Friday, June 29, 2012

day four

Well, today did  not go as planned with these guys.
Darkstar decided to let me know that I needed to work on his following me more. He decided to walk off that it was better to be away from me than to be next to me. Therefore, since my thinking is that I don't want him to be my prisoner but my partner I had to work with him on this. So, we took the next almost two hours to just work on that issue alone. By the time we were done I was getting some single steps toward me. He still doesn't trust me enough to walk with me. I can go passed that issue, and I have. But it is not like he wants to be with me. So here is how it went down. I had him canter around me, and he did it willingly, for 10 laps each direction then asked him to stop. He would face me but always back up. So every time I stopped him and he backed up instead of toward me, I made him go again. An hour later he was still backing up but starting to give me a step. We were both out of breath so I gave him a good breather when I got that step. I kept building off this for another 30 minutes. Then when he gave me a good step I played a waiting game. For almost 39 minutes I let him rest facing me. I didn't move and he didn't move. Then I started asking more for some steps and he finally would give me maybe two steps, but that was all. Because of time I had to quit him at that point.
Robbie had a good light workout. I put the long line on him and had him refining the exercises he already knows. PLus we worked on getting the lead over his head and doing the turn and go. He did much better today with a softer eye than before.
While it seems the progress is real slow, at least there is progress with both of these horses.

ground driving

Yesterday was day three of the secoonnd month with these Arabs.
I worked with Darkstar first.
He accepts the saddle no problem to this point. I went through the usual exercises and am getting alot better responses. I worked on leading with him. When He would balk I would make him back up a long ways and fast. Then ask him to follow me leading him. I also would use the end of the lead or stick behind the drive line to get him to move forward. I think he is getting better. I also got on and off several times. He is so relaxed with this at this point. I decided to ground drive him and see how he handles the rope around his butt. It went really well. We walked all over the arena and he was turning and stopping for me pretty good for the first time. He did such a good job that I quit him after getting on and off several times.
Robbie didn't do to bad this time either. I think he is a couple weeks behind Star in his training. I wanted to work mainly on the long line, getting him used to the rope going over his head and having him follow his nose around and away from me. He started to be alot more smooth at it. We went through all the other exercises too on the long line (25' lead). Then at the end I walked him outside and worked on YH YF and backup to relax and cool him down. So it was a good session because he made some progress.
We will see what today holds in their training progress.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Yesterday was a good day with the horses. I started with Robbie first. I really took it slow with him, but wanted to push the envelope and help him to progress. He wanted to keep moving so right from the start I had him move until he was willing to stand with me. I want him to be willing to be with me and be a partner, not a prisoner as I heard Parelli say once. He stays with me, but his is so reactionary in his mind that I have to be careful I don't push to far, but at the same time push enough to get him over his hard spots. So I went through the exercises and whenever he didn't give me what I was clearly asking for (for example, I am getting really strict about giving me two eyes) I really moved his feet either YH or backing up and then would ask again for the same thing. Another example is that I want him to stand relaxed as I throw the lead up over his head. I don't want his head high or his eyes wide. I want to be relaxed with this so I worked on it until his head relaxed and he had a soft eye. Then I went on to something else. I didn't work the saddle with him at all because I need to get this other stuff going good before that. Overall, he did good and is just moving along slower than I would like. But I want him relaxed and confident when it comes time for saddling and riding.
Darkstar did really well. I saddled him and went through the exercises refining them. I am getting the YH and YF really good. It was really my problem of positioning rather than his. And I got on and off several times. He was really relaxed with this. He is a bit jumpy but he will get over it. So it was a pretty good lesson for him.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

2nd month

Well yesterday I started again with the Arabs.
I did some reviewing, reinforcing and refining with both of them.
I got Darkstar in the arena and saddled him with no trouble. I started to review all the exercises with him and then went outside. But the flies were so bad I had to bring him back indoors. We just continued there. Again I went through desensitizing, picking up his feet, worked more on YH and YF to get that even better. I was having trouble getting him to YH more than one or two steps before he would step back. I refined it by changing my position to make sure I am behind the drive line when he steps over so that it will drive him ahead instead of back. That worked lots better and I got a 360 degree movement out of him. So that is just me refining my position better. I also am working on the lead behind more because he likes to balk every now and then instead of stick with me. Other than the flies the workout was good.
Robbie got a good workout too. Because of the experience with Darkstar we didn't go outside. He wanted to move after I groomed him so I lunged him in both directions working on LR1&2 with him. He does real good at that. I am trying to refine him to the point of getting him to walk instead of immediately go into a trot. I also worked with putting the saddle on him. I sacked him out with the pad and saddle several times both sides. Then I put the saddle on and pulled the cinch tight, but could tell he was braced up and tight so I just held it and when he relaxed I released it. He would move off too so I would hold the pressure of the girth until he stopped and relaxed and then released. I had to follow him around with the pressure several times until he stopped, all the while holding the pressure of the girth. Finally, it got to the point where he just stood there when I tightened the cinch. I started counting to 5 and release, then 15 and release all the way up to 30. If he didn't move then I released it. Then I removed the saddle and we worked on the other exercises, sending, circling, YH YF backup etc. At the end I was flexing him and then flexed him from the opposite side and slowly let the lead over his but and had him do the turn and go. We did both sides and while they were not perfect I quit him so that he could think about that. Now today I will just pick up where we left off with each of them.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


