Saturday, March 31, 2012

Day 9

He went to work with me again today. I started out in the pen where he did real good and relaxed. I only did a few exercises with him as I wanted to take him to the back field. So we left and backed all the way down the trail. We had a few stops cause he just needed to look at what he was backing into. Then when we got to the field I saddled him up and went through all the exercises, using obstacles like logs, etc. We walked down the power line just kind of looping through several exercises and did them on the hill with me up top and he down below and vice versa. We got to the big water hole, which was ideal. I ran along the top as he ran through the watertrough like pond. Then had him jumping up the edge and then back down the edge. I thought I was at CA's ranch in Texas with his big water obstacle the horses go through. I didn't pay anything to go there. Then we worked our way back. That entire time took an hour. He wasn't done yet. Oh no! No it was riding time. So I put the bridle on him, flexed him several times and then got on. I flexed him some more. He started to move off a few times, but I gather that before long he is going to want to stand when he gets a chance. Then we walked a few strides and the trotting/cruising lesson began. We went around 3x in each direction. He hasn't got that idea of just going straight and follow the path. But his trot was nice and relaxed. I got him to canter a few times, but really wanted to work on him following his nose so we did the circle ess exercise a bunch at the trot. Then we worked on bending exercises at walk and trot. I also worked on touch and rub, and moving his hindquarters over and shoulders. He is real dull in both spots so he gets spurs tomorrow in order to just give him a gentle nudge. He knows what to do, but is real slow about doing it in his own time. I want to up that response time exponentially. Of course, if I am not careful he might respond too much. So it will be tested on the ground, then gently under saddle. My guess is it will go well. He doesn't seem to spook at many things at all either which is real good. He does ok on one rein stops, he just needs to be softer laterally. He backs ok and gets verticalls soft real easy. He just has to learn to hold it longer. So I would say he knows all 27 exercises of the foundation level and some more from the intermediate level. Now these are by no means all A+ grades, but they can be improved on. And that is where we will go. Oh, and by the way, no bucking as of yet.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Day 8

Did a good ride with C today. We spent about 30 minutes w/ gw got him saddled and road in the pen a few minutes. Then took him out back did the exercises on the way back there and In the field. I got on him and wked on mounted exercises. We trotted 20 minutes wking on just staying in gait and following his nose. He did real good. It was a good lesson.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

day 7

Today's lesson went really well. We went to work together immediately and let him rest while I rubbed and brushed him. Then 6 quick inside turns while I merely stood while he went around me. We then took the next half hour and went over all the exercises just to get them a little tighter on his responses. I did the Jeffries method just enough to let him know I was coming and to stay consistent with what we have done over the last two days. Then I put the pad on him and then the saddle with the same kind of sacking him out. When I asked him to move off we just did everything the same and he was real calm through the entire exercise. Then I asked him to move off in a trot and canter and no bucking no problems at all. He has high energy but that is a good thing. Then I got on him and went through the same process. We did the walk, trot, canter with YH at throughout and then he did real good. Not balking not bucking not giving me any sense of attitude except, what do you want me to do. So after a short time of this we quick. We had about an hour and a half into this lesson which has been the least of them yet.
He is coming along real nice and relaxed.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Day 6

Ok, let me get this one out of the way. WOW! that is all I can say. It took no more than about a minute til he decided to go to work with me today. I rubbed on him and brushed on him. With in the next 5 minutes he did 6 great inside turns immediately. These were 'A+' moves. We quickly went through all the exercises in under 30 minutes he did great on them all. I did the Jeffries method with him again. He moved off a few times, but I just stayed with him and he got real relaxed and was actually moving into position so I could get on, I figured that out after a few times. I was the slow one there. Then I got the pad and saddle out and before long he was wearing the saddle, not real excited. I did several YHqtrs and Yforequarters and moved him off like that letting him take few more strides each time til he was walking calmly around me. We did a lot of stopping and resting in between and desensitizing. Then it was time to see if he would trot for me. I sent him off a few strides and YHqtrs and backup, rest. Repeat several times then switched sides. and same thing all over. He got a little more excited on the right side but he handled it and even went right into a nice lope for me in both directions and then relaxed to a trot. Then I started some of the other exercises with saddle on him. He got excited doing the Lunging stage 2 but he settled down. It was mainly his anticipation of my asking to change directions. I just have to tone down my cues a little more. He is getting real soft on flexion. Tomorrow I have big plans for him. If it is anything like today it will be even better.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Day 5

