Friday, December 14, 2012

observations from the horse

I haven't been able to work with my horses lately, but I thought I would record some observations I have made in the past week. Probably, things that you may already know, but they still are interesting. 1. Horses live in the moment. They don't hold grudges. If another horse is in their space they either move away themselves or make the other horse move. They don't nag them or keep after them. Once the other moves away they leave it alone. Each time becomes a new time for them. If they were just standing there relaxing, they immediately go back to standing and relaxing. They are not thinking about what happened 10 minutes ago or yesterday or last week. They are not thinking, 'man, I can't believe that idiot did that.' Nor are they thinking about what is going to happen later today, tomorrow or next week. They are not fretting about the future. They are only interested in what is happening right now and in the next moment they react to whatever stimulation is going on due to their survival instinct. When they are fretting about something it has to do with what is going on in the moment. Maybe you walked in to their space with a halter or you have a noisey bag in hand that is scarring them. That is why they fret. But as soon as you take that away, they go back to relaxing. I think that is a good healthy way to live for us to. We cannot do anything about what happened in the past. We can only get it right with others and with the Lord if we have been wrong. Holding grudges will only cheat ourselves out of living to the fullest now. In addition, we don't know what is going to happen in the next 5 minutes. We are not in control of that. We don't know what a day holds. We can only plan our day and live it out letting the day unfold as it will. Jesus said things like "forgive and it shall be forgiven you" and "take no thought for tomorrow, for tomorrow shall take thought for itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." Matthew 6:14,34 So take a lesson from the horse today: don't hold grudges and live in the moment making the most of the moment you have.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Yesterday had a good time with Moonie and So Grand. I am almost done with my work with them so I wanted to go through everything they know to this point. I have worked through all the fundamentals level of ground work with them. That is 13 exercises that they know. So I got So Grand out first. He met me at the door like usual. He likes to come out and play. I left their web halter on because that is what they are wearing. Because I used the rope halter to teach, the web halter was just fine with both of them. I took him through the round pen (the only thing he won't do to my satisfaction is follow me off lead around the pen)Then to desensitizing to lead and stick and string. He Yields hindquarters and forequarters real good. His backup is pretty good, although he will think I want him to go around me if I back him too fast. His lunge for respect is at the stage 2 level where I only have to look at his butt and he disengages and faces me and backus up. His flexing is real soft. He sends nice and smooth and even does an Intermediate level move of c-pattern nicely. His circle driving is pretty good. He leads fine, in fact I took him out of the round pen and around the indoor arena with no problems. He is not bad on fundamental desensitizing while moving forward. I also picked up his feet and cleaned them out on 3 different occasions. Moonie, gave me no trouble coming out of the stall. I brushed him and then took him through the same thing that So Grand did. He is much better at following me and picking up his feet to clean out than So Grand. I think overall he is about the same maybe a little above So Grand in the exercises. Both are real friendly, although Moonie takes a little longer to warm up to you. I took him out of the pen too and he actually did better than So Grand handling the new environment. They should both be ready for the farrier.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hoof cleaning

Yesterday and today went pretty good with both horses. I am moving along in teaching them the exercises and they are getting it. The sending exercise where I point in a direction and they move their shoulders and go then YH and YF and turn and go in the other direction they seem to have caught that pretty good. So Grand is getting much better at picking up his feet and letting me clean them out. I even got the rasp out and did that. The one problem with him is he leans when I pick up his hind foot. So I have taken to moving his butt over until his near foot is just right then I pick it up and stretch it out like a farrier would. That is working much better. Moonie is much better about coming out with me to the pen. I found that he just needs to relax with me in the stall and I rub on him then ask him to follow me. He comes right along. Today I worked with both of them on leading and finding those spots or movements that make them uncomfortable and working them through those until they are relaxed. They are two interesting horses. So Grand is very friendly and likes to be near me. Moonie is a bit standoffish, but once I get through to him he likes to be with me too. Neither one follows me off line very far, but at least they are not running away from either.Progress is Progress.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Good lesson

Alright, I had a good time with the horses today. It's amazing how going into a lesson with a hard and fast agenda of what I want to accomplish seems to put a damper on accomplishing a 'no dust' kinda session. I have had those kind of rigid agenda's before where I think 'I gotta get this done.' and they usually go sour. However, today I went at it with these guys at a slow and easy pace. I got So Grand out first and he was eager to get started. I did all the exercises with him and even got to the point of the sending exercise. I gave him lots of rests, some longer than others, in between. My goal was to be able to pick up his feet and clean them out a couple times during the session. Mission accomplished. He didn't even resist me, though he did lean. I solved that problem by stretching his hind leg out farther behind him. I did that once and then worked him through some exercises and then did it again. Then right at the end I did it again. Moonie, was real pacey in the stall. I waited til he relaxed and then walked up and rubbed him and backed off a couple times before putting the halter on him. Then I rubbed and brushed him in the stall. When I did ask him to follow me out of the stall I went real slow and easy and when he felt pressure he came off it. We got to the pen and I rubbed and brushed him again. Then did a few exercises with lots of rest in between. I did teh Lunge for respect 1 & 2 with him. He is pretty good at all the exercises. I even had him sending and did fine. I then worked on leading him around and coming off the pressure to follow me. He was actually pretty good through it all. I had a little trouble desensitizing with lead, which was strange, since he has been real good with this. However, it didn't take long for him to stand relaxed. I cleaned out his feet a couple times.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Catching up

I need to catch up on what has been happening with the horses. I missed the last three sessions with them. I have been making steady progress with So Grand regarding picking up his feet. He does pretty good at the other exercises designed to teach him to respect my space. I run through those then have been concentrating on picking up his feet. He picks up his front feet after some coaxing. In fact, yesterday I finally was able to clip the clown toes off of him. I didn't trim him, just got the two inches of toe off. The back feet he will let me pick up, but he leans on me on the left side, not so much on the right. And he lets me clean them out. I also have him lunging pretty good and am starting to work on sending him. Moonie had some issues with coming out of his stall. So one day I worked him in his stall and then let him stand in the pen. I had to really work with him to get him to follow me to the pen though. I think he just didn't want to go work in the pen and doesn't respond well to heavy pressure. So Wednesday I just stood in his stall with the lead rope and for almost an hour he would pace, then stop and look at me, then pace and stop and look at me. I wanted to let him know that just because I show up with a lead rope doesn't mean we are going to work. I wanted him to come up to me. So in that hour he came up to me 5x and each time I just let him smell me and stand next to me. I let him move away when he wanted but I didn't put the lead on him. I only rubbed him between the eyes. Then yesterday I went in his stall and stood there til he came up to me and put the halter on and slowly with light pressure we walked to the pen. I brushed him, cleaned his feet out and moved through all the exercises at a slow calm pace. I let him rest alot in the center. I know that I need to work him, but I also know that I would rather have a willing partner than one who has shut down and only does what I want because I make him do it. I lunged him as well, but had good rests between them. Then we went back to his stall. I can see his attitude changing.

Monday, November 19, 2012

good time

Another day with the arabs was rather interesting. So Grand wanted to get in the pen, but didn't want to play. So I had to make him go so that he would let us move on to other things. About 15 minutes and a bunch of turns later he finally, decided standing was a better option. I went through all of his exercises and then asked him to pick up his feet. WE got his right front cleaned out and then not much trouble he picked up his hind leg. I didn't clean it out but he was letting me hold it for a length of time without leaning on me or trying to get it away. The left side was even better. I finished him up by flexing him on both sides. Moonie, didn't want to come out at all. He was moving all over his stall when I went to get him out. But as soon as I put the lead on him he got sticky feet. So I moved him in a bunch of YH and YF and asked him to follow me out. Nope. We kept going through this and finally, he came out with me. It took about 15 minutes but we got into the pen. I think he knows it is work in the pen. So I purposely took it easy on him in there. I went through the exercises softly and slowly. I picked up and cleaned out all four feet, which was one of the goals. I flexed him and then took him back to the stall. I didn't let him quit though. Instead, I YH YF alot. I made him work in his stall. Next time he won't think staying in his stall is such a good idea.

Friday, November 16, 2012

got their feet up

Today went pretty good with all three horses. Moonie didn't really want to play with me today, but I coaxed him out of his stall. I had to move him around a bit in the pen to get him to quit being lazy, but once he got on board things went ok. I was able to take him through all the exercises to this point and clean out all four of his feet without much resistance. I worked with him LR 1 and he is already at the stage 2 level where I can send him around then just by my body language he will YH and give me two eyes. Then I just send him in the other direction. He did give me a little trouble putting his halter on at the end, but we resolved that in short order. So Grand met me at the door, and we got busy. I didn't work him too hard at first. I wanted to see where his mind was at. We went through the exercises and he did really good. Then while he was resting I wanted to pick up his feet. He did ok with his front ones, letting me clean them out. So I thought I would try the back. He wouldn't stand so I YH 10x 360 degrees then let him stand and he was a little more willing. When I picked up his foot though he would lean almost falling over and I would drop it. A couple times he kicked out and ended up kicking himself in the cannong bone/shin. I had to YH a couple more times before he started to pick it up and hold it for me. Then I went to the otherside and repeated the whole exercise. I had to YH a few more times because he was doing the same thing about leaning and kicking out. Finally, though when he let me pick it up and hold for a few seconds without leaning or trying to get it away from me. I quit him. Put his halter on him and led him back to his stall. he has all weekend to think about it. Skye was pretty good too. I took him through his exercises. I had to get after him a few times when he resisted wanting to go forward on Lunging but that was it. Then when I was just leading him around he would hang back, so we worked on leading the last few minutes of the lesson.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Better day

