Monday, July 30, 2012

Day 18/r2

Had a pretty good day with the horses. There was a little excitement but that goes with the territory. First up was DarkStar. I got him saddled and checked out to see about his attitude. All was ok. We  got out to the arena, I backed him from the barn to the arena. Then I lunged him some, going over the log and barrels and then tarped him out. All was going good so I rigged him for driving and we did good at that getting walk, trot canter in both directions with relative softness. He is getting better at that. Then I drove him around the rail in both directions and then started serpentining around the arena. I had about 20 minutes left and all was going so good I decided to ride him. This would be his fourth or fifth ride so I didn't expect any trouble except that we were in the outdoor arena. I put the reins on him and flexed him and then started getting YH and YF just in a circle. He got scared and off we went across the arena, I couldn't tell if he was bucking or not I had his head bent to the side and we almost ran into the nice white pvc fence  but he came up short and I finally got him stopped. I was thankful I was holding on the nightlatch and had a good hold on the rein so he couldn't go flat out straight. Then I just kept him going to the left for a good while til he calmed down some. Then I started flexing to the right and had him YH YF to the right and he again got scared and off we went this time again I thought we were going to take down the fence. He lost his balance but again regained it and we went spookety spook down the rail. The nightlatch and a good hold on the rein kept me on and safe. He stopped and then shut down inside, just waiting to blow up.  So I had to get the feet moving again and we YH and YF again and I let him start to straighten out and kept it up until he was a might calmer. I then flexed him side to side again. Then got off. Let him relax a bit and then got back on and flexed again side to side. Then got off. Whew! I wished I would have taped it.
Debrief- In hindsight I assumed he was ok with me on his back because I had rode him 3-4 times before in the barn and he didn't do that . So I didn't really give him time to process things. I should have got on and off several times then flexed and got off. And just repeated that several times. With him I just went to fast.
Robbie didn't fare much better. I got him in the arena, backed him from barn to arena. Then I put the saddle on him no problem. But when I asked him to move off he bucked so I shut him down. I tightened the cinch and asked him to move off and again he bucked. I then really got after him and had him jumping the barrels, changing directions and for the next 20 minutes he was all out, doing the c-pattern down the arena and back and the back again. I had him lunging and then back to the barrels. I got the tarp out and had that on him making him move. I was trying to dare him to buck again and it was only after he had settled down that I let him get some air. Then I put the bridle on him. He didn't want any part of that either so we worked on that til he was calm with it and willing to open his mouth. Then I put the rein on and we drove around with one rein. He was real soft even offering vertical softness and I got a walk trot canter out of him. We did this both directions 3 times and then we quit.
Tomorrow should be interesting.
Then I came home and decided to spend some time reminding myself what it was like to ride a good horse so I saddled my horses and rode both of them. That was refreshing. I am tired though.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Ok, I have been real busy and forgot to post on Tuesday and Wednesday. So here goes.
I started driving Robbie with one rein. I have learned that he is real soft with the bit. I have worked with him on holding the bit and accepting it in his mouth. At first he was lifting his head high and clenching his teeth to get away from it, but now he is keeping his head much lower and accepting it better. He has been jumping the barrels with a tarp draped around him and flapping in the wind too. Today I drove him and worked on getting a walk, trot canter with softness. He is doing well responding to my cues to back off the canter to trot and to walk and stop. The next thing for him will be driving with two reins and when he is real soft with that then I will be riding him. I also have been getting on him and flexing him and then when I get off I get on my knees in the saddle and then jump down.
Darkstar is doing well too. I have him jumping the barrels with the tarp. Today I didn't get the tarp out because I wanted to drive both horses more. After feeling just how soft Robbie is and how hard Star is I decided to one rein drive him first to get him back to softness again. So we did that W,t, c and then I put the other rein on him and worked on the same thing. He got lots softer. I would like to see him carrying his head lower and see about getting the lateral flexion better so as to get vertical flexion, but that will come. I finished by driving him around the arena along the fence with shape to the outside then turned and went the other direction. Then I got on him and flexed him and got on my knees in the saddle with him too. He didn't stand good like Robbie did, but we accomplished it and finished off.
Next week ought to be exciting in terms of really making some progress. I hope to be riding both of them by the end of the week.

