Tuesday, May 31, 2011

18th day

Had a good time with Ceasar today. I tried a different saddle and different approach. I got in the pen with him and he started to walk away, but I caught his eye and pulled him toward me. Then I got the halter and he started to walk away, but I pulled his eye again and he came towards me. I kept walking away from him and he stuck with me, so I put the halter on him. I walked with him some and then sent him around me and had to work at getting him to slow down to a walk, but after a while he would go off at a walk. Lisa if you go to parelli's horsenality I think he is a left brain introvert predominately. Anyway, I introduced the pad again and worked through that. Then the different saddle, on and off, on and off a few times. I cinched him up and sent him off. He didn't really buck, just went off at canter. I slowed him down and worked with him on these things til he would calm down. I then got on him and rode for the last 30 minutes. He gave me what I was after, walk trot canter. Then I just started working on softness at the walk. I discovered one of the things when he canters is that he is not balanced at all. I could tell because he would make a sucking wind noise every other step. That's why I went back to working on softness. If I can get him balanced at the walk and trot then I can work on getting him balanced at the canter. Which will make it easier for both of us. so that is what we will work on tomorrow.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Day 17

I get to write this a second time.
I worked with Ceasar today and decided that I would try a different tact.
Instead of just going up to him in the pen, I ignored him. It wasn't long before he was coming up to me and so I would disengage him and move his shoulders and just keep ignoring him. I would rub him all over then walk away. He would follow me. Then I picked up the halter and he started to move away, but I just ignored him as before and soon he was back with me again. But I just rubbed him and acted like I didn't want the halter on him. We played this catch me game a while longer and then I put it on him. He was willing. I did the same thing with the pad. The saddle I put on him and he stood there then I took it off and walked away. Finally I put it on him and started to cinch him up and then took it off. I put it back on and cinched him up and then walked around. He did hump up some like always and so I just moved him around and then he settled down. I didn't drive him today, I just put the bridle on and flexed him some then got on him. He moved off so I disengaged him to a stop and made him wait til I wanted him to move. When we did go he gave me a good walk and I just played the circle ess game with him. We then moved up to a trot and he for the first time kept it up good for me, even having his ears pointed forward and up instead of back like usual. We changed directions several times. Then I asked for a canter in the right lead and he gave it to me without much discussion and we kept it up for two laps. Then I slowed him, stopped, backed up and let him rest. We did the same thing in the left lead, but I hindered him by not asking on the correct foot. I was off so it was hard for him to give me what I wanted. Finally, after a few tries I got him into it and he kept it up for a lap. We stopped and rested. Then we went to a trot and through this process for a while longer. I stopped and got off then mounted on the other side. He didn't seem to like that we weren't done. But he went along and then I did stop. I know that sometimes the problem is not him, but me, ie. the canter. However I still wonder if saddle fit, back problems or something like that is causing him to want to buck everytime I saddle him. I think I will try a different saddle too. Anyway it was a good session.

Friday, May 27, 2011

down the road

This is day 16 for him.
He only took 2 minutes to catch me today. I think He must be real sensitive, because if I stand up and have him move around me he keeps moving, but if I squat down he will come sooner. So today, I did both. I squated down and then when he came to me I stood up and he moved off. I remained standing and just let him move around me and like I said the whole thing only took 2 minutes and he hooked to me. I walked around daring him to leave and when He wouldn't I put the halter on and down the road we went. I did lots of he falling leaf as we moved down the road. Cars and busses went by they didn't seem to bother him any. A dog came out at us, but we kept after the dog and kept right on moving. We turned around at the first corner and came back.
Back in the round pen he let me saddle him, only tried to move once. After that was done I walked him around careful to not get run over if he started his bucking. Then when I sent him out on the circle he humped up a few times. We did the falling leaf and then he settled down.
I then got the bridle on him and the long reins and ground drove him for several minutes. He did get a bit frisky with that, but nothing that was too bad. We did several direction changes, some leg yields, backups and stops. Then I got on him and had a good ride on him. I rode him around changing directions and going from walk>trot>walk several times and actually kept him in a good trot for several minutes changing directions and staying in the trot.
Then I asked for canter and he gave it to me. He threw his legs back a few times, but then straightened out. He gave me a canter all he way around and I gave him a big rest in the middle. Then I did it in the other direction until he gave me a good canter all the way around and gave him another big rest.
I did several disengagements with stops and backups then we quit for the day.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

