Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Intermediate test

Well, I finally did it. I have been working on the exercises in the Clinton Anderson Intermediate series for the last couple months. Then I heard about an application that I could send in to Down Under Horsemanship and have an opportunity to be selected to come to Texas and have Clinton critique me. So I did the video yesterday with the help of my son, Josh,  and his wife, Rachel. She is the videographer here. The came up from Mobile Alabama and were not really dressed for this kinda cold. Nevertheless, they stuck it out and put this video together for me. Josh 99% of the editing here. Thanks to both of them. This wouldn't have happened without them. I have to thank Judy for spurring me on here too. If not for her encouragement I would not have done it..
here is the link, hope you enjoy.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Today was Jake's day to workout with me. I wanted to try to go through as many of the intermediate exercises that I could do with him. There are 34 of them. So we got off to a calm start. I went through all of the ground work exercises. Some of them he needs work on, but he could do them. The last one which is bridle bending is the one that we need the most work on. That is where I use the rein and have him circle me while I bend his nose down and walk him around me. He is supposed to be bent around me and get soft with his poll lower than his withers while moving forward on the circle. He is real good at this on the right side, but the left side is much stiffer. Once he does that softly then I am to move his shoulder over while he is soft and bent. So his shoulder moves away from me. We didn't do this part because we were just starting to work on the bending. I will probably do that tomorrow with him. The last part of that is to YH and then back him up. He will do that with softness. Anyway by the time I got to that exercise we had already worked an hour. Then it was time to ride him. I was able to get through the first 12 exercises of the 17 in the riding section and that was not going through them with a lot of work on each one. He clearly needs more work. By the time we got to this point were we were doing some serpentines we had been riding for an hour. So that was a two hour workout with him. I had planned on working with him then moving on to Raven. But not enough time. I worked with Raven yesterday getting as far as I could. She does well too. I think Jake is better in some things than Raven.
I am planning on applying for a spot on Clinton Anderson's program to go to his ranch and have him work with me on the intermediate exercises. I have to make a video of me going through all 34 exercises in the level and then send that in. He will pick several people to come to his ranch for that purpose. So I am going to give it a shot.
That means I gotta get this down.

Monday, November 18, 2013

In tune

Last Friday, opening day of deer season, I was sitting in my tree stand and, as often happens, my mind drifted to thinking about God and then horses. I was pondering my relationship with my relationship with my own horses. You see, I have often read and heard about having a relationship with the horse that is so close that it is as if the horses feet are merely an extension of my feet. In other words, that we move as one, whether on the ground or in the saddle. As I was thinking on this I gave thought to whether I want to be in tune with the horse, or the horse in tune with me. These may appear to be the same thing, but not so. If my goal is to be in tune with the horse then the horse, in a sense is in control. It is about the horse, that everything I do is an attempt to get to know the horse better so I can move as one with him. On the other hand, if my goal is to get the horse in tune with me, then it is about what I want, where I want to go and to do. Now, here is the way I see it. Pardon me if I get a little preachy here. God has created us. He desires a relationship with us, not because He needs us or is in some way incomplete without us, but because we need Him. In fact, we do not naturally seek after God, according to the Bible, Romans 3:11. So God selects out of the mass of humanity and does things in our lives to irritate us enough so that we will look to Him for rest and leadership. He is not trying to become in tune with us. He already knows all there is to know about us. He made us. What He is trying to do is to get us in tune with Him: to think and do what He wants us to do. Now that is exactly what I have come to the conclusion of, although it has been my view for years, just couldn't put it down. So my point is that I want to get the horse to be in tune with me what I think and do and where I want to go. That means that I do have to know the horse in general and my horse I am working with in particular. I have to know what I want to do at the moment: I want to walk forward -how can I best get the horse to do that with me; I want to move to my right but the horse is in the way - how do I get him to move over in such a way we are moving as one?. The same thing works under saddle. I know it is not that simple. But each thing has to be broken down, just like when you learned to tie your shoe. It had to broken down into manageable little steps. After those steps had been practiced with enough efficiency you no longer actively thought about each step you just did them and it became a habit so that now tying your shoe is second nature. The same with each movement of the horse. You must know what you want to do then break it down into manageable little steps and practice, practice, practice with enough efficiency that your horse is reading your mind. That is a little bit of what I think horsemanship is all about. Have a good day.
Oh, by the way, I did work with Raven today. Though I didn't ride her. I only had a little bit of time so I worked her at liberty. It all started when I was working on setting some posts for my arena. I wanted to just walk up to her and rub on her as she was nearby. But she took off on me. Now I cannot allow that to go without recourse, so I walked after her, not mad or anything. But when she stopped and gave me two eyes I backed off. Then walked up to her as she stood and I rubbed on her as I intended. Then I decided that since I couldn't ride today, I would work her at liberty just a short time. So I asked for lateral flexion then I asked for YH. She was real soft so I asked for more steps then a YF and a backup. She did all of this without any touching or connection other than she was tuned in to me. Then I did some intermediate exercises like touch and rub where with slightest pressure of fingertips she lowers her head or moves hindquarters or forequarters. She did real good here too. Then I asked for Leg Yield toward me and she did that on both sides. It was working real good. I only played with her for about 10 minutes and then released her. I loved it and she then followed me for a while on her own.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Last couple rides

The last couple of days I have had really good rides on my horses. Monday was Jake in the rain. Still we had a good lesson. I am noticing that I am getting much softer in my whole approach and not so 'git-r-don' attitude. My entire methodology has been getting a makeover as I am attempting to be more soft inside myself. Tuesday and Wednesday was Raven time. She is doing so well too. I have been working a lot on bending transitions with both of them and have noticed much more softness in their bend which means the are softer all the way through their tail. Then when I pick up the rein to ask for softness they more willingly give it to me. It is quite fun to work at getting their feet to be my feet and so when I think I want to move a certain way and then move through the steps to get their it takes hold and we make that move. Like tying your shoe. When you first learned there was all these steps to go slowly through until it was tied. But after much consistent practice now you can do it in the dark and blindfolded just by feel. I read something about Buck that struck me. He was in the arena putting on a clinic and he was astride his horse with eyes closed just listening to the rhythmic foot falls of the horses and he could tell when there was a bit of a dust up about to happen because the rhythm of the feet changed. Now that is horsemanship. So here I am trying to become one, in a sense, with the horse I am riding at the time. Trying to get the movement I want without any more bother than when I want to pick up my right foot to step forward. Or if the horse is a little bothered to help them find the center where there is peace. Sometimes that takes a little helpin', if you know what I mean. Jake and had that seemingly soft feel today as I approached him and then stroked him. I have taken to stroking rather than patting my horses just to be softer with them. We went through several exercises and then I saddled him tried to scare him with a plastic bag, but he has been through it so much that it doesn't seem to phase him. In the riding part, we worked on bending with transitions, yield and bend, and pole to pole. All of which incorporate him rating my seat and getting soft from his nose to his tail and there was no irritation with having to trot. He just moved real nice. I also was just working on putting his feet individually where I want them with my own leg pressure. He does pretty good at sidepassing too. I think the next thing we need to start working on is the cloverleaf exercise. It shouldn't be but another couple weeks and we will be working on advanced stuff. I lost track of exactly what day I am on with these guys since I have not been able to ride them both each day, but I think we must be around day 35 or so. Maybe a few days on past that. It sure is fun.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Exercise list.

I was able to work with Raven this evening for about an hour. I am working very easy, calmly with them attempting to keep them in a calm state of mind throughout the lesson. I am getting real good results with the groundwork there are still a few in the Intermediate I need to go over yet, but I need to watch some videos of them to see exactly what is expected. Here is a list of the GW exercises. my horses know all but a couple: 1. Changing sides, this is where I stand still and I move the horse so that I am on one side of him then the other by using the slightest pressure. 2. Run up and rub-the horse stands still and I am maybe 10-15 feet away and I run up to any part of their body with them standing still. I even wave my hand, hat, make noise etc. 3. Desensitize to plastic bag 4. slap and tap -anywhere on their body with them being bothered 5. changing eyes - moving their feet and change eyes I am connected to. 6. touch and rub-nose poll and forequarters- this gets them to move with the slightest pressure 7. Out back-back them out to end of lead rope and then invite them back 8. C pattern -I send them around me, then YH and YF and back in front of me and repeat back and forth like a C shape 9. Throw to a stop -Horse is being lunged and I toss the lead rope over their back until they stop 10. sidepassing on fence - my horses don't need the fence 11. Leading behind - this is where the horse stays behind you at whatever gait you are at and they stay with you, even backing up. 12. Turn and go -this is where you throw lead over their head and over their butt and they follow the pressure of the lead and turn and go in the other direction 13. Circle driving transitions - this is lunging up close and they can change directions with smooth flow 14. Line driving 1 - not sure what this is, though my horses line drive 15. circle driving transitions on long line - have not tried this yet. 16. Bridle bending forward around, YH, YF and backup. All but 14, 15 my horses do pretty good. In the riding part 1. vertical flexion at walk, mine do 2. cloverleaf - this is the pattern I do at trot and canter. I worked on this with Raven tonight. She is getting better at it. 3. Yield hindquarters and bending -this is the transition from YH to bending where the horse moves in a circle bent around my leg. Raven and Jake do all these and more. I will list the other exercises next time. Raven had a good lesson tonight though. We make good progress every time we work out. With the darkness coming earlier though it is getting harder to have the time to work with them. I still have another 30 days of my training cycle I want to go through in order to get through the advanced level work.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