Monday, July 23, 2012


Things are going pretty good with the horses. Robbie had a little hiccup after saddling this morning, a little buck, but I believe it wasn't so much the saddle as it was me poking him with the end of the whip in the shoulder in order to remind him to keep his shoulder up. It was really nothing though. He didn't offer to do it again. Then we played outside. Boy was it fun. I had him following the tarp draped across the lead and he lunged with it there. Then I had him jumping the barrels with it over the lead. Then I upped it even more by having it draped across his back while jumping the barrels. We worked on sidepassing down the rail too.
Darkstar did just as well. I saddled him and got him outside to work around the tarp, log and barrels. I have him starting to jump the barrels now too. Did the same with the tarp and he was handling it tolerably. He was kind of jumping out of his skin today, I think because of the wind. But he handled it all like a trooper. Then I put both driving reins on him and after flexing we took off, or I should say he did with the lines dragging behind him. I had let one get under his hind foot and tried to get if free but he just walked off to the corner and finally I was able to get him undone and we started again. This time it went real well. I am after getting him softened laterally to the inside and stopping with the outside rein. We switched sides with no problem and worked on that one til we got some consistent resemblance of softness. Then we just kinda zigzagged back to the corner and undid everything. Now here is the thing. He followed me all over the arena with the lead draped over saddle. He is getting so much better.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


I got Robbie out and worked a little bit then saddled him and took him outside. I had a little course set up that we worked on. But first, I laid the tarp on him and moved him around then had it on the lead rope while he lunged. Then I had him circling weaving in and out and over the tarp, log and barrels. I finally got him to jump the barrels. He is getting real relaxed. I was on him several times again today.
Then I had Darkstar saddled and working on flexion and coming to me. In the outdoor arena I had him wearing the tarp and carrying it on the lead rope as he lunged around me. I also had him going over the tarp log and barrels. Then I put the driving rein on him and flexed him and circling him for softness, walk, trot canter in both directions. He is getting better. By this time it was time to put him up.

Friday, July 20, 2012


Had a good session with both horses today.
Robbie did well, standing for saddling. I did some flexing and YH YF with him and some circling attempting to get a good follow the nose rather than his shoulder dropping in. Then I took him to the outdoor arena and had him circling over the tarp (after sacking him out to it real good) and log. I also tried to get him over the barrels but only once did he do it. He was too scared of them I think so I just worked him around them. I also got on and off him several times and he was real relaxed.
Darkstar - I went through our routine of flexing and YH YF and following me. Then I saddled him and took him outdoors. We circled a bunch and had him going over the tarp and log. Then I put the bridle on him and one rein and drove him getting a walk trot canter in both directions. He is not the softest yet but he will get there. When he is soft on both sides then I will add the other rein and get back to where we were with driving. But after this clinic I really want to get him soft to the bit before riding him again. I think that will make riding all the more easier for us.
This was a real good lesson day for both of them.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


This day was a good training day for us.

Robbie was worked first. I started him with flexing. He is getting real soft. Then on to circling working on getting him to keep his shoulder up. Then I saddled him and worked on sending and c-pattern. We also went down the wall working on one of the new exercises to get him to come to me with the whip being up until he comes to my shoulder. Finally, we ended with more flexion and circling.
Darkstar started with flexion then saddling. Then we worked on coming to my shoulder on the wall. Then we went to circling. I put the bridle on him and one rein and drove him with one rein at a walk, trot and canter did that 3x on one side till he was staying in shape. Then switched sides and did the same thing. Then when I had him at liberty following me on the wall with his left side. He did pretty good, then went the other direction with me on his right side and that kind of fell apart so put the lead on him and worked on that. He is getting better about coming to me and following me. I also used the tarp and noise bag around him and he did pretty good today. Always making little improvements.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

day 10/2nd round

Well after the clinic the last two days I was excited to use what I learned with these two guys.
Darkstar got the first start. I got him ready and worked on reviewing what he already knows. Then I started to circle him making sure his shoulder was not dropping in and then switched sides and did the same. I would circle him to the wall then ask him to come forward to my shoulder. Sort of like the yo yo game only using the whip and the wall to help with him coming forward. We did both sides and he started to come along nicely. I also did the yo yo with him a few times. Then I saddled him and started to work on driving him with one rein and the snaffle bit. I had him circling playing me as though lungeing. I was looking for softness. This was the first time he had a bit in his mouth so I wanted to be real soft with it. I had him going several times around then stopped and flexed him and switched sides and did the same thing. By the time I did all this my time was up. Where did the time go. I had so much to do and still didn't cover everything. I left the bit in his mouth while I worked with Robbie.
Robbie did nicely too. I wanted to work him on some of the exercises in review and then try some of these new ones. He did alright. Then I saddled him and circled him alot in both directions looking for softness and following his nose. Then I did some c pattern exercises and YH YF then took the saddle off and worked with him with circling on the wall and asking him to come to me with the whip. We worked both directions then quit.
Both had a good lesson today and show good progress in all that they are doing.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