day 15

The storms kept me out of yesterdays session, but today we got back at it.
I put him in the pen got everything set up to start and again he didn't want to catch me. So he ran around for 4 minutes, I timed him, before he decided I was a good person to be around. He is catching me faster. Then instead of putting the halter on him I just kept walking away from him and changing directions daring him to leave me. When I was satisfied that he wanted to be with me I put the halter on him. I sacked him out as before with the saddle and pad so that he wouldn't keep moving off. Putting it on and off gets heavy though. Finally, I cinched him up and then moved him and he wanted to run again, but I just kept him doing the falling leaf. I bet we did that 50x or more before he settled down and wanted to walk through it. Then he blew it again wanting to go fast.  But it didn't take him long on this second go round for him to settle down. Then I hobbled the stirrups and put the driving reins on him and ground drove him several times around the pen, changing directions and stopping and so on. He did real well, nice and calm. The rein on his back leg didn't bother him at all. The last 15 minutes I rode him with reins and bit. He did just fine. We worked on his backup with driving him and from his back. He rounds up nicely. I still don't have a real willing partner like I want. So we have some work to do. I plan to take him down the road tomorrow on the ground, do some ground driving and ride him again. He's a puzzle, that horse, that's for sure.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I gotta make this short, but I will finish later if I have to.
I am still trying to learn this horse. I had to run him just a bit when I went to put the halter on him. And then did some work with him with that on before I presented the pad. He accepted it.  I did it just as if I needed to sack him out in the beginning. I am finding that I may have assumed too much and went a bit too fast for him. Anyway, I got him used to the pad and then did the same with the saddle. ON and off, that bugger is heavy. Finally, I cinched him and he didn't offer to move. I moved him a bit up close after saddling, I don't want him bucking. Then I played with him doing the falling leaf and lungeing him. After about 30 minutes of this kind of work out, with lots of rests for him (I also put the bridle on him) I got on him. This time forward motion was real good. He moved right out at a walk and when I asked for a trot, it was nice and easy. We practiced walk>trot>walk several times in both directions and I let him rest. Then we went back to work only this time he was doing so well I decided to ask for a canter, and guess what? no fighting me. I asked on the correct foot for the correct lead and he gave it to me. Yippee! I am learning to have him take just baby steps in everything I do first before I ask for more and he is ok with that. Anyway a great ride with not a lot of testiness on his part. It was fun and good.
I think I got it all.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Day 13

Ceasar got a lot of attention today. Lisa came over and got a lesson on him to improve his ground manners with her. There is a belief among horseman that a horse isn't halter broke unless you can put any of his four feet wherever and whenever you want. That means he moves his hip, his shoulder (without crowding you), you can back him up or go forward with slack in the line, just doing all this with 'feel'. So we worked on those things. And since she was going to take him on a walk down the road, we also went over how to do the 'falling leaf' or C-pattern exercise. That is where you put he moving the shoulders, disengagement and send cue all together in one fluid move back and forth in front of you as you move forward yourself. This improves balance, feel, control of the horse. So after a good lesson she took Ceasar out for a stroll down the road, about a 2 mile walk round trip.
Later in the afternoon, after I did some round pen management (shoveling dirt that had been pushed out under the fence, back in the pen and smoothing that out).
Then It was my turn to have some fun with him.
I put the halter on and moved him around some going through some exercises then asked him to stand for the saddle pad. He wanted none of that. So guess what. I lunged him for several minutes changing directions repeatedly and then asked again. He still wouldn't stand so I, intensely, with lots of energy, did the falling leaf with him. Then I asked if he would like to stand for the pad. He agreed that might be a good idea. However, I didn't just put it on him. I rubbed him with it, sacked him out real good with it as if he had never seen it before. When he stood calm I left it on him and the took it off again. Put it back on and went and got the saddle. I let him sniff it and get a good look at it. Then I swung it on his back and let it set there. Now today, I used my breast collar and flank cinch. So I got it all hooked up, he stood for it all. Then I moved him off, he immediately went into a buck and then lined out pretty good. I lunged him, changing directions several times and doing the falling leaf again until he calmed down. Then I put that bridle on him. He went to chewing on the bit alot, but once he got moving the bit didn't seem to bother him. I moved him forward as if I was ground driving him and got him settled down to where he would walk with me good and stop with me and back up. We did it in both directions. I then did some flexing with him. Now in all of this I wasn't using the rein, I still have the halter on him and he is just carrying the bit. I got on him and flexed him and had him move off. We did some walk trot walk and stopping. I am not using my feet or legs to get forward motion, but I speed up my seat, kisss to him and spank him to get him moving. He wants to drag his feet. So we got alot better forward motion out of him. I was coming to the place where I wanted to quit so we were going to the right and I moved him to the center, but he sort a threw a tantrum so I moved him off and up to a trot. We criss crossed the pen and at one point he really went to buck a time or two so I just drove him through it and kept at the trot., both directions again and when I thought he had settled down and got his attitude right I quit him. I think it was a good session all in all. The buck was just attitude and he pushed through it. I just have to get him to stand to be saddled. So I have to convince him that it is a good idea for him to stand. We will see how long this takes. Tomorrow is another day.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Day 12

