Thursday, June 18, 2009

After the first ride, we have the first week!

The first week on a young horse is really the most important in that horses career. I like to make sure that they are comfortable with me and what I am doing on their backs, so that the progression to the next step is easier for both of us.

By the time I am done with the second ride, the horse will already have a Whoa on him and have basic steering skills and will start to learn to move away from my leg. I like to teach the horse to steer by moving his hind end away from my inside leg (turning on the forehand) and letting him point his nose in the direction that I want him to go. I only guide him with my direct rein by tugging lightly on the corners of his mouth. As the horse starts to turn, I will quit bumping with my calf and tugging on him and I will let him finish the turn on his own. By letting the horse finish the turn on his own, he will start to soften for me a lot quicker.

During the rest of the first week under saddle, I will continue to encourage the horse to go forward, asking him to turn both directions and asking for frequent stops. While the horse is stopped we will only move forward again when I feel that horse give me a sigh and he starts to chew and lick, that way he is relaxed as we move off. When I do ask him to move off, I will bump lightly with my calves until he moves. I never smack the horse on the butt to get him to go forward as I have seen other trainers do. There again, I am moving at the horses pace, not mine. While the horse is moving forward, I like to keep light contact with my calves on the horses sides.

When I stop, I never pull the horse into a stop. When I want the horse to stop I say Whoa and gently tug on both reins until the horse stops. I also use my seat to get the horse to stop and take my legs off of the horse.

I like to make the first week under saddle for the horse as simple as possible, we have the time so why not? The rides are short and will steadily get longer as we progress in training. When I am done with that horse for the day, I will check the his back to make sure he is not sore.

After the first 5 or 6 rides, I will give the horse 2 days off so he can be turned out to play and of course, plot against me for the next week!


horspoor said...

Yeah, they tend to 'wake-up' between rides 5-10 in my experience. Some of them just get more forward, test a little. Others I swear are plotting. It's like, well was I was hanging out on my two days off...I got to

horspoor said...

was I was???? was I was was a bear....

SFTS said...

JR, what do you do when you have a youngster who during those first few rides just does not get it that they're supposed to be moving forward? For example, they plant their feet, no amount of leg pressure, urging with the body and so forth encourages them to take even a step. Curious about your take on this.

Also, how do you handle discussing with a client when their horse is exhibiting back soreness and really shouldn't have a lot of weight to carry around until the issue causing the back soreness is resolved? A client who wants the horse trained and finished YESTERDAY, despite the horse's discomfort? Feedback?


Gotta get back out and ride a couple more. :)

nccatnip said...

Fuzzy wuzzy was a bear....

another topic shot to hell by the comments....

Sorry JR :)

JohnieRotten said...

Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair!

Where are you going with this?

horspoor said...

dunno...had a typo 'was I was' made me think...was I was was a morphed back into fuzzy wuzzy. No clue where it may go.

Dena said...

JR a little off topic suggestion. If you are going to pursue the adsense.
3 on the side will provide a much healthier return.
Save the one underneath the blog threads for yourself.
You can sell that advertising there to yourself. And still reap a return everytime someone clicks on it.
Just a thought.

JohnieRotten said...

Thanks for the insight Dena. I will change it!

Cut-N-Jump said...

SFTS- The impatient folks soon find their way to the gate, either of their own accord or with a little assistance. A lot of times you can tell the type of client they will be, long before the horse shows up. But sometimes you can't because they have done a great job of honing their skills at hiding this behavior.

They will spend money on horses that are winning, NOW! and trainers that will produce instant results. Watch them for a while and they often tend to bounce from barn to barn or the horses they own are short term, show ring wonders and then gone, never to be seen or heard of again.

Still, when it comes to the horses' best interest, which is always the most important part of the equation, you have to stop and think, if I turn the horse away because the owner is a _________, the horse will likely end up somewhere else with a much less than favorable start. Some cases, you take the horse, for the sake of the horse and try to deal with the owner the best you possibly can. It's the horse we are concerned about.

Dena said...

CNJ brutal. You forgot to mention that that is how you end up owning horses that you would have never personally

Quick, fast, and in a hurry, often = short of cash.

What is that saying? Oh yeah, "Act in haste and Repent at leisure".
Quick and in a hurry folks usually don't have the patience to get where they think they want to go.
Anybody want a free horse? Or 10?

Dena said...

I have thought about this. And it seems important.

We can have 30+ years experience and be 42.
But we shouldn't be claiming 30+ years professional experience and be 42.

Our tax records will not support us in those

Yes, the rule is if you get paid. Even a dollar.
But how many people throw a dollar at the throw away/disposable kid and STILL consider them a PROFESSIONAL.

Consider it another free tweek.
From another unpaid and overworked professional.

CNJ? Thanks...

Dena said...

I meant "underpaid".lol

Wait...I don't get paid for advice like this so it is unpaid and therefore unprofessional.MAO

Trainer X said...

Setting them up for success! Beautiful!!!

windingwinds said...

Thanks for the help JR. Hopefully Jeffry and I can get her transitioned with little hassle...though I will ride first few times. I am open to suggestions from anyone sfts. Though sometimes I wish for a gavel!

JohnieRotten said...


I have always considered I a professional someone that works so many hours per week in their chosen profession as well as earning a viable wage.

I was working the barns starting colts when I was 16 and I was earnings somewhat livable wage for a teenager.

CharlesCityCat said...

Dang it I can't remember the next line to Fuzzy Wuzzy, getting old is hell on the brain cells.

I like that you let the horse set the pace the first few rides. I think that would tend to help them keep their heads on straight.

JohnieRotten said...


Fuzzy Wuzzy wuz a bear
Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair
Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn't fuzzy
Wuz he?

Cut-N-Jump said...