DD clinic

I haven't wrote anything about our two arabs the last two days because I have attended a Double Dan horsemanship clinic. Dan James won the Road to the Horse competition this year and when I found out he was putting on a ground work clinic in my area I decided to attend it and audit it. So that is where I have been. He is an awesome instructor and horseman. I am going to take the exercises I learned back to these arabs as some more tools in my toolbox to help develop them into all that they can be as horses. Probably the biggest thing I learned was to use ground driving more and to know what I am looking for in driving the horse. So rather than be so quick to get on these horses I am going to practice these exercises more and get them ground driving real good before we get on and ride them alot. So look for more posts in the coming days in which I will record my progress.

Friday, July 13, 2012


Robbie did a good job today. We got him saddled and sacked out to the tarp a little more. Then I took him outside to the arena. We did the yo yo and had him lunge walk trot canter in both directions. Also I flexed him a bunch and then got on and off 3x on each side.
Darkstar- we got him saddled and then worked a little with the tarp and went out to the arena. I lunged him walk trot canter and then did some ground driving. He did good at first when we just went around the perimeter, but when I had him go across the arena and then diagonally he just got confused. I was trying to get him to follow his nose and get some direction control over him. We went back to what he was doing ok with. Then I stopped ground driving and then got on and off him. We had already had a good lesson so I didn't want to push it to much. all in all he did good.

another ride

Robbie did real well yesterday. I didn't flank  him out. Instead, I went through the exercises to see where his head was at and then saddled him up. He stood pretty good for it. Then I did the sending, sidepassing on the wall, circling, used the tarp over him while he was walking and trotting. Then I put the long line on him and moved up to a canter. Then we went out to the outdoor arena and played around. I had him lunging and changing directions and played the yo yo/out and back game with him. I even got on him from both sides a couple times.
Darkstar also had a pretty good session. He didn't want to play at first he walked off so I moved him around and then he decided it was ok to get started. So we went through some exercises then I saddled him and worked on his coming to me with the yo yo game. I had him going over the tarp too. I got the noise bag out and sacked him out with that. Then put the sidepull on him flexed him a few times and mounted and started riding around doing YH YF. He was doing pretty good, but he got nervous. He is a skittish horse that is for sure. So I worked through some of those excitements. Then I got off and we really worked on anything that might scare him, until he came to a relaxed state. I finished up with getting on him and riding him around, got into a trot and bent him to a stop flexed him and quit.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

todays post

This is for yesterday and today.
Yesterday: Robbie did real well. I worked him around the tarp and pole and got him going over them good. Then I flanked him out. He did buck some, but not as intense. Then I saddled him and worked him out the rest of the time with the saddle. No bucking or desire too.
Star was good as well. He was following me alot more than before. I saddled him and moved him around the tarp and pole. He was alot more comfortable with the tarp. I gave him lots of breaks and played the yo yo game. By the end he was following me much better. The last ten minutes I rode him doing YH and YF exercises.
Today: was much like yesterday with them.
Robbie again worked around the tarp and it was like it didn't exist to him. He didn't mind it being on the ground at all. I also flanked him out again and he didn't hardly buck at all. He humped his back once or twice but I could tell he was thinking twice about it. That was good. Then I put the saddle on him and we spent the next half hour going through the exercises and trying to put him in a position where he would be tempted to buck. He never once offered to try to buck.
Star did a good job today too. I moved him around a bit then put the saddle on him and moved him around and over the tarp. I played the yo yo game with him too. He was following me more today. Then I ground drove him about 15 minutes just practicing stopping and doing serpentines to teach him to follow his nose and ended that with flexing. The last 20 minutes I rode him around. doing lots of YH and YF and then let him step out forward until finally we were riding all around the arena and then I would ask him to bend and YH and YF and move off again. we did lots of stops and backups and resting. There was a little bit of scare to him towards the end. There was some movement and noise he couldn't see and he did not want to go to that end of the arena. I just kept his feet moving and bending and so on. Then we quit with flexing and some backing. I unsaddled him and walked over to the tarp in the middle of the arena and he followed me. I folded the tarp and walked back and he followed me. Then I walked to the other end of the arena and he followed. He followed me all around the arena and then I quit with him for the day. It was great to see that trust and that he was looking to me as his leader.

