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.