bending and cloverleaf

The last two days I have gotten some riding in with Raven and Jake. I have been mainly working on some bending exercises with both of them. This gets them to be soft from head to tail because they are bending around my inside leg with softness. I do it at the walk first then move up to a trot and walk. The way I do it is to pick up the inside rein and bend their head, adding my calf/spur and asking them to keep their head/neck bent with softness until I release it. They are also to be following their nose around the circle. When I move up to the trot or canter and ask for this I first sit deep in the saddle as a cue to slow down and then pick up the rein and add my leg. This gets them to start to listen to my seat and leg. I walk them in a few circles like this with softness then go on another 20-30 feet and do it again. Another exercise I have been working on is the cloverleaf. I basically ride a cloverleaf pattern. This helps the horse to follow his nose again and also follow my seat as I bend in the direction of the cloverleaf. Many of the exercises in the intermediate we know, both GW and riding, but I am trying to refine things enough to move on to the next set. However, when I only have about 20 minutes of riding by the time I get through my GW it doesn't make for very rapid progress. Not to mention that rain we have been getting. I don't like to get the horses all hot and sweaty if it is raining out too, especially with it getting cold. The last thing I want is a sick horse. So I am on about day 28 with these guys, since I often have to alternate ride days. But the key is that we are making progress and are becoming the better for it.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

continuing the 60 days

I think I am on about day 25. that was yesterday. I lost track because of the days I missed due to rain last week and due to the fact that my schedule wouldn't let me work both horses. At any rate both horses are doing real good. I am presently working on the intermediate GW and riding. Most of the GW exercises we know and we are attempting to work on the second riding exercise which is riding a cloverleaf pattern at all three gates so that the horse is following his nose on the bends and staying straight on the straightaways without wiggling all over. Also there can be no resistance or breaking of gait. We are making progress. I also have my fencing all up, which was another reason for my missing some days. I just need to hook up the electric and install two gates. Then I can pretty much just leave my horses in their new area. I may have to put them up in the barn if the weather gets real nasty, because they only have a leanto to get out of the weather. I am not sure how much they will stay in there and the barn has enclosure on most of the four sides so much more weather protection. My next project is getting my riding arena put up and my barn built.

Thursday, October 10, 2013


I wanted to update anyone interested on what I am doing with horses. Over the last 3 weeks or so I started to take my horses through a 60 day course of training/refresher of the Clinton Anderson fundamentals/Intermediate and Advanced course. I am on day 19 today, that is if I am able to make the time to do it. My schedule is pretty busy today. They are both doing real well. We are working on the Intermediate level exercises. They know all the exercises but two in the GW and we are working on the riding ones more. Some of them they know others they don't. I still need to watch the dvds on those exercises so that I know what CA is looking for. THey will be fun, rollbacks, shoulder in/out, changing leads, sidepassing are just a few of them. I plan on working on these for about the next 20 days or so then move into the advanced lessons. It is amazing how much progress/connection/fun you can have with your horse if you consistently work with them on a daily basis (4-6x per week) I am also in the process of getting my fencing put up so that I can move my horses to their new lodgings. I have their run in shed and their round pen finished. Most of the posts are in for the fence, now it is tightening the corners, running the wire, putting gates up and hooking it in to electricity. Then they get moved to greener pastures. I love looking out the back and seeing them grazing. I will post more later.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

last ride

Had a last ride today with the boys. Yesterday I rode both horses in the large arena. Moon was as expected a reactive horse. I walked him around on the lead and got him a little used the new stuff. Then I got on him and he was just fine. I did a lot of bending then trotting and cantering. He spooked one time but didn't really take off. That is one thing that is good. And then once when we were cantering He wouldn't bend and follow his nose. That was because he wanted to get back to the gate. So I worked her and then let her rest away from there. Today with him he was lot better. However, I worked him gw pretty good on the long line then rode him. He spooked a few times, but with the geese splashing in the pond. So I let him get used to them and kept riding. The fun thing was that I walked him down the rail with his head bent to the rail and then I would add my railside leg and swing his butt over a step then walk straight. I did this in both directions then started getting some leg yields. This is when it starts getting fun. At the end I rode him out in the yard and over to where I park my truck and walked him around. Then unsaddled and put him up. With So Grand yesterday I tacked him up and he was not real happy, so I rode him in the paddock about 5 minutes and then took him over to the arena and walked him around and then got on and he did real well. Not much spooked him at all and didn't have any trouble moving him out. Today, I got him over to the arena and did some gw with the long line for about 10 minutes and then got on him and we had a good time. Did some trotting and walking. No spooking at all and did all that I asked of him. No resistance to the walk or trot. I didn't get him to canter, though he did get into his extended trot. I took him out of the arena and rode him over to the barn and around some posts and down in the ditch a couple times. He was pretty calm. Then it was time to put him up too. So we ended on a good note with both of them riding the last few minutes out in the yard. Both horses did as good as can be expected.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Yesterday's ride

Yesterday was another good ride on both these guys. I rode So Grand first so I wouldn't have to readjust the shims in the pad, it was already in it. He did real nice. I gave him a chance to just respond to my body energy and my clucking to him. He did good for a while but eventually I had to get the crop out in order to keep him going. But there were no dust ups. He got a little worried when I rubbed him on the flanks with my leg, but I kept it up until he showed that it didn't bother him at all. We worked on the bending exercises and stop and backup mostly. He would go into trot easily enough but not a canter. He didn't show any signs of discomfort with the saddle fit. Moon did just as well. We walked around doing the bending exercises then I got him moving out in a trot and canter. There are a few places he likes to stop so I made those places of work and it wasn't long before he didn't really want to stop there. I also worked on going through the mud puddle, making that a place of rest and then working him elsewhere. It wasn't but two or three times and he was willing to stand at the puddle and actually walk through it for me. In both horses cases before I knew it the time was up. I am pleased with the progress they have made.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Nice ride

Had a great time with the horses today. I won't bore you with all the ritual stuff I do with them, but I got Moon out and rode him in a somewhat dry paddock. What I was working on was his following his nose by doing the bending exercise. He is getting better. We even worked on a stop and backup with softness which he is picking up on. I did the cruising at the walk and trot with him. Also did several roll backs. They weren't perfect but they are a start. I also was able to get him into a canter a few times. The lesson was over way too soon. So Grand was very cooperative today. I got the shims adjusted and saddled him then moved him around to test things out. Then I got on him and he was just fine. We started with bending at the walk even working in some stops with softness and backups. Then we started to do some trotting. Something spooked him, I think it was my flopping the strings on his flanks and he started a to bucking but I was able to hold on to my night latch and snake my hand down to get a rein. I know he was just scared but I still kept him moving doing a lot of direction changes and acting like a drunk in the saddle. He did a little dust up again when I rubbed my leg up high on his flank so I just kept at it and kept him moving til he settled down. I didn't have to use a crop this time to keep him going until the end but I didn't bother to then. I also was able to get him into a canter a couple times so that was real progress. Toward the end of the ride I just walked him and worked on YH and stop and backup with softness and then started to ask for vertical softness while walking forward. He made some real progress there too.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


I had a good lesson with both horses yesterday. I got moon out first. While he is very stiff flexing he is still a good horse. He has a high energy, but he stands well for saddling and putting his boots on, even bridling is not too bad. I like them to bend to me and lower their head when I put the halter or bridle on or off. He will do it but he literally springs right back. I was able to walk trot and canter him in the rd pen. The paddock was a pool so the round pen was our place. He did well following his nose. I have been working on a good stop and back up. He is getting it and believe it or not he is starting to soften vertically when I ask for a back up. So Grand is stands good for saddling too. The shims have made a world of difference. I think also for both horses the stretching I do with them has a lot to do with their willingness to stand and even offer me their feet. Anyway, I saddled him and I could tell something was off. I kinda thought the shims were not placed exactly right. So when I started riding him I could tell by his movement that he wasn't comfortable so I took the saddle off and repositioned the shims then resaddled. It was fine then. We did have a little bit of a dust up. No bucking or anything, but I use the crop to get him to move. Not much, Actually, I use it as a last resort. If he doesn't move with my body energy or my clucking to him then I use a gentle tap on my leg then to his hip until he moves. He began to move quite well, but something bothered him and he got a little worried. But from that point on he moved when asked. I even got him to trot quite a bit for me. Then I started working on bending exercises. All in all, the lessons were profitable.

Friday, August 9, 2013

More fun.