Monday, July 9, 2012


Had a great day of lessons with them today.
I started with Robbie. He stood real good for me. Sacked him out with the tarp today. He did real good with that even when He was trotting around with it on his back waving in the wind. Then I put it on the ground and had him go over it several times. Then I got a pole out and laid it on the ground and had him going over that  several times. Then did some sidepassing on the side. Then got the lead out and flanked him out. He did good around his girth, but when I got back to his flank he bucked but not as much nor as hard. We did this til there was no more buck in him. Then I put the saddle on him and no buck at all with that at walk or trot. Just kept moving his feet and giving him long rests. It went well for him.
Darkstar was even better today. I brushed him out and he followed me some to get the tarp and the saddle etc. He started following me alot more. I played the yo yo game with him and gave him long rests beside me. Got him saddled and went over the tarp with it on him and on the ground. Also went over the post. Then ground drove him with a sidepull on him. He has to get used to the feel of that but it went real good, nice and relaxed. I gave him several opportunities to follow me and he was doing real good by the end. I think it is because of that yo yo game/out and back with rest in between in my hands that got him on that. Today was a great success for both animals I believe.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Day 29

Boy these guys are a work in progress as I am.
Today I got out there early so as to beat the heat, somewhat. I got Star out and saddled and then started working with him following me. He did pretty good. Each day it seems to get better. I am using the lead and when I ask him to come to me I rub him alot between the eyes. I had him working around the tarp again today. I also ground drove him for several laps and did lots of turning and stopping. I was on and off him a couple times too. I also had the tarp all over him and even while he was moving. So he did real good today.
Robbie, I got started just letting him move his feet. I just directed them and took him to the tarp. I had him moving all around it. Then I took the tarp and sacked him out to it and had him moving with it on his back and moving all around him. I flanked him out again too. He did ok with it around his girth but when I got it back to his flank, he started to buck and kept up the pressure until he settled down. We took a breather and then did it again until he settled down. I kept repeating this until he would trot with it tight around him and he didn't buck. Then tried it again and kept him moving with it tight. When he showed no signs of bucking I let him stop and relax. Then I laid on him from both sides and we quit.
He is making progress. I like his curiosity, and go but I have to watch him to make sure he is not shut down inside and is just waiting to explode. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

day 5/28

Gotta get this posted. Boy was it hot today. I had to get robbie out of his paddock and he'druther run around. So I let him until he finally decided it was ok to be near me. So I took him in the arena and had him working slowly and lightly around a tarp and black bag. He did alright. I let him move around as much as he wanted and gave him lots of opportunities to stand and relax. I also flanked him out again. He bucked but not as much. I am going to do this everyday until he doesn't buck at all. Then I just walked him around doing various exercises and then quit.
Darkstar did fine too. I wanted to just have him following on the lead so we worked that a whole lot. I had him work around the tarp and he showed little curiosity with it until he was on it. And he did finally go over it in both directions. But today as hot as it was he didn't really get sweated up. I didn't move him alot accept to walk around following me or doing the sending exercise around the tarp and bag. I thought he showed much improvement. Oh, he doesn't like treats as of yet. They were worthless as a reward for him at least today.
Tomorrow is another day.

day 5/27

I had some guests with me this time to critique what I was doing with Star and Robbie. That was nice.
I got Star out first and did some rd pen work in the arena and then saddled him and worke him on following me. Judy and Lynn gave me some ideas to do with with, using the lead and repetitiously asking him to come to me with slight pressure, etc. and rub him alot. That seemed to work some. I will work more on that today when I go over there. Also just spending alot more time with him next to me instead of making him move. I also did some ground driving with him. He did real good with that even though he got scared one time when the lead got tangled around his feet. He didn't freak out, but let me remove it from him. That showed a lot of trust on his part. I got on on and hof him a couple times too.
Robbie, had a good session. He wants to keep moving, while Star just wants to stand. Anyway, my panel of judges think I just need to take it real slow with him. I did several exercises with him even at liberty. He stays with me pretty good. I worked with putting the lead up over his head and getting him to turn and go. I also flanked him out again. I used the lead around his girth and had him move. At first he was real sensitive then relaxed. So I used the long lead and flanked him out at the girth area. Then When I moved it to his barrel he started to buck, but I held out til he calmed down. Then went to his flank and then he really bucked but I managed to hold the lead tight until he quit bucking and relaxed. Then after we both caught our breath we did it again and he bucked again but not as much. Then we did it again after a short break and he didn't buck. So we quit there. Judy and Lynn decided they could not sit through the bucking so they stood up, I guess so they could come and help if I got in trouble.:} NOT. They wanted to make sure they could get out of the way. LOL.  I then played with him a bit and did the Jeffries method on him. Then called it a day.
My guests gave me some good pointers I will put into practice today when I work with them. So thanks Ladies.