As far as the horses back goes, we check for soreness pre-ride and post ride. We also lunge before riding, allowing the horse to warm up their muscles and get out their bucks if they wish. It also allows up to watch and observe their way of going checking for soreness in their necks, backs, shoulders, hips and legs.

Any signs of soreness is assessed and adressed.

Sometimes a mare can have soreness in her back stemming from a hormonal tidal wave when she is in heat. PMS and cramps anyone? Do they make Maredol? :D

A bit of soreness can arise when the horse has to urinate. I'm sure we have all held it to the point of discomfort a time or two.

If you have been lunging with the saddle on preceeding the first ride, as the horse becomes accustomed to it, saddle fit should have already been addressed.

Checking the pad for even wear is a good idea. English pads are rather thin and not much 'fill' for shift between the layers, but depending on your western pad, those small shifts can cause a huge set of problems. They may not be apparent until the added weight of a rider figures in.

Cut-N-Jump said...

Oh and Fuzzy Wuzzy, wasn't very fuzzy was he?

Dena said...

Here is a technicality riddle. If you accept money to assist in the training of any specific discipline horse are you then prohibited from showing in that discipline as an amateur?
*Imagine finding out you are not eligible to show amateur halter before you have ever shown halter.
Even though you are not a legal adult.

And JR I am not picking at you. I am questioning the interpretation and application by all of us professionals vs. how potential clients may view our credentials.

In the 70's I was making $150 a week.

In the early 80's I was making $1000 per month.

By the time I was 22 I was making $600 a month per horse per month.

And now? The same. Just not as much of

CharlesCityCat said...

Poor Fuzzy!

Thanks JR.

JohnieRotten said...

I know Dena

I was just making a point!

SFTS said...

Windingwinds, thanks. :)

I'm assuming this is the horse you mentioned on the other blog post? The one who you *have* to be able to show in a curb for 4H (Jr horse rule I am guessing), and who only goes in a snaffle?

For transitioning, I like to use this bit then move them into this bit.

I also have a couple of very short shanked, low port Sliester bits (one is a Frog mouth, and I love how my horses respond to it) as well as a short shanked bit similar to this one (NOT this bit, but it is an almost identical mouthpiece).

What I continue to use on any given horse entirely depends on how the horse reacts to it. And sometimes it does suck that most English-type disciplines allow you to use a snaffle for the life of the horse, yet in Western classes we're not allowed that luxury.

Good luck with the horse!!

SFTS said...

I agree with you JR, I was getting paid for Halterbreaking babies, as well as riding and showing horses for a number of folks at the tender age of 12. Paid pretty well, too, working horses daily after school and on the weekends. I was then starting youngsters for folks within a couple of years, and working as an assistant trainer under a work permit from school by the time I was 16 and the work permit was allowed/necessary.

Per USEF rules, and those of most associations (all that I have shown under over the years, at least), you are considered an "amateur" until you reach the age of 18, and in AHSA/USEF technically until December 1st of the year you turn 18.

Therefore, you can indeed be paid to ride, show, work and train horses and still be considered an "amateur" until you attain the age of 18.

Full disclosure ~ I did spent part of one season upon turning 18 showing as an adult amateur, after a few months of which I declared myself a "proper" professional.

SFTS said...

Thank you, CnJ...but neither answer was really what I was asking. :)

1) About the young horse who wants to stall ~ asking JR what he does in this sort of instance.


2) Explaining to the client that their horse does have back soreness and they should not be ridden until such issue is resolved.

But to what you posted, I just don't like to put up with those impatient folks, either. For me it does become a guessing game of whether or not they will do what's best or right for the horse, or not. It can be a really tough call. Put up with the client for the benefit of the horse (which is what I generally do), or pass on the horse and hope the owner does the right thing.

On back soreness ~ I do the same, checking before tacking and after working for any hint of a soreness issue.

I had a mare last Summer who began rearing when asked to pick up the canter. Up until that point, she had exhibited no signs of being sore-backed. She did need a chiro adjustment, and we took her to the vet to have her fully checked out a week afterward. My vet cleared her, said she was sound, "just hot", LOL, and that the saddles we were using on her were a fine fit (we brought them both). However, since she had a tilted pelvis, he suggested she have a Caslick's because he figured she was taking in air and it caused her discomfort. Now, she hasn't had the procedure yet, but all they're doing right now is trail riding her. About once a month, she acts up while out on the trail, which we just attribute to her "being a mare". They just decided to breed her, and then plan on having the Caslick's done next Summer after she has foaled.

You make a great point on pads! I have a gelding in training right now who's owners recently bought a special Weaver gel pad for him, and he's so much more sound because of it. Before I got him, his previous trainer mentioned to the owner that he seemed off, so she changed his shoeing, though that didn't help him. Now he's back to the way he had formerly been shod, is sound and really happy. :) I also try to wash mine on a regular basis in the warmer weather, as well as my cinches (and cinch covers), because of how bad they can get. Downright gross, with dirt, sweat and hair! But I've noticed a lot of people don't.

JohnieRotten said...


if a horse "stalls". Then I will just keep asking them to turn until they move again.

As far as telling a client their horse back is sore, I just tell them that the horses back is sore and they will ne off for a few days.

SFTS said...

Thanks, JR.

Here is what lead to both questions:

1) Young horse, just started, a non-client asks me what I think. I tell them ~ well, my rule of thumb is, if I ask you to move, you move. No if's and's or but's. I'm not particularly concerned at that point in the direction you move (other than *up*, of course LOL), as long as it involves moving your feet to somewhere other than where you are standing. You stall again, and I get you moving. I have found the best way to do that is to bump the horse's face to one side, and let them move to regain balance. Urging at the same time with my legs, my seat and my body. She tells me, well, her old trainer says to "Whack 'em" if they stall. She carries a crop, or smacks the horse with the reins. It does get results, I guess. Was just wondering what some others do.