It is getting more fun as I ride these guys more. Moon had his usual stretching and then saddled him and got on. He is stiff flexing but is getting better. I had about 30 minutes on him today. By the time I was done with him he we following his nose pretty good and even giving me vertical flexion at the standstill. He is stopping pretty good too. I am getting resistance free walks and trots. So Grand did the best yet today. I rode about 25 minutes on him and got some good forward out of him. I backed him up a ditch 3x after stretching him. Then saddled with the shims and no problems at all. I got on and just had him walk forward with no rein. I even got some pretty good trotting out of him. No resistance or bucks at all. When I got off of him and took the saddle off there was no soreness in the withers. They each get a stretching and massage after the ride too. It all went well. Hopefully, Monday will be in the paddock and then later in the week the big arena.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Now I am at the point where the fun really begins. I solved the problem of So Grand's back problem in terms of saddle fit. The CSI pad company sent me some shims and put me on to some videos on how to use them. So Yesterday I fit the shims to his back and rode him. He did good except for not wanting to go forward. So today I intended to ride him much more. However, there was another issue, some mats in the aisle that he didn't like so I worked him through them before and after the training. I had about ten minutes on his back and used my crop to help his forward. I saw some improvement. But I also noticed that he really stiffened up on flexing whereas before he was soft as butter, now it is like he is a board. So I got to go back and rework that aspect and then get the forward movement. Once I have that I think he will be pretty good. Moon did real well today. I rode him about 30 minutes or so. We did lots of trotting and worked on bending and YH YF and stops. I didn't have to use the shim with him. The nice thing about my pad is that shimming is real easy to do or remove depending on the horse. I think tomorrow will be even better.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

back in the saddle

Today was the day I wanted to see how the horses handled being ridden again. So I got Moon out and in the rd. pen, too much rain today. I went through my usual stretching with him then put the boots on him and took some time to see if he needed shims with the pad. I noticed the last time I rode him that he was sore in the withers too. Anyway I figured out where to put the shims and then saddled him. He did buck, which he never did before. I could be the position of the shims. I am going to try without them tomorrow and see what happens. Anyway, I moved him around and noticed he is really hard to flex. I noticed too that he was not the relaxed horse he had been. So I took my time did just as if he had never been ridden before. Then when I did swing my leg over he was fine. There was a little bit of a different kind of movement to him, but I still went through the flexing and YH and YF then a step or two and continued that til it was good on that side then went to the other side and did the same thing. Before I put him up I took the saddle off and tested his flexing and he was still real stiff on both sides. I massaged the muscles around his poll real good so that he had lowered his head almost to the floor, not because I was pushing down, but because he got so relaxed. Then I tried flexing him with the halter. He was still pretty stiff. I think that he is locked up in the poll somewhere that is preventing him from being able to flex softly. So Grand got the same kind of treatment. I went through his stretching, put the boots on and then worked on trying to shim the saddle pad. Amazingly, he stood with no problem at all. Once I got the shims where I think they should go I saddled him with no problem. I moved him off and he didn't offer to buck at all so I just moved him around going through a review of gw exercises. Then I put the bridle on and started getting on and off like I did with Moon. He seemed more relaxed than Moon was and I started the YH YF and step off, but he has really sticky feet so I gotta get his feet moving to really see how he is going to be. Tomorrow we will go through the process again and see if we can get a little farther along.

Thursday, August 1, 2013


I didn't know what I would face when I got to the farm yesterday. I was thinking it would be just mud, but it was not too bad so I got into it with them. It was a bit slippery so I couldn't really let them trot a lot. But that worked just fine because I wanted to work on their vertical softness anyway and it was ideal to do that. In fact, the horses did very well. I just worked on the serpentines and stops and starts with vertical softness. All I can say is that they are making progress with this. I hope to be riding Moon, at least, in the next week or so.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

catching on

Yesterday and today were really good days for So Grand and Moon regarding driving. I started to desensitize every chance I get, like I do during the gw exercises. It seems to calm them down and the are willing to stand more. They are great at anticipating me wanting them to move off. Anyway, they made great improvements. So Grand is starting to catch on to being vertically soft with forward movement. I've been driving him just as if I was riding him. So I was doing circle esses around the obstacles I am using as cones. That has helped. CA calls these bending exercises. Only I am doing them while driving the horse. Once this caught on with me it caught on with him. I also found something else out. So Grand will turn by my body position without the use of reins. That was fun. That tells me that if my body position is in one place and my hands telling him something else he gets confused. So I have to pay closer attention to my body position. Moon did well too. I have him getting softer laterally on the circle and just driving him. He is also starting to pick up the softness I am after. I also started to ask him for some leg yields on the fence. He gave me a few in each direction, but he is trying to figure it out. I think it goes back to my body position. So tomorrow I will be paying attention to that with both these guys. I have also been doing the stretching exercises with them. They really seem to like it and stand still for me even offering me their feet as if to say, don't forget this one. They both are real nice horses once you get to know them. Moon has issues with his neck and lateral flexion to the left. So Grand has issues with his back and withers. But they really are nice horses.

Friday, July 26, 2013


Well the last five days I have been driving these guys. They are doing pretty good. I have been doing the stretching and trying to help them strengthen and raise their backs. They really seem to like it. You should see them lick and chew and sigh when I am circling their shoulders or hip and then stretching their legs. They get so relaxed. It is time to go to work then. They don't like that part.:( Anyway, the last two days or since I last blogged, I have been doing some desensitizing before I start because they have been a bit jumpy when I put the line over their butt. But now they just stand when I do that and wait for me to tell them to move. Moon is still real stiff on the left side, but today He seemed to be improved, though he still drops his shoulder in and when he is trotting it is like a motorcyclist leaning into the turn. But anyway I am working on that. He is getting softer in the face going forward. Huge improvements there. He is responding to the bit much better too. I am driving him around balls, logs and such in the pen. So Grand is doing well at this too. He is soft laterally and getting better when forward into the bit. I would say that they are both doing very well, considering. And I hope to be riding them in the next week providing So Grand has his back issues resolved. I don't want him in pain as I ride. That is not fair to him nor safe for me. I have some shims to help with that.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


I got started with the Arabs on Monday after a week long break due to the heat. I did some research on how to help So Grand with his sway back issues and found some exercises to do as well as how to better shim my saddle. So Monday and Tuesday I began my time with them doing the stretching to help lift their backs. Moon doesn't have it so bad. But I will tell you that they both by the time I did on Tuesday were like they were enjoying it. They were letting me move their feet and legs and stretch them out as well as massage their spine and withers without being to touchy. Then when I was done stretching them I saddled and started to ground drive them again. They are both doing pretty good with a little bit of review. Moon is still real stiff on the left side, but I just keep working him more. Short of a chiropractor looking at him I am at a loss as to what to do about that. They soon settle down with the driving. By the end of the week I hope to have made up the lost week see about moving on to more advanced driving.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

In the moment

Today was much better. It often happens this way with horses. One day it seems that it is a disaster, but you keep working on it. The next day it is as if yesterday never happened. It goes to show you that horses don't think about yesterday or tomorrow. They are in the moment. So today when I got So Grand out he was real good. He was soft on the one indirect rein on both sides. So I went to one indirect rein and one direct rein, except for a little hiccup he handled it nicely. I was even starting to get some vertical softness from him. I started asking of that at the standstill then with him still soft I asked him to move off. He did fine both sides so I went to both direct reins. He got a little excited about this, but not too much. I let him trot around then back to a walk and asked for a change of direction. We did several of these and several stops. By the time we were finished he was giving me a lot more softness. Moon was much the same. I went through the same process. He is real stiff laterally, almost like he is locked up on the poll, but after several minutes of trotting around and taking him off balance he started to be soft. Then I went to the one indirect and direct rein and he got a little excited but nothing major. My equipment held up this time instead of breaking so we were soon graduating to two direct reins. Had him changing directions at the walk and then the trot, along with several stops with softness. So today was not like yesterday at all. Hopefully, tomorrow will be even better.

A step back

Well this day didn't go as planned. I have been driving these horses for a few days now and it seems that everything went out the window with them. It was as if they had never been driven before. Moon has a tough time with lateral flexion which is essential to vertical flexion and that is essential to get where I want them to go with responding to the bit and rein. Plus, I had trouble with my tools breaking. First it was the ring breaking then it was the leather breaking. Then he was getting all spooked because of the line on his hocks. I just methodically and calmly kept working at things with him. I was finally able to get him relaxed at both the walk and trot. So Grand had similar things happen, though he did better than Moon. He is laterally soft and becoming more vertically soft. I am wanting him to be soft vertically at the walk and trot and then the canter. I hope to be able to get further along with these guys when I work with them next.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


I thought I better catch you up on what has been going on with the Arabs. After attending the Dan James clinic I started driving them. They have been coming along nicely though not as fast as I had hoped. It takes some getting used to for a horse to have lines around their legs and to be giving to the bit. But it is happening. I am seeing them starting to soften laterally and vertically both at a standstill and on the move. I am looking for them to be consistently soft before I move on to the next level. I am working them outdoors, weather permitting, and the footing is solid which gives me a bigger area to work in than the round pen. When I am confident they have it going well then we will move to the larger arena and then finally to the field or road/trail. Then back to riding them again. I need to figure something out for So Grand as he is need of drastic padding due to his sway back. I have been working my horse in the same with driving her and then doing some riding.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Worked inside today due to the rain. But when I am first line driving a round pen is a good thing. I got So Grand out and put the saddle on him. He didn't like it so I had to rearrange padding and that was better. Then I put the bit in his mouth. He didn't have much issue with it. Then I put the long line on one side and drove him around. He handled it pretty good. Then switched sides and did the same things. By the time we were finished he was carrying his head inside with nice lateral flexion which is just what I wanted. He was following his nose pretty good. Moon had a few issues. I did the same thing with him and he did fine with one rein. Then I put the other rein on and he got scared with the line around his butt. But he soon got over that and after getting a walk trot canter I changed directions on him for the same thing. I am looking for lateral flexion on both these horses and eventually vertical softness and that they follow their nose. So both did pretty good today.

Monday, July 1, 2013


I got started with the Arabs again. I got Moon out and used the outdoor paddock but it was quite slippery so I couldn't do what I was going to do. I instead did some gw with him and really got some good results. He is really stiff on the left side. So I really worked that side on the lunge and with flexing and got him pretty soft on that side. So I was able to review all the exercises with him. So Grand was the same situation. I reviewed all the gw exercises and he did really good. I will be ready to start ground driving him tomorrow. I also worked my horse Raven today. I have been ground driving her all last week after the clinic I went to and would ride her. I rode her today after some brief driving. I have a really good connection with her and can ride her without the reins. After I was finished I laid her down. It took about 3 times but she finally went down for me. I have been working up to that all last week having her kneel for me. When she laid down I let her stay there for about 15 minutes until she completely relaxed. Then I gave it a few more minutes and asked her to get up.

