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.