Well this morning I needed to do some backtracking to fill some holes in his training. You see he doesn't want to hook on to me as he should be by now. If I go in the pen and try to get his attention and catch me he just blows me off. That is why he won't stand still to be saddled and would be the root of other issues. So this morning I decided to really round pen him so long that he will hunt for me. So that is what we did. I didn't even attempt to brush or saddle him. As soon as in entered the pen and asked him to stand with me for a moment he decided it was time to get away. So I let him and then wouldn't let him stop. 7 minutes later he asks for a parlay and I let him come to me and rest. I didn't do anything for 2 minutes. Then started to just brush him with the stick and he took off again. Well this kind of dance went on for another 30 minutes, back and forth. He would come to me on his own or when I asked him and rest then I would send him off or he would leave on his own. I had to make sure that I wasn't giving him an inadvertent cue to leave. There can be no misunderstandings about what I mean with him. Towards the end I could catch his eye with a snap of my fingers and my body leaning like I am asking for a disengagement and he would come to me and stand. I did that several times just to make sure it wasn't a fluke. I want to be able to catch his eye and pull him to me, even from across the arena. So I made sure of this then we quit. I might add that during this entire process we did work on back up and disengagement and moving his shoulders without a lead. He was so hooked to me that his eyes were glued to me no matter where I went. He stuck with me. If he even acted like he wanted to depart I would try to bring him back and if not then make him keep going for a lap or two or maybe a half of a lap and then do my cue to draw and pull his eye and he would respond. By the time we quit he was spent, there is no doubt. I didn't bother saddling him. I think that would not have been fair to him and I didn't ride him. He has two days off to recuperate and think about our conversation and on Monday we will start again.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Day 11

Alright, about the session today? Interesting. I went to put the saddle pad on him and he wanted to move. So I let him move and just kept him at it. We went round and round about this a few times and finally, he stood while I put the pad on him. Then I put the saddle on and he stood. Mind you I don't have a halter and lead on him. I wanted him to be willing to stay, not captive. Anyway, I almost got him cinched up and he decided to leave. During the ensuing ruckus the saddle was dragged against the fence and a fence rail was broken off. I got him settled down and gathered the scattered tack and put the halter on him. I commenced to make him move alot, doing what is called the falling leaf exercise which is sending him back and forth. Then I let him rest and put the saddle on him. Interestingly, he stood still for this. When that was on him I again did alot of intense movement with him and checked for flexing easily and then got on him. I probably rode him about 30 minutes trying to get some good forward motion. He, as I found out yesterday goes soft nicely. I moved him up to a trot and back to a walk and back to a trot several times in both directions. Then I wanted to see if I could get a canter out of him. It started with just a stride or two, but going to the left we worked up to going half way around the pen. I let him stop frequently to reward the canter. Then we went to the right. This is his hard side. He gave me a trot ok and easily drops to a walk or a stop. I asked for a canter and he gave me a stride. We rested. Then moved to a trot and then asked for a canter again. He pitched a little fit, tried to buck but I kept him moving forward. He gave me a canter and I let him stop. I then got another canter about 5-6 strides and Let him stop and rest. We quit on that note.
I still have to go back and get is attention on me quicker in the round pen. He should give me both eyes when I start working with him, but he doesn't do that. He still has to play in the round pen before He finally comes to me. I got to work this out better, because his is foundational. I want him to willingly be with me, rather than just be captive. So fortunately we have some things to work on.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day 11