Friday, June 21, 2013


This was day 29 of their training. I used Moon first. I got him saddled with no problems and then moved him around a bit. Put on the bridle and started to circle drive him with the long lines. He made a lot of improvement. There were still some issues, but he settled down much quicker and started to do some turns much better. Then I got on him and rode him with the bit. I wanted to get him really soft. He is still resistant, but is making improvement in that area too. I could only get him into a canter once and then he would not do it. But he would trot and walk and give me those transitions. He did pretty good all in all. So Grand it was decided I would not ride him because of sore withers. So I introduced the bit to him. After saddling and playing with the pad again. He does what I want from the ground without resistance. Anyway, I put the bridle on him and really didn't have a problem with it, though he played with it a lot. I flexed him several times and then put the long lines on and lunged him just with the bit. I didn't start driving him yet but hope to next time.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Today's sessions were insightful for me. I worked with So Grand first. I again played with some padding to shim up the saddle. Then saddled him. I worked him a bit from the ground first. Then I got on and started to move him around. I wanted to get up to a canter today. I had no problem with the walk or trot going to the right, but to the left still there is resistance. I even got him up to canter once going right, but he immediately bucked. I continued to try to get him to move, but there is much resistance. So when I finally got off and took the saddle off I examined him and am convinced it has to do with the mechanics of the saddle and his back. He such a sway back I have not found a way to shim it high enough so that it does not bother his withers. He was real sensitive there. He will trot and canter without resistance on the ground, but not under saddle. So I have to figure something else out. My dad helped with this dynamic too as he was able to get the horse into a canter by compelling him forward from the fence. Moon did well too. I put the bit in with no problem and started to ground drive him. It wasn't too long and was relaxed enough to start asking for some changes of directions with the rein. We had some mild hiccups, but he soon calmed down and started to offer changes of direction and would even stop for me in a calm manner. So we worked on change of direction using the rein and when he was real calm with them I let him quit.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


I counted up the days I have been working with these guys and this was day 28. They are not at too bad of a level. I mean I would like to have been further along, but I can only go as fast their confidence level and mine. As long as we are in sync in our confidence we make progress. When I got So Grand out I again played with the saddle pad trying to shim it in a way that will make it more comfortable for him when I ride. I am thinking that his unwillingness to go forward might be because the mechanics of saddle fit with him. So I want to eliminate as many possibilities as I can. Well, I saddled him and put him a liberty for a few minutes and had him follow me around. Then I did some of my gw exercises. Then I got on him. We made some progress in terms of his forward. I can get him to walk and trot pretty easy going to the right, but not so to the left. However, by the time we were done he was going into a trot when I asked and even offering it. In fact, when he offered me a trot and stayed consistent with that we stopped. I flexed him a few times and finished. Thought I would let him think about it that trotting wasn't so bad. Moon went pretty good. I saddled him and moved him around a bit. Then I introduced him to my snaffle bit. He didn't resist taking it at all. I put it on and off a couple times. Then hooked the line to it and flexed and did some YH on both sides. Then started to circle drive him. I put the other line on too so that both lines were being used. He got a little scared but soon he started to settle down and just walk. Then I started to ask for direction changes and at first it was somewhat like a wreck, but he started to catch on. After about 1/2 hour of this he started to move more fluidly into a direction change without going into a fast trot or canter. When he gave me a couple of relaxed changes at the walk in both directions I put him up. So in both cases it went pretty well.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Ok, I need to catch up with what is going on with these Arabs. Friday I wanted to continue to work with So Grand and really develop that connection with him. I put the saddle on and let him stand free a few minutes then I started to move around and he followed me all over. I did some more liberty work with him and then put the halter back on him. We went over all the ground work as a review, then I got on him. He has really sticky feet, so I kept working on getting him to go forward. He does pretty good going to the right, he even offers to trot for me. However, going to the left is another story. He keeps wanting to stop. On the ground he doesn't seem to have trouble going forward, though there is some slight resistance at times. It just shows up when I am in the saddle. Somehow my being in the saddle magnifies his resistance. Anyway, I was able to get some trotting out of him. I have been having him go short distances then stopping for a rest. Then I stretch out the distance, more laps and let him stop. He does show improvement. Moon is doing good. I am trying to get him used to my side pull. It has a different feel than a rope halter. So I have been putting the long lines on him and flexing him with that and then moving him forward. The whole thing with the pressure coming from the saddle is taking him some getting used to. He is unsure of everything when I have two lines on him. But he will get better. Monday, 6/17 I got So Grand out and saddle him up. I took some time to play with the pad and the extra pad I sue trying to get the saddle to fit his back better. Right now the pressure point on him is right behind his shoulder blades. My suspicion is that his forward problem is connected to the fit of the saddle. He is so hollowed out in the back that it is almost like he is sway backed. An examination of his withers shows that he has not carried himself balanced, but high headed, even though it looks like he is balanced. So that could be an issue too. I want to make it as comfortable as possible for him to carry a rider. Anyway, after playing with the pad, I saddle him up and worked him from the ground, then rode him for 1/2 an hour working on going forward, bending laterally, even starting to get some breaking at the poll. When I took the saddle off the pressure point was more wide spread, but still forward behind the shoulder blade. I am going to try something else next time. Moon had a good session too. I saddled him and did some liberty work with him too. I then hooked up the side pull and long line. I flexed him and YH. Then lunged him. Then I put the line back through the saddle ring as though I was riding him. I drove him this way for a few minutes then switched sides and did the same thing. He doesn't like the right side as much as the left. I then hooked both sides up and drove him in a circling fashion just looking for him to drop his head and relax. I noticed that the side pull is rubbing his nose kinda rough so I am going to try the snaffle bit and see what kind of response I get from that next time. Back to the session though, He would move up to a trot or canter no problem. It is like he is scared though and I am wanting him to relax more and start carrying his head lower and respond to the rein in a more yielding fashion. I am trying to help both these horses relax enough to eliminate the resistance that runs through them.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Moon had an exciting time of it. I drove him with one rein both sides using a side pull. It took him some getting used to. It puts the pressure up on his nose from the sides not from under his jaw. Then when I thought he was comfortable with that I put the other rein on. It always gets exciting at this point because the line gets in his legs and under his tail. But he did normal, lots of running in fear but he would settle down and come to me for support. We did both sides and then tried changing sides. It finally worked out. I picked a good spot to quit. Then took him for a walk outside sans the saddle. I did some sending exercise by tail gate of my truck because he was kinda concerned about it. I put him up after he settled down. I think I had the best session with him yet. And it came after such a disaster yesterday. Just goes to show you that they are very forgiving. Yesterday was definitely all me. I wanted to have a good connection with him today and not have any resistance from him. I brought him into the rd pen and put the pad on him. He moved some, but I just put it on anyway and he stopped. Then I grabbed the saddle and he moved a step, stopped and I put it on him. He started to take off but I got him back and finished cinching up. Then I took the halter off and let him go on his own for about ten minutes. Then I walked up to him sans halter and he started to follow me. Hmmm! I thought. I wonder how much he will follow me. So I started walking all over and he followed me and when I stopped he came up to me and I just rubbed him on the face and ears, all over his body. Then I would walk off again and he followed. Anytime he got ahead of me or started to move further from me I would change direction and get him back. So I spent the entire time just having him follow me all over and every time I stopped I would rub on him and practice placing his head low and bent toward me. I picked up and cleaned all four feet without him leaning on me. I walked around and he followed me. This was incredible to me, because he would not follow me before except for a step or two. So today was huge. I was tempted to ride him but I thought, "No, I am not going to ruin this." I wanted to let him know that just because the saddle is on doesn't mean he is going to get worked. So today he didn't even break a sweat. He just followed me all over. I felt like I had a real good connection with him. I then put the halter back on and flexed him with the softest feel ever from both sides. I even had him YH with the most softness ever. It was real good. So when I took the saddle off we walked outside and I just led him around. We came to the trailer and he was some concerned about it, so I did the sending exercise between me and the trailer until I was satisfied he was ok with it. Then I put him up for the day. I am still struck by how together we were today. I hope I can get that again tomorrow.


