Monday, June 15, 2009

"AWWWWW, but I don't wanna go back to work!"

I had a client 3 years ago that decided to have their mare sent out to for breeding. They figured that the mare had been shown enough and they wanted her to take some time out of the show ring and have a foal.

Her days as a career western pleasure mare were over, and she was to be a stay at home mom.

That did not last for long. She had 2 years off and they wanted to show her again!

When they called me and asked me if I could take the mare and get her ready for the ring, I was happy to do so, but I told them that she was going to need at least 30 days just to bring her back into condition before being ridden.

So the mare came back.

I spent the next 45 days getting the mare back into condition. Lots of lunging at the strong trot. Her workouts started out short and as her condition and muscle tone improved their length was increased little by little. The mare had obviously become quite lazy over the past 2 years, so I really had to make her work.

When I decided to get that back on the mare, I really did not have a particular plan in mind. It was time to assess the mare- see what she remembered, what she would give, where I needed to start and what we needed to work on first. So I just got on her and started to ride. I pushed the buttons to see what the mare remembered at the walk, trot and lope. There were a few things that had changed, the mare had become a little 'dead sided' and would not move off of my leg. She was really stiff to the right, and refused to give, so that was going to have to be addressed. Her transitions were horrible as she refused to use her hind end.

I decided that I would start with the walk, I felt that it was important at that point to get the mare as flexible as possible and that is always best done at the walk. I was mostly concerned with lateral flexion and was not at all concerned with getting her head set. That would come when the I started to get the rest of the issues dealt with.

Over the next few days I would work the mare at walk working primarily on lateral aids, asking her to bend around my leg, move away from my leg. When I would stop and then ask her to go, I would rock her back on her hind end and then squeeze with my legs and ask her to go forward. This would create impulsion from behind and help us redevelop those smooth upward transitions.

When I finally did ask the mare for the transition into the lope, I just asked her to lope. With all of the lateral work, she had become lighter on her front end and her transitions had change from rough to smooth and easy. Things were coming back for this mare.

As far as her jog was concerned, once this mare had softened laterally, the jog was really easy!

The thing about re-schooling the show horse that has been off for a while, is that you have to remember that the horse, depending on how far they were in their training, for the most part remembers what they have been taught in the past.

The things that do change, for the most part are physical, such as conditioning. But there is one thing that may have changed that I have not mentioned, and that is, what am I doing differently from what I have done in the past.

What have I learned and implemented into my training program while that horse is off?

For those things I am going to have to make adjustments for the horse that I am training.

As far a re-schooling a stallion that has been off for breeding, I like to remind the owner that, even though we have decided to put him back to work in June, his brain will not arrive until July!

164 comments:

Who Said That? said...

What an appropriate title for a Monday morning post!

ROFL!

Definitely an EPIC WIN!

PrairieFarmer said...

Okay...So since everybody has been telling me I can ask a bunch of stupid questions I'm going to get right on that. Keep in mind, my horse/riding experience is comprised of riding ponies/horses constantly in my childhood - almost entirely unsupervised, a couple years of pony club a few lessons there, about 5 years of collegiate polo. Other than a few pony club lessons, I never took lessons. I never showed. My riding style, I was say, is more western I guess, in that I like to neck rein (really useful to have a free hand I think), I like a horse that knows to move away from my leg, and I like having my balance back in my seat and my heels down! But I usually ride in an English saddle (cuz I find a western too restrictive and horns have always scared me). When I played polo it was all about horse go, horse stop, horse turn. As fast as possible. I don't remember it getting a lot more complex than that (I remember once asking a polo guy why they always played the horses with 2 sets of reins - he said so you had a back-up in case one broke. I remember thinking at time that there must be more to it than that!).
So my questions are related to some of the terms that I keep seeing come up, which I THINK it might have a sense of what you guys mean but I'd rather just ask than surmise. Since again, never took any lessons where somebody say - hey, feel that right there, that's "lateral flexion." I am curious to know because, well...I don't really know why except for I love that feeling when I and my horse seem attuned as one, so here goes:

Lateral Flexion - Why do you want it? And what exactly is it, when achieved? I think I might know but not totally sure. For instance, my mare, when cantering in a circle, likes to "cut" the corners dropping that inside shoulder. I don't like that, easy to feel like she is going to cut out from under me. Feels like she is not "flexing" like she should. Am I way off base here?
Bending around leg (related to lateral flexion?). I always just generally understood this as kinda a dressagey thing (I know, I know, ignorance showing...). My best memory with "bending around leg" was in pony club, riding the 20+ cattle horse, and having an instructor trying to get me to "bend" him around my leg. He found this EXTREMELY confusing and I remember that dressage was torture for both him and me. I later realized, this horse was taught to move AWAY from leg. When I tried to teach him to bend around my leg - well that just about blew his mind. In hindsight, I don't think the instructor was probably very aware of working with old cattle horse trained horse in adapting to dressage. Again, perhaps surmising here.
Headset - What the hell is it and, again, why do we care if it is not for the sake of winning points at the horseshow? Again, I certainly understand the feeling when a horse gets there head too high up and we loose that control. Or a horse takes the bit in their mouth and stretches out their neck. Or gets it down way low and balances forward and down and easily to add in those little bucks.
So, again, sorry for the ignorance but I've gotten curious enough to go ahead and ask. And kids now screaming at me for attention so better go!

fernvalley01 said...

Great post , getting a horse back into condition after time off is such a priority , not just riding them and expecting every thing to fall into place. Often I find longeing for conditioning also kind of "takes them back to kidergarten" so to speak , wakes up the brain and gets them thinking about work too.
As far as the Stallion goes ,his brain is expexted in July ? that soon?

SFTS said...

Sometimes I find that there are horses who "just say no" to going back to work after some time off, and develop bad habits (or just get lazy). Ever find that JR?

JohnieRotten said...

PF

Lateral Flexion:

Lateral flexion is the ability for the horse to bend from the pole to the tail. Now, the reality of that statement is that horses are very limited in how much lateral movement that they can achieve in their spines.The neck is more flexible than the back,and we can get the horse to bend at the base of the neck, thus softening the corners of the horses mouth. If the horse bends laterally at the base of the neck and he is softer in the corners of his mouth, then as we do a circle at the lope/ canter, then all we have to do is use our inside leg and to push the horses shoulders to the outside of the circle, bend him to the inside and then he can not drop his shoulder.

Anytime the horse bends from side to side, be it around my leg or in a circle, that is lateral flexion/bending.

Head set is the self carriage of the head that the horse achieves as he becomes softer laterally. Certain discipline require that he horse carry their heads in different ways, western prefer that the horse carry their head low and that it be perpendicular to the ground. This way, the horses weight is transferred to the front end making them heavy on the front end. When they are heavy on the fornt end they four beat at the lope.(Four beating and collection are not realated!).
Dressage people, prefer that the horse elevate his head so that he can use his hind end and create balance. In cutting we do not ask the horse to set his head because it resticts the horses quick lateral movements.

I know that this may seem confusing, but it really is more of a use of the simple mechanics of a horses movements. Try to close your eyes and picture it. And please ask all of the questions you want. If I have not addressed all of your questions please, feel free to say a JR you dumb ass, you did not answer my question!

JohnieRotten said...

Shit, I am out of breath after all of that!

JohnieRotten said...

FV

If we are lucky,then it will be that soon!

SFTS

They always devlop new habits out of the training barn. Good and Bad.

horspoor said...

I'm bringing Top back, and changing his focus. Finished horses love that you know. lol Actually he's being very very good. Going from Jumper to Dressage.

When I got him, he was skinny, heading toward anatomy lesson material. So, it hasn't been just get him fit, it's been put enough weight on to ride, and then build up the fitness level.

What I've found with the well trained ones that have been off for a length of time...is they think they can do it. They don't get that they aren't fit enough to carry the frame etc. So, I'll let them collect a few strides, and stretch them back down.

No point in making them sore. They wont be as willing to go there the next time for you. I tell them they are wonderful and brilliant when the 'go big' lol. Then we go back to easier, more conditioning work.