I am learning this horse. We had the best session yet, though it didn't start that way. I went through his carrot exercise, which he always does well. Then tried to saddle him and he wouldn't stand still so off the saddle slid and away we went. I made him move something fierce. By the time we were done He stood for me to put the saddle on. I moved him a little more, He didn't buck at all. I did some flexing and disengagements with him and then got on. The first 13 minutes were tough because he made them tough with the saddling and all, but after I got on him he moved off good. My goal here was to ride about 30 minutes and get some good forward movement. He moves real good when I am not on his back, but then it is like he is moving through concrete. It is like he has sticky feet. I have been letting him get away with it for a time because I want to make sure I have softness and flexion and a good one rein stop. However, it is time to put the gas on now. So today we got the gas working. Like I said, he didn't want to go into a trot and stay there, so I had to get after him a time or two. When I got a good trot all the way around I would let him rest for a couple minutes. I didn't want to just keep driving him. So we repeated this several times and gradually increased the distance until he would just keep at the trot til I let him stop. Now mind you, I didn't just keep him going. I only had him trot around 2 or 3 times then let him stop. He was good going to the left, but he really didn't like going to the right, probably because of his shoulder, but he moves fine without me on his back. All it really took was to drive him through his little temper tantrum, 2 x and then he didn't do it again. I rewarded him with rest of course.
In addition, when we were resting I would flex him. Some times he thought he would move off. My response was to either disengage him to a stop and continue flexing or to make him move even faster around he pen. Then ask him to stop and let him rest. He needs to learn patience.
A great benefit to all of this is that he is really soft. He will collect up nicely, with shape. He will stop with my seat and no rein and even give me a collected backup. He is going to be a joy to ride once we get him through his personality disorder of wanting his own way. He thinks he should stop when he wants to. Not a chance.
One other thing I am learning about him is that there is a time to be soft and he responds well. But there is a time when soft doesn't work and He needs to big stick, but once he realizes it, you won't have to go back there again.
I can't wait to ride him tomorrow and see how he is.
Anyway, Good day!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Day 10

This was a good session tonite. I did his exercise and then brushed him and saddled him. He did improve on the standing to be saddled a little bit. He didn't buck, though he did move right out pretty fast. I moved him around the pen some and waited for him to start asking to be near me. Then I did some exercises with the halter on him. He is doing pretty good. I spent about 30 minutes on his back tonite just working on forward motion. He really has sticky feet, which is not a good thing. I want him to willingly move out. I gotta say one thing though. He is really soft. I had him shaped and collected at the walk several times. He disengages easily and I even got some leg yields out of him. He responds to my cue to walk from a trot real easy and then to a stop. The problem is he doesn't want to go without alot of coaxing him to move out. He has a nice trot if I can keep him in it. He does better going to the left than the right. That might be because of that shoulde injury he had. He got to a point where I was asking for a trot going to the right and he tried to buck, and then kick out and then to rear a little, but I kept driving him forward and when he settled down I let him go down to a walk. He is starting to slow down and stop with my seat cue. So that is an advantage with this type of horse. I flexed him alot and he is getting soft. His vertical softness is even better. That is what I finished with. He is also touchy about touching his groin area so I worked on that some as well.
Everyday he is making improvements that is what I am looking for.