Today was better all the way around. I first worked with Skye. He did real good and was real calm. I am sure that horses can pick up on an inner angst in a person and I think yesterday was one of those days where the inner me was out of sorts. Today was totally different. He responded calmly to everything I asked of him, even the circling exercises. So we just went through everything with a calm fluidity about it. It was the same with the Arabs. I took So Grand first and let him go in the rd pen. He showed he wasn't too interested in paying attention to me so I made him move out. We probably worked 10 to 15 minutes getting inside turns and trotting, loping around. Then when he started to facing me on his own I let him and then had a good rest with him beside me. I put the halter on him and did YH YF and backups. I even got to pick up both front feet and cleaned them out. I did it by making him really move alot on YH or YF and backup then gave him a chance to stand. Finally, after doing that 2-3 times I could pick up his feet and clean them out. Now it is on to getting him to pick up his feet on cue. We did some LR (lunging for respect 1) and he picked up on that pretty good. We quit real relaxed. Moonie, I was told, was not feeling well, not eating. So I took it easy on him. I had to practically drag him out of his stall. He was moving real good in there so I know that he was just being resistant. However, when I got him in the pen, I took the halter off him and he really followed me pretty good. So rather than put my halter on him I did everything at liberty, YH, YF, backup, desensitizing, LR 1. He did all of these without resistance. I picked up his front feet and cleaned them out. He picked them up when asked. And I picked up his hind feet with not much trouble. He gave me a little resistance when I went to put his halter back on him, so I just moved him and pulled him back toward me by YH. Then slipped the halter on and put him up. It was a real calm lesson for him too.

Uh Oh

I will tell you what the title is all about in a moment. I worked with Skye yesterday and he did fine on most everything except the sending exercise to the right. He does not like to go to the right at all. In fact, that is the side he is most pushy on. So I kept working that side until he would go in the direction calmly. I started to do the circling exercise too and going to the left he was alright on, but to the right he was really trying to push into me. So we had to work on that alot. Moonie did pretty good. I got him to canter several times for me and then went through the YH, YF, backup and even started to Lunge him for respect. It went pretty good although there were some dusty spots there where he was just trying to learn it. I picked up all four feet also. So Grand was another story. He does good at YH, backup, and is getting better at YF, but he does not want to pick up his feet. He will let me touch them so I kept working with his front ones until I could pick them up. He even let me clean out his left front, but not his right front. I haven't got to the back ones yet. He picked up readily on the lunge for respect so we did that just a bit and our time was up. Later I was cleaning out the stalls of my horses and emptying out the bucket and Skye started running around as though really scared. He went full out gallup toward my fence and ran right through it into the pen with the other horses. Well that got things interesting. Jake went after him and then Raven came to his rescue and ran Jake off. Meanwhile, I am trying to figure out how to keep them from going through my other fence and thinking what to do about the broken fence. I let them figure things out for a while, put Jake in his stall and let Raven and Skye work things out. It looked like Raven just let him right into her circle of friends. Then I put Raven up and let Jake at him. He ran at him, ran him around, bit him on the butt, kicked him. Skye just followed him around despite all that. They ran around the pen a bunch with the biting, kicking, running etc. They would settle down and then go at it again. I finally had to get on to other things and so got Skye coaxed into his stall and Jake into his and fed them for the night. I kept Skye in his stall all night, though the fence was fixed. I didn't trust that he wouldn't go through the fence again, especially now that he knows he can go through it. I guess it will be interesting today as I have fed them and left his stall open so he can get out in his paddock. They are still separated, at least, for now. The last thing I want is for Jake to run him through the fence and then for them to be running around loose.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Yesterday I wanted to try something with the arabs. You see I haven't been able to keep them cantering in the rd pen. One thing the dirt is a little deep, and their feet aren't in the best shape. Which is one of the reasons I am working with them, so we can get them used to having their feet handled and trimmed. But anyway, a thought came to me to ask them to canter and only have them do it for a stride or two and then build off of that. So last night that is what I did with them. I wanted them to trot and canter when asked. That is what we worked towards. Then I took them both through the exercises they know and I added moving the shoulders (YF). Both of them did well on one side, but the other they did not want to yield. And since the front end of a horse is what they use to push other horses around this was an important move I needed to establish with them. Both of them finally were being more consistent with YF. So that I where I quit with them. I am also working at picking up their feet. Moonie does pretty good at it on the front end. The hind feet are a little more difficult. So Grand is another story. He isn't ready to at all. I am at the point where he will stand and let me touch his front hooves and pick them up for a second. So we have to really work on this more.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Making progress

Both the Arabs did a good job today and made some progress. I started with Moonie and just had him doing the rd pen. I had him turning inside every time so we didn't do it alot. I still didn't really get him following me like I want but there was progress. I went through what he knows now and refined them more. He does the YH really sharp and even keeping his eyes on me like I want him too. Then I worked on picking up his feet. I cleaned out his front feet and then worked on picking up his hind feet. I got to the point where I can pick them up without too much fuss from him. Then I started to teach him the various ways to back up. Anytime he started backing crooked I just had to YH and he straightened out. He was backing real smartly for me. So Grand did just as well. I really get some good inside turns from him. Once I got ten in a row I went on to the other things. He also doesn't follow me well so I put the lead on him and mimicked him YH and then follow with slack in the line. I don't want to pull or drag him at all. I also had him YH really good. His back up in the various methods was excellent for the first time working on them. I am having a bit harder time with picking up his feet that is for sure. I barely got to the place where he would let me pick up his front feet. He did but it was all he could do to trust me enough to pick them up. Skye showed alot improvement since last time. I am getting a good YH so that he keeps his eyes on me. That is good when I lunge for respect 1 and 2. He is pretty calm throughout. I know when I first started to lunge him he kicked out at me so I just made him go faster several laps and then turned him in the other direction and got a real good turn. I started to work on the sending exercise and he showed he could do that relaxed. I also went through all the exercises he knows to this point. Then I added circling. Now here he tried a couple times to push into me and maybe get a kick in so I just moved him farther out. I had him backing really good and then to end the session I had him kneel 4 times. Good job for Skye.

Friday, November 9, 2012

The day with the Arabs was a good day. Just a short note to express what went on. We duplicated what we did yesterday in the rd pen. I got two steps from So Grand consistently following me and 5 steps from Moon. I also sacked them out with lead and stick and string. Then went on to YH. Both of them did pretty good, although Moon didn't like it on his right side so I had to really press that. But finally he started YH consistently. That is where I quit and started to work on picking up their front feet. So Grand would only let me get to his pastern consistently but that was pretty good for him. Moon lets me pick up his front feet ok. He needs more work on this but he will do ok. I ended them both with a good brushing.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Got to work with the Arabs today. I got Moonie in the pen and worked him on inside turns and drawing to me. He is getting it. He consistently gives me the inside turns, but doesn't hustle to me in the center like I would like him to. I kept working him at it though. I want him to crave being next to me. He was giving me his eyes and even offering to turn into me as though he was asking me to let him do that. So I started waiting for him to ask then let him turn into me but he really wouldn't come all the way and commit to walking to me. On the other hand, I would ask him to yeild his hindquarters and when he did start arcing away from him and he would takes some steps to follow. I think the most I got was 3 steps. But that is a good start. I put the halter on him and started desensitizing him to the lead and then the stick and string. He didn't give me too much trouble on either side to those things. Even when I was slapping the string against the ground he was soon ok with that. When I took the halter off I went to hook the other lead on him and wanted to play catch me. So I made him want to catch me and when he did I hooked the halter on and took him back to his stall. So Grand was pretty good too. Unlike Moonie, he keeps his head bent toward me from either side. He is so pretty moving with his neck all bowed and his tail lifted and that nice trot he has. He also gives me real crisp and snappy turns to the inside. Moonie is more about what is out there rather than being focused really on me. Anyway, I did some real fast turns with Grand and then long times next to me. I worked on YH with him to attempt to draw him to me, but he would't shift his feet a step back really guarding himself. So I helped him out a bit by putting my halter on him and the lead and leading him around in arcs back and forth and when he took a step then two then three I would give him rests. I also desensitized him to the lead and stick and string. Tomorrow I hope to progress to YH with lead and maybe some backups. We will see. Skye did real good tonight too. I got him out and went through my usual routine. Then I started to work on sending again but it wasn't going to good so I went back to YH stage 2 and then did some lunging. He really kicked out at me so I made him move alot faster in circles for probably 10 laps then slowed him down changed directions and made him go again. Then I let him rest. I want him to know that kind of attitude and behavior is not acceptable. I then went back to sending him and he was a much better student. I picked up his feet and cleaned them and stretched his front legs like the farrier said. I finished up by having him kneel in preparation for laying him down. He kneeled five times for me and we quit. He is a good little guy when he has his attitude right.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Another amazing day with the animals. I got Skye out and worked with him. We went through our exercises and he did pretty good with them. I then started to do the sending exercise and he went nuts on me. He just kept wanting to race back and forth. So I went back to YH stage 2 which is where he yields his hindquarters, but does so by swinging his butt away from me quickly and giving me two eyes. Then we went back to the sending and he made a good improvement. His backup is markedly better too. The farrier told me to start working with his front legs, stretching them forward more. He sees more problems with young horses not being willing to do this. So today we did and he seemed fine with it. He is fitting in pretty good here at our place. As far as the Arabs go, I worked with both of them today too. Moon,I spent probably 10 minutes in his stall, just watching him and getting two eyes on me. We didn't have the problem of going into the round pen today that we had yesterday. After taking in the pen I let him go and let him relax a bit. Then I took my stick and string and removed the string and put a plastic bag on it. I was hoping to get better forward out of him so that I could get better inside turns and get a draw on him sooner. Well, the bag worked. We got many good inside turns and when I gave him a chance to stop and rest he kept his eyes on me no matter where I was at. Then I asked him to start YH and spiraling out to see if that would draw him to take some steps toward me. It did. He was giving me 2-3 steps. I just kept working on this and whenever I couldn't get his attention I would move him off for a lap then ask him to give me two eyes and he would. What I would like is for him to so want to be next to me for rest that he at least walks fast all the way up to me. Ideally, a trot would be nice. But it will come. I spent the rest of the time working on that detail and letting him catch his breath next to me while left him alone or rubbed on him. I also started to brush him and then pick up his front feet. I got them cleaned out too. So Grand, I did a similar thing with him. I got him in the pen and let him go. He snooped around a bit and snorted a time or two, but when I introduced the plastic bag he was all ears and eyes. This went really well. I was getting inside turns quickly every quarter lap. It was like doing wind sprints for him I am sure. When I let him stop he faced me. I then went to work YH in both directions to keep his eye on me. However, after many starts and stops he still didn't take a step toward me. He mainly stepped back or just guarded himself. Sometimes he would block me with his shoulder and I would just push it (the air around it) and make him move his shoulder over. Then immediately ask for YH. Because this wasn't working to get him to follow me I put the lead rope on him and did the same thing with slack in the lead and he started to follow a step at first, then 2 or 3 steps. We did this for probably ten minutes and then I brushed him down as much as he would let me. He doesn't like me on his right side, but that is ok. I know what I need to work on with him.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

