Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last day of the year ride

I worked both horse today. It was beautiful. I love my large area to ride in. The space makes the exercises easier to work on. I even had my dog helping with the training. He must have traveled three times the distance the horses did. It was mainly reviewing of cruising and bending. We even chased the dog making like he was a cow. It was great. HoPecully there will be lots more time to ride in the area.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

ground work

I had a few minutes this evening. I have been clearing the area behind my house and now have a large open area. I burned a brush pile and decided to get Raven and work on Lunging stage 3 and backing angles among other things. So I brought her back and worked alot on lunging stage 3 on long line. It went well except that she didn't want to stay in a lope for me. She doing real well though, starting off fast and staying in gait until I ask for something different. She doesn't come up to me fast like I want, but I think that is because I haven't kept her going long enough and taught her how good it is to hurry up and get next to me when I give her the chance. This is the way it should be with me and the Lord. When I am wore out with life's issues I should crave getting close to Him in prayer and reading of the Word to be refreshed and get a breather. That is what I am giving the horse at those times. She is making fast improvements though. I also worked on her backup and Oh my, is that ever getting good in terms of hustling her feet. We even have room now to back 30 to 40 feet and then make a 90 degree turn.  I did some side passing and side passing toward me. Another obstacle was that my dog was out there with us trying to help out. He was a good distraction, but she kept most of her attention on me. I had to tell him several times to get away from her hind feet. I don't want him to get kicked, but he just might have to to learn his lesson. When it happens hopefully, it won't hurt him too much. I also did some driving on the long line and leg yields. It was quite a workout for her and was very profitable I think. I am going to enjoy having a larger area to work with the horses in. No I can really get some things done with them. I just have to get the area graded better and get the little shin killer stumps out of the way. Hopefully, I will get another chance tomorrow. We'll see.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Good ride

Worked with Raven today. I had her doing the lunge for respect 3 on long line going real good. Ten x around with no faults. Also worked on backing angles and lo and behold she was backing faster than she ever has. She also did good on those. We must have done gw for half an hour then I got on. We rode back to my clearing and worked on several exec uses there. That too was a great session. I am going to like having the larger area. I think I will get more accomplished. Plus I can set up an obstacle course for them. I was already getting her sweated up and I did not want that with it being cold. The last thing I need is a sick horse. I really worked her on backing and saw great improvement.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

time with Jake

I got out with Jake yesterday for an hour. He did real good. I know most of the issues are me when it comes to something not working. I first got to a slow start, nice and relaxed with him. I find that if I don't just jump quickly into working with the horses, but take the time to just walk up and rub them all over they get more relaxed and are more willing to stay with me. After I got him ready we did a bunch of ground work, working on lunging for respect stage 3 on long line. I used a snow bank as an obstacle that seemed to put an added challenge into the mix, but he handled it smoothly. I also worked on the out/back exercise, Parelli calls the YO YO. I am trying to get real subtle about the cues with this one. It is simply asking him to back up to the end of my 25' line and then on cue come back to me. We also worked on backing circles.
When I got on him we worked through too many of the exercises to mention. I was merely trying to refine myself as to the cues, body, hand and leg positions so as to be subtle again in asking for a move. Both my horses do alot better than I do. I want to get real in tune with them so there is that close soft connection between me and them, whether I am riding or just around them on the ground.
It is the same kind of connection the Lord wants of me with Him. That I would know his mind and do it. It's called walking with Him. The struggle is to do His will as I am asking the horse to do my will. The parallels are so close. It takes getting to know the Lord and the horse. Read your Bible and read your horse.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


The last two days I have taken advantage of the weather to work with the horses. It was cold, but at least no snow. Fortunately I also have a gravel rode to work in so that I do not have to work in the mud, though the horses don't like the gravel much. I have been working on the advanced level exercises with Raven and kind of backtraking with Jake because I haven't had the time to work with him much lately. The groundwork has been fun for me as I have not always had the time to saddle up and ride. By the time I get through the ground exercises I have used up about a half hour of my time but it sure helps with geting a tighter connection with them. I am trying to refine my connection with them both so that it appears that they are merely doing what I am thinking. It takes lots of tries and failures but I am constantly reminded to back off and slow down and quit asking for so much in the beginning. I think that is good for me to remember in all areas of life. Take it easier more relaxed and see if the outcome is not better and quicker. I certainly applies to the way I do anything, whether driving riding or just talking with my wife. As with her if there is a problem it is almost always my fault and that is the truth. It might be that I am asking wrong or sitting in the saddle wrong so that it confuses the horse. Maybe I am asking her to go forward but she is backing up. It is because of me. You know this probably works for dancing with Sharon too. :) Anyway, most of the time when I work with the horses I am trying really to change me and refine me and correct me. But I gotta hand it to my horses and wife they put up with me and teach me a lot. Fortunately they do not run the other way when I come around, at least not far. :) They are good teachers to say the least. Hope tomorrow is another god day to ride.

Monday, December 5, 2011

gettin' to ride

No, it hasn't been since Thanksgiving that I rode last. However, I haven't been on the horse for the last week. Just too busy getting other things done. Until today, that is. I was able to work some time in with Raven this evening. I worked her on stage three lunging with a long line. She did better than I expected. She got up into a trot right away and stayed there until I slowed her. She only faltered one time an we just kept going at that. We did the c-pattern and sending with long line too and she did real good. In the riding portion I am pleased with our level of advancement. I am really trying to refine what she knows so that the cues are almost unnoticeable and my hands are real still and soft too.My main problem has always been asking for too much too soon, but today and lately I have just been getting a little bit. I could tell after about a half hour of concentrated riding she was tired of the intensity so we simply took it easy and quit on a soft note. All in all, it was a good session, more positive than negative. And it was cold. Winter is getting here.