Today started a little rougher. He didn't want to go to work with me, but after a few suggestions he decided it was more relaxing to be next to me even if I was in the rd pen. So then we rested good and he got a good rubbing. Then I rd penned and he did great for several turns and then regressed and then came back again. He went from an 'A' to a 'C' back to an b+ and I let him rest. That was all in 5 minutes. I got through all 13 exercises in about an hour. I let him have good rests in between and then at the end he had a good 5 minute rest. Then introduced the saddle pad all over again and then the saddle. He has been saddled before and ridden lots, but my main goal he to be able to saddle him and have him move off without bucking no matter what gait he is in. So after sacking him out to saddle and pad several times, boy my saddle is heavy, I cinched it up. He stood the whole time without so much as a twitch or irritated swish of his tail. Then I just started disengaging the hindquarters and backing him up then let him rest. I did this several times both sides. He was nice and relaxed. I asked him to move forward as though circle driving would let him take 3-4 steps then yield hdqtrs 360 degrees and contine forward. It was as if I was riding for the first time and didn't want the horse to take off to far forward. I did this all the way around the pen a couple times both directions and let him rest in between real good. Then I started moving forward yield hdqtrs move shoulders and go in opposite direction. All of this was at the walk. He was real relaxed not showing any irritation at all. I started to circle drive more letting him ger farther away from me go one circle then yield and go in opposite direction. Then we quit. I didn't ask him to trot yet, that will come next time providing he is nice and relaxed. Next lesson is planned for Wednesday. He has worked hard for six days so he is due a good rest.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Day 4 of cc

Well I went out this evening hoping to put an hour in. And guess what? I did. It is amazing what one day made. In rd pen I gave him an A+ and high grades in everything else. What the difference was me mostly. I learned some things about how do the exercises and that helped him to do better. Because he did much better I didn't have to keep working on things. So I could cover everything faster. I guarantee I have two eyes on me now. To begin the lesson he went to work with me. What I mean is he followed me freely into the pen, no lead rope connecting us. The rd pen is our wk space. So he went to wk with me. I knew it was going to be good lesson. It was great. Tomorrow I hope to go through everything then try the saddle.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Day 3 of cc

Ok, I would give myself a C or C+ on my evaluation of C's exercises. I watched Clinton evaluate a person with their horse on Round penning and yeilding hindquarters and saw some of the things I do. So learning from that I went out with C to work on those things. He started out good in round penning then fell apart then got him back. He knows to turn in, but I was trying to refine him more and get him to turn in quicker. That is when it fell apart. He is so sensitive I have to watch how much pressure I put on him. But we got it back and with a few good tries in both directions he got a 25 minute rest to get his air back. He still wasn't real caught up, but we had to move on. He does well at desensitizing. I need to balance that with sensitizing. Our work on YH 1 & 2 I think he was better than yesterday, but still not an 'A' yet. He backs well with all four methods, just needs work on backing straight. Yield forequarters was about a C but we are moving up on that. all the others he seems to be settling down and doing pretty good at. He is getting soft in flexing really with lightness. Circle driving and lunge for respect 1 and 2 I think are real good. Leading beside needs improvement. The fundamental desensitizing is doing real good. Some exercises he does real well others he is not so good. He may get tomorrow off, if not it will be tuesday before he gets a day off as that is a real busy one for me. I am anxious to see how he does with the saddle, but I really am beginning to think it is just that he is so sensitive and not at all the saddle. We will see though.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Day 2 of CC

Just got in from working with C in the rain. I don't think he minded, I certainly didn't. It kept us both cooler. Although, he looked like he had been drenched when we finished. We scooted through all 13 GW exercises. He did well in some and not so good in others and I suspect it was mostly me that didn't do well. There is so much to reading a horse and paying attention to details. For example, I was doing the sending exercise where you point high in the direction you want him to go with one hand and with the other use the stick to the help him move. He is going between me and the fence, starting about 20 feet out and gradually getting closer as he gets calmer. When his tail passes in front of me, as I look at the fence, I ask for a disengagement switch hands and the when he gives me two eyes let him rest while I rub him with the end of the stick. Well he would race through in one direction and kind of walk in the other. Then I realized I was putting too much pressure on him with the stick. I had to get it to the point where I barely moved my stick arm and he would move. So that was good. But then he kept racing in the other direction which is another side to a horse. So I took him to another location of the fence and he started getting worse. So instead of stopping when he gave me two eyes I kept him changing directions and lo and behold, he started to settle down. Now what I was after was him hopping his shoulder over while planting his hindquarters and he started doing that I quit using the stick and just let him follow my feel of the lead to ask for a disengagement, shoulders over and go forward. In this way I was able to send him beween me and the fence and move to within 4 feet of it. He was relaxed at this so we went on to the next exercises.. Circle driving and leading beside went well. He improved over yesterdays exercises and so have I. I learned that he doesn't need alot of encouragement to move. He is backing well, flexing is a little stiff unless I use the poke method and then he bends nicely without a poke. The desensitizing is getting real good. I can swing the stick and string and lead all over him as well as around him and he stands pretty good. My plan is to go through all the exercises again tomorrow and then we move out to the big arena and power line to start using obstacles with the exercises. It ought to be real interesting.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Day 1 of Crash course