round penning

I had a good session with Skye today. He willingly followed me around the pen. I worked primarily on sending him in various directions. It is always a pain when you have to try to drag a horse behind you. But if you can send him, it is so much better. In fact, the exercise necessitates that he go forward, yield his hindquarters and then move his shoulders over and change directions. He has the concept down now so we will keep improving. I worked with So Grand and Moon today too. So Grand got in the pen and bowed his neck real pretty like and snorted all over the place. He is an 11yr old stallion. I had him moving out pretty good. I got some good inside turns from him. My goal was to get the forward movement and get him to change directions to the inside consistently. When I was getting that from him I started to try to draw him to me. He didn't, however, he was keeping his eyes on me and I started to get him to YH as I walked around. I didn't work him like I did Moon yesterday. When I was getting this pretty consistently I took him back to the stall and brushed him out. Then I got Moon. He came up to me in the stall and led him out to the pen. However, when we got there he did not want to go in. So we had to try a different tact. I treated it as though he wouldn't go in a trailer. So any little step forward I rewarded. Then when I got him to the door I backed him off and worked him in the aisle then brought him back to the door. Finally, he went in with me. I just took the time to walk him around and have him follow me on the lead without putting alot of pressure on him. Then I just kept changing directions on him walking in arcs. Then I was getting some YH from him. I used the time to desensitize him to the lead rope being all over him. And then went back to leading him around. He really worked hard yesterday and I wanted today to be a time when he would think it was not too bad hanging out with me. Then when we went back to his stall he didn't want to go there. I did brush him a bunch and he did good. Tomorrow we will see what we have.

Monday, November 5, 2012

another arab

First of all, Skye handled the farrier well. Eric, my esteemed Farrier was not real excited about the new addition and needing to trim him. He said, babies are the hardest to trim. He has been kicked and bit by more babies than mature horses. So when he finished trimming Skye, he was impressed that he did so well. Skye didn't even so much as try to jerk his foot away. He wasn't the most comfortable, but he did well with it. Now he has clean feet, shots and ready to continue on. On another note, I started another Arab today. He is a 9 yr old gelding. I walked him to the rd pen and let him loose for few minutes to get used the pen. Then we started moving him out. He moved out willingly enough. I let him make a few laps then asked for a change in direction to the inside and he did it. It would be rather boring to describe the details, so suffice it to say, that he pooped out about an hour into it. He was giving me good inside turns but I could not draw him to me. (by the way I was tired too). So my task was to get him to face me and draw to me. But it didn't happen that way. After several good turns then he came to a point where he just wanted to stop. He was tired and needing some air. So I let him stop. However, I started to walk in an arc around him and ask for his hindquarters to yield and keep his eyes on me. He gave me that in one direction then we switched to the other direction. Before long he was YH all the way around in both directions. Then I started to make my arcs small and then when he took a forward step toward me I arced farther out. We did this about 30 minutes trying to get a good two or three steps toward me consistently. He gave it to me once or twice but that was all. At times I had to send him out again, but only for a lap or two a direction change then try all over again. For his first time in the rd pen, he got the concept of keeping two eyes on me and turning to the inside. Also an added bonus with the YH work. I was supposed to start another horse, but I was too tired after 1.5 hrs of working Moon. I wanted to be fresh with So Grand because he is a stallion. So tomorrow I will start with him and pick up where we left off with Moon.

Skye 11

Today I got to Skye early. He had a vet appt and so I wanted him well behaved for that. So I brushed him and took him in the other pen and desensitized him then went through YH, backups, YF. He did really good. Then I did some lungeing with him. He didn't like that at all, so I just worked him faster and did alot of direction changes until his attitude changed. He is getting better at direction changes and really moving out for me. I don't necessarily want him cantering all the time, but he will settle down as we go. Then I desensitized him with the stick and string again only this time I cracked it like a whip. He didn't like that at all. So I kept it up til he calmed down. It didn't take him but a few tries and he stood still while I cracked it. The other side (right) was even easier. Then I worked on sending him back and forth. To do this properly he has to go forward around me, then on cue YH and YF and rest. Then send in the other direction and do the same thing. This was his first time and we only had to work on it for a few minutes before he got the idea. Then I flexed him some and he does good at this too. Finally, I let him go in the pen with Raven and me and he didn't even go over to Raven, just walked down the fence. I followed him and then he hooked on to me and followed me as I showed him the fence row again so that he knows where it is at. The vet came shortly thereafter and he did good for her. He got his booster shots and flu. Next later today is the farrier.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

skye 10

Well we had an interesting session because I let him get close to Jake and Raven. I worked him a bit first then took down the gate and walked him in their pen. I walked him all around it so he knows the boundaries. The interesting thing was he followed me with no problems. I walked him up to the other horses and they smelled and he did his funny mouthing that probably says, "don't hurt me, I am just a little guy." I kept him on the lead, but at the end of it. Jake went at him first. He kinda went at his butt and knocked him to the ground and then ran off. It didn't seem to phase Skye. Then it was Raven's turn. He was sniffing around her girth and then she gave him a good kind of a bite, but again it didn't hurt him or phase him. It is what horses do. Then it seemed that it was all over. Today I am going to do the same thing, only afterwards I am going to let him mingle with them free of me. I will just watch what happens. Ought to be interesting.

Friday, November 2, 2012

another yesterday

I forgot to record what I did with Skye yesterday, Thursday. I again approached things real soft and easy. He is facing me now which is good. I reviewed everything that he has learned thus far. Then we moved on to more flexing and then to sending which is merely sending him on a circle and then changing directions, but to do that he has to disengage his hindquarters and then move his shoulders over then go in the new direction. He will get the hang of it before long. I can tell he is getting it because when I move into his stall and he looks at me I just have to look at his butt and he moves it over and faces me. Then I go in. I also worked my horses on ground work going through all 13 exercises and then did the intermediate exercises (16 of them). It was interesting as I watched Raven and Skye across the fence, it was like Raven just wants to take care of him. If it wasn't so late I would have put them in together. Jake and him just run up and down the fence with Jake acting like he wants to bite him. I hesitate to put the horses together, but Skye needs to learn manners from the other members of the herd. So today might be the day.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Yesterday, we had a good session. I find that sometimes I am too intense about getting things done. So I backed off. I rubbed on Skye alot and then when I put the halter on we didn't go right to work. I walked him in big arcs back and forth and then would pet on him when he took some steps forward. He has a tendency to balk when going straight. He is small enough now where I can pull him, but that won't keep working. So walking in arcs and spiraling down to a small circle helps with this. He gets lots of rewards like rubbing and scratching. Then I started going through all the exercises he is learning: YH, YF, backup, lunging. He is making improvements everyday. I want him to always be facing me with two eyes. I picked up his feet some more and cleaned them out. I also started to flex him laterally. He is really soft on both sides, giving willing. That is a good sign. Today will be some more of all of that. I still need to figure out how to clean him up good. He is so caked with junk on his belly that he really needs to get cleaned up. I don't know if it will do alot of good for long since he lays down alot. I try to keep his stall clean with fresh straw/hay, but even then that doesn't stay clean long.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

wet and rainy

Today was Skye 7. I got him out and just rubbed on him and brushed him for a few minutes. THen we went out and I lunged him in both directions. He is getting better at moving out each day. He needs more work to the right, but to the left he is nice and soft, pretty much keeping his head bent toward me and there is a loop in the line. Then we worked more on YH stage one and two. I want two eyes on me all the time so I am being a real stickler about this. Then as I do between every exercise I desensitize him. I worked on lowering his head a couple times throughout the session and at the end he was real soft about this. We went to working on backup and he gave me 4 steps in all the methods of backup, tapping the air, wiggle -walk, marching, and two finger. He will be even better tomorrow. Then went back to lunging to let him get some energy out. I introduced the marching and two finger backup today so I didn't introduce any other exercises today. I walked him around the arena several times to give him opportunity to balk and he did so we just worked through those times. I also picked up and cleaned out his feet. He does good with front feet, but the hind ones he doesn't like too much so we had a bit of a discussion about this. In other words he got tired of YH several times and decided it was time to stand a bit. Then walked him some more and put him up.