2) Again, young horse, just started. Client horse. This horse has a propensity for acting flinchy while being curried across the back, but it's a "normal thing" according to the owner, and she ignores it. After a couple weeks worth of rides, horse started getting pissy when ridden ~ acting cold backed, stopping and parking out, even trying to go up. After finding a good stopping point, then getting horse untacked, he is extremely sensitive to the touch in the back. He gets a week off, just turned out. Owner is not exactly happy, because owner wants the horse ridden at least five days per week. I tell owner, he needs more than just "being ridden to get over it", IMO, he hurts and we need to resolve it. What would JR do? Send the horse home, keep riding the horse to his possible detriment, insist that the owner have the horse checked out by a vet and/or chiropractor or...?

Cut-N-Jump said...

Rearing when picking up a canter is a new one on me. While the back is another thing to check besides the mouth and bit, sounds like she may have been bopped in the face a time or two by someone as well.

The things we see in the ring anymore- it wouldn't suprise me. Bop them in the face to get the head down and 'launch' them into the gait. The mare may have learned it, then as a habit after being fed up with it all.

And like JR said, we just tell them. It is what it is. Sorry your horse is sore and will not be working until it is solved.

I never thought or hoped to be a "My way or the highway" kind of person, but I am finding less and less patience for people who don't care about their horse. Sometimes it's just what you have to do.

Cut-N-Jump said...

She tells me, well, her old trainer says...

OMG! Don't ya love it?

We tell them then take the horse to him/her. Why are you paying me if s/he knows so much better?

I remember one guy pulling that. Always standing really close and sort of leaning 'over' me as if trying to be intimidating.

Like that's going to work. *eyeroll*

JohnieRotten said...


I will say this

I have for the past 30 years used nothing but smoothe snaffles, shanked smoothe snaffles and grazing bits. I have never had a problem trianing horses that way. I get them soft, supple and they work just fine in what I pit in their mouths.

Then some no talent asshole comes along and tells his client that his nice hunter horse with the gorgeous movement would make a nice four beating western horse. Never mind the fact that the horses neck comes out of his shoulder higher than most western horses. And never mind the fact that the horse is built uphill and has that gorgeous free flowing movment. That shitheel of a trainer shoves a high port straight shank in that horses mouth that weighs 5 lbs. And yanks and jerks until that horse drops his face defeated and miserable. I look in the schneiders catalog and I am amazed at the shit they sell. They have O ring snaffles that weigh 2lbs. What the fuck for?

Could it be that those are designed for those asshat no talent trainers that are afraid to train those horses by using that horses natural ablilities. Me thinks so!

Whatever happened to learning your craft and learning to do it right?

Whatever happened to being professional?

If your horse does not win in the ring, it is not because you need a more severe bit, it is because you need to train the little guy!

I was going to post this on the last thread but I am tired of going back and forth!

End of rant sorry about the language

Ya know, eventually these horses that have been yanked on end up in someones barn like mine so that horse can be rehabed.

Cut-N-Jump said...

The second horse with the insistant owner would not be ridden. Not until it was sorted out and resolved. Not at our place anyways.

If the owner chooses to take the horse home or to another trainer- it's their horse, they can do what they want. They probably will anyways and clients like that can give you more than a headache when dealing with them. Remember where the gate is...

We will recommend calling the vet and do so, but we are not paying for it. We will ask the vet what they may do as far as diagnosis goes- radiographs, ultrasound, etc. and get an estimate, but financial responsibility is still theirs. Not our horse, not our bill. Owners have to be there to pay the vet or make arragements with them prior to the visit.

The vet will give them their diagnosis and tell them what the horse needs as far as treatment or time off. Then it's up to the owner to listen and do as they are told. Hopefully for the sake of the horse they will, but ultimately we can't control that. Especially once the horse leaves the property.

Cut-N-Jump said...

And yes Dena, we have had our share, dumped in our lap when owners decide that "I can't afford to pay you, so here's the papers, sell the horse and keep whatever you can get for them."

One of them in our barn was payment for a training and board deal. Care to take a guess which one? I won't tell you what the owners estimated the horses worth at...

SFTS said...

That whole bit about putting on the brakes and going up when I'm asking for a canter was totally new to me. She would go forward, round her back up and collect, move off into a trot, nice as you please. She would even move into a canter from the trot without so much as any hesitation at all. It was going from the walk to the canter that she'd go up. Plus, it was ONLY in the counter-clockwise direction. Both my chiropractor and vet surmised that she probably had some kind of pain issue which cropped up when asking to pick up that left lead from a walk. I figured that since they both said essentially the same thing, they were probably correct.

I do know the mare has never been shown, and from what I have been told, she was essentially only trail ridden before these clients got her. We went up to Bakersfield to look at her a number of months before they finally bought her, and I rode her while there, but she never offered to do anything naughty (granted, one ride, one time). She was in training at a show barn, they started her and put trail miles on her, but apparently she was only ridden by a "lowly assistant" and never had any sort of show polishing. They ride her with a plain old, smooth d-ring snaffle.

SFTS said...

JR, I rant about a lot of the same things. I don't think anyone here minds a good rant about now and again. Hell, and being your blog, you should feel free to rant any time you want! LOL

I do have a lot of bits. A lot of different bits. Some of them have never seen the inside of a horse's mouth. Some of them I have only used once or twice.

There are maybe four, five, six that I use on a regular basis for schooling. When I'm getting a horse ready for a show, if they *have* to go in something other than what I prefer to school in, I'll [reluctantly sometimes] work the horse in whatever they've got to wear in the ring (Western curb, double bridle, in a few instances with my Sport Horses or Hunters a pelham or a kimberwicke), but otherwise it's a plain old snaffle for me. Which is what I trail ride in, too!

I have seen some of those bits that Schneiders sells. Did you ever see the infamous "wood screw bit"?? That one they pulled out of the catalog a few years back because there was such an uproar on a couple of internet forums. I have to wonder what in the world would possess someone to buy that sort of f*cked up garbage. But they did sell, from what I was told.