A horse that has been fit, and conditioned certainly comes back faster than a horse that has never been fit. Takes longer to create it, (in my experience) than to bring it back.

PrairieFarmer said...

JR - Sorry! Didn't mean to wear ya out so quick! (Perhaps some blog conditioning is in order...).
So then, what is the point of having a horse heavy on the front end? Is it just a show/appearance thing? I've ridden a few horses like that and I hated it. Felt like I was going to go right over their neck if we were doing anything other than real slow.
And why would you want a horse to four beat? Isn't that bad? And uncomfortable?
And thanks for explaining that about the cutting and the head set - the more I think about it, I think probably a cutting/reining style is what I naturally tend to. Probably from riding those type of horses when I was young (the old former ranch horses) and then the polo horses which have a lot of that with some differences.
And when you are riding a reining type horse, do you just not worry about the "forward on the bit" thing I am also reading about as well, which is more dressage or hunter/jumper style? Because the collection (control?) is more in your seat and legs?
See, I think I get confused about all the different disciples/terms/correct techniques in riding, since I rode such a strange combination of them all yet they can be so opposite. (hey, maybe I should start my own disciple - Farm Style!).

JohnieRotten said...

PrairieFarmer said...
JR - Sorry! Didn't mean to wear ya out so quick! (Perhaps some blog conditioning is in order...).
So then, what is the point of having a horse heavy on the front end? Is it just a show/appearance thing? I've ridden a few horses like that and I hated it. Felt like I was going to go right over their neck if we were doing anything other than real slow.
And why would you want a horse to four beat? Isn't that bad? And uncomfortable?
___________________


Exactly! What is the point?

If you want to get a horse to 4 beat, make them heavy on the front end and they will have no choice!

I prefer the horse be forward and not behind the bit. I want my horses to have the freedom of movement that being forward allows.

horspoor said...

I think the operative question is....why the hell would you want a horse to four beat? UGH..nasty. And hard on the horse.

JohnieRotten said...

I never understood the four beating thing either HP. I used to joke that people were afraid they would fall off if their horse went any faster.

Juli said...

As my colt is gaining conditioning and balance under saddle, he's offering me a four beat. At least at the trot.

Oh, right, that's cause he's an Arab/Paso cross, and as he rocks his weight back, he's freeing up his shoulder and gaiting.

We haven't loped under saddle yet. I'm kind of expecting a two beat gait for that. You know, buck buck. *grin*

horspoor said...

Juli,
Not being that familiar with Pasos, how is the gait 4 beat at the trot? I'm not being snarky. This is an honest question.

I worked with a couple, a few years back. They would paso, but they also had a true trot. I was concerned that I may 'ruin' their gaited-ness. Once I had them stretched over the topline, and coming from behind any paso disappeared.

Arab-N-OTTB said...

UGH! Let's not get into 4 beating. At a recent all arab show the judge infuriated all but the reserve and champ by picking 4 beating ARABIANS. WTF...its in the rules excessive slowness in arabs is to be severly penalized and NOT placed!

But the pains of bringing a trained horse back. Dealing with my OTTB on that one right now. She's gotten seriously spoiled, so I said nope...back to the books for you 2 times a week. As she doesnt show anymore just have some bad manners showing up that I will not put up with. Especially when she is 1225lbs and can/will get pushy.

Cut-N-Jump said...

PF- Four beating can be as miserable to ride as it is to watch. Why anyone *tries* to get that is beyond me. Maybe they don't like riding to begin with. But then what's the point?

Besides, when I ask my horse to lope, I want to get there. Not shuffle along at a snails pace with my horses nose in the dirt.

horspoor said...

Or to sum up what CNJ is politely trying to say....

Four beating is for pussies.

LMAO

rosesr4evr said...

Hey JR,

You're in Arabs right? Do you know a trainer by the name of Randy Sullivan?? He's a local here.

JohnieRotten said...

Roser4ever

I have not been involved in Arabs for 13 years with one little brief hiccup at the Arab Scottsdale show in 2005.