Monday, October 29, 2012

skye 6

This is actually the 6th day I have worked out with Skye. Today we started with desensitizing and then went to lunging for respect 1. He is getting lots better about moving out for me and even changing directions. I do need to get the rd pen up so I can work on getting him to always give me two eyes. Then I worked with him on YH stage 1 and then later on 2. Stage 2 is to get him to give me two eyes right away when I look at his butt with active body language. Then I lunged him some more and then back to YF. He does pretty good at this. The last thing we started to work on was backing up. He got the concept down with tapping the air and wiggle wave whack and walk. And that is when we quit this session. I put him in the pen and cleaned out his stall. He was none too happy, tried to run through the fence gate of the rd pen, but it didn't work for him. This week I want to put him in with the other horses. He was running back and forth along the fence with Jake. I think if Jake could have bit him he would have. But Raven came to Skye's rescue it seemed. She made Jake back off. She might just be this little guys protector.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Skye 4

Well, here was one of those days where it was nice having him on sight. I didn't have the opportunity to work with him yesterday nor today really. However, I went up this evening to feed them. He was eating in his stall and I walked behind him to close the door and shut him in for the night and he kicked me where the armor was at. Knocked my phone out of my pocket. Well now, I cannot let that go so I kicked him back, in the hip of same leg he kicked me, doubly, and he didn't like that. Mind you, he probably didn't like me messing with things while he was eating and wanted me out of there. However, I am the leader. In my herd, I am boss and If I want to go in where he is at I will go in whether he likes it or not. As a general rule I don't mess with my horses when they are eating. I don't brush them or rub them, etc. THat is their time. However, going and shutting a gate is not messing with him. So I went and got his new rope halter and lead rope and put it on him and we went out and worked. We made more progress in that 20 minutes than we have all week. I had him moving out lunging in no time and he was moving. I let him go until he was relaxed in one direction then turned him in the other direction. He doesn't like going to the right. He has no problem with that now. It took a few minutes of forcing him to change directions and move, it was a little messy, but by the time we were done I had him going both directions by pointing and changing directions. Then I let him stand and threw the lead over him desensitizing him. Then I went to disengaging his hindquarters (YH) on both sides and got some good progress there. Then desensitized and lunged him again in both directions then desensitize and moved on to moving his shoulders (YF) and desensitize, lunge again. Then let him stand and desensitize. Then we went back to the stall. I rubbed on him a bunch then closed the door and let him go back to eating. So this was an inpromptu lesson, but it was very productive.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

skye 2,3

I was not able to write yesterday about skye due to situation that happened. But I am working on having him stand no matter what is going on around him. So I use the lead and throw it up over him and drag it back across him and do this all over his body. I use my stick and string in the same manner, wrapping the string around his legs etc. until he stand quiet. Then I am working on getting him to move forward and around, lungeing him. He goes forward freely to the left and just has to get used to going in a circle with his body bent on the same arc as the circle. Going to the right is another story. So I have been working more on that. Today he did lots better. Then I have started getting him to yield his hindquarters and he is doing ok at this from both sides. Today he made lots of improvement taking 3-4 steps before it falls apart. I also started backing him today. Now he just wants to take off from me, but he will get it. I have also been doing alot of rubbing on him all over his body. No part of his body is off limits to me, even under his tail. He is letting me pick up his feet and clean them out too. At first he didn't like it too well, but he has come around. The one thing that I am watching for is that he has a tendency to push into me. Some would think this cute, but when he is 1200 pounds that is not good. So we are working on that too. He is starting to lead and follow me, but without a round pen to really work him as of yet, this is hard to tell. I will eventually put him in one and then it will get even better. The one thing to do is to get him cleaned up too. He is one filthy horse. He has his long thick baby hair that is all matted with manure and such. He is going to be a nice horse.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

skye 2

I worked with the little guy again today. I have got to figure out how to bleach him white again. He is so so muddy and matted that I might have to give him a good bath to get him clean. But then he lays down again and it is all over again. Today, I rubbed on him a bunch, he really likes that. Then we went about doing the desensitizing to the lead and stick and string. I had him moving around the rd pen I set up, on the lead rope. I don't want him thinking he can go through the fence. So He moved out pretty good. When I had him stop I drew him to me and desensitized him. Then back to moving in the other direction. He surely doesn't like me on his right side. he is trying to be a master at pushing into me with his shoulder. He will soon be over that though. Then I started moving his hindquarters. We worked on that til he got the concept down then went to the other side. I might work with him again tonight. I put him in the round pen for about 30 minutes while I cleaned his stall and just watched him. He will go in it again tonight for a little while. I am going to wait til he is really hooked to me before I let him have full run of his pen and then let him in with Jake and then Raven.

Monday, October 22, 2012

at it again

For those who are interested, I have been working my own two horses for the last two weeks bringing them up to date on working through the fundamentals stage of training. They just needed some sharpening up is all. I also have had opportunity to give some lessons to another horse owner. Yesterday, I went with an owner to pick up a 5 month old tobiano paint colt. He is a nice little guy. We got him home to our barn all safe and sound. Today I was able to get a small round pen up. I plan on letting him roam in that for a few days, instead on in the bigger pen. I also spent about 30 minutes just rubbing on him and brushing him. He has so much mud caked on him I wonder how I am going to get him cleaned up. But it serves as a chance to get my hands all over him and for him to learn to trust me. THen I took him out in the pen and walked him around the electric fence in both directions/horses are two sided, meaning it is like they are two different horses. I then just wanted to desensitize him to the lead rope, so I kept tossing it on his back and butt and legs, etc. til he stood still. He did pretty good. His right side he was a little apprenhensive. Then I did the stick and string the same way. He did good with that too. But again on the right side he needed a little more work. Then I wanted to get him to move out for me so he would get some exercise. Once he got going he wanted to run and buck and have some fun, but on the lead I just bent him back and got him moving out at a walk and trot. I don't want to work him too hard because his joints are not developed for a lot of moving out like that. He is a fast learner it seems and takes to being rubbed and scratched all over. I think he is going to be a fun one for me.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

day 79, 80

Yesterday was the most fun of all. I got Robbie out and started to ride him. He was hurting on his left foreleg so I didn't work him too hard. We just walked around at a faster pace. He would only limp when he was trotting so he would only take a few strides and then slow to a walk. Riding outside was just fine with him. Star was his usual self. I worked him on the ground outside til he was showing signs of relaxing then I got on him. He still wanted to go, but not as much. I finally got to the point where I made him trot and canter in circles, changing directions on the fence. But the time I was done he was not wanting to go faster than a walk without a lot of compulsion. I then walked him on a loose rein all the way around the arena on the rail and then back again. Anytime he got antsy we went back to that spot and started again. It was the best ride yet. Today, I got Star out and showed Karen what was up with him and rode him around. Then we switched saddles and she rode him. He was so nice and calm. We were indoors. Then We got Robbie out. I didn't trot or canter him because of his leg, but he did good at the walk and She got to ride him too. It was real nice. I would say that we accomplished what we set out to do as far as getting them to be able to ride. I am on to my own horses for a week or so then on to another horse and then after that back to Karen for 3 more horses. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 1, 2012

day 78

Ok, I had a good day with the arabs this morning. I worked Robbie first. I did some gw just to get a sense of where his head was at. Then I saddled him and and worked him some more. I got on and we did some walk and trot exercises. But we were both bored so outdoors we went to the arena. I walked him around and did a few gw exercises then got on him. He was real good. The horses in the neighboring paddock started running and that got his attention for a minute. I just bent him around and had him changing directions. He did some YH and slow spins for me and we trotted around like it was no big deal. Darkstar was pretty good too. I also did some gw inside and rode him around inside working on the bending exercises at walk trot and canter. Then we went outside. I walked around the arena and then did some sending exercises. He gets real excited going to the right, but to the left he is calm as can be. But we did some work sideways on a circle around a barrel a few times then I got on him and he got a little excited but was soon quieting down and I had him trotting big circles in both directions. By the time we were done he was walking and giving softness calmly. I worked at a walk for a few minutes and then our time was up. Tomorrow is another day.