Caesar and I had a good lesson as far as I am concerned. I started right with round pen work. He started right off at a canter when I pointed and gave me inside turns like I asked. After about 15 minutes we started doing figure eights and he was not the least bit hesitant. I also had him following me. However, he didn't like me on the left side which is the side we normally mount on. He struck out at me with his left front foot when I tried to keep him on that side. So guess what? We stayed working on the left side until he would let me stay on that side without trying to block me. We went right through all the steps in the fundamentals gw through the lunging for stage 1 that was number seven out of 13 steps. He did well at the backup in all four methods. We kinda fell apart on yielding the hindquarters on the right side, but he will get better. It is more me than him. He did pretty good on yielding the forequarters. I will review these all tomorrow, hopefully a little faster and move on to the rest of the gw exercises. Today's lesson took about 2 hours but that was fine with me. This is a crash course as I only have two weeks to figure out and deal with his bucking problem. The left side issue mentioned earlier was either attitude or I was acting like a predator. But I think it was attitude and after working on that side for a time he got better but he still tries to block me some. This might be part of his bucking problem, his unwillingness to totally yield to me on that side. So I know that about him now and will work accordingly. When we were finished I had him follow me around for a few minutes and then rubbed on him. I left him in the pen for about an hour and then gave him access to his food and water.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Caesar again

Well I get the chance for a partial do over with C. I picked him up today thanks to Judy C. Who loaned me her trailer. What I was ready for but hoped wasn't needed was a trailer loading lesson. He did edge up to the trailer but would not go in. So I took him in hand and made him want to be near the horse trailer. After almost an hour he would put both feet in but not go all the way. So as Judy suggested I took a little walk away from the trailer and just let him rest a bit. Then went back at it. this time I walked inthe trailer wondering if he would follow me. He got as far as the door and stopped with his head inside. I asked and he put a foot up. Then with a little compulsion from behind he soon had both feet then all four. Because I needed to get him home and taken care of before church I closed him in finished loading up and headed for home. I would have normally let him stay in there a good while, backed him out, worked him and then put him back in there. But, pressed for time I couldn't do that. Tomorrow starts his training review going back through the fundamentals to get him to stop bucking when asked to lunge under saddle. He only does it when he is asked to go in a circle in gw. I think it is a respect issue. So I am going to try to find out what it is and help him through it.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Oh what a beautiful day to spend some time with a horse. I got Jake out today. We worked our way back to my riding area. Did some backing sidepass inc, cpattern, got him saddled and went to work. I also had Prinz laying down by the trailer while I worked with Jake. He is getting better. I only had to set him back down a few times. Consistency is the key and taking the time to do it.
Jake did well, even after not being worked for 3 weeks or so. I had him jumping over some logs on the long line then worked on backing him in circles. I then started to have him back between the logs. He did pretty good. I desensitized him to my bull whip and cracked that around him a bunch of times. I got on and did the same thing with the whip. We walked and trotted some. He is a little gimpy in his right front leg but could find no swelling, tenderness in his sole or frog or his joints. I think maybe he is getting old and his joints are like mine. I think some glucosamine is in order for both of us. We took a ride over to the creek and the salmon were still there. He went in the water pretty readily. Then we came home. It was a good ride.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What a gorgeous day

I had to get out and ride today. It was almost 80 degrees here. I got Raven out and worked her back to my house. Now I always do ground work on my way down my drive so that by the time I get to the saddle she is warmed up and I can tell if she is with me on this. I also get an opportunity to work with Prinz, my German Shepherd. I am teaching him manners around horses. I make him sit by my little trailer while I finish ground work, then when I start riding I let him follow, but he has to behave, no barking and jumping around the horses.
I have a 300' x 300' area I ride around the perimeter now so after some ground work, we took off on a nice walk for a lap, then trotted (cruising). We did three laps in each direction. She has to maintain her gait and if she speeds up or slows down I take the corrective action and put her back in a trot. Then we did the same with a canter. Then I started to ask for collection and bending in a circle. She was really worked up so we took a walk out on our power line to the road and back. I stopped by a creek behind our school to see if she would go down into that. It has short drop off kind of banks and flows pretty good. While I was letting her get used to the idea of stepping down into the water I noticed two pretty big salmon trying to get beyond a bunch of branches in the water to go upstream, I am assuming to spawn. I could have scooped them up with my hands. I didn't. I just watched them wiggle their tails back and forth keeping in one place. Hopefully, they will make it. Anyway, we then went into the water and back out and headed back to the house. It was a good ride.