I have been in the QHs for a long time.

What did you need to know about him?

About all I know about Randy Sullivan is that I think be is in the Midwest somewhere.

PrairieFarmer said...

Well, glad to know I'm not a pussy!
I don't really understand why it is popular to train a horse in a way that is hard to ride, hard on the horse and has no actual purpose???? But then I don't really understand the point of halter horses just for the sake of winning a halter horse competition either. If all my horse can do is look pretty in a halter, well, that's kinda boring, in my humble opinion!
Thanks for all the explanations JR. If you would ever move to the PNW already than I could ask you in person!

PrairieFarmer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JohnieRotten said...

Thanks for all the explanations JR. If you would ever move to the PNW already than I could ask you in person!

______________________

As soon as we sell the house we are going to move.

You can email me to~

horspoor said...

PF...well, it's just so ugly. As soon as one of those people get on a horse that is actually forward they start shutting them down. (Usually with sharp jerks to the outside rein). Ruining their walks and any kind of 'from behind movement' the horse has.

One local wp trainer was watching me do lead changes. He informed me that he could fix that for me. I must have looked confused. He went on to tell me he could teach my horse to flatten out in his changes for me. UHM???? I want jump in my change. Hello, it's dressage. And one flying lead change doesn't really count in my world. We want multiples, every x amount of strides...not just when you think you might able to grab one in a corner. sheesh. Oh, and we want them all the way around...not just in the front, or late behind.

Gee how far do you think you'd get in reining if you couldn't really change on cue. Oh...well I got the change midway through my circle. Uh...you lose.

Now I can go on to the stuffing their face into the rail, with their butts pointing into the arena to keep their 4 beat canter even slower.

Okay, I need to eat something. Way too snarky here.

rosesr4evr said...

JR,

Oh nothing I need to know about him. Just thought I'd ask if you knew him or of him. He's just a local trainer around here that shows Arabs. Does pretty well at the shows from what I hear.

I rehabbed an Arab mare that had been sent to him for training and for supposedly not knowing anything, she sure knew a lot! He didn't have anything to do with her having to be rehabbed, just to make that clear.

I thought someone had mentioned you were in Arabs or had been and I just thought maybe you might've known each other is all.

JohnieRotten said...

rosesr4ever

Ya,I did the Arab thing , like I said several years ago. There are some good trainers in that industry, I just missed the QHs and cutting more than anything and figured that is where I belong.



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JohnieRotten said...

oops sorry abot that last bit, one of the twins discovered the keyboasrd

PrairieFarmer said...

Horspoor -
It's fun to talk to a few folks who can explain how silly some of this stuff is! I watch and think I just must be missing something.
I admit to never being a big fan of dressage either, but...that's grown on me in the last few years as I've watched some of the really good guys do it via the magic of YouTube. Very beautiful. I think trying to take a 20+ cow/gymkhana type horse and do dressage on him in Pony Club probably soured me. First off, he thought going into any arena meant he was going to go REAL FAST and run around some poles or barrels or chase a cow or AT LEAST GIVE HIM SOMETHING TO DO. Oops. (Although this made stadium jumping WICKED FUN!). Second of all, he never did learn the "bend around the leg" thing and I guess he was probably very stiff, not surprising with his age and previous work. I do remember being about 14 and working him in a practice arena for it must have been an hour before my dressage test, around, and around, and around, to get him to calm down and maybe WALK instead of jig. We did the best ever at dressage that day and the judge, when we were done, took me aside and said THAT WAS THE WORST DRESSAGE TEST SHE HAD EVER SEEN!!!! I was only 14, but I still laughed and I said I was rather proud because it was way better than usual! My favorite thing about riding that horse in Pony Club however was cross country. He liked to jump and was pretty good at it, as I recall, but we always had to do the course at Mach 1. And he was big (16 hands), copper red chestnut that would, usually almost before you got him, break out in a complete body sweat just from being so excited to go. Plus he would work the bit and get big green frothy foam oozing around his mouth. So picture that, little 14 year old girl, charging through the forest and over jumps. Taking out branches and shrubs along the way with huge sweaty, green mouthed red horse. I can still recall the terrified looks of the jump judges!
Than I watch the WP stuff and I think, well heck, that don't look like any fun at all!

horspoor said...