Now I've got to go get the last of the horses worked. :) I'll bet there are some who'll be glad I'm shutting up for a while again! LOL

Dena said...

CNJ all horses are like a Willy Wonka Bar until you peel the paper.
Was there a golden ticket?

I am going to stick my neck out on the whole bit thing.
"My Opinion".
No newly started horse should require a bit of any severity.
And I really disapprove of sidereining and draw reining with a shanked bit.
My view is unless you are trying to "toughen" them up so that you can ride balancing off of their mouth why start where you shouldn't ever want to end?

CharlesCityCat said...

I know everyone doesn't like to go back and forth, but I did ask a question on the last topic. Whine, whine!!

JohnieRotten said...


I answered it on the last topic!

Pleeease donnnntt maaake meeee go
baaaaack annnnnd forrrrrth.

Sniff sniff

CharlesCityCat said...


It won't happen again, I hate to see a grown man cry.

Cut-N-Jump said...

As far as Ammy status is concerned, it can be regained after a set time period of not taking payment for training, teaching or showing. I believe AHA is one year? Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

However, according to NCHA rules:

Standing Rule 51.a.1: A Non-Professional in this Association is a person who has not received direct or indirect remuneration to work in any manner in the following activities on the premises of a cutting
horse training operation: showing, training or assisting in training
a cutting horse or cutting horse rider. For purposes of this rule, a
cutting horse training operation is any facility where cutting horses are trained. Any person who has trained horses astride in any equine discipline for direct or indirect remuneration shall be considered a professional by this Association, with the exception of those who have been granted a change of status since January 1, 1997, ...

Also, effective January 1, 1997,
a Non-Professional in this Association may not train horses in any equine discipline.

1. This Association does not consider that professional cutting
horse trainers’ spouses who do not teach cutting horse riders or
train cutting horses on cattle receive indirect remuneration.

**This is a change, as under the old rules, spouses, children and people otherwise living in the same household as a professional trainer were ineligible for NP or Ammy status.**

2. Employees on a cutting horse training operation may be considered non-professionals by this Association provided they do
not teach cutting horse riders or train cutting horses on cattle.

NCHA Rulebook in pdf format.

Somehow I know the rules inside and out almost, for a sport in which I rarely, if ever, compete.
What's up with that???

Cut-N-Jump said...

Dena, I'll give you a hint. I started riding him recently...

I think he is something. Maybe not everyones idea of a "Golden Ticket" but still worthwhile and still here.

fernvalley01 said...

As far as pro/non pro I consider me to be non pro as in I have always made the bulk of my income working off the farm.Have I trained horses yes and for $$$ back when I was younger slimmer and better able to bounce. My greatest claim thus far is that as of right now ,I have never been killed by a horse I started.
on topic I will use a crop lightly , just to reinforce my heel/calf not on the butt rather right behind my heel and just a tap.

CharlesCityCat said...

I'm baccccccccccccckkkkkkkkk!

I think I will have to see if I can find one of those bits to try on Whinnie and Wizard. They both use a 4 and 3/4 bit so I can try it for both. Will see how it works before ordering one for the behemoth Buck who needs a 6.

I use a standing martingale on Wizard and used one on Spunky. Of course in showing, you can only use them over fences. They can't be used in any type of flat class. In my area they are never adjusted to crank the horses head down, as a matter of fact, the way we adjust them means they don't come into play unless the horse really cranks its head up.

I was concerned because several posters made it sound like if you used one, the horse needs more training. I was like, wow, they are used extensively around here and in the highest levels of hunters. I even googled Rox Dene, and yep, she used one over fences as well.

I don't like "gadgets" but I have used draw reins on two horses that I have ridden. They were used to help me fix a major problem with both horses. I know what I am doing, so no worries.

JohnieRotten said...

Like I said CCC. We are just against the over use and abuse.

Dena said...

CNJ The Magnificent Arabian Stallion.

Dena said...

CCC devices are fine in the right hands some times.

It is like the person who has a 10 X 10 patch of lawn.
Do they really need a zero turn kubota riding lawnmower?

Whereas the person with 5 acres of sod doesn't need to waste their time mowing with an old school no motor rotor push mower.

I trust you. Short cuts and ammies just don't agree with me.
Like JR and CNJ and You and so many others say, "It just means a horse in rehab training later".

And CNJ that "My other trainer says" crap?
My response is always, "Uh huh, then why are you here?".
If I have a stylist who does my hair just the way I want it every time?
I am not shopping a new one in between cuts.

The Turd Burglar said...

Yeh, I speak unto all ye burglars of turds: Dost Thou fear if the horse should move while Thou art scooping in the stall? I say unto ye who burgle: Stand firm and make the horse to yield up his space to the scoop and bucket.
Yeh sayeth I unto the horses: Fear not, for burgling is good. It shall come to pass that Thou shalt dumpest neither in thy feed nor water bucket. Thou shalt offer up thy turds to the Burglar of such offerings. And if Thou doest unto the Turdburglars in this way, there shall be many broodmares and foals in the herd of every righteous stallion.___Doodooronomy Crapter 1, verses 1-8.

Dena said...

Heifer regained use of her name today.
Sorted, separate pen, tied, a little round work, and worked quietly on the lead.
2nd full consecutive work without a rear episode.
Not pacing and/or pushing the fenceline.
No piercing bellow or frantic talk.

Is Kestrel on a cattle drive or what?

Dena said...

TTB unless the dungbungles also sideline in snot off of screens and keyboards stop that.
Very funny!!!
Think we could come up with a hybrid?

windingwinds said...

Secretion difficulties? Gee I believe the top end is mine! However we generally get better pay than turds. But I'm currently a bit fuzzy from the kick in the head tonight, why do I love that pony?

SFTS said...