I am just getting to this. It has been so hectic around here. I am just getting this in because the grandkids have gone with grandma to the movies and the little one is down for a nap.
This past thursday I tried something really different with the horses. I took them to the outdoor arena and went very calmly, as possible, through all the exercises. I didn't saddle them or try to ride Star at all. I just wanted them outside and go through everything. I even used some barrels as obstacles to help them. They both did very well. After some getting over the barrels and other horses coming to investigate what was going on in the arena they both really settled down and started to pay attention. I had them go between the barrels  and kept closing the gap until they were end to end. I got each of them to jump them once, but then they didn't want to do that again. Robbie, decided he could push the barrels with his leg and so just pushed them out of the way and went between them. I thought that was pretty good.
It was a good session for both of them. I am taking a week off, but will come back to them at the end of the month.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

day 22

I spent some time teaching KM the things I have taught Darkstar and Robbie today.
With Darkstar I went through everything even rode him a bit today to show where were at with his training. I then demonstrated the exercises and had her do the same things so she would have a sense of what I was doing with them. She did a good job.
Robbie was real good today. I even dared him to leave me after I removed his halter, but he stayed. Then we went through the same exercises and had KM do some of them with him. Again, they both did well. I do have to go back and work on some things with him that were not as solid as they should be. I was on his back bareback today and he was relaxed. So that is good. I am just taking it slow with him and think that in time he will be a good horse.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

first ride

Day 21
I got DarkStar out and he was so calm and relaxed while I groomed him, etc. I put my saddle on him with no problem and just started to go through several of the exerises with him to see how he would react to the saddle. It is different than the other one. For instance, mine is heavier and bulkier. It smells different, it has tie strings hanging long on the sides. Nothing seemed to bother him though. So I started to flex him and to YH from his flank. Then I started getting on and off, both sides. Then I just sat on him and moved all over, banging and acting kind a like a drunk. I would get on and off banging his sides and his hips. He just remained nice and calm. So then I asked for a YH and got off. Did that a few times each side. Then asked to move more of his feet. He has to get used to carrying my weight so he has to learn to balance himself. If I was in a round pen and some one who knew what they were doing I would just sit on the horse and be along for the ride and let the one on the ground direct his feet. But such is not the case. So I have to get the forward motion as well as directing his feet. That is alot to ask him to process. But we took several steps in each direction and he was pretty good with it. He was calm and did not offer to buck. That was a good session.

Robbie, on the other hand, is a totally different horse. Today, I could tell he was a little standoffish. But he willingly followed me into the arena. I groomed him and took the halter off him. I could sense that he really didn't want to be next to me so I gave him a chance to stay of his own accord. He chose not to. So we played the catch ME game. Not me catch him. This is played by me getting his feet to move as fast as possible, preferably a canter, and then when he starts to change his mind give him and opportunity to catch me. It took about 15 minutes of direction changes and cantering for him to decide he would like to stand next to me. So when he quickly walked to my side I let him stand for literally ten minutes. He was nuzzling my back, liking my shirt. I started to move and kept right with me. I didn't try to put the halter on at all. Then I just rubbed him with the halter and lead. I YH YF a few times to keep him focused on me. Then I went to put the halter on him with his head tilted toward me and somewhat lower and he left me again. So we went through the process again, only this time it took about 4 laps and a direction change and he was right next to me. This time I again didn't try to put the halter on immediately. But when I did I let it rest on him and then took it off. I did this several times as if it was the first time he was wearing a halter. The rest of the session was putting the halter on and taking it off with some leading and YH YF in between. I figured that was a good session with him. He is a challenge to me. I don't mind going back to the beginning with him because this is something that has been missed or not dealt with enough in the beginning. He is just telling me he is not ready to move on to another level just yet. And he has the courtesy to let me know this before I am on his back and we have a wreck. So I am good with this. No sense in being in a hurry when training a horse, even if you are trying to do it in a certain amount of time. We can come back at it again tomorrow and pick up where we left off.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Day 20