Day 9

I should come up with better titles, but I am not that creative, sorry!
Yesterday was a good training day. It wasn't a dust bowl. It wasn't blistering hot. And Lisa was there to witness his training.
I started by doing his back exercises with a carrot. He loves them and will almost bend over backwards for them. LOL
Then I brushed him and saddled him. He didn't really want to be saddled. He kept moving a bit and I would have to bump him to a stop and continue saddling. Plus, he was telling me he didn't like it by swishing his tail some. But I got him saddled and he then started to come into me, but I shewed him away and he went at  canter again. It is like he thinks I want him to take off fast all the time. I don't think he really tried to buck. I let him go round a few times and changed directions then took the halter off and worked him til he decided to come to me for rest. He did it the first time and I let him rest for a minute, but then the second time I let him rest for a good while. I worked in disengaging him and moving his shoulders. Which he does pretty good. I cracked the whip and he moved off so I kept that up until he decided to ask to come to me and when he did (after several laps in both directions) I let him in and quit cracking the whip. Then I cracked it and he stood. I took the saddle off again and a few minutes later I put it back on.  He stood this time without any swishing of the tail.
I did some flexing and some turns on center, then I got on him and let him move off. I asked for disengagements and he did them well, only a little bit of pressure and some leg on him. The right side is more difficult for him because of an old shoulder injury that is painful for him, maybe. Anyway, if I bend him too far there he doesn't like it. He tried to bite my boot. Then I discovered if I don't bend so far and add just a little leg he disengages really soft. I even got some vertical softness from him on both sides. We did a few leg yields, not perfect of course, but he did them. We monkeyed around working on these things and getting forward motion from him then I got off. I got on again and he didn't like that but I stayed on him until he calmed down then got off again. I took the saddle off and put it back on again, then started exercises to prepare him for ground driving. I finished with working on his backup and I think some flexion.
It was a good session for him.
I learned that with him I can be softer for flexion than what I have been, but he still has issues with some pain, maybe in his shoulder which will have to be considered in his training.  We will see how it goes later.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Day 8

Had a good session with Ceasar yesterday afternoon.
I started with his exercises to stretch his back out. He sure will stretch for those carrots. What will you and I stretch for? Hmm! Anyway, I digress.
I put the halter on, brushed him down and put the saddle on. I could tell he wanted to move off, he was also twitching his tail, which is a sure sign of agitation, unless there are lots of flies bugging him. But I think I was the only thing bugging him then.
Once I got the saddle on him, without the flank cinch, I moved him off and as long as he was with me he was fine, But as soon as I moved him off he decided he needed to buck some. It wasn't an all out buck, but one that was 'I don't like this and I would like it off me' kinda buck. He soon settled down and we got to work. I removed the halter, deciding to work on his 'hooking' on to me better. He doesn't carry his head to the inside like I want, it is like he is looking for a way out, so I kept him moving. I want him to look to me for a place of rest. Instead of escaping away from me he needs to escape to me and find peace next to me. It probably took 15 minutes and dozens of direction changes but he finally looked toward me and came right to me. I let him rest about 5 minutes. Then I took the saddle off and moved around without it on and put it back on him. He didn't offer to buck this time, but still wouldn't stand as still as I want. I moved him off again to see if he would 'hook' on again and it wasn't long before he sought me out. This time the rest was a little shorter, and we did the disengagement and moving of shoulders over and the backup with energy. He is making good improvements on these.  I wanted him to walk beside me and keep his attention on me all the time in both directions. I pulled his eye (disengagement) and pushed his eye (moving shoulders) several times. All of this without the halter. I took the saddle off again and then put it back on. He was a little better. He didn't buck at all so I put the halter back on and flexed him on both sides and disengaged using the lead line, did several turns on center in both directions so as to have some directional control and then got on him. The last 15 minutes I rode him around letting him take a few steps then disengaging his hindquarters. I did this in both directions gradually increasing his forward steps until we were going all the way around the pen and could change directions and bend to a stop. We did this all at a walk. In the next session we will do move up to a trot and probably introduce the bit and ground driving. I got on and off a few times and then quit with some good lateral flexion.
Good ride though.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Ceasar day 7