PF...I used to show around the rail. It's been 20 or 30 years since I was serious about it. And it was truly different then.

Clyde Kennedy was the judge I always hoped to get. Loved me, loved my horses. lol Richard Sereni was a young up and coming. lol Been awhile, yeah. Last time I saw him we were both on a plane to PHX. Both a little wider, little more settled. I was going to visit, and take in the Livestock Show, and he was going to judge. I of course had to show him pics of my yearling...he said he expected to see me in the ring again. He never did. But we both knew even then I didn't have the desire anymore. I don't even know if Richard is judging anymore.

The game has changed so much. You used to be able to take a good horse and all around. And be competitive doing it. Now it is so specialized. I'm serious about the four beating. The jerking on the outside rein. The riders with their hand above their shoulders, 3 feet wide, yanking alternately on the reins to 'soften' their horses into some sort of bizarre caricature of what it should be. When you slow them down so much that they look like a helicopter coming in or a landing, and you totally lose the quality of the gaits (what the hell happened to three clean gaits?) I just don't want to play anymore. I see more lameness on the pleasure circuit, than on the barrel circuit. WTF?

In my opinion, it's a mess. Sad to see the way the English Pleasure and Western Pleasure horses are going. I was shocked, and saddened when I watched an Arab show. What the hell...who decided double bridles, and a saddlebred way of going was what an Arab should do? The AQHA horses all look like they don't feel well. None of it looks like a pleasure to ride to me.

horspoor said...

Okay, let the flaming begin. lol

JohnieRotten said...

HP

I am on your side in this one!

horspoor said...

Good to know JR. Thanks. I really did used to enjoy it. It's not like I just showed Arabs, did Quarters too. Remember War Waltz...black mare. She didn't four beat, she didn't drag her face in the dirt. She made it to #1 quarter mare in the state. Hell of a horse.

I know things cycle. It should come back around, right?

JohnieRotten said...

HP

The last time we were at Scottsdale. The Arab western pleasure horses were four beating.

Makes me appreciate cutting even more.

We were at an Appy show a few years ago and the horses looked defeated and crippled the way they were moving.

Cut-N-Jump said...

HP- our torches are all aimed the same direction as yours! ROFL!

The over use of side reins, draw reins and martingales has led or helped the disgusting downward spiral of pretty much a lot of breed shows.

I'm sure someone will go all SRS on me and remind me how they use side reins on the Lipps, but how many people understand why and how they use the side reins. You only really see them in the 'Airs' work. And when attached to the girth of a saddle- how long doe your arms need to bee to get you hands that low while maintaining any type of posture? I would guess 98% of riders will never make it that far in their riding career.

The horses lean on the bit, become heAvy up front and the trainers pitch the head to the rail, kick the rear end to the inside and dump the horse onto the lead. They can't get it any other way. It happens at a local farm. The stories JR could tell. Fixed one of the horses who they could not get to canter at all. Gave the rider some simple exercises and by the end of the hour- lesson #1- had the horse cantering. Lesson #2 they worked on getting better departures and transitions. When that was consistent, the leads wet addressed. Bam. Done.

Yet this one was paying for lessons and training.

Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

Cut-N-Jump said...

Boy the typos in my post.

I'm blaming Mikes hard lemonade. That shit rocks! Lemonade, light, cranberry and Mango. Any and all will do. Maybe I better go back a post. And go get another from the fridge.

Cut-N-Jump said...

And I have been asked to post, requesting anyone with topics they would like to see covered, to post them in the comments or email them in.

His email is in the profile.

PrairieFarmer said...

Horspoor, JR and CnJ - I think all these folks with the strangely waddling horses need to get out of the arena and just ride, dammit.
And now that I said that I better go to bed so I have energy to ride tomorrow!

horspoor said...