Friday, September 28, 2012

day 76,77

Yesterday had a good day again with the horses. I rode Robbie first and had him moving out real good in the arena. He is still a little sticky on the left side, but he is making improvements as I am teaching him to follow his nose, and then to be soft laterally, vertically. His right side is ok, he seems to gravitate to that side most of the time if I leave him alone. I work on these things for a few minutes then let him on the loose rein walk or trot, sometimes canter. He responds real good. But not yet to my liking to get him on the outdoor arena. Star did good too inside. I did my usual gw and then rode him walk trot and canter. He was doing good so I took him outside and worked him on the ground. He was excited as usual so I worked him through several exercises around the arena til I noticed him being relaxed then got on him. Now he didn't want to be mounted, he kept moving around so I just made him move yh and yf and moving sideways on a circle until he stopped. I practiced getting on and off a few times til I knew he would stand relaxed then got on him. Now he doesn't do this in the indoor arena at all, but this is a different environment. Then I had him move off. It took about 10 -15 minutes of trotting and loping for him to relax enough to begin teaching him the bending I have been doing inside. Anyway I worked him at a walk and then got off and walked him and backed him around the arena to cool him off. Today, day 78, I rode Star first. He was nice and relaxed inside. I walk trot and cantered alot inside working on our usual exercises. The last ten minutes I took him outside and worked him only on the ground. He was real relaxed most of the time. I ended up sidepassing him around the arena and then the other way. I backed him in various ways the length of the arena. By the time I was done with him he was real relaxed. I thought I should have rode him then. But I stuck to my plan. Robbie did fine. I lunged him at liberty and then saddled him and worked him a short time. I got on him and we went to work on getting that lateral and vertical softness at the walk. Then I had him trot about ten minutes on a loose rein in both directions. Then I started working on lateral softness at the trot. He knows what to do. The last few mintues I took him outside to see how he would react and he was real relaxed the entire time. I backed him and sidepassed him all around the arena too. He did real good.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Day 75

Well, I had one of the moments today. When I was right. I got Star out first and saddled him, worked on the ground with him. Ok. Then got in the saddle and things were fine, normal, you might say. I rode about ten minutes and because things were going pretty good I decided to take him to the outdoor arena. Now this is where I was right. I have been told and come to believe that the response I get in the indoor arena, round pen, etc might be 100% right response to what I ask of the horse once they learn it. However, that drops exponentially when you put them in another environment that they have not been in during the training process, like an outdoor arena or trail, or outside the round pen into an arena. I have been told if I get 80% indoors I will only get about 50% or so in the outdoor arena. That was true of Star. When I took him outside he started to get really nervous. I did some c pattern exercises with him and he was freaking out. Slipped and almost fell on the way to the arena. The grass was wet from dew. When we got in the arena I moved him all around it lunging him and changing directions alot etc. When he seemed to me to be somewhat calm I got on him. I flexed him once and he started to move so, knowing that he was scared, I let him move his feet. Well twenty minutes later he was still moving his feet. I was glad I had such a good start on flexing and collection cause he responded to that. I kept him bent the entire time. I let him straighten out a few times. It wasn't long though, cause I had started right in on the bending. He was doing so well indoors. Outdoors he basically had a meltdown and if I hadn't put a pretty good handle on him indoors it could have been disastrous. Anyway, after he calmed down some and wanted to stop I didn't let him. I kept him going and started doing figure 8's and even had him cantering some. He did offer an attempt at a buck or two, but that was all. He just kept moving around and we did lots of circles. Finally, he started to respond to the rein and started giving and so when we got to the end we walked a little bit and I had him bending laterally and vertically then I asked for a stop and he did. I flexed him a few times and got off. I suspect, as he did indoors, he will get better with each time. Robbie, didn't go outside at all today. I want to make sure I have him as close to 100% responding with softness to the rein before I take him out. But he is not as flighty as Star so maybe he would have been fine. Anyway, I did a little ground work with him, got him saddled, more gw and then I got on him. I flexed him and YH YF and off we went. I immediately started where we left off yesterday with bending at the walk and when he was giving me several steps with that then ask him for vertical. Then we moved up to trot. I think we trotted for a good 15 minutes maybe more just working on bending and collection at the trot. We interspersed that with trotting around the arena on a loose rein and doing figure 8's. He got real good at almost needing no direction from the rein, just my seat and legs as he could feel me switch my posting pattern to the other lead and so on. I almost got him neck reining. Now when I go outside with him I don't expect it will be that good. After that good long trot I let him rest a couple minutes and then we went back to work. I want him following his nose with no resistance before I take him outside. Because I know that I will lose some of that control. He did well all in all. We finished up with walking and bending and vertical, stopping and backup etc. Tomorrows another day.

day 74

Yesterday was a good day with these guys. I got Star out first and groomed and saddled him then worked him a few minutes on the ground to make sure he was with me and relaxed. Then the last 40 minutes we rode. I worked immediately on bending for lateral and vertical softness when he was doing that good we moved up to trotting. For the first time he was carrying his head lower at the trot even giving me softness for a stride or two. I let him trot around doing the cruising exercise on a loose rein for several minutes as well. Robbie was much the same. I saddled him and moved him around through the ground exercises then got on him and worked on bending at the walk and trot. Towards the end he was real stiff lateral so I had to stop and work on lateral softness then move back to the walk and get it and then get the vertical. Then we moved back to the trot. I didn't get as much softness as I would like, but we made progress. I let him trot around even canter on a loose rein for a little while then back to walking. Both guys did well. Next is to move over to the outdoor arena and do the same thing.

Friday, September 21, 2012

day 73

Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend a Ken McNabb clinic. It was well worth the drive to Sparta, not only to say hi to Ken, but to learn what I could from the day there. I did pick up on somethings that I could use and did put into practice with good success with the guys today. What were they? Well, I was reminded to stick with an exercise until they get it. Sometimes I have a tendency to quite too early or to accept too little too soon. Secondly, just working on the bend on a circle and then once they are soft laterally, pick up the outside rein and hold til they are soft vertically. That can often take quite a few circles. I found that out today with DarkStar. He picked things up right away going to the left, but to the right he was alot more resistant. There could be many reasons for that, but once he got it it went better. I even started him at the trot and he picked up on that and was moving with softness, head down at the trot. Now this is a high headed guy normally, but he was soon carrying his head lower. When I got on star today he usually would want to take right off in a trot, but today when we started he wanted to go, not at a trot, but a fast walk, so I put him right to work on this circling exercise. Almost 30 minutes later he is carrying his head lower and softer and responding to my seat and legs. A third thing I learned or was refreshed on was the stop. We didn't have a lot of time to work on this, but he did get his stop better, now we just have to get his walk to stop to backup better so that it is a walking backup. Robbie, did real good too. I went through my normal gw routine, a shortened version, saddled him up and then got on him and started working on those same things. We progressed to getting some good trotting with softness and even some good cantering around with him. I had a great time an both of them. We made good progress. I only wish I would have had more time with them today. I can't ride again until Tuesday so they are getting some time off. But next week we will pick up where we left off.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Day 71, 72

Well, we got to down to it yesterday and today. Yesterday both horses went through their paces as though they were bored. I did the same things with them went through all the exercises. Star I walk, trot and canter. He started out a bit hyper, but that was scare in him. I bent him to slow. Each day that has even been getting better. Robbie I just walked and trotted. Did alot of work with both of them on giving me vertical softness at the walk and started the trot. Then I took the pen down. Today, was in the big arena. Robbie was real good we did alot of figure 8's at the trot, about 15 minutes worth. I have noticed with both of them that they really don't follow their noses well if they are interested in going another direction. So I gotta get this 100% before I am done with them. I didn't canter him as he still overreaches and the boots don't stay on well. Star was started and he did get antsy at first, but I bent him to a walk and then kept changing directions and pretty soon his head was dropping. THen I started to trot him around. I did alot of serpentines and figure 8's with him trying to work on getting him to follow his nose too. But he did a great job. Was nice and calm pretty much throughout the ride. So we will pick up on Friday at this spot.

Monday, September 17, 2012

day 70

Well this was a good day for riding. These guys were just fine. Robbie had his spunk back. But he did just fine. I was going to remove the round pen today, but didn't have time to do it. So it is set for wednesday, unless I have time tomorrow to do it. They are both pretty calm about everything it seems. I didn't canter Robbie today for the same reason as before. He did pretty good in everything I asked him to do. Darkstar was just fine today as well. He picked up a canter right away when I asked him to. He wanted to start out going fast in the beginning, but I just bent him down to a walk then redirected his feet until I was ready for a trot and canter. He settled down in short order. More of the same tomorrow with them.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Day 69

When I worked with the horses today I put a obstacle in the way. I left the door to the arena open so they could see other horses out in the paddock. When I worked with Darkstar He was a little distracted by it. I put him through his paces then saddled him and went through my usual exercises. Then I got on him and he was really distracted in fact he decided he wanted to just go at a trot. So at first I let him because I don't want to squelch the forward. But when he wanted to stop I didn't let him. Then I had him work on keeping gait whatever it was. Finally, he started settling down especially when I started redirecting his feet every time he broked gait. I had him doing alot of YH and Yf then move off. One rein stops and YF and move off. I started asking for lateral softness with forward and when he was giving me that I started to ask for vertical softness. It took a few times but he started to give me that too. So we worked on that the last 5 mintues or so of our lesson. My plan for Robbie was a little different because the vet thinks he might have an infection. I decided to take it a little easy on him. I did the walk trot canter at liberty with him and then saddled him. Did several sending and circling exercises. He didn't throw up any slime at all. Then I got on him and went through my check list and had him move off. I mainly wanted to work on vertical flexion at the walk. However, I did have him trot some. No cantering. I thought, if he has an infection somewhere in his head I don't want to pull on him much. Anyway he was real good for me and calm. There were a few times he was starting to get focused on the other horses that came into sight, but I just kept his feet moving with YH and YF. So it was a good lesson for him as well.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

DAY 68

Had a really good day with both horses today. I found some boots for Robbie to wear so that he will be more apt to canter for me. I started by having him at liberty walk trot and canter and back down to walk for me. He did good in both directions. Then I saddled him and went through all the exercises I know he knows, even sidepassing on the rail and not on the rail. Then I got on him and flexed him. He is super soft. I then did a YF and walked off. Then did some serpentines with him and asked him to trot no problem. Did some more YH and YF and walk off in both directions. I asked him to canter and he didn't really like it til I put the boots on him, he was overreaching and clipping his heel. Then I wasn't really a problem. I then had him working on YH and YF in 360 degrees. Had him walk trot canter a few times and he was just fine. Darkstar did just as well. I went through the same things on the ground as with Robbie. Then I saddled him and did some more. I got on him and flexed and did YF and walked off too. We brushed up against the rail and it scared him and we started trotting so I kept him trotting even after he wanted to stop. We did the other direction and some YH YF and stopped. Then I had him trot and move to canter and he did with a little coaxing. I think he is so out of balance it is hard for him to canter with me on his back. So I was working on getting lateral softness at the walk and then to vertical. He is catching on and is real willing. We ended with the walk trot canter and some flexing at the walk. Both horses are real calm through it all. That is good.