Sorry Lisa, I was supposed to get this on last night and was too tired.
Well, I went through Ceasar's exercises right off, to stretch his back. He likes those carrots. Then I put the saddle on him and actually didn't think he would buck, fingers crossed, but he did. I shut him down and moved him in the other direction. After a few minutes I took the halter off him and just had him move around the pen. I would like to see him carrying his head to the inside more, but his ear is on me. Then when I ask for him to yield and turn towards me he would do that better. So we are working on that. I did several direction changes with him and he was staying right with me. I took my stick and while he was standing with me just flogged him with kindness. I would crack and slap the ground and when he moved off I let him run  a few laps then asked him to come to me and he did. We just repeated that process until he would stand next to me and rest while I did whatever I wanted with the whip. I then had him start disengaging and moving his shoulder over, Reis's million dollar move, with nothing attached to him. By the time we were done he was doing that real good. I also wanted to move him forward and have him stay with me and when I pulled his eye towards me he would follow. He did pretty good at that. A few times he ran off and I just made him go a little longer then brought him back to me. I also worked on his walk>trot>walk transitions until he was doing pretty consistent at that. I got him much better at his backup as well. I just keep changing it up between these exercises so that he doesn't get bored with them. This is punctuated by periods of rest with me. I also decided I would take the saddle off him and then put it back on to see if he would buck after that. I did notice that he didn't want to stand still for it too much. So I repeated this 3-4 times, I forget exactly. But he wasw better each time. I think he thinks that when I want him to move off he has to canter right away, but he still has that little bunny hop. He seems to be getting a little better at not doing that once he gets going. I think it will take a bit of time for him to realize he doesn't have to hop because of the pain anymore when he goes into a canter. I also worked on his flexion and doing a turn on center several times. I thought he did real good and hopefully when I work with him later today he will be even better. I will let you know.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

day 6

tonite finds me with not alot of information. Yesterday the Chiropractor found several issues with Ceasar that she took care of and gave me some exercises to do with him in order to stretch out is topline. So we have done that today. He is on light duty for another day. Today, I began the session with the stretching exercise. Then went to the round pen and moved him around. I wanted to see how he is moving. He hooked on within 5 minutes. I then put the halter on him and lunged him. He is doing well. Today was a refining day. He is much better at disengaging, moving his shoulders and his back up. I worked on his flexion and made some improvements there. I think because he is freed up in his neck to be able to bend freer. Then I wanted to work on transitions from walk to trot and back down. He usually just wants to trot. So I worked on this for the last several minutes of the session today. Before we were done I had him walking then moving to a trot then to a walk in both directions. It wasn't always pretty, but it still worked. Tomorrow I will work on that some more. I also had him following my feel by throwing the loop over his rump and asking him to follow his nose turning a circle following the lead rope. He does this with the slightest feel. We ended the session with his stretching exercise. I should also add, that he still hops when he goes into a canter, but hopefully he will bet better at understanding that he can do it more fluidly.
Til next time.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Day 5 with Ceasar

Well, I hadn't intended to really work him very hard today because he has a chiropractor appt. tomorrow. However, I had him move around the pen and it only took a few minutes and he caught me. I decided to put the saddle on him right away. He stood good for it, then when I moved him off he bucked and I made him move. He settled down with the bucking after a few minutes but I kept him moving. He only has two gears, trot and canter so that is what he did. We did lots of transitions: directional changes and such. I went through all his exercises then when he settled down a bit I did some flexion exercises with him. By this time he was doing some huffing and puffing. But he was standing next to me. I decided to mount him and he did fine. We even took some steps in each direction and then bent him to a stop. He swished his tail a little, but didn't offer to buck. I got off and worked him some more from the ground and he wanted to buck a time or two but not much. I then got back on him and moved all over and got a few more steps out of him. We wound up the session with more of the disengaging, moving shoulders and sending exercises. I ended with him flexing on both sides. It will be interesting to know what we find out from the Chiropractor tomorrow.
So today was a better ride, the second one. I was on his back last week. I can tell though that he has some fight left in him. I know that is the wrong terminology because I don't to look at this as a fight where someone wins and someone loses. I want to work with him using 'feel' to help him through these issues to help him be a better and safer horse to be around and to ride.
We will work on it.
By the way I also got the chance to ride both of my horses today. Which is unusual. I really want Raven to be 'magical' in our connection and feel with each other. So we are working all week on this. And Jake has to get better with spooky things. So we worked on that today. Ceasar does better than he does in this area.
It was a good day with all the horses.
'til next time.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Day 4