CCC, I decided to answer you over here, because of the, um, stuff mentioned above. :P

I have a couple of sweet iron snaffles I've ridden Hunter horses in, no I don't think they're considered "Western" at all. Just a good mouthpiece material for a bit. Those copper inlaid sweet irons are the best. :) A couple more things about copper bits ~ I never use the solid copper mouths, because they're so soft a horse will eventually chew on them too much. I used to have one that got so chewed up after a few years there were lots of sharp edges being made on the mouthpiece! I wish I would have kept it, just to show folks what can happen, but I tossed it. Also, I had one of those wire wrapped bits, like this (only mine was an offset dee ring). The wrapping sprung! Of course making sharp edges, so I immediately stopped using it. I do have that one stashed away, though, as a "conversation piece".

You know, I don't have any personal aversion to standing martingales at all. I do own one. I did have one horse I used it on, as I mentioned earlier on another post ~ he went better in the standing than the running martingale, because I didn't like the unnatural leverage the RM put on his mouth when he flung his face up into mine. But personally, I just prefer running martingales, and therefore would rather use them instead.

SFTS said...

And as we have all established, I do own draw reins (I have several pair, oh the horror) and I use them sometimes. Though I haven't used any of them in more than 10 months now. ;)

But contrary to those "who train for a living and ought to know that draw reins are for slackers", I don't think you are a slacker at all for using your draw reins, CCC. *grin*

SFTS said...

CnJ, AHA goes by USEF rules, which yes, are that you may reinstate your amateur status after being a declared professional after 12 months of not engaging in any activity which classifies you as a professional.

That rule is:


GR1308 Professional Status.

Any professional who wishes to be re-classified as an amateur on the grounds that he/she has not engaged in the activities which made him/her a professional within the last 12 months must notify the Federation in writing.

a. Such person shall submit to the Hearing Committee an amateur reclassification request which is supported by:

(1) a notarized letter signed by him or her outlining the horse related activities (using specific dates) which made said person a professional and outlining the activities performed within the 12 month period (or longer) since professional activities have ceased,

(2) two or more notarized letters from any Senior active Federation members stating the relationship with the applicant and outlining the applicant’s activities for the one year period preceding such written notification advising and testifying that the applicant has not engaged in any activities which would make him/her a professional as outlined in GR1306 during that time period,

(3) A processing fee of $50,

(4) a signed amateur certification located on USEF Membership application. The burden of proof of proving amateur status is on the applicant. The Hearing Committee may call for and/or consider any and all further evidence and facts which it deems pertinent. The decision of the Hearing Committee on the reclassification request shall be final."

fernvalley01 said...

I don't know that anyone thinks "draw reins are for slackers" I suspect that they , like many tools have a place ,and that is not as a short cut. I personally have never used them a) because I don't know how ,and b) don't know that I have ever needed them.
I have said before ,I wish that thease "tools " would remain as their intended use and not become a "shortcut" to a desired goal ,truly doing the work slow and steady does create the most favorable and consistent result.

Dena said...

CCC hunting...real hunting vs. ring work.
I have been known to *gasp* use a standing martingale once or twice.
But as I am not jumping completely green youngstock it is a non-issue for me in everyday training.

horspoor said...

I've run into the go up in the front when asked to move forward. More (oh man...gonna get blasted by someone here) in dressage horses. Horses that everytime they went forward got shut down. Punished everytime they started to open their shoulders and move forward freely.

The going up didn't even have to be going into the canter. Any kind of real forward not some stifled mincing gait. They will become resistant, and defensive...some go up, some sull up then when you 'unlock' them from sulling up they tend to blast off a bit. Some even if I hurry up, I can run away from what I'm sure is coming.

In my experience it comes when a horse has been punished for moving forward. I've seen this behavior more in 'big' movers than flatter moving horses. I think they may scare the rider with the movement....and the rider rips their face off...then kicks them forward again. It's not a behavior that happens overnight.

SFTS said...

FV, the following was posted by Dena last Saturday, on the Party thread:
Those of us "who train for a living" ought to know that draw reins are for slackers.
Don't own a pair and I never have.;)

I didn't make that up. :)

But I happen to agree with you, tools should be used as just that, tools ~ not crutches to make up for poor training.

Dena said...

CCC I demand that you and HP immediately turn in your membership cards to the Elitist Training Club Steward.
Yeah cuz everybody just knows I was referring to you two when I said drawreins were for slackers.

CNJ tell me more about the amazing A Rab.

Hi Fern.

windingwinds I think you have job security on that. But you guys don't eat it do you?
Who kicked you in the head?
You OK?

Where is HP with the damn update!?!

SFTS said...

HP, that could have been the case with this mare I was talking about. She is an MHR Nobility daughter bred to be an English horse, but just didn't have *that* much motion, so she was destined to be a Hunter Pleasure mount. But, the folks who bought her from her breeders and brought her to California (in foal to a cremello QH, which was a "mistake" breeding o.O) only wanted her as a trail horse. The assistant who started her could very well have gotten into her face when she lurched forward because she was caught off guard. She can be a pretty big moving mare.

horspoor said...

Maisa has to move to town to see if we can get allergies under control. He can only go out at night, and has to be in a stall during the day.

Vet gave him his shots today, and then in two weeks he goes to town, and will probably get some oral dex. Then we'll see.

If this doesn't work, we then move to allergy testing, and allergy shots.

The little Arab mare goes back in on Tuesday morning for a biopsy on her eyes. He thinks it maybe a parasite that is common in Bakersfield...which is where she is from. Keep your fingers crossed that it's the parasite, the other option is cancer.

Dena said...

Thanks for the update HP. I will.

And yes CNJ I am simply ignoring it...

Fern you would be right in your context of actually knowing how I think.

windingwinds are you still conscious?

fernvalley01 said...