It seemed to me that So Grand was going to have a good session when I got him out. But he wouldn't stand to let me put the pad on him, so I made him run again. I took the halter off him and made him run for ten laps then changed directions and did ten more laps. Then I had him do five laps in the same way and then down to 2 1/2 laps then one lap then had him changing several times. I only let him slow down when he dropped back to the trot and I couldn't get him to go back into it easily. He was so out of air he couldn't do it anymore. When I let him stop I let him stand for ten minutes. Then I got the pad out again and he stood ok. Then the saddle and he wanted to move, so I kept the pressure on and he stopped and let me saddle him. Then I moved him around at a walk and trot going through everything. The thing I wanted most was that he would flex at a stand still and YH when I lifted the rein and put pressure where my leg would go. I don't want him getting stuck again. However, I have to admit that I let it get into a fight. Would flex but keep YH when I wanted him to stand still. So I kept him flexed waiting for him to stop and be soft. This went on and on, til finally he gave up and just leaned on the halter and tried to take it away from me. I really yanked on the lead and, well, it wasn't pretty. I had let it degenerate to the point where we were not working together and he became more resistant, which in hindsight was entirely my fault. When I realized that he was having trouble with what I was asking I should have rewarded the slightest try and built off of that. But I didn't and it just fell apart from there. I just stopped and went to having him move out and back up and send him forward, YH and YF and backup and send. We did this all around the arena a few times then I stopped and let him rest and went back to flexing on the other side. He was real soft then to the side I had trouble on and he was better. Anyway, we worked through it. Then I got on him and wanted to get a good walk and trot out of him. He was still blowing quite a bit though so I knew I couldn't ask for much from him. I wanted some soft YH and one rein stops, some flexing, etc. I had about a ten minute ride on him. Then took the saddle off and walked him around the rd pen, then outdoors around the barn all the while just asking him to follow without resistance. I did some sending throughout and when I put him up he was more relaxed. Although when I took the halter off and was trying to rub his face and ears his resistance came out again. I had to move him around in his stall just to put his halter back on. Hopefully things will be better next time. Moon was real good to work with. I got him saddled and moved him around a bit to see where his mind was ate. Then I started to drive him with one rein. He did pretty good. Then I did the other side. I only did one side at a time and that took up our time. Next is to begin to drive with two reins.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Starting to Drive

My plan for Moon was to drive him today. While I was putting the halter on I found another hole in my training. It was that he should hold his head in the position I want his head while I put on and take off the halter. I want his head low and flexed softly to whatever side I am on. Since he would not do that, I decided to work on that first. I finally got him to be without resistance on either side. It took much repositioning of his head, but he finally would leave it in position consistently for the count of five. I went on to saddling him and working a bit of GW with him then put the long line on him using a ring on the girth buckle to pass it through to the halter. It took a few tries and the use of my lead for support for him to finally get relaxed. Then I took the lead off and just used the long line. He would sometimes turn the wrong way, get tangled in the line and scare. But he came to me to get him out of it. It wasn't long and we got it on both sides. So I took them off and went back to playing with his head. I found I have to be more of a stickler to do things all the way and right rather than sloughing off a bit. Then I put him up. On the other hand So Grand, the resistant, showed up today. I could tell in the stall. When I brought him in the rd pen he wouldn't let me get the halter off so I had to really move him around. Then took it off. I let him stand looking at me for a few minutes. Then walked up to him and he decided to go. So I let him move up to a canter for about 10 laps then switched sides for 10 more than started switching every lap or so, even some half laps or quarter laps. This went on for twenty minutes. Then he started to go to a trot. I bumped him to a canter and did this til I thought he was going to shut down. The sand in here is pretty deep and wet. He's been resting now for seven minutes and still has not caught his breath. I waited another couple minutes. Put the halter on. Put the saddle on and he stood there with no problem. Then I moved him around circling YH YF a few times both sides. Then got on. The last ten minutes or so I rode him around. Had to get after him a time or two to keep moving his feet, but the more I wouldn't tolerate sticky feet the better he became in responding to my cues. I wasn't about to let him get stuck and frustrated somewhere and then buck. Now I did do one rein stops and let him stand some. But it was when I asked, not when he wanted. Sometimes we coincided. When I thought it was a good time I got off and flexed him took the saddle off and walked him around. Once he had an attitude change it went well.

Friday, June 7, 2013


Yes, I titled this 'holes' there are holes in my training with So Grand. I discovered that today. I got him saddled, but he didn't want to. He didn't hold out long. I had really moved him around flowing from YH to YF to sending to back up and so on not real fast, but so that he didn't get a chance to stop until I went to saddle him. Then He decided to move some more. I shut him down and put the saddle on then took halter off and made him move more going through the same things at liberty. No bucking or anything. My goal was to ride him a few minutes then to drive him with long lines. So considering what happened yesterday and not wanting a repeat performance I was making darn sure that he would not get locked up when moving his butt over. However, every now and then he would get stuck and instead of moving with just pressure from the stirrup I would actually have to slap him on the hip to get him to move. Well, I want immediate movement as soon as I pickup the rein and add my leg, I want that hind leg to move over. I figure if I can't get it on the ground 100% I am not going to get it from his back. So I worked some more. Then went to make a rein out of the lead, and he wouldn't stand still so I took that as, "I am not ready to be ridden yet." So I really started to move his feet and when I finally stopped he was real soft and yielding. Then I started to play with throwing the lead over his head so I could have him do the turn and go where he bends away from me and follows his nose around. Well he didn't like that lead around his hind end and so we worked on that for a good while. Like I said, I want to ground drive him, but if he can't accept the lead around his butt like that he sure isn't gonna like the long line around it. So I worked on that from both sides until he was soft following his nose around like that. By the time we were done he was huffing and puffing and relaxing with his head down. I figured that was a good place to stop and let him think on it over the weekend. Moon was just like I thought he would be today. It didn't take much to gather him up and saddle him. I moved him around a little to see where his mind was, but he showed me he was with me. So I got on him and rode him around. Got into a canter in both directions a couple times. We did one rein stops and backups a step. We did YH and then when he was set just right I asked for YF and he worked right into it. Then we did this at the trot. I banged and scratched the wall, the fence anything to help him. He would actually go back to what I just hit as to see what it was. He was a real pleasure to ride today.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

4th ride

Someone once made the comment to me that the 4th ride is often where you find out if the horse is going to buck or not. For some reason I was thinking about that as I was working with So Grand today. He is the only one of the two that has shown he will buck so I was thinking about that today. I saddled him and moved him around some and see how he moved out willingly or not. He was relaxed and doing real good. My plan was to do that and ride for a few minutes and then do some long line driving using either a snaffle or side pull whichever I found to work best. Well I got on him, flexed him and moved him out at the walk and then we trotted some doing some one rein stops and YH, YF and move out. But the longer we rode the stickier he got. Like he didn't want to bend and untrack his hind feet. I would ask softly then increase the pressure, to the point of having to use my saddle strings to get him to untrack. Well, one time, and I am not sure if he was confused or just his inner self coming out, but he just started bucking. Not going anywhere, I would have rather he did then it would have been easier to ride. But he just went up and down, I of course had a good hold of him and kept trying to untrack him and move him forward. It was going through my mind at the time that he could come over backwards or buck even harder if I didn't get him untracked so I kept at it. I was thinking of a horse Buck Brannaman had that gave him fits and the problem was that he got stuck and had to be untracked (that is what he calls YH). So once I got control of him and couldn't get him untracked from the saddle, rather than wait for another exciting episode of bronco Jeff I got off and went to work getting him to untrack from the ground. I mean I had him moving fast and hard, but I also wanted his face to be soft, not stiff. I wanted him moving willingly, but to get there I really went after him and if he didn't give me immediate movement in is hind feet I would up the intensity greatly then release when he moved. I did this several times from both sides until he was satisfactorily untracking with my bend in the rein with softness and the use of my stirrup against his barrel. I figured I gotta get this real good because I was getting back on and if I didn't get if good from the ground, it wouldn't work from his back. So up I went and immediately started to untrack him and then move him out a walk first then it was trotting several laps and untracking then back to a trot and repeat then switch sides. For about 25 minutes that what we did. I knew this was in him because every now and then when I work him he, for whatever reason would, frustration or just showing he is asserting leadership, he would throw his head and pitch a mini fit. But I would just make him move faster. So with this guy I am just going to have to be on my toes and watch him. Oh, he did give me a sign that he was going to buck. He squirted out a horsey fart and went to it. Fortunately, I was able to hang on. I did lose a stirrup and almost came off, but because I was hanging on I stayed put. Although, jarred my insides a little bit. Well now, Moon was another animal altogether. He didn't really want to play with me today. He kept going out into his paddock. But that was ok, he came back to his stall and I picked up where we left off brushing him. I got him to the arena and put the saddle on him and took the halter off and didn't do much. I was giving him the choice to stay with me or leave. And when he did leave I moved him around at liberty working through a trot to a canter and back in both directions. When he was sufficiently relaxed I put the halter back on and stepped on him, flexed him a few times and walked off. We did the same thing we had been doing. Remember, I am still thinking this is ride # four. So I am daring him. In fact, I am acting like a drunk trying to do anything that might spook him. But nothing. We moved up to the trot doing some bending YH and really getting that good and then asking for YF and moving off. Well at the trot I noticed that he would get a little close to the door so when I saw my chance I let my foot bang against it and he went faster. Then it was almost like he could read my mind and he would purposely get close to it so I could bang it and I did and finally it was no matter to him so we went in the other direction doing the same thing. Then it was the hydrant with the round cat house over it. Last year when I bumped that on another horse named Robbie he went into a bucking fit, but I hung on and never had another problem with him. Anyway, when I bumped it this time it was not really an issue. One huge benefit was that I was able to get him up to a good loping canter a couple times. We did this some more and he was doing so good at everything I was asking I decided to stop him and walk and then flex and get off. The driving will be another day. I also took the saddle off and let him stand next to me for about 10 minutes. He was impatiently pawing, but I ignored it and when I was ready I put him up. I am still not sure what made So Grand buck like that, but when I took the saddle off, I noticed that even with my CSI pad there was a dry circle of say 4" right behind the shoulders. He has about a four inch sway to his back. So it may have been the saddle fit too. Tomorrow I am going to put a shim under there and see what that might do.