I am writing this on Saturday morning. I also updated my bio, so if you are interested you can check that out.
Anyway, I worked with Ceasar yesterday and had a good workout. I don't know if you know this but you can burn alot of calories working with horses. Just saying.
I began with round penning him. Just want to see how long it takes him to come and rest beside me. I am not trying to wear him out. Alot of people have the wrong impression, in my opinion, of the purpose of round penning or lungeing a horse. I do it to check his attitude, his mobility (is he lame?), to see how yielded he will be to  me or is he resisting me? All of this information dictates where I go next in the session. I do alot of transitions from direction changes to gait. Today it took about 5 minutes before he was wanting to stand with me. That is improvement. I then went through my check list of exercises that need refining: disengaging, moving shoulders, lateral flexion. I do the sending exercise which incorporates all of those in a fluid movement. I worked on his backup and in all of these he is doing good, making improvements.
Then I got the lariat out and started sacking him out with that before I flanked him out. I put it around his girth and pulled and he started giving to the pressure and following me. I didn't think he would buck. Then I moved it to where the flank cinch would be and again he just gave to the pressure and didn't show signs of bucking. I moved him forward and still no buck. Hmm! I put it around his belly and again no buck. Yet. I moved him forward and really put pressure there and got some bucking out of him. I kept it up until he would relax, quit bucking and just keep moving forward.  Then I would put pressure on him again and get a little buck. I kept this up until I could really rank on the rope and not get a buck. I tested this a couple more times and then let him rest. I noticed that he is seeking to rest beside me more often when he is under this sort of pressure which is a good thing.
I put the saddle on him good and tight and moved him off. He started to buck, but I shut it down by disengaging his hindquarters then moved him off again and whenever he showed he was going to buck I shut him down and kept him moving. This whole bucking thing lasted maybe 7-10 minutes and then it was like I couldn't get him to buck. Good thing!
So I went to doing the various exercises as before with the saddle on him. Banging the stirrups, slapping the saddle etc. I tightened the cinch a couple more times to see how he reacted to that. No problem. I did the sending exercise and he was real relaxed with that.
Finally, I spent the last 5 minutes getting on and off him.
All went well.
He is getting today and tomorrow off then we will be back to work.
I noticed he has a wierd hop with his canter in his back legs so we are going to have a chiropractor look at him and hopefully fix that. It may mean some down time while he recuperates from that but that is ok. Whatever is best for him is the way we will go.
Have a great day all.
My plans are to fix fence and ride my own horses today. Hopefully. :}

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Day 3 with Ceasar

Here he is looking interested somewhat.
I really worked him today. I went through the basic stuff we have been working on so as to refine them more. He is getting better at all of it. His backup is getting sharper. He is getting softer in lateral flexion and really getting his hindquarters over. I even had him moving his shoulders over real good today. Then I did the sending exercise with alot better results because it incorporates the disengagement and moving the shoulders into one fluid movement. I should say I started with sending him around the pen and teaching him to catch me. He did good. He hooked on to me within a few minutes and let me flog him with whip. I wanted to test out his bucking reflex so after all the above was going pretty good I got him used to my lariat and then put it around his girth and put pressure on it. He moved a little then I moved him around the pen at a trot and pulled tighter on the rope and he started to buck and as it moved back farther on his flank he bucked more. I kept the pressure on him and made him move faster until he quit the bucking then let up the pressure on the rope. We went through this process several times and after probably 15 minutes he was done bucking and I could pull on the rope and he would just walk. What I am after is for him to yield to the pressure by coming into it instead of getting all bent out of shape. I want to be able to lead him by his flanks, if I so desired, without  fuss from him. He was all sweated up and huffing and puffing so I took the rope off and saddled him. He stands alright for that but then when I moved him off again he went to bucking again so I put the pressure on him to move again until he settled down. Then I got the bag stuff out and the tarp and went through those things to desensitize him more. He bucked with the tarp but eventually settled down. He seems to be one whose answer is going to be to buck. What he is telling me loud and clear is that he is not ready to ride yet. I have been on his back using the Jeffries method, but not in the saddle. I was hoping to get some on him today, but the way he was bucking, I am not in for much of a rodeo. I just don't bounce very well. Anyway, we quit when he was nice and calm and willing to parley a bit about accepting the saddle. I will start again tomorrow. He is going to be an interesting one. I hope to see alot less bucking tomorrow, but we may have to go that direction a few more times before he has had enough. Til then. Adios.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