Dena ,Hi back!
Horspoor, hope it resolves soon for Maisa , poor fella must be uncomfortable ,allergies are a funny one in horses .Had a nieghbor with a TWH shipped up from Oregon ,poor dude was alergic to Canadian Thistle! Manifested in hives then fever,unbalanced gait weakness,they thought they were going to loose the poor bugger.Tough to manage as Canadian thistle is a very prlific plant.

horspoor said...

I slathered most of his body in Swat this evening. He seems to like that. This really throws a wrench in my totally getting out of the barn in town. UGH.

Have to get him out of a pasture environment, or even near pastures. Gnats are the problem. Vet did tell me his problems would disappear if I moved to AZ. Prescott might be nice. lol

windingwinds said...

I'm fine, just pissed at myself for letting Sunny our 38 in mini rear up and get me during trims tonight. Our poor farrier, they all were annoyed and stomping flies and the humidity. Yuck. Just one of those days.

windingwinds said...

Secretions goes in the suction canister, however the day I go home without snot somewhere on me is the all staff meeting days lol. I try to avoid ingesting other people's bodily fluids.

Dena said...

windingwinds are little mini mare Morgana sometimes lays down for trims.
And proceeds to look like Miss Piggy praying.
It is a hoot.
The other mini Rocket does not trust men.
He can do 360's so fast that he looks like a carousel horse on crack.
Did you get a bump?

HP is the barn in town where the psuedo trainer who thinks you two ride alike is from?
The one who claims the accomplishments of others as her own and roughs up Top when she thinks no one is looking?

fernvalley01 said...

Ok, help me out here ,you guys are talking about a standing martingale
while Jumping ? I don't know Jack about jumping but the mechanics seem really wrong to me

Dena said...

HP and CCC and CNJ would know this better than me Fern.

But my theory is in open field hunting on a sometimes hot and in my instance a not thoroughly trained horse. Running and jumping in a pack they can get that head way up and really start charging the fences.
I wouldn't ever crank em down in case of a stumble where they need to throw that head to rebalance.

fernvalley01 said...

Ok , makes a bit more sense ,but the balance issue still kinda throws me(pardon the pun) I guess on a case by case basis

horspoor said...

Yup, that's the place Dena.

windingwinds said...

Goose egg, not large tho. It's preferable to have swelling on the outside vs. inside of the skull. Found a grazing type bit for 4h mare, so will be trying that out soon. I hate following rules, silly 4h.

Dena said...

I know. Think stargazer runaway. They may be driving from behind but the front is kind of freaky.
I am talking could almost set a cup and saucer on that forehead.
Have you ever seen one that does that spook run off head way up and then they run into a tree, a fence, the barn?
Kind of like that.

Dena said...

Oh and field hunters don't always come with the same training package on them.

CCC can tell you about that. People will say something like, "I am taking my new hunter out for a try".
Try meaning it could be anything and not necessarily with an established or finished jumping background.

fernvalley01 said...

Dena , that sounds a little scary ! I would be thinking long and hard about riding that one , whole new meaning to heads up ! I have had "high headed " horses but thankfully never been on one that lead so strongly with the nose!

fernvalley01 said...

Also, call me crazy but ,shouldn't they be pretty well trained before you take them out in a crowd? I know in the real world that doesn't always happen , but a hunt sounds like it could be a lot of fun ,or a trainwreck .

Dena said...

HP I am almost considering giving up my chance at the lottery so you can win and build your own barn.
That sucks. I'm sorry.

windingwinds the good news, besides you not eatiing secretions and your bump being on the outside?
Is there is a reason they are called grazing bits. In that they can be very mild.
If you have been riding in a snaffle the curbstrap may require more getting used to than the actual bit.

I am shameful but I can't help feeling that the others are involved in some secret exorcism on the other thread.
It has been too quiet you know?

horspoor said...

I've seen those that fling their heads bolt and slam into crap. Some don't even fling up their heads, they just blindy run.

Give me a self preserving horse anyday. Those that are willing to damage themselves are just too much work, and can be scary.

Dena said...

Fern field hunter riders are a different breed of cat.
I think they really define the term neck or nothing sometimes.
Think Scarlett O'Hara's father.
Where is GL when you need her?
She would have this down to a T.
And back then Fern? If it could really jump I was on!
I adore big wild throw your heart over jumpers.
It is like being an arrow shot out of a bow in slightly slowed motion.

fernvalley01 said...

Hey Dena, if I'm not learning ,i'm not living!
My style is me and the "shortcut Appy" in the Mountains , never a hill she couldn't climb, or a bog she wouln't get through.I tended to leave a few people behind now and then, hubby included.Or just old fashioned chasing cows.

Dena said...

And that sounds beautiful Fern. I have never done the mountain riding.
Did I mention, I am scared of heights?
The only place it doesn't seem to bother me? Is from the back of a high jumping horse.
That is my last equine place of no fear.
The stuff I get nowadays I am not always thrilled to get on.
The little mare in training 8 months to get her head semi-straight. My yellow horse 2 years and we are still not there. He got real froggy and ignorant when working tonight.
That damn mule has been here since late October and is just starting to get sweet.
Somedays it feels like mixing a cake and putting it in the oven with the timer set for 1-3 years from now.
I haven't had time to even ride the TB because I know she will be good and the squeeky wheels are getting the oil.
And my boy seems to have lost all his fear overnight and I am running my ass off trying to keep him respecting the rules of safety around horses.
You know Fern? Maybe the mountains aren't as scary as I have been
I love that picture of you and Chilluns Catleen is that right?
You two just suit.

Dena said...

Almost the AM here again. I need to get to bed.
I really enjoyed this...

Cut-N-Jump said...

Dena, that would be the one. He was payment as it was a deal we agreed on, so he wasn't necessarily 'dumped' on us, but there have been others that made us wonder.

One was a woman with more horses than she could afford. Young stallion prospect who wasn't the type of material herds should be made of. She was buying him on payments as well as the mare who was at our place.