Yeah, that counter bend to dump them on the lead, so they basically fall and catch themselves to get the lead. They don't carry themselves into the correct lead. And the flying change..knock the horse off balance again. Unbelievable. You can always tell when riding changes..those horses that get that funky swing to the front on multiple changes. They dont track straight...they swing from lead to lead instead of carrying. I guess they are actually grabbing it in the front first, rather than from behind. (I have to think about that for second). lol Or the ones that have to heave the front end up to get the canter because they are so buried in the front.

Okay, so do we get tiki torches? I want a big F-N torch.

horspoor said...

Do you think they have the go that way so they all look navicular'd so the judge can't tell who really is?

horspoor said...

Okay, on that nasty piece of snark I should go to bed.

I bought a fountain today. Have no clue how I'm going to get it out of my truck. It took 3 or 4 guys to load it. Guess I didn't think this through so good. lol

JohnieRotten said...

HP

I think they go thatcway because some asshole trainers don't give a shut what they do to their disciplines or the horses. Or some show mommy spent want her princess to go too fast. All I know is these new trends make me sick!

Along with those stupid ducking show outfits that they where now. What is wrong with a regular western shirt and jeans.

Cut-N-Jump said...

Carry what you will HP, I have a propane torch until I perfect the diaper launcher.

I have a porky pony that waddles as we are working off the excess weight. The other night on the lunge line he was rocking around on his butt, slapping his front legs out in front of him. It was quite the sight. He thinks he is all that.

PF- if your still here... The shows used to be fun. A chance to see old friends, talk about breeding, upcoming foals, new foals, the hopes and expectations we had for them, who showed promise as an English, western or hunter horse, who had a good show at the last one, so and so just had to put down this horse, the kids got married... In general we hung out on the rail chatting about Everything, catching up on life and cheering for our horses.

If we didn't win, it was good when our friends did. When we all swept a class, we all cheered and the order didn't matter. We ate we drank and everyone was merry.

I can't wait until it comes back around to this again.

Cut-N-Jump said...

HP- aim the truck where you want the fountain.

Drop it in reverse, floor it, as you get where you want it to sit- slam on the brakes and let the fountain fly out.

Bonus points if it lands upright.

Piss on it if it doesn't. The dog will anyways.

Night all.

PrairieFarmer said...

CnJ -
That does sound fun! Maybe you all should "take back the night" so to speak. Start your own shows! Invitation only! BYOB! Awards - just having a good healthy time, you and your horse!
On the horse show thing, I always think back to when I was "showing" dairy cows. We used to go to one VERY uppity show. The "Black and White" show (holsteins - the superstar of the dairy world - only, duh). Those cows got all sort of crazy things done to them in the interest of winning - supergluing hair on weak loins, painting over ringworm spots, complicated pre-milking procedures to make each udder quadrant perfectly balanced with the right amount of "cleavage" (yes, I got to talk seriously about "cleavage" with bunches of old, mostly of Norwegian descent, lots of nose-hair men...). When I was about 12 I got to compete with this cow that happened to actually win the premo "milking 3 year old" futurity class. Quite an upset, as she was from my neighboring dairy that normally didn't produce show winners of that sort. Boy, some of those dairy guys were P-O! Hot milk steaming out of their ears, I swear! The evil farmer eyes I got that day, I can still remember! The winning cow, became quite a hot commodity. Worth lots of money, they were flushing her for extra eggs, there was a huge demand for more calves out of her. Big deal. Of course, she was far from the best milker of the herd. Those titles went to the sweet, swaybacked, bulging udder Bessies that never got near a showring and sat in the field, chewing her cud and just dumping out buckets of milk every day until they just kinda imploded and were sent off for hamburger.
It was all just crazy. And the dairymen that got all excited about that cow? Pretty much all of them are all belly up now, thanks to the incredible fluctuating milk price (the few that are left are right now all going broke, lowest milk prices in decades...).
And that show? I'm pretty sure it's been defunct for quite a while now - I can't find any mention of it. It was a bubble cuz it didn't have any basis in reality! And people took it WAY too seriously. And then based their livelihood around it. All for the bragging rights of having the "prize winning Holstein cow." It's a cow!
And a horse might be more exciting than a cow. But, it's still just A HORSE. That likes to eat grass and poop and stuff. Occasionally do some other things that can fun. But still, JUST A HORSE and when people take it too seriously, well then even the fun stuff isn't fun any more! Why do people get so crazy about this stuff and ruin it in the process???? Enuf said.
(I'm such a crazy farmer radical sometimes, sorry....). Off to move a sprinkler now - 28 days and counting, no rain in the PacNW (the record is 29 days straight). Plants no happy.