day 66, 67

I better catch up with my report. Tuesday I worked with both and had a good ride on each of them. Robbie, after working on the ground with him I got in the saddle and flexed and walked off. I did several serpetines and YH. Then I asked for trot, no problem. When I asked for canter there was a bit of a hiccup, but nothing after that when I would ask him. I noticed when I was cleaning his hooves that he had overreached and nicked his front right heel on the outside. So that is why he didn't really want to go into a canter and when he did it was always in the wrong lead. Thus, yesterday I didn't ask for a canter from him. I worked mainly on getting him to follow his nose which he does too well at this point so much that he just thinks I want him to YH or go in a circle. But I also worked on vertical flexion and YF. He is doing real good and is nice and relaxed at the end. Darkstar on tuesday started really following me hurried up. When I got on him I don't have a problem with the go button. He moved right into a trot. So I let him go. I started cantering him as well. He still his high headed, but at least the forward is there. Now it will be just keeping the forward with getting him in balance. Yesterday, I worked with him on transitions from walk trot and canter, lateral flexion and starting to get vertical at least at a standstill. THe problem now it trying to get him to go straight and stay on the rail. I might do better with that once I take the rd pen down and ride in the arena. I probably will get a better canter and trot too. We will soon be doing that.

Monday, September 10, 2012

day 65

Had a good day with the horses today. Star was first in the lessons today and there was plenty to work on. I decided to rd pen him to build on the hooking on to me. The rd pen has worked much better for this. Today I had him walk, then stop. then trot and walk and stop. Then walk, trot and canter and stop. each stop was in the middle with him walking to me. I did this three times and by the third time when I let him stop (and he wasn't doing a lot of sweating or heaving at all) he walked quickly to me. It was then that I saddled him and moved him through YH YF, sending and circling around the pen. Then I flexed him and got on and flexed some more. My goal was to get more trotting out of him. I got it. I can get a trot in the right lead no problem it is going in the left lead that I have trouble. So for every lap in trot to the right I worked twice in the left. He was doing much better and getting much softer. Also he was not jumping as much. I had what I might call a 'light bulb' moment today too. I think in the future, a horse with his extreme trust issue, I won't do as much sacking out/desensitizing until he trusts me. I will do so but not as much as I did with him. This may have caused him to not trust me as quickly. Anyway when we were finished and he was put up I gave him the core of an apple and after a about a minute he took it from my hand after smelling it adn ate it. That was huge, because a horse that doesn't trust you will not usually eat from your hand. This was the first time he did this though it has been offered several times before. Robbie was really good today too. I rd penned him but not as much as he already hooks on to me and follows me. Today I wanted to get a nice walk to a stop, then a walk to trot to walk and a stop, then a walk to trot to canter to trot to walk and a stop. All without kicking up a lot of dust, but all nice and calm. He willingly moved through the transitions with no much compulsion or cue, but just enough to get him going. Then I saddled him and moved him through YH YF, sending and circling around the arena at a walk and trot and canter. He did well so I got on him. We walked on a loose rein and got several really soft YH one rein stops. Then we moved up to trotting several circles. My goal here was to get him to stay in a trot on a bigger circle and then get some soft one rein stops in both directions. I also wanted to work on getting him to follow his nose and stay more on the rail. We did several figure 8's and trotting through those. Then we started working on keeping the forward motion but trying to get collection. It wasn't long and I was getting vertical softness/collection at the walk for a step. Tomorrow we will build on this. So it was a good session with him too.

Friday, September 7, 2012

day 64

Had a good ride on the horses today. Had Darkstar really calm. I did a bit of rd penning and he immediately started to walk pretty fast up to me in the middle when I gave him a chance. Then I saddled him and went through the exercises. Then I got on him and had him move out. My goal today was to get alot more trotting out of him for a longer time. He goes good to the right but not to the left so we worked on that more. I also wanted to keep him closer to the rail then he has been. Both went well. Robbie was real calm all the way through. My goal with him was to get more trotting out of him and to start using the rein more. I wanted to keep him on the rail too. I think he had an upset stomach though so I didn't work him as hard as I would have liked. However, he did well, stayed calm throughout and did what I asked of him.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

day 63

Had a good day with the horses today. I got Robbie out and rd penned him for a few minutes. Then put halter on and went through the exercises around the arena. Saddling was great cause he wanted to stand. I moved him around a few more times then I got on him and flexed him. Today the goal was to move him on a loose rein and only pick it up if I needed it. It worked. I had him walking around and letting him basically choose the direction and then after a while I started picking up lightly on the rein and move in another direction. When he was doing this well, I started to ask for a trot. That was great. We were trotting on a loose rein and doing YH one rein stops real light. I kept that up doing figure eights and circles at a walk, then a trot then back to a walk. I finished the ride with walking and starting to put more directions with rein. Star I got in the pen and decided to rd pen him and see if I could get some better follow from him. It worked a little bit. If had the time I would have done it longer to see if it could improve more. I saddled him and moved him around doing all the exercises then I got on him. Flexed him and asked him to move off. He did so readily. I too wanted to ride on a loose rein and just get him to move good. I also finally got him to trot out for me going to the right, but could hardly get it going to the left. I worked on that more until I got a good circle at a trot going to the left. He offered a canter at one point, but soon backed down. He has carried himself so out of balance that with me on his back it is just hard for him to carry it up to a trot with his head high and hollowed out in the back. But it is too soon to try to collection and roundness when he won't even move forward real good. The reason is that trying to get collection will make him think I want to stop at this point. My goal for both of these guys is to get a walk, trot, canter and back down with as much softness as possible while in the round pen. Anything else is icing on the cake.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

day 62

Today I moved some fence and transferred to it the arena where I am working the two arabs. I put it up so that I now have a makeshift round pen. Boy did it make a difference. I no longer have to be concerned about them running 100'trying to get away from me. So after I got it up I put Darkstar in it and let him around. Well he doesn't wander much. The curiosity bug hasn't bit him. So I moved him at liberty as if I was rd penning him. He jumped at a few things, my saddle hanging on the fence, the bag of shavings in front of the hydrant. But he soon settled down. Then I moved him around with the halter and then put the saddle on him. I moved him around some more with all the exercises he knows. Then I got on and flexed him and Yh. Then we got some good forward movement. I only had a little time so I wanted more than a walk. I got him to trot real good around a couple times in both directions. He didn't like it, but did it. Then I got Robbie out and he was all over. I worked him at liberty to get him to know the boundaries then put hte halter on him and worked him sending him around the saddle as well as at the hydrant. I had him trotting and cantering. Then I put the saddle on him and went through the same things. Then when he was relaxed I got on him and went through the exercises. Then moved forward into a walk. He was tossing his head some, but that was because I had a little pressure on the halter from both sides. It might be confusing him or it might be just that he doesn't like the pressure. Anyway, we did several circles in both directions and I was getting him to move out more on the rail and we started doing alot figure 8's across the center constantly changing directions. Then we started going straight again and he offered to trot so I let him and just got in rythm with him then relaxed. The we went the other direction he wasn't so ready to trot, but I got him up into it and we trotted a couple circles then I eased him back to a walk and stop. I ended with YH several times both sides and YF and then quit. HOpefully tomorrow will be even better.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A new month

I got started on Day 61 today with these guys.
Darkstar started. I worked him on the ground and saddled him then moved him around some more. He was real relaxed though he would jump every now and then. He reminds me of my horse Jake who was seven when I got him and he was headshy, shoulder shy, it seemed I could hardly touch him anywhere without him getting a little edgy. Well Star is somewhat like that. Today I got good movement out of him. He faltered at first but when he knew I meant business he went for me. We circled and YH several times. We got so we could go almost around the entire arena. There were spots that he didn't like to get close to so I didn't push him yet. He is still getting used to carrying me around, though this is the 11th day of riding. I even got some trotting out of him, but it spooked him and he would stop. So I backed off and excepted speeding up and holding a faster walk for a few strides. The trotting makes me bounce a little on his back even in a post so he has to get used to that first. I rode him for 30 good minutes and he was ready to stop when we did. Of course he had lots of mini rests during that time.
Robbie was wanting to move so I moved him around really making him work so that I could get him to stand to groom him. Then I worked him more with lots of direction changes and YH YF movements. I would let him rest in the middle. Then I would take him over to the door he likes to stand at and make him really move and then take him to the middle to rest. Then I saddled him and he was a bit full of himself and I could sense him wanting to buck so I shut it down before he could with a direction change and hurrying up his feet. I did this til he was good and relaxed then I got on him in the middle. He never once wanted to go over to the door or the hydrant where the excitement was at last week. I had taken him over to the hydrant on the ground and made him get real close and bump the saddle against it and he jumped a bit, but then did it again and it didn't bother him. I rode him for 30 minutes too, but he was moving out pretty good and doing a nice circle for me. His YH are real good and soft and then we would go forward. He would toss his head when I added the outside rein to get him to move straight, but I would bend him and then he would be ok. He just doesn't like the pressure at that point. I really want to start working on bending and flexing at the walk with both of these guys but they really have to get better at moving with me on their back. I need to be able to ride with a loose rein. We are not there yet. But we will get there.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

my horses

I finally got to ride my own horses today. I decided to work them in the same pattern as they needed to be brushed up on being soft and vertical when I pick up the reins. So what I did was work them from the ground for about 5 minutes. Then I got on and flexed them. I had them move their shoulders over and then stepped forward into a walk. We walked 5 mintues, then trotted 5 minutes, then cantered 5 minutes. You wouldn't believe how long 5 minutes seems when you are trotting or cantering. These horses haven't been worked much lately so I wanted to work on getting them warmed up some. Then I let them rest for a couple minutes. I flexed them again and then at a walk started to ask for lateral softness and then when I was getting that I asked for vertical. They both took to it rather quickly. Then I practiced switching shape in terms of vertical, left or right shape. Then I asked for leg yields away from the bend then into the bend. They both did pretty good. I plan on working them all three days of this labor day weekend, so by the end of these three days they ought to be where they need to be. Jake was much rougher at the trot and canter. I rode both on a loose rein, but Jake is so bouncy at a trot and even worse at a canter. I think it is because he is not in balance. But when I can pick him up and get him into balance then he gets smoother. But that is for another day of riding. Had a good time on both of them.