Turns out she was behind on the payments so the horses came here for training, but also as a way for her to hide them. Then she fell behind on the board. Feed lein proceedings started and finally she shows up, stinking and dressed like a cheap whore, asking "What can we do about the bill?" while flashing herself. Did I mention she was driving a brand new, all the options, 4x4 truck?

Yep, things were settled the bill was paid and the horses went home. Turns out there was an affair, they were getting divorced and who knows what else. Not sure what happened to the horses, hopefully they were upgraded, but for a while we thought we may be stuck with them.

The colt we would have sent back to his breeder. We had no use for him. The mare was fairly nice though.

horspoor said...

I've been offered horses for training. Yeah...and you can bet what the horse they were offering for the bill was like. lol thanks. You keep him, I'm better off eating the bill...or hey how about I keep the one I've been training. lol So far they've all come up the money for training and taken their horse home. I haven't had that issue in years though. Far more suspicious and cynical now. I don't let it get 30 days behind anymore. I've never been good at asking for money, still pretty much suck at it. I just know that I can't afford it anymore. I'm not 25. I don't know how many more youngsters I have left in me. lol Not going to waste them on some dink, or a non pay.

SFTS said...

Hope you're feeling better this morning windingwinds, and that your mare will go well in the bit you found for her. :)

On the "horses for payment" thing, I was once offered a broodmare in exchange for Halter training a yearling filly and starting a three year old. She was actually a decent mare, a Pure Spanish *AN Malik daughter who had produced a couple of nice babies. I considered it. Until my husband said, "If you do, you're in BIIIIIG trouble!" I declined. :)

JohnieRotten said...


just saw you got kicked. Sorry to hear that.

You ok this AM?

Dena said...

JR as I know you hate being caused to go from thread to thread.

I don't disagree with you on the Myler.
I have an interesting sliding snaffle with a slightly smaller and curved towards the ring mouthpiece snaffle.
Love the bit for softening horses that have toughened in other more sever bits. Ropers and the like.
Would I have paid $100+++ for it?
I don't know about that.

I do not use or ever buy plated bits. Cheap shit and they look ugly.JMO
BigHorn makes an interesting collection. Not quite so polished or finished. But do not cost an arm and a leg.
I hated full bridles so much that I simply quit anything where they were required.

Mule bits, bicycle chain bits, and all the other crap they come up with. Why don't they just label it Torture Device #1, #2, #123, and so on.
Truth in advertising and all you know?

windingwinds said...

I'm good, black and blue, swellings down. Crazy pony. Though on the bits, his (the mini) driving bit looks similiar to one of the mylar bits, without the shanks, I LOVE it, mild bit that he also likes. Good thing he's such a good driving pony.

JohnieRotten said...


Noy happy to hear you are black and blue but I am happy to hear you are alright.

I guess the Myler bit craze has not caught on with me. I have been using the same things for so long and have had success with that I never was willing to change.


I agree with you about the plated bits.

windingwinds said...

Here is Sunny's bit: I had trouble with snaffles pinching, and the popular bits are horrendous! I am a amateur, I don't need that kind of leverage. I may never get past prelim/training level but that's okay.

mingjayde said...

Ok so I know this is a little off topic but I was wondering if anyone has any advice for remedying this situation.

I am currently working with and showing a goregous PB Arab mare. She's got good conformation, amazing movement, and has National potential. We've been showing her Sport horse in hand however we have one big issue, when asked to trot on the line her ears go flat back. I feel like its very much a dominance thing as her owner lets her get away with everything. I'm just wondering if there are excersies that can be done to fix this???
Thank you.

sarcastabitch said...

Is the mare's name Passions? If so, I may have an answer for you...

JohnieRotten said...

mingjayde said...
Ok so I know this is a little off topic but I was wondering if anyone has any advice for remedying this situation.

I am currently working with and showing a goregous PB Arab mare. She's got good conformation, amazing movement, and has National potential. We've been showing her Sport horse in hand however we have one big issue, when asked to trot on the line her ears go flat back. I feel like its very much a dominance thing as her owner lets her get away with everything. I'm just wondering if there are excersies that can be done to fix this???


If you feel that this is truely a dominance issue then get after the mare when she pins her ears. Mkae her think you are the biggest baddest thing on the block so the next time you work with her she will be more concerned about what you are doing. As she becomes more concerned with what you are doing or what you may do,her ears will go back on you.

You do not have to smack her, just get after her by using you voice and waving your arms like a pissed off gorilla if need be. Sorry, I did not know how else to say it.

We have a lot of stallions out here and they are always trying to assert their dominance. We just let them know that we are not going to put up with it.

Unfortunately, being nice to them when the get like this is not an answer.

Cut-N-Jump said...

Winding winds- sorry to hear about your getting kicked. Glad you are ok. Those little ones can have the biggest fight in them when they decide not to cooperate. And they can be lightning fast too.

Dena, you mention the price of tack?

We look at it this way- it's an investment. Whether its a saddle that can be resold at a later date, an investment in your safety, or an investment in your horses comfort level- it's always money well spent when buying quality. That goes for more than just tack.

Sometimes the price puts it a little out of reach, but skimping on quality can bite you in the ass. Getting a great deal on things just makes it that much sweeter.

CharlesCityCat said...


I thought that was a very good way to describe it.


You are right, the cheap shit just doesn't last and in the long run you end up spending as much or more replacing things.

Cut-N-Jump said...

Yep, JR, 7 stallions if I counted correctly. When they start feeling a little too big for their britches a "Hey" or "Knock it off", puts them back in their place.

Even the loveable 'Grizzly Bear'...

Cut-N-Jump said...

CCC- Ain't that the truth!

I bought a hackamore once to use on IB gelding. Got a great deal on it so it must be used, right? And the sooner the better.