PrairieFarmer said...

JR - Didn't somebody mention you doing a conformation clinic by discipline? Horses good for reining, vs. for dressage vs. for hunter/jumper...That sorta thing?
I would find that highly informative.

rosesr4evr said...

I would love to see the pleasure classes go back to being just that...A pleasure. I can't stand the crippled looking 4 beat trope, the wogging, head bobbing, heads still way too low (whatever happened to looking your horse between the ears?)

And another thing I can't stand seeing and maybe it's just me, but I can't stand to see a horse kicking clounds of dirt in front of his front feet when they land a stride. I always think it looks painful and how the hell can the horse ever stay sound while they spend a lifetime heavy on the forehand and stabbing their toes into the dirt?

JR- Here here about the ridiculous Las Vegas showgirl outfits! I wish they would go back to minimal silver and regular clothes. Lots of luck on THAT one though, too many people just love their $5000-$10,000 outfits.

The crazy thing is...I'm looking for an all around horse to start showing.

cattypex said...

"well, it's just so ugly. As soon as one of those people get on a horse that is actually forward they start shutting them down. (Usually with sharp jerks to the outside rein). Ruining their walks and any kind of 'from behind movement' the horse has."

YESYESYESYESYES

I want somebody PROMINENT to "stand and deliver" this message... I can kvetch all day long, but who's gonna listen in the WP world?

It's sad about Arabs. I loved seeing them in WP because they were proud, floaty, collected, beautiful - in stark contrast to the QHs, who were just then starting to get their heads jacked down.

I think maybe some QH trainers infiltrated the Arab WP world or something?

My stomach actually hurt the other night when WP Mom was "helping" at 4H and teaching yank-n-kick.

So last week I told a girl (and her mom) to get OUT of their pretty mare's mouth - she was getting pissed and moving poorly.

Who gets a barrel horse for a beginner's WP ride anyway? At least the mom had a solid background in H/J so knew what I was talking about... and the girl had such a great natural leg I assumed she was more experienced than she was.

I think the Foundation QH people have some good ideas about "taking it back" but they've gone TOO far to the rough side, I think. And they're as obsessed with % of "foundation" in the pedigree as the Krazy Kolor people are with "homozygous for [insert Kolor here]."

ROBERT MILLER WHERE ARE YOU!?!?!?!????!!!!

cattypex said...

"Here here about the ridiculous Las Vegas showgirl outfits! I wish they would go back to minimal silver and regular clothes. Lots of luck on THAT one though, too many people just love their $5000-$10,000 outfits."

Heh. I wish people understood that $$$ does NOT equal quality - well, OK, how bout that Armani suit? THAT is expensive, but .... not gaudy.

A few years back, Italians were all about reiners & cutters. Do they dress better at AQHA shows in Italy? Cuz even Italian soccer players have better uniforms than anyone else....

Juli said...

Ok, coming back into this a bit late, however I feel the need to answer the paso gait question. The paso fino's "trot" speed is actually not actually a trot. It's a four beat lateral gait, exactly the same foot fall as the walk only with more speed and action.

Paso's can trot and canter too, however most people don't trot them because they insist that trotting the paso will ruin their gait. I don't believe that is true.

If it is done correctly, dressage work stregthens the horses back, which will make them gait better when you pick their head up. A lot of people gait them ventroflexed, but I always tried to keep my horse flat backed when gaiting. I feel that asking them to vetroflex is quite detrimental to their joints.

My paso Alpine would walk, trot, canter, corto, and largo (fast gait) on command, depending on where I placed his head, what bit I was using, and his degree of collection. He knew most of the upper level dressage movements, and could piaffe, passage, and do a quite impressive canter pirouette.

