but figuring that my horses poop at least 8x a day (I know 'cause I counted once. It was a boring day you know.) and adding in that I have been adding to that pile for a long time. There was a lot of it. I will probably be paying for it tomorrow. But  no complaints from me. You know your horse crazy if you can't wait to get out there and shovel some manure. That was me this morning. I don't know, I just love the smells and sounds of horses and I love the exercise. I think I burned lots of calories doing it. I don't
know how many shovel fulls for each load, but I kept track of them to some degree. I didn't want to over do one side than the other so I started swapping hands evvery 6x and then went to 10 then 12 then 20. But I gotta say a man can do alot of thinking while slinging that stuff. And you can have some good conversations if you have a helper as I did last night. The first load was with the help of Martin. That was a blessing. This morning I just had a person standing and watching me and talking to me the entire time I loaded one trailer full. By the end of the manure pile it had turned from fun to work though. I am just glad it is done. My next anticipated task is to rebuild my round pen, making it 45 feet in a different spot. I have another horse coming on Monday or so. I might end up doing the horse at their place, but I will find out on Monday. It depends on timing, shots, and facilities.
Now I am just sitting here relaxing in the lazyboy with the cat trying to sit on me. I am too tired to do any riding tonite and it is kinda damp, although that didn't stop me before. Nevertheless, I think I will sit here for the rest of the night and chill out.
It has been a while since I last posted so I thought I would give you an update on what is happening in my neck of the woods.

Monday, April 19, 2010

fun with the horses

It has been good to be back in the saddle. I've missed working with the horses for the last week. I have only worked with them 2x since last week. Time is the issue. But I gotta tell you one day I just wanted to work with Raven to relax. I didn't want to go fast through anything and just wanted to be calm and relaxed throughout. I ended up working with her for 2 hours. We worked in the arena trying to get the hind end moving over so I could start working on the haunches in. We still didn't get it. I must be doing something wrong or she is not ready for it yet. We got out on the trails and rode. I worked on things for a few minutes then let her move out. We were both relaxed when we got back and the softness was there.
Today I was able to get out with Jake, but in the middle of it got interrupted by someone that needed to talk. But He is really soft. He doesn't like to yield his head to the side. When I ask him to move his head to the side, lateral flexion and vertical, he throws his head around. We did have a shortened workout but it was still good and both of us were relaxed in the end.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I know it has been a few days so I thought it was a good time to write as I am letting some Gen.14 study process. I have worked Jake and Raven. Jake is beyond the Awareness course stuff but I have been going back and refining things a bit for him and me. I have been reading a catalog like book called 'Horsemanship through feel' and have been made aware again of the need to get ahold of their 'feel' which as best as I can figure out means to pay attention to what moves them and work with their personality. As the course indicates, it is becoming more Aware of what makes Jake tick. Jake is rather a jumpy horse so moving slow with him is advantageous to gaining more trust. Plus he is lame a little on the right hind. I have been putting some med on it. He acutally twists that foot when he walks. I wonder if it something in his spine or hip that makes him do that. But we have been working softly anyway. Last time I worked them was on Monday. and since then I have been having some severe back spasms that make it so I cannot walk very far. I have been to the chiro and been taking a muscle relaxer. I just need to take it easy for a few days I think. It has been raining so I don't mind not getting out there with them. Although it really keeps the dust down. I have been working the horses pretty hard for what they are used to so I don't think they will mind the time off. Well back to work.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


It was a beautiful day to ride so I took it, yesterday. I worked with Jake and Raven. I tested Jake on the Awareness course and he did all the tasks, but the ones I don't have equipment for. I really am just trying to refine what he knows. The same with Raven. Teaching a horse something he already knows to do is more just teaching me to ask at the right time in the right way so that he understands what I am asking him to do. When all the links are connected properly there is a softness about the movement. There is no pushing or pulling, no battle of the wills instead it is as if our wills become one and we both want to do the same thing at the same time. Hence, to someone watching when this thing happens like this the will not even catch the cue. I am ertain that is what God wants of me in my walk with Him. The apostle Paul reminds me of this in Philippians 2 where he tells me to have the same mind as Christ. When I think God's way, then His mind becomes mine, His will becomes my will and I do what He wants me to do. Just like me and my horse. But the one thing that is usually missing is practice. I might know what God wants but not be very good at doing it. For instance, controlling my appetite so that I don't overeat. He tells me not to be a glutton, but I have to practice not being a glutton when I am being tempted to be a glutton. That is, when I am wanting something to eat right before I go to bed. Instead of having that 'Jethro' sized bowl of Rocky Road I should maybe have just a bite or instead have a glass of water. Then go to bed. If I want my horse to do a leg yield I have to set him up for it, get him in position. He has to be soft in my hands, shaped in one direction or the other. I have to be positioned on his back in a certain way so that I don't impede his ability to move like I ask him, and then I have to ask at the right time as he is picking up the correct hind foot. Then I have to release him when he does what I ask. So often though I make the mistake of asking for more than the horse is able to give a the moment then I am forcing him not getting him to work with me on it. So I have to be careful about rewarding when he has tried real good. God does the same with me. If I just take a bite of Ice cream and go to bed. I sleep alot better. I am satisfied for a time. Sure the temptation will be back but it is just another opportunity to practice thinking like Him. So keep up the practice.