Friday, August 31, 2012

day 60

Well, Praise the Lord, I made it through today. I will explain later. I went into this day wanting to get some good forward movement from these horses. That was my plan. I will tell you up front I got what I wanted. Robbie is who I started with. He came willingly enough. I groomed him. He even stood nice for the fly spray. I did some ground work exercises and I could tell he was full of himself today. But I worked him changing directions til he calmed down. Then put the saddle on him and all was ok. I moved him around YH YF, ect. Then he was throwing his head around, just real resistant. He even offered a slight buck, but I kept asking for his head in and changing directions, flexing him at a standstill and he would throw his nose in the air, etc. So I put him on the long line and had him really move out in a canter and he was head high and strung out and hollow backed. I kept bumping his nose back to me finally he started to carry his head a little lower and not so much with his nose out. I turned him around and did the same thing in the othe direction. I was even considering not riding him just cause I had an intuition that it might get hairy. But he calmed down so I got my helmet switched to the lead line. This time I didn't use a bit, just the halter, like a Bosal and flexed him moved him out while I walked beside him. He was tossing his nose in the air all feisty like. The same thing he did with the bit, so now I know it is not the bit that bothered him so much. He does need some teeth work, but if he still did it with the halter, it is clearly not the bit. So what is it? Resistance. Resistance in a horse is not good. They can be dangerous when you are riding a resistant horse. So I just kept flexing and moving him from the ground on a loose rein until the resistance was gone the changed sides and directions and did the same thing. Then I got on him. Flexed him at a standstill, YH several times in both directions then asked to move off. I was in the center of the arena and because he likes to be by the door we always come in at he walked right there. So I turned his head and moved across the arena down the wall. Then turned him into the wall and did a sort of roll back then went back. We did this a couple times. Well there is a hydrant on the wall I was using and on the way back going to the right with the wall on the left and this long arena on the right, we were too close and my foot caught the hyrdrant and that set Robbie to bucking. Now I don't mean the kind of loping buck, not even a little crow hop. I mean all out bucking like I had seen him do from the ground, only this time I was experiencing this from his back. Fortunately, I had a death grip on the horn with my left hand, and my right was fishing for rein so I could bend him. He must have caught me in between switching hands and reins because I didn't have the night latch.I had to snake my hand down the rein so I could get him to bend to the right and slow down. He bucked real good rodeo style for what seemed like a really long time, but I got him settled down. Then off we went, I didn't let him stop for upwards of ten to 15 minutes. We did zig zags, circles, but we walked and walked and I bent him and turned him. It was worth the buck to get him to this point where we were really doing some moving out. I rode him til I got my breath back then let him rest. He finally kept wanting to go to the middle where He could rest. So we stopped and I flexed him. He was stiff, but I kept flexing til he was soft again. Then got off. His flanks were still heaving and I got the plaque moved through in my heart, but it was good. As I always do before I get on, I prayed and asked the Lord to keep us safe. I guess I should have been more specific and asked that he not buck. However, I got the forward movement I was looking for. This set me up for a good ride on Darkstar. I figured since I made it through Robbie, I can do it with Star too. So I was like normal with him. He was all relaxed for grooming and saddling. I moved him around some too in order to make sure he was yielding and soft. Then I used the halter instead of bit with him too. I got on and flexed him and YH with him and moved him off. He kept playing his one step two step game. I had enough of that and really got after him as though on the ground and he moved. He was a little jumpy, but we moved all around the arena YH and turning, etc. We even got into a trot a couple times. I rode him about 20 minutes like that, stopping every so often, but we had a good ride. Finally, with lots of forward. Now we will be ready to move on to getting softness with the forward and moving to trot and canter. It was a good day of training.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

day 59

Today was a good time with the horses. They were relaxed through most of the session. Robbie I was able to get to move a little more. He keeps throwing his head and like I said before I think that is because I might be on his mouth more than I think. So today, I was noticeably not on his mouth and that helped some. Every time I asked for him to move off, though, he still threw his head around and then would relax when we stopped. I was able to get him to move and able to get him to YH and YF more and to be vertically soft a little more. Darkstar made a noticeable improvement today. I moved him a bit and then saddled him and after a short stint at going through some of the exercises I got on him and flexed and at first he would only take a step then stop. But that kept increasing so that I was able to finally get him to walk a bit circle to the right and to the left. That is what we stopped on because that was huge for him. He was not nearly as skittish as in the past. I also was able to get him soft at a standstill vertically. He seemed to take to it real easy. Now it is just getting the forward movement from both of them and then able to trust them enough to move out on a loose rein and only use the rein when I want to get them into posture to make a movement like a YH or YF or to walk balanced. Right now neither of them move balanced with me on their back. Hopefully, tomorrow will be even better.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

day 57, 58

Well I thought that I better get this recorded. It has been really hectic the last two days. Yesterday I had to do a shortened day with these guys so I didn't even saddle them. I worked on improving where they are at on the ground. I wanted to make sure they were calm and I could tell they were calm through each exercise. Today, I got Robbie out and had a good time with him. I spent about 30 minutes doing ground work, saddling and checking for calmness with him. Then I got on him for the last 30 minutes. I flexed and had him do circles again. I couldn't get him to go forward real well today so I began to work on YH and YF. We would go down the wall a ways and I would turn him into the wall, YH and Yf and go the other direction. I noticed that he really started to shake his head alot and I figured out that it was because I was on his mouth ever so slightly, because he would stop when I let the reins drop. When I picked them up to have him move forward he would start to shake his head again. So I have to work on letting him have his head and at the same time have him moving forward but ready to pick up a rein if needed. Darkstar was real calm today, though he jumped a couple times but it was almost half hearted. I saddled him and went through some exercises then I got on him and flexed him and asked him to move off. He actually moves forward better than Robbie at this point. But I would Yh and Yf and move forward. We went from getting one or two steps to getting 4 or 5 or even more. At the end of the session I decided to see if I could get vertical softness. After a few tries to the right he started giving it to me once he figured out what I was after and then he started giving it to me as soon as I picked up the reins like that. Then I went to the other side and it was faster yet that he picked it up. I can't wait to see if we can pick up where we left off tomorrow with this and then really start to get some forward motion with softness. That would be fantastic.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Day 56

Today I had a good ride on both horses. I am really paying attention to whether or not they are relaxed in what we are doing. I went through the basic exercises and then saddled them. Then with Robbie I flexed him with the reins and YH and then moved him forward while I walked beside him as though I was in the saddle. Then I got on him. I didn't drive either one of them today. I just watched to see if they were really relaxed. I did the same thing with walking beside with Darkstar too.
Then I got on and asked Robbie to flex and he was giving me even vertical softness. I then asked him to move off. He still only moves in a circle, about 10' but that is ok, he started to get more resistant and I don't want him going forward if there is lateral resistance. Anyway I worked with him and started to get some YF from the saddle too. I rode about 20 minutes and we were done.
Star was about the same, only with him he is much more jumpy. While Robbie is real relaxed, Star seems to be always on edge. But I worked him from the ground doing some YO YO exercises too. He was real relaxed and under saddle he was mostly relaxed. I did a lot of flexing with him and he moved off and then YH. We did some 360s with him and he did fine. He doesn't like to take too many steps forward, but that is ok he is making progress with taking more steps. He got a little edgy a time or two, but I flexed him and calmed him down and then we went back at it. I also started working a little on YF after YH. I would say they both did well and I was mostly confident on their backs. Progress, progress, progress, baby steps. No giant leaps, but small steps of progress.