day 2 for Caesar

Today was a good day for us. Beautiful blue sky and in a round pen with a horse. It doesn't get much better than that. I did a quick rehash of yesterday. I wanted him to hook on to me and that didn't take very long. I flagged him out with my whip and stick and then put the halter on and went to work on flexion laterally and softness downward. He did very well. Lisa did a good job at this. I then worked on disengaging more. I got after him a few times but he got better and better. I then worked on backing him up and boy is that lots better. I want him to back if he even thinks I am thinking it. I need to work more on moving his shoulders but we will get there. I kinda do that as I am sending him back and forth between me and the fence. I have noticed that he is pushy if I let him. So there has been a few conversations with him over that. When I had him doing that all pretty good I got the scarey stuff out. The noise bag was a little bothersome to him, but he relaxed. I really worked on the tarp with him I want him so relaxed that he would carry it like a flag with me on his back at some point. After a few minutes of that I was on his back laying on him from both sides he seemed to handle that well. I know that he has been ridden so I wasn't too surprised by that. However, what I wasn't expecting, though I knew it was possible, so I was ready, but at the end I decided to see how he handled the saddle. Well it didn't bother him putting it on or cinching up, but then the explosion. He bucked like nobodies business. I am so glad I never take anyone's word for how their horse is. No offense Lisa. I just let the horse tell me where they are at. He didn't like that one bit. Now, to be fair, I did have the flank cinch on him without having flanked him out yet. That is on the agenda for tomorrow before I saddle him. He might have handled the saddle fine without that extra touch on the belly. But anyway, he did a full fledged buck for a few laps. I made him go faster and wouldn't let him stop moving until he settled down and relaxed. Then I changed directions a few times on him and let him come to rest beside me, just not too close. I didn't want to be too close if he decided he wanted that saddle off. Nevertheless, when he settled down which wasn't too awfully long, I let him stop and took the saddle off.
So I accomlished several goals with him today: I wanted to refine his back up, sending both directions, changing directions, moving his hindquarters and shoulders. I wanted to desensitize him more, get him flexing laterally and be on his back using the Jeffries method, as well as see how he handled a saddle.
It is all improvement and refining from here.
He is a pushy horse, but seems to be a fast and willing learner. We will see. In two hours of work we have accomplished alot.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

New horse

I know it has been a while since I wrote on here. I have another horse to write about.
His name is Caesar, a 4yr old Qtr horse. He has had some handling in the past and comes to me to get farther down the road and to have some more handle put on him.
I woke up to his antics this morning. He broke through my fence and was grazing on the grass in the yard by the barn. But he is an easy catch thanks to his owner.
I got to work with him at noon today and this is the first time I had to set this down on the computer.
I put him in the round pen and just wanted to see how what he knows. I brushed him out and then started him moving. I was looking for him to want to stick with me. He didn't. I moved him and made him change directions alot. I was looking for both eyes on me each time he turned and then for ear on me, licking of lips etc. He was sweating alot and really huffing but in 25 minutes he was hooked on to me pretty good. I cracked my whip and flogged him softly with it all over while he stood there. There were times when he moved off and I just let him and then had him catch me again. Then I wanted to see how he did at giving to pressure. At first he didn't seem to want to at all, but within a few minutes he was lowering his head to the ground and holding it there. It shows that he has been worked with some. I also wanted to see where he was at with desensitizing him. He handled a tarp and my noisey bag pretty good. There will be more of that. I then moved on to disengaging his hindquarters and moving his shoulders. He didn't know what that was all about so we worked on both for a while. Then worked on sending him and changing directions which incorporates the disengagement and the moving of the shoulders. I want his feet to move where I put them. He will get there. He is a fast learner. He didn't back up very well for me so we worked on that too. I want him to read me when I ask for a back up with out having to send much energy down the lead rope. I used my clothesline method with the tarp on the lead rope as he was being lunged and he handled that fine too. By the time we got all done with those things it was time to quit. Stay tuned. By the way, he is in his stall for the night tonight.
He seems to be adapting to his new place pretty good too. I will put pics on when I get the chance.