third ride

Moon was real good today. I got him saddled up and took the halter off and sacked him out with all my toys and he did real good. I had him going over the tarp in different places in the rd pen. It was kind of magical to me, because I barely had to move in order to get him to YH and YF and move forward across the tarp and repeat. It was as if he could read my mind about what I wanted him to do. Then I put the halter back on and flexed him and did what is called 'bridle bending' where I do circle driving but using the halter as a bridle I bend him on the circle and then YH and back up. He did excellent on both sides. I got on him and away we went riding around the arena doing one rein stops and circles. I would bend him to the inside a few times and then to the outside and switch directions. I got him into some good trotting. I could only get a short canter out of him. But at least we got some. I will try for more when I work with him today. So Grand didn't want to be saddled. So it took a minute to do so. Then I took the halter off. Now one thing I did differently was to put the flank cinch on the second hole not the third as before. So he wasn't snugged up on the belly as tight. So when I moved him off he didn't offer to buck. I got the toys out and we went to work. I ended up putting the halter back on him because he needed the support. I was trying to approach him with the noise bag in a very soft way, but he would not stay. So after several combinations of tries I decided to help him out. It was what he needed. As soon as I put the halter on he stayed no problem. I could even throw the bag up on him with its noise and he didn't move. He could've but he didn't. The tarp I had to work with him on to go over it. I keep putting it in different places and have to work through them as if it is something new to him. But he eventually got it. Then I had him crossing the tarp in the middle of the arena and then crossing the bag stretched out with the noise bag so he would cross one take a few steps and cross the other. He eventually got it. When he was nice and relaxed doing that I made up my reins and got on him. We walked and trotted around as before and tried to get a canter out of him, but to no avail yet. He will get it though. I know once I go to their paddock a canter won't be a problem. It is just to wet and slippery yet from all the rain. My next step is going to be driving them to put a directional control on them. So we will see what happens today. Callie went home yesterday. I am sure he is a much happier horse being back with his buddies. Thanks to Kathryn his owner for letting me ride him for 3 weeks.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Moon went first. I saddled him and then worked him at liberty again. Started with tarp. In one part of arena it was no problem. But when I moved it to the other side by the wall he did not like that. But after a few minutes he did it was not a problem. Then I sacked him out with bags. I put halter back on and backed him up. Went through changing sides and turn and go with him. I didn't ride today because I forgot my boots and only had tennis shoes on. I don't like to ride like that. To Unsafe especially on a green horse. So Grand offered a different take on things. I saddled him and he got rather excited, not really bucking, but because I had the tarp and bags laying around the arena I think that added dimension stirred him up a bit. He soon settled down thought with several direction changes. Then I just started sending him around the obstacles (bags and tarp). I ended up really just working to get him to calmly go over each of those things at a calm walk. That took some doing. The tarp was not that hard, but the black back and noisy bag were different. After we got through those things then I flexed him and did a lot of YH and YF, changing sides, stirrup driving with him. I found that with him if I work him hard for about ten minutes flowing from one exercise to another he becomes a different horse. He will follow me, even seek to be with me wherever I move to. So we did have a very valuable lesson today. Callie, got his last ride by me. We went down the road at a better pace than we have. It was still a walk, but faster. I found with him that he is easily distracted and so I need to keep his attention on me by asking for softness or bending, etc. I don't let him go for very long before asking for something or he will be going his own direction. He definitely has equine A.D.D. We went around the block and came back the power line. We did a little cantering, but mostly walk or trot. He is a good horse, just needs a little greasing up in certain areas.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Second ride

this is what happened yesterday 6/3 I started with Moon. Saddled him right off. Then took halter off moved him off. I let him go around a few times changed directions and so on. I got my bag out and desensitized to the bag, noise bag, and tarp. Then I laid the tarp out and asked him to go over it using the sending exercise at liberty. It only took a few minutes and he was going over. It was fast at first, but then he slowed down to a walk and even offered to go over the last two times. So I quit there. It was a pretty sight to see him at liberty offer a YH then YF and move forward. Several times after he crossed I let him rest and he walked up to me and garnered a rub on his face. Then I flexed him, stirrup drove him and then got on. I hooked up my lead into reins, got in the saddle, took a deep breath trying to relax and asked for YH and YF and a step. We kept doing this to the left and worked our way up to walking around the pen and then to a trot. He did real good this direction. The other direction is the one he has trouble with. But it wasn't much. We worked up to walking all around then to a trot. That is where he got worried but I bent him around and slowed him to a walk. Then back up to trot. We rode for 15 minutes. It was good for both of us. I dismounted flexed him and took off the saddle. Then did some GW to finish off. So Grand was much the same. I had to move him around the pen before I saddled him. And then took the halter off. I let him move off to see what he would do at liberty with the saddle. He didn't disappoint me. He bucked slightly and cantered around several times. I changed directions a couple times and he settled down. Then I brought the bag out and at liberty sacked him out to all three. The tarp was much more difficult for him this time. He kept wanting to cut between me and the tarp. I just kept asking him and after several attempts, maybe about 10 minutes he was walking over the tarp in either direction. I moved the tarp to the other side of the pen and asked again. It bothered him some, but he started going over it at a walk soon enough. I then put the halter on him and rigged up the rein. I got on and off a couple times and flexed him. Then I got on him and had him YH and YF to the left we just kept playing with that til he cold go all around the pen at a walk. Then we went up to a trot. It was hard to get him into a trot, but when he did it for me a couple times we switched sides and ran through the same tasks. I quit him at that point and unsaddled him and walked him around a few minutes. We rode about 20 minutes. Callie had it easy. I just took him down the road. We mostly had a relaxing ride. He just needs to have his mind occupied with whatever the rider wants. He is so curious, always looking to the right or left, but then he drifts in that direction too. So I just keep flexing or softening him and working on YH or YF, and backing up. He did real good.

Friday, May 31, 2013

First rides

Moon got his first ride. Here is how it worked out. I walked into his stall and he walked into his paddock. He turned to look at me and I kissed to him. He walked right back in to me, even though his buddy was out there. I knew something was different. I took him in the rd pen and saddled him. He took it as if he had always done it. I stirrup drove him. No bother. When I flexed him I really noticed the difference in him. He was soft as butter in his lateral flexion. So I got on him a few times and asked for YH and got it. Then I got off and got my bags and tarp out. They didn't bother him much either. I laid the tarp out small he walked right over it. So I made it as big as it gets and he walked over it. Then I was just standing there with him and he decided to walk over it. Then I moved it to another spot and did the same thing. I put everything up stepped in the stirrup and mounted. We did several YH and YF IN BOTH DIRECTIONS. It was good. That was his ride today. So Grand was much the same as moon. I saddled him. He was still a little excited about the saddle. But no actual bucking. Now he is down to just moving quick. I let him go and did some changes with him. Then he was right with me. I flexed him and stirrup drove him. Then stepped on 'cause he was licking. Had him YH a few times both sides. Then got the bags and tarp out. There was some bother but nothing that wasn't worked out. He went over the tarp pretty good. Then I got on him again and had him YH a few more times and he was relaxed. Callie gave me another good ride. I took him down the road and every time he looked in one direction and started to go in that direction I just YH and YF and walked off again. I had to do it several times. But I was in no hurry to go anywhere, we'd already been down the road several times. So when he would make a decision to go his own way I just stuffed it down his throat and made him do it more. I really worked on his YH a lot because I want it when I pick up my rein and put a leg on him. I even got some side passing or leg yield out of him. We worked our way down the road doing this kind of stuff. Then I would let him go straight and as long as he went straight I left him alone. But as soon as he crossed the line we went to work. You know what happened. He got real soft and collected so that all I had to do was pick up the reins and softened. So it was a good ride. Neither one of us got all stirred up.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Easy ride

Got So Grand out first. I moved him around about 2 minutes then sacked him out a couple times with pad and saddle. Cinched him up. He was still a bit of a bronc, but that's ok. I just made him move faster and change directions til he settled down. I did a few exercises with him to help relax him and see where his mind was at. Got on him a couple times and also did some stirrup driving. No troubles with any of that. I got out my bag of noises and sacked out to that. A large black garbage bag came out and had him wearing that. Then the tarp. Rubbed that all over with as much noise as possible. Next I laid it out against the wall and started sending him between me and the tarp. It wasn't but a few minutes and he was calmly going over it. I got on him a couple more times then walked him around and that was it. Moon needed a few laps in the pen to decide it was better to be with me. I sacked him out with pad and saddle then cinched up. I noticed he was quite worried going clockwise so I changed directions and then went back to that until he settled down. Didn't take long to do that. Did some stirrup driving then got on him a few times. Brought out my goody bag and sacked him out to that. Then did the same with black bag and tarp. He went right over the tarp. It was like he wanted to try it but just needed a little support. We did that a few times in each direction. I got on him a few more times and then took saddle off. I walked him around and over the tarp and then we were done. I decided to take it real easy with Callie today. I got him saddled and we went down the road. My intention was to walk most of the ride. He had to gravitate to the right or left a lot. I think he wanted to eat the tall grass on the side. But anyway I just kept bumping him back to the middle of the road where I wanted him. We actually went a different way than usual and that didn't seem to bother him. On the way back we took the power line and he got into a canter and showed he does have some speed to him if he wants to. We had a good ride.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