This was the last the training day of their month and I did not accomplish all that I wanted too.
It seems that horses that are alot older are more like wild mustangs. I think any way. These have taken a long time to get where they are today.
Robbie- I try to be real relaxed with him and slow and methodical. I worked him out a little with the gw exercises and then put the saddle on him. He again bucked a few times, but soon settled down. i moved him around a buknch and then after about thirty minutes took it off. I got three turn and goes out of him too. But I can see he needs alot more sacking out around his hindquarters with the rope. I then put the saddle on him again and he stood there and then when I moved him off he was pretty relaxed. I spent alot of time just rubbing up around his ears with the lead in my hand. Something has him not liking this turn and go exercise, but I need to have him good at it before I ground drive him. We did quit relaxed and all.

Darkstar- he is just pretty laid back. Jumpy still but not as bad. I put the saddle on him and moved him around no problem. I even got on and off several times and he stood there and let me move all around him, bumping and banging things. He did well on all the exercises. I worked more on backups today then ever, and also bending and moving his hindquarters over. I want this real good, so when I get on his back and have him stepping out I can YH YF real good. Anyway, I am not as far along as I wanted with him either, but it is what it is. I can only go as fast as they will allow in order for us to stay safe

Oh, Joey went home today too.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Nice day for riding

Ok I got Joey out and rode him. He did not want to canter as much today. This time I do a diagonal pattern from each corner of the field. I would walk or trot across the diagonal then canter down to the next corner and so until I went all the way around then did it in the other direction. We also rode the power line. He gave me a good ride. Day 19 Dark star- did real good today too. I saddled him and worked him out then switched the lines so I had a longer one and had him trotting a bigger circle. I did the turn and go with he was real relaxed with that. E I even sat in the saddle on his back a couple times from each side. Real relaxed through it all. Robbie- I sacked him out more with the saddle then cinched it up and moved him out. He did fine. Went through all the tasks. I flexed him from the opposite side to get him used to bending for the turn ang go. I also found the problem with Hom and the turn and go. He does not like the rope around his butt. So I did alot of that so that it will not bother him. I noticed too he has an old wound that must have been getting caught in a wire. That might be the root of his problem. So I am just taking it slow. Anyway he did a good job today.

Day 18

Everything went well yesterday with horse. Joey got alot of cantering. I took him back to my open area and did a brief gw session then got on him and just wanted to have a relaxed tide working on bending and getting a good connection between the reins and feet. However, he decided a nice canter would be fun so I let him. About 15 minutes later he decided a nice walk would be in order. He asked earlier but I kept him cantering. Then we walked or slow trot the rest of the time. We went out onthe power line and into what is left of the water at the ditch then a nice lope back. Darkstar- what relaxing laid back session this was. I groomed him and put the saddle on him then went through the exercises in the arena. He was doing real good so I took him outside and went through them again. It added a bit of distractions for him but he was pretty calm. The main thing I really wanted to work on was leading. He has a tendency to balk so when he does I just keep moving in another direction which keeps him moving. It will be the same on horseback. He fix do much better with it though. Robbie- I did a similar thing with him. I spent a couple minutes in his stall but he put his nose at my shoulder and stayed with me so we got in the arena and groomed and saddled. I went set it on him several times before I cinched it up. Then we went through his exercises. He was mostly calm. Then we went outside and ran through the same things. Because he was calm and following pretty good and not worried about the saddle we went back in did a few more things then called it a day.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Day 17

I rode Joey up front because the guys were finishing up my burn pile. Now I have an open area. I worked with him on just following his nose and I don't mind telling you he did not want to go to work. So a little discussion in the rd pen and his attitude changed. Then we just worked on riding inthe direction and place I wanted to go. The problem with him is he is lazy and needs to learn to work. DS did real well. He was real calm. I went through the daily tasks then put my saddle on him. He handled that well the rest of the session he wore the saddle like it was nothing new. Robbie I had to win back to my side. I spent 15 min in his stall with not even asking him to come out. I had the lead in my hand, but he kept his rt shoulder toward me. I just gently pressure and release with him. I YH YF in the stall until he would come up to me and sniff me and stand calmly next to. Then when I thought the timing was rt I put the lead on and led him to the arena. Here I went through the usual routine. Then set the saddle on and off him several times and then cliched him up. I moved him off and YH YF BU SEND etc. even got him trotting. He was pretty calm. Then I took the saddle off and put him up just as relaxed as when we started.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sweet 16