Friday, August 24, 2012

day 55

today I got Robbie out and saddled and moved around to check on his attitude and see if he would be resistant or yielding. He proved yielding. I went to put the driving reins on him and was just standing on his left side getting the line ready to connect to the bit and he bit me. I immediately got after him. In hindsight I think it was one of two things: he doesn't like the drive lines and or he wanted to see if he could push me away. Well it didn't work. But trying to think like a horse and ask myself why he did it, I think it was the same he would have done with another horse he wanted to move out of his space. And just like another horse that is more dominant, he or she would have tore into him for a second and made him move, which is exactly what I did. Then I acted like nothing happened and went back to putting the line on the bit and driving him. He tried to take off, but I stopped. He tried several more times while I was untangling the lines, but each time I stopped him. Then when I was ready I moved him off. I just wanted toget a walk trot canter out of him that was relaxed in each direction. I noticed that he was really tossing his head and mouthing the bit more than ever. So something was up with that. A couple times his tongue was over the mouth piece and we got that corrected. I think it was that he was trying to get away from it. The lines kept hanging up on parts of the tack so he was not getting immediate relief. When I took the lines off and just used the rein, he still did it but not as much. I got on and flexed him both sides and had him step off and we just went in small circles and flexed to a stop and then changed directions. It all went rather well, no bucking, getting scared or anything like that. I rode him about 10--15 minutes. We didn't go in big circles, but there was no confusion at all. We stopped with flexion that was real soft.
Darkstar came out no problem. He was his usual standoffish, would rather leave it than take it kind of attitude, but once he realized he was doing this he did fine. He stood good for saddling, and putting the bridle on. I was checking to see how flexible he would be and how yielding he would be. I put the lines on him and drove him a few times around, asking for walk trot. I then got on him and we didn't take alot of straight line steps but we did. I YH and then asked him to step off and he would take a couple steps and then bend him again with softness. Then did lots of flexing side to side, even using my foot by the girth to help him flex. I could sense he was starting to get a little jumpy the longer I was on his back, but I continued as long as I thought he was going to just have a melt down. So we took steps and YH and more steps YH and stopped and flexed and rested and did it all over. We did this probably about 15 minutes and then time ran out and he was getting more jumpy so I thought to myself, well I will pay attention to what he is telling me, "I have pushed him enough." and then just flexed about 20 times each side. Especially the left side, because he seemed to have hardened right up on that side. So I flexed until he was soft both ways and then quit.
Monday is another day.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


I guess I better catch up on what has been happening the last two days.
Both yesterday and today we did basically the same things, though today was much better for both.
They both stood really good for saddling and then I moved them around a few minutes. THen put the bridle on and flexed them and YH with softness. Then I ground drove them both. I wanted to make sure they were responding and making the transitions from walke trot canter and back to stop. Today the both made marked improvements in this. Then with Robbie, I got on and flexed him and then Karen led off several steps to YH and then walk off again. I wanted to transition from her asking for it to me asking and that went well. We did both directions and today we actually got alot more movement out of him. I was making most of the cues myself. I had her kinda step aside as though lungeing and I moved him around and asked for YH and go in the other directions. We did this a few times then we stopped. Star was not as jumpy today as he was yesterday. He even walked up to me while I had the halter in hand from the center of the arena. He stood better today for saddling than yesterday. I drove him some and flexed him. He did pretty good. Then I got and flexed him and Karen led us around. Basically a repeat of what we did with Robbie. Only I was moving in the saddle alot more. He got scared a couple times but a YH helped to calm him down. I was bouncing around in the saddle and that is what spooked him. I can do it no problem at a stand still, but while moving he doesn't like that. So I tried it a couple more times with the same result. So rather than get him all hyped up about it I stopped that and just kept moving him and practicing the YH. We need to work on YF too, but not at that point yet. Things seem to be progressing pretty good so far. Tomorrow is day 55 so we will see what happens.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

day 51

This was a new day. I came at it with the desire to have Karen, the horses owner begin to observe and even help me with the training of thes guys. And low and behold, she must have been thinking the same thing because when I arrived yesterday she and I talked and she had the same thinking in mind. So we started with Star. I went through my routine with him and then toward the end I had her lead Star around while I sat on top of him. This was her suggestion. My only concern was that if things got out of hand and she had to let go the rope then there is a lead rope dragging the ground too. But it all worked out well. She led me a few steps then stopped and then just increased so more steps. It worked pretty good.
Robbie was a similar track. I worked him while she observed and then at the end I got on him and had him disengage his hindquarters a few times in each direction. Then we quit.
Today we will do a similar thing with both horses.

Friday, August 17, 2012

day 50

You would think that I would be riding these horses by now. I have put 5 rides on Star, but the last one told me that he really wasn't ready for it. Today, I didn't even saddle Star. I took him out and played with him at the pond. I got him to rest on the beach which was really good. To do it though I had to work him and then let him rest on the beach. Then we found a puddle, that he jumped at and that became a challenge obstacle to get him to cross. That was in the driveway. So we spent some time working on this toget him to go across and at least get his feet wet. His aversion to water reminds me of the cats that inhabit the barn where he stays. Then we went to the road where there is a ditch and worked on him crossing that. It took some patient persuasion but he went back and forth across it. Then we came back to the barn and he was done.
Robbie got to play at liberty with me, my choice, not his. I wanted to see just how much of a connection I have with him. I had him trotting and walking around me without me moving. I even got him to stop and face me when he stopped. Then I put the saddle on him and the bridle and drove him around. I wanted to work the transitions up to a canter and back down and stop. He did pretty good in both directions. I was looking for him to stay  on his track too. He does pretty good going to the right, but the left needs some work. I want him to stay bent/shaped toward the inside and not drift in or out so I really have to work the reins a little bit to steer him. I would like him bent with slack in the rein. He is getting better, even getting vertically soft. He is a real nice mover. I got in the stirrup with him a couple times and really moved around on him to see what he would do. I also flexed him with the bit.
I sure would like to be riding both of these guys but we gotta get over that hump of controlling their feet from the saddle before we actually start going forward too much. So maybe next week we will be able to start riding. We both have to be ready for this.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

day 49

well the storms went through. Thankful for an indoor arena.
I worked with Star first. I saddled him and went outside to the pond. The storm was just rolling in so didn't have alot of time on the shore, but did get him to come near the water rather quickly. We went back in when the rain hit. I then pulled out the tarp and worked on his spookiness by putting the tarp on him and over the lead rope. He did really well with that. It seems that it is the things that he can't see that scare him the most. Then I got the long lines out and flexed him and then ground drove him some. He still needs work on being soft with the bit. He is soft with the lead, but not the bit. I need to work on that much more.
Robbie did well today also. I had no trouble putting the saddle on him or putting the bridle on. I had him go over the tarp and sacked him out with that too. Then I put the reins on him and ground drove him the rest of our time. He seeks out softness with the bit. I practiced having him flex vertically and he is catching it. I also went through the transitions of walk and trot and stop. He is getting much better with driving him. I am even seeking a little collection when he is moving forward. So we finished up with driving him in a relaxed walk doing some serpentines and then we quit.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

two days

Ok I have to catch up on yesterday and today's blog.
Yesterday, I was able to work Robbie with driving. He is making huge improvements in his comfort level with the reins around his hocks and fetlocks. I just wanted him to be comfortable with this so I moved him around some in each direction. Today was even better. He is standing better to be saddled. I like to move him around before and after to see where his mind is and if there is alot of licking and chewing and using his thinking side I am good to move on to other things. I sidepassed him down the wall a few times and then put the lines on him. When he felt the rein on his rump he took off a step or two but immediately responded to my hands on the reins. I walked him in a circle several times and then turned him and did the same. Then let him rest. Started again and moved up to a trot then back to walk and back to trot . . . . He did this really well both ways. He was responding to my feel to make a transition and even to stop. I noticed that he is naturally collecting vertically which is nice and it is pretty to look at.
Darkstar I could sense was really jumpy yesterday. I knew I had to work through his ADD before we really could get anywhere. So I got in the 'give him a heart attack' mode and then would let him rest next to me. It is almost as if he is searching me out when he is scared. It seems like he thinks everyone and everything is out to kill him. I just remained calm and basically dared him to be scared then would be calm. By the end of the session he was much calmer. It is a day I wouldn't  have ridden him if we were at that stage. Today, he was not as jumpy. I immediately saddled and bridled him, but I tricked him because I didn't really work him much. I just led him around. We went to the outdoor arena. He got a little excited but I just moved his feet and let him rest. We played YO YO some. I had him jump the barrels once and just really ambled around the arena. Then we left the arena and I sent him through the gate back and forth til he would do it nice and relaxed at the walk. Then we walked around the yard, over this big pond where a flock of geese were lounging. Because of the drought it has a nice 3-4 foot beach around it with a ledge and so I asked him to come to the water with me. After a little patient coaxing he finally walked around the little beach with me. When the flock of geese took off he didn't try to run off. We had a nice walk. I forgot to mention that in the arena I got on and off a few times, even had him step his butt over  in each direction and again dared him to spook by acting the crazy man. When we got back inside I did the same thing and let him have lots of rests after somewhat intense pressure. All in all I think the change up of things worked in our favor today.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Day 46

today went well.
I started with Star. When I got the halter out he walked away from me, but when I walked towards him he turned and faced me and walked towards me. I worked him just a little bit with lots of rub time.  Then I put the saddle on him, which he did not want, but he tolerated it. So I take this all into consideration and make sure it is a good experience and that he is getting lots of rests. I will push him and then rest him, push him and rest him. With the saddle on I wanted to drive him a bit, but I want to make sure he is laterally soft with it. Then I just drove him with one rein. I did both sides walk trot walk stop a few times. I also got on his back and had him YH once each side.
Robbie had no problem with anything. I could sense a little tightness when I saddled him but other than that he did good. I drove him with one rein on both sides -walk, trot walk stop. Then I put both reins on him and he didn't hardly act up. He cantered around for a minute or so but soon slowed to a trot then a walk. When I had him going through those transitions pretty good I drove him straight and turned him in the other direction and did the same thing. One thing for sure, he searchs for getting off the bit which is good. He did real good with driving today. Alot better than last time. He also got real calm for me and did alot of walking. The reins on his legs didn't seem to bother him. In fact, when I finished the rein was draped around his fetlock and all he did was step his foot forward, but didn't move his body and waited for me to take it off.
So both horses made some improvements today. Robbie made huge advances in driving.