my saddle

I got a good start with both horses today. Moon stood real good while I put my saddle on him. It is much different than the other one. I moved him around to make sure he will stand. Then sacked him out with pad and saddle and it went well. He didn't have a problem with the flank cinch or breast collar. I put him through his paces and then started to work on YH with my thumb where my heal would be. It took a while but he finally got it. Then I moved him to a trot and then tried again with YH and it went well. Did both sides to my satisfaction. Then I did some stirrup driving and that went so well I decided to work on getting on him. So a few minutes later I was throwing a leg over and sitting on his back. He was relaxed pretty much. I did this from both sides several times. Then took the saddle off and moved him around some. So Grand didn't do as well. But I knew he was a bit jumpier with something around his flank. He actually stood real well to be saddled, but that flank cinch tickled abit and so he went to bucking. I switched directions and he bucked some more. I just sped him up or changed directions when he went to doing that. He settled down to where I could go through the exercises with him. He got a little bumpy a few times later, but that was no problem. He will get used to it. I did some stirrup driving with him too. He didn't have a problem with it at all. Then I worked on getting on his back. He didn't have a problem with that. I sat on him several times. One time I was just standing in one stirrup and he wanted to move I just stayed with him til he stopped. When I took the saddle off him I worked him some more too. You know what is funny. I have had trouble with him following me real good. So I usually have to make him move a lap or two before he will follow a couple steps. Well, today I went to take some pictures with the saddle on his back. Do you think I could get him to stay put? No way. He wanted to be right next to me. Anyway here are some pics. the first one is Moon with the star on his forehead. The second one is So Grand. I also rode Callie today. He did good for me. I got him out and did some circles at the walk then down the trail and did some more circles at a Trot. Then down the power line and did some more circles at the lope. He was pretty much done in by that time. We went down to the curve, 1/12 miles down the road and back. He did ok. He is starting to stay where I put him when we are moving out rather than walking like a drunk every which way. He only has three gears and none of them has fast in them. So most of the time we did jogging trot. He seems to like that the best. His walk is so slow I can crawl faster. But he is a good solid horse.


I meant to post this last night. I got Callie out and worked with him a few minutes on the ground then got him saddled and rode off just as a thunderstorm rolled in. I hid out in the woods then decided to ride back to the barn and wait out the storm in his stall. After the storm passed we went down the road and back on the power line. We got into a lope but he wouldn't follow his nose as I like so I started loping circles with him. I think he could use a lot of that just to help him to stay going in a straight line instead of drifting one way or the other. I will work on this from the walk, then trot then loping around. I also worked on his following his nose by weaving in and out of some poles I have stuck in the ground waiting for the rails for my round pen to be attached. All in all he did pretty good. There are certainly lots of things to work on with him. I worked with So Grand in the indoor arena, got him saddled and settled down then went outdoors to the big arena. He did really well. I put the long line on him and worked through everything then it started to pour rain so we went back inside. I got out of the round pen and into the open part of the indoor arena and started to work on him leading well beside me, but there was a spot by the doors that he didn't like so we spent several minutes doing the sending exercise until those doors or the wet dirt around them didn't bother him any more. I practiced getting up on him and leaning over the saddle. I have yet to throw a leg over him. But that time will come. I worked with Moon indoors because of the rain. I got him saddled. He was a little unsure about. It has only been the 3rd or 4th saddling for him. Then we went through all the exercises and when I was satisfied he was relaxed we went into the open arena and started to work on various things that might bother him. We had to do the same sending with the big doors. I also did some stirrup driving with both of horses and they did pretty good at that. At the end of Moon's session I took the saddle off and did some Jeffries method with him. Again it was not really a problem. Later today when I work with them I am planning to put my saddle on them. It has flank cinch and breast collar. It ought to be interesting to see how they receive that.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

not today

As I mentioned yesterday I injured my back. So today I didn't work with the horses at all. I am trying to give my back a rest so that I can be back at it tomorrow. So check back tomorrow for more details. Thanks

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

First Saddling

I didn't work with Callie today. Aside from the fact that it has been raining most of the day and I don't have an indoor arena, I injured my lower back while working out this morning. So I can hardly stand up straight. However, after Ibuprofin and ice it felt a little better. As you can see I did work with the 2 Arabs, but had to take it easy. I had to take them to the indoor arena because of the rain. But it worked out great. I moved Moon around in several exercises for about 5 minutes. Then I did the Jeffries both sides. Put the pad on then the saddle several times. Then I cinched up. He was a little nervous but no bucking at all. I moved him up to a trot and even faster trot. No bucking. The rest of the time I worked through the exercises and even stirrup drove him. He real good with that only getting a little bothered. He stood fine to I saddle too. So grand I did basically the same thing. He did give me any trouble to saddle at all. He did better in that than Moon, who had trouble standing for saddling for few times then settled down. However, So Grand did buck 2 or 3 hops and settled into a fast trot even a canter. I switched sides and no real issue. So I let him rest and then went through the exercises again. I also did sons stirrup driving with him and he was bothered some but not much. Tomorrow will be more of the same. Here are a couple of pictures with the saddle I use for this part of the training. The first one is So Grand and the second is Moon.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Making progress

Callie did real good today. I worked in the pen with him as usual, saddled him and we went down the road. We put in about 3.5 miles today zig zagging as I was working getting him to follow his nose and soften. Most of the time we were trotting. His walk is too slow. He gets nowhere in a hurry. That would be the one frustrating thing for me. But he does have a nice trot. We went through ditches and water. Loped a good ways down the power line. He was pretty compliant. He is starting to soften nice on the bit. I took him back to the pen and did some gw and then put him up. Good ride. Moon had a good session. It only took about 2 minutes and he was sticking with me. Then I had him moving for about 10 minutes or so of flowing from backup to circling YH and YF and circle again, sending and simulating what I will do when I get on his back for his first ride. Then I got on him Jeffries style a couple times both sides. It was time to flank him out again. He bucked just a little so after both sides of that I sacked him out with the pad and saddle. I was able to set it on him several times from both sides. Didn't cinch up though. That may be tomorrow. I then put that down and did several other moves as before and let him relax and end the session. So Grand did the best yet. He did get off to a slow start in that he did not want to follow me. He stands and watches and lets me walk up to him. I made him move and then after about 10 minutes he gave me the best following yet. I let him rest 5 minutes. Then kinda did dome liberty YH YF backup and then when he didn't follow I made him move again then let him rest 5 minutes. I haltered him and spent a few minutes just flowing through several moves. Did the Jeffries a couple x. He stood nicely. I then flanked him out. He offered a little buck but calmed right down. Then I sacked him out with the pad and then tried the saddle. He stood and let me put it on. It went great. Tomorrow maybe cinch him up.

Flanked them yesterday

Callie did good today. I worked him in the pen. Then walked him up to be saddled. He stands real good for that. Then we rode back up to the pen and did some trotting and loping around. Then we went down the road and I let him alone. I found some trees to do some circle bending to work on softening him. Then we trotted down the road for a 1 1/2 miles doing various things to keep his mind occupied. We came back the same way. I was curious if he would want to hurry up and get back. But he didn't show signs he was in a big hurry. I have to keep prodding him to get him to stay In a trot, but he did ok. We walked right past the other horses, there was some talking back and forth but we walked back up to get unsaddled with no trouble. I brought him back to his pen and did some gw before putting him up. Moon did great today. It did not take him long to want to be near me. We went through some exercises and then I did the Jeffries method 4x each side. He was real comfortable with that. With him being reactive I wondered how that would go. Then I got the saddle pad out and sacked him out with that until he was comfortable. Next I flanked him out with the lead. Did the girth, barrel and flank. He did better than expected. He did buck some with the flank but he caught on before too long that if he relaxed the pressure would go away or not get worse. I did both sides on him. I started to sack him out with the saddle, but he was not ready for that yet. He had enough of new things for the day. So Grand was a bit standoffish today, but it didn't take long to get him to be near me. I kinda did about the same thing with him as with Moon. I went through all the exercises in one 15 or 20 minute section of longeing, circling, sending, yh and yf, back up, driving in a straight line and so on. This really gets him focused on me. Then I did some flexing and the Jeffries method 5x on each side. He was real good with that. Then I got the pad out and sacked him out. I then flaned him out too. He got worried with it around his girt, barrel and flank. Lots of bucking but by the time we were done he was huffing and puffing and walking and yielding to the pressure around him. I flexed him some more and finished with him.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Back a step

Callie had a good session. I worked him in the pen. Then took him to the back to saddle. I did some more gw. Then got on and worked some flexing and bending then went back to the pen where the others are and he thinks he wants to be. There I really worked him loping, trotting, yield hindquarters and forequarters for about 15 minutes straight. Then I walked him out of pen and down the road. We went around the block nice and easy. A little trotting and loping, but not much. We went through some water and then came back where I unsaddled him walked him to the pen and then finished with some intense gw by the other horses. Then I put him up. Hopefully he will decide it is no fun to be with the others when I want him to be somewhere else. Had to go a step backwards with Moon. He did not want to be with me so I ran him for 25 minutes to the left. I was waiting for him to give me some indication that he was paying attention and not wanting to leave. Finally he gave me a look and I took it. I circled him to me. Let him rest for over 5 minutes. Then he wanted to leave again so I ran him to the right which he was already going. Then going to the left he gave me a look and I stopped and circled him to me again. This was not what I planned for today, but this is what he gave me. He stood with me several minutes and that was it. So Grand - I chose to do the same with him. He doesn't follow as well as I want so I ran him too. About 25 minutes around with him as well. He faces me and takes a few steps but not enough. He does good on the lead but I would like him to do so at liberty. I had to run him about 10 minutes more and gave him another rest. Partly for me too. His lower lip was quivering some so I took that as a signal. Plus he was blinking a lot. Probably horsey code for I want to stop. But I want him to stop and follow. Then I practiced YH YF and BU at liberty then would ask him to come forward. He did ok.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