I got Joey out today. Except for the fact that he wants to go his own way sometimes, he is a nice ride. He needs lots of work teaching him to follow his nose. So we did lots of bending exercises. He did better by the end. Dark star did good today. We went through several things. I flanked him out, he passed so I put the saddle on him. Did not seem to bother him. I then took him to the outdoor arena he lost concentration some but I got it back on me with lots of changing directions, sending, circling etc. all told he was satisfactory for the added distractions. Robbie- not so good. I went through the normal stuff then started to do turn and go. That is where I have the lead over his head and around his rump, he turns away from and follows his nose back around to me. This freaked him out so we had to work on this more. Both sides. I think it did not go well so I went to saddling. He had no problem with that. No bucking at all worked for 30 minutes with saddle and was well. So I took halter off groomed him, picked out his feet and went to put his halter on and he took off. So kept walking up to him and he kept walking off. So I rd pennedchimat a lope. Still no standstill. So ran him some more. He would give two eyes but not let me near him with the halter. So I ran him some more. Finally after 45 minutes of him running he let me stand next to him to put the halter on. He got a two hour workout today. Then I had to walk him to cool him down before putting him his stall. It was like going back to day one. I pretty sure it was the turn and go exercise that made shy from me. But I know I will have to keep coming back to that and help him. I know where we are starting tomorrow. I would write more but since my computer is down and is harder to write on my phone I am done. Have a good night all.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Burn day

I was not able to work the horses vtoday because of burning in my clearing. It is still burning. I had to stick around In order to ensure no forest fire. The leaves in the woods did catch fire but we caught it in time. Whew! Back at it tomorrow.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Day 15

Today was the 15th day I have worked with Robbie and Darkstar. They both did pretty good and are coming along slowly but surely.

Darkstar- had a good workout going through all the exercises. He is responding nicely and though still guarded he is sticking with me. I can groom him and pick out his feet with no bridle. I can lunge him with no lead even do many of the other exercises with no connection other than his wanting to stay with me. He still doesn't follow like I would like though. Today I upped the anty with him, but flanking him out. He did pretty good, kept moving forward and put all my weight on the line. Did all three spots, girth, belly and flank. No bucking, but would start to yeild to the pressure. I would like to get him so that I could lead him from the flanks. I also put the saddle on and off him several times with slapping the seat and flopping the stirrups around, without cinching up though. I was on and off him a few times too. I took him to the other end and removed the halter, he followed me part way to the other end. Its getting better.

Robbie, really didn't want to play today. He wanted to go his own way so I stood in the middle next to saddle and pad while he lunged around me and after 9 or 10 laps I YH and he gave me two eyes. We did both directions then I asked him to come in to me and he did. I put the halter on and went through the exercises for about 5 minutes then put saddle on and off him then when he was nice and calm I cinched him up and walked him off. I had him go through YH YF backup change directions at the walk and then when he went to trot he broke in two again, this time almost flipping over. I quickly shut him down and then really made him move his feet fast, lunging at a trot, changing directions up and down the arena. Then let him rest. I did some flexion with him, YH Yf and asked him to move off again. This time he trotted our real nice, we did some circle exercises and with me tapping the saddle and such. He did ok. Then I tried a new exercise where I put the lead over his rump and turn his nose to the outside and he is supposed to follow his nose (turn and go) well he had never done this and with the saddle it was too much for him. He came around but was scared and bucked again and I quickly shut him down and made him move alot again then let him rest when he calmed down. I didn't try that again. I am going to do that without the saddle next time and then again with the saddle. Anyway, he wore that saddle for a good half hour and then it was time to quit. I groomed him and picked his feet out with a halter on him. He stood real good.

Joey - got a good ride today too. I worked him on the way back to the field and then saddled him. He didn't want that so moved quite a bit and I had to discuss with him why it would be better for him to stand still while I saddled him. Then we went to work with gw in the field. He has some rough edges that with a little work will trim out nicely. He is one fat horse though. I bet I can push my finger into his side up to my first knuckle. When I saddle him the cinch almost disappears. And when I ride him I almost think the saddle could rotate half way and spring back when it was let loose. I noticed too when I trotted and he wanted to canter he could only canter so far and have to slow down, not because he is lazy, but he is overweight. However, this guy has a cadillac trot and canter. He just needs work on direction and yielding to the will of the rider. Again it is just going to take some rides to change his thinking.  He stood to be unsaddled and taken back to the barn.