My colt is just learning balance, and therefore his feet do interesting things right now. He normally does a nice square trot, but the last week or so, he's figured out that I want him to rock back on his rear end, but he hasn't figured out the rounding his back at the same time. So, it's bringing his head up a bit and loosening his shoulders, and he's giving me some gait. As he figures out that I want him to pick his back up, his gait will go back to a square trot.

Of course, he's going to be a trail/endurance horse and I don't really care what he does with his feet, providing it's easy and efficient for him, and he's going at the speed and pace I request.

Now, I absolutly hate the WP gaits. What's the point of riding a horse that is going so slow that dead lice won't fall off him??? And I'm sorry, but the gaits are artificial and look it. We had a WP "trainer" at a barn where I used to board that taught her horses how to "collect" by putting hock hobbles on them, and then running ropes from the hobbles to the horses bit and lunging them at the walk, trot, and canter. In my mind, that's not only a cheating short cut, but it's a cruel one at that. Her poor horses....

JohnieRotten said...

Juli

I know a trainer that used to use hock hobbles. He thought they worked great until one of his horses started bucking and kicking to try to get rid of them. The gelding broke it's jaw. And he got sued!

The so gate has also made it's way to the hunter horses.

I absolutely hate shortcuts.

cattypex said...

UGH.

Newbies see all that "stuff" trussing up the WP horse, and they see the "trainers' " hands all over the place, and they think that that means there's something technical and esoteric and therefore "professional" going on.

It's why all those dumb gadgets sell so well.

Hell's bells, I used draw reins just a couple of times because my horse liked shoot her head WAY up and evade the bit a little and I didn't know any better method, but it worked after a couple of very low-key sessions where we both figured out some stuff about the bit (snaffle), my hands, and flexibility. Or maybe it worked DESPITE my using draw reins. I dunno, I was 14 or 15, and had seen a lot of folks use them.

Of course, MY draw reins were super techy.... baling twine. And I had good steady hands back then - I think lots of lunging without reins and trotting for a million years in 2-point really did good things for my balance and base of support. I used to win egg & spoon ALL the time.

SFTS said...

JohnieRotten wrote:
SFTS
They always devlop new habits out of the training barn. Good and Bad.

- - - - - - - -

Darn. I was hoping you would expound more on your experiences and thoughts in that area.

I have found that the bad habits learned or developed when a horse is off work for any length of time generally outweigh any good ones they may pick up. Especially if they are allowed to be naughty by a timid owner/rider who doesn't know how to handle a problem or issue.

Every so often I get a horse who was allowed to be lazy or to get away with things, and brought back to be "fixed". There are many tips for dealing with the bad behaviors, and I am always seeking more insight from other trainers. Maybe a good blog topic? Retraining bad habits out of good horses? Getting the ones who are lazy and have become rank from a lack of work or consistency and turning them around again?

havealittlelena said...

Mr.Rotten

I love your blog!

JohnieRotten said...

SFTS

Expounding......

The habits that I have encountered on horses that have come back into training are as follows....Kicking, bucking, biting.Blowing up at everything under the sun, rearing(mostly stallions after breeding). That is to name a few,and I have not mentioned the habits that my clients have brought back with them!

As far as training the lazy horse , we can do that as a topic!

cattypex said...

If you have to keep taking your horse back to the trainer for a "fix" of bad behaviors, then maybe he's the wrong horse for you...

Or maybe you need to work intensively WITH the trainer for a time, to make yourself into the right rider for your horse.

only sayin' ....

Who Said That? said...

CP- Newbies see all that "stuff" trussing up the WP horse, and they see the "trainers' " hands all over the place, and they think that that means there's something technical and esoteric and therefore "professional" going on.

It's why all those dumb gadgets sell so well.
_________________________

Touché! That's why when I read CNJ's mention of side reins, upwards in the posts... I got a sinking feeling until she explained about the SRS and the Lippizzans.

Someone inevitably states "They use side reins! They do