got to the Jeffries

Had to run Moon around a few minutes then he started to follow me. I went through all the exercises. He does pretty good at them. At the last 10 minutes I worked on the Jeffries method. He did good on the right side, but not so comfortable from the left. However we were able to get through it. I was on from both sides and I look like it too. I was literally a human curry comb. I have the hair to prove it. :) So Grand wanted to run a little too. As I write this he just walked across the pen 30' or so up to me. I learned something with him. I kept his feet moving doing circling, sending, changing directions and gait, backing up all the way around the arena, driving in a square, etc. over the course of about 20 minutes. Then let him stand for a few seconds and proceeded to the Jeffries method where he stood fine for me to get on. He now is rt beside me not wanting to leave. But that was our lesson. Callie, did pretty good today too. I worked him pretty good from the ground with saddle on. Then I got on and he walked off ok. I did some serpentines and circle s's with him trying to get him to soften up and follow his nose. Then I asked for a trot. He wanted to hurry and get back up to the front where the other horses were so he sped up and I turned him back to a trot. This happened several times. Then before he decided to canter again I asked him and He would speed up and then want to slow down, but I wouldn't let him. We cantered for 10 minutes. Up at the front of the field he kept wanting to turn toward the barn, but I had to use a lot rein and leg to keep him going. Finally, it hit me. I would wait till he got up to where he thought he wanted to go and I made him really work hard, then left him alone on the other side of the field. That had a little effect on him. I will try it again next time. I hurt my lower back tonight so I don't know if I will be working the horses tomorrow or not.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

fast horse

Well yesterday it was all I could do to keep Callie moving. Today was a different story. IT all started out innocently enough. I did some ground work with him to see how yielded he would be and he seemed good. I brought him back to my workout area (a big field I have) and saddled him up. After moving him around some I thought all was well. Then I got on and he was resistant to the point of trying to buck a few times. So I thought, he doesn't usually buck so there must be something wrong. I got off and started checking things out just had to reposition the saddle farther forward. I got back on and started working on his softness. He is not very soft at this point. I did some forward and bending exercises and then moved off at the trot. He wanted to gravitate back to his new buddies up at the barn and started to canter so I let him. For the next 30 minutes or so we mostly cantered. Oh, he wanted to slow down, but then he would call to his buddies and I would yield hindquarters, and he would canter so I let him and then when he wanted to slow down I said, NO. When it was all said and done this morning I know that I have to work on his desire to pay attention to the rein and my leg. Right now he wants to do his own thing. I gotta say though, that if I had been eating pasture grass and being left alone for 6 months and someone came along and started messing with me, I probably would not be really happy about it either. So Grand did real well today too. I had to rd pen him a little but he is starting to follow me more and more each day. My goal today was to go through all the exercises then to start driving him in a straight line with the lead rope. It took some work, but he started to go straight rather than go in a circle. I think this helps to get him to really look to me for leadership like where are we going next. My other goal was to start the process of the Jeffrey's method where I get on him bareback. So I bounced around him and then started leaning on him and actually hung over him several times today without so much as a bother to him. I had similar thoughts for Moon. Now moon takes a little rd pen, but then he walks real fast up to me so I don't have to spend much time with that. The other exercises he gets pretty good. He is not as laid back as So Grand, but he catches on quick. I also started flip the rope over his head and around his butt for a turn and go exercise that teaches him to follow his nose. So Grand does the same thing. When I started bouncing for Moon and then leaning on him he moved a few times, but soon just stood there and let me hang over his back. Tomorrow I will attempt to get all the way on both of them if they are calm enough to do so. I keep wanting to push them a further and keep making progress with them.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Slow horse

Well, I got in another Horse yesterday. Callie is one that I have ridden before for his owner. He is real nice paint that doesn't really have a go button. I worked with him this morning did some ground work taking him through all the fundamentals exercises. He is a bit sluggish and resistant to moving in certain areas, but he hasn't been ridden since September of last year. So that is to be expected. I didn't want to work him too hard today knowing he is not in shape. However, after the ground work was satisfactory I mounted and went through my checklist of things like standing still, lateral flexion, yield hindquarters and move his shoulders over. He did fine, but I really had to put some life in him. Then I took him out of the pen and did some walk trot canter around my big field. He doesn't like to canter in in the right lead, but left is ok. Still he needs a lot of prodding to get him going. He is so laid back that it might take a bit of effort to get him with the program. As far as the two Arabs, they are really doing well. I have taken them through all the fundamental ground work for the most part, as of today. I still have to keep reviewing with them. But I have learned that Moon is a right brain introvert on the Parelli scale. He is reactive, distrustful, hesitant, and high headed, but he does move quickly to the thinking side of things. He follows me much better everyday. He will calm down pretty rapidly. I was sending him between me and the fence and he would lunge through to the left, and much calmer to the right. But as we worked through this he calmed down and started going through at a walk. I would say he is doing very well. So Grand is very distrustful, but making progress. He too followed me more today than he ever has. He still had to do some round penning, but not nearly as much. He might be a right brain introvert too. It takes more to get him going than it does Moon, but he is not high headed or really over reactive. He seems to be calm and take things in stride for the most part. Probably the biggest thing about him is that he might get bothered by something, but moves to the thinking side of his brain rather quickly. I've learned I need to give these guys lots of breaks when they show me they are thinking. He is getting really soft in circling and flexing too. My estimation is that both of these horses are coming along nicely. I will soon be getting them ready for introducing the saddle. Should be interesting.

Friday, May 10, 2013

good training week

I guess I need to update on what is happening with the Arabs. They are both doing real well. I have been able to get as far as what Clinton Anderson calls the sending exercise which is number 9 of 14. I have learned that So Grand, the 11 not 14 yr old stallion is one who quickly reverts to the thinking side of his brain. Once he gets something he is good to go with it. I have been working outside with both of these guys and that has been really good. I have got him following better today than all week and he is staying calm most of the time. I am demanding more of them with respect to each exercise and how much I want them to move. He was the really standoffish one but is coming along nicely. Moonie is doing well too. Today I didn't have to rd pen much, he was following me all over. He is a little more reactive but is starting to get to the thinking side of his mind a little more quickly. I really felt like I was connecting with both of them really well today. They were responding to my cues with lighter pressure and giving me more movement. They get two days off and Monday we are back at it.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Started with the Arabs again

Today makes the 3rd day I have been working with So Grand, a 14yr old black Arab Stallion, and Moonie, a 9yr old Black Arab. Both of them I worked with last fall for a month just getting to the point where they could be led and their feet handled. This time I am working towards actually riding them. So I started in the round pen and had two good days with them working on getting them to follow me and then to work on getting them to Yield the hindquarters, forequarters and backup. They weren't too bad at recall from last fall. Today, I worked with them in an outside arena, not a rd pen, but a rectangle of about 40x60 or so. It was a little too big for what I wanted to do, but the footing is much more solid so getting them to canter was better. Moonie, got the most workout today. I did my usual rd pen stuff and then went to pick up his feet and he would not stand still for the hind one to pick out. So I made him move. It was about 15 minutes later of trying to let him know it was better to stand and let me do it. But he would have none of it. It did finally get done, with him picking it up and holding it for me. I think the outdoors adds an advantage to indoor in that there are more distractions so you really know if you have their attention or not. What goes on indoors can be totally different to what happens outdoors. We got through a lot with him and he was following me much better than before. So Grand made some improvements too. He is still standoffish as far as following me, but we did establish some good consistent direction staying in gait and got some good changes of direction. He let me pick up his feet with no problem either. Because we were outside we didn't get as far as I had hoped, but we will make more progress tomorrow I'm sure. I don't think I will have to run as much.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

spring is here and riding too

I thought I would get on here and let those who are interested know that I am finally back at it. I attended Equine Affaire over the weekend and had a blast. Attended several clinics and picked up a few tips. I got home and couldn't wait to start riding again. I found that my riding boots will work for me after all. I thought that after my foot surgery I would have to get another pair, but these work just fine. I simply shouldn't walk miles in them. Since Monday I have been riding both my horses just getting the bugs out and reinforcing a few things. Raven is sure a lot farther along then Jake is. I have been refining their stop on whoa and also their response to my leg cues. Yesterday I worked Raven and then decided to pony Skye the yearling stud colt. I had to dr. him above the eye so I thought since he loves to be next to Raven ponying him would help to settle him. I worked on him leading around. He had some trouble with that but it all worked out. Then when I thought it was time I got around to dring his wound. He must have hit his head on something in the hollow spot above his left eye. I noticed when the farrier was here on Monday that something didn't look right and when I peeled away the crusties there was some puss oozing out. I got ahold of some furazone and yesterday dred him. He didn't like it one bit. I don't have a twitch so I just took it real slow and rinsed it off as best I could then applied the furazone. it doesn't seem to bother him much and doesn't appear to be swelled much. I will keep an eye on it. I hope I don't have to call the vet. Today I got out there before all the rain and rode Raven. She is so out of shape that after a few minutes of loping around she is heaving so I gotta take it easy on her. I want to get her stops real good. I hope to have her doing sliding stops before long. I also want to work on flying lead changes. I have never done them intentionally. I noticed to that like riding a bike riding a horse comes back real easy. I hadn't been on one since January and was somewhat concerned that I would not be able to pick up there footfalls very easy, but it was like it was second nature again. More and more an indoor riding arena looks real good. I had to stop because of the rain and thunder. I am getting ready to start with two Arabs next week too and then also I have Callie coming in May. So it will be real busy real soon.