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.

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