Thankfully we were working in the arena that day when the damn thing broke... I sat down and said whoa.

Lucky for me he stopped and as soon as he did I got off. Told him what a good boy he was for stopping and ended the session right there.

Tough way to learn that lesson and it could have been a lot worse, but those tend to make an everlasting impression.

CharlesCityCat said...


It was lucky you were in that situation at the time it broke and he was such a good boy.

I was watching a Gran Prix one time and the bridle broke on someone going around the course. It ended up okay, but really scary.

Cut-N-Jump said...

CCC- I did get lucky and figured he stopped when I said whoa, so that was as good a note as any to stop on. It could have been far worse as he was known to take advantage of any situation where he felt he had total control.

Speaking of jumpers-

We were talking to a friend of ours about another trainer who has a jumper with a serious heart murmur. Any moment could be the horses last, yet that trainer continues to show the horse over fences.

Not that bright? Some of us may think that.

Anyways she relayed a story of one of the greats (can't remember his name at the moment) who was on a horse that took off for a jump and died mid-air. The rider felt it all go and had the luck of bailing off before they both landed in a heap.

I can't imagine that being anything less than a scary, sickening feeling.

Cut-N-Jump said...

CCC- I did get lucky and figured he stopped when I said whoa, so that was as good a note as any to stop on. It could have been far worse as he was known to take advantage of any situation where he felt he had total control.

Speaking of jumpers-

We were talking to a friend of ours about another trainer who has a jumper with a serious heart murmur. Any moment could be the horses last, yet that trainer continues to show the horse over fences.

Not that bright? Some of us may think that.

Anyways she relayed a story of one of the greats (can't remember his name at the moment) who was on a horse that took off for a jump and died mid-air. The rider felt it all go and had the luck of bailing off before they both landed in a heap.

I can't imagine that being anything less than a scary, sickening feeling.

GoLightly said...

"(can't remember his name at the moment) "
Hap Hansen, horse was Hai Karate.

Some of my brain cells still work!

Dena said...

CNJ totally agree on the investment factor*so does hubby*
He may tell me to sell a horse or 15. But he never tells me to sell the tack.
I have friends in retail that I do business with so I am blessed in the good stuff at decent prices.
Except English. I have to hunt that.

The really good deals on tack? Better than chocolate ain't they?
You know when I go to another trainers barn one of the things I am most interested in seeing is their tack. It says a lot.

JR I got one of those 2lb. snaffles in a box of tack at a sale.
It was at the bottom.
I was like what the hell is this?
A Door Knocker...

fernvalley01 said...

Talk about sweet deals on tack ,I fluked out and picked up a 16 inch Passier ps-Baum all purpose ,irons leathers & girth with a complete double bridle $200.00 .What the hell I am going to do with it? who knows but it is in great shape.And I am not, haven't sat in an english saddle in 15 years or so.
But you never know ,one of my nieces maybe.

SFTS said...

windingwinds, I like the Robarts bits ~ they are advertised as "pinchless" and they truly are. I think National Bridle Shop carries some of them, too. Just not sure if in pony size. Glad you're feeling better!

SFTS said...

mingjayde, I have a Half Arab gelding just beginning to compete in SHIH. He is fine for me, but when his owner asks him to trot out on the triangle, he does the same thing (ear pinning, giving nasty looks). He has figured out he can get away with it when she handles him, though he does not do it to me. What I had her do is work him in a halter with a stud chain, instead of in the bridle (so as not to get into his mouth), and shank him back on his haunches, then make him back a few strides, the second she notices him starting it. He does not like it, so begins to behave. :) It only took a couple of times, and he knocked it off.

SFTS said...

Good tack is ALWAYS a serious investment, and not always just because of the price tag. :) I hate buying cheap tack, and hate using cheap tack even more. We have three tack consignment shops not too far away, plus Broken Horn has a consignment saddle department (where I bought one of my favorite Circle Y saddles for little money). Some of my favorite places to shop.

Speaking of cheap tack (it wasn't cheap, actually LOL) and tack breaking while riding ~ My mother many years ago picked up a beautiful parade saddle set because she fell in love with the bit. To buy the bit, she had to buy the entire package, so the saddle and the rest of everything (headstall, reins, breastcollar, even matching chaps) sat in her living room as a "conversation piece". But she took the bit to Ervin Quick and had a new mouthpiece put on it. That bit had apparently originally come with a spade, however someone cut it off (which was amazing to see and probably a feat in of itself), which left a straight bar that had marks from the cutting torch used. One afternoon I was riding a client's PB Arab gelding in the arena, in that bit newly refurbished, and the mouthpiece broke in two, falling out of his mouth as I was loping down the rail. It's a damn good thing that horse had "Whoa!" ingrained into his brain, because it could have been a bad scene. I haven't bought another Quick bit since.

horspoor said...

Speaking of tack and yard sale deals, I picked up a loose ring Sprenger for $10 last summer at a tack sale. I was very friends were very envious. They'd all walked by it. That Cyprium finish just called to me on the table...then I picked it the real deal.

mingjayde said...

Thanks so much for the advice guys.
SFTS- that was what I was thinking I would do.
JR- I will definately do that. I just showed her in hand for the first time on the weekend so it was the first time I experienced it. I guess she did it to the owner last year when showing.
I am definately not as nice as the owner, unless it's my old man who really can't do much wrong.

Sarcastabitch- yes it is Passions. I'm going to work her on it this week before we go to Wildrose next weekend.

Cut-N-Jump said...

HP- you also got a swinging deal on that Skyhorse if I remember correctly.

I got my Tony Slater for a steal, complete with leathers and irons. I called the one tack store to ask about it before committing. The woman told me to "Buy it regardless of fit, at that price." If it didn't fit anything I owned, call her and she would buy it from me for slightly more than I paid.

How do you walk away from a deal like that? I found a bridle to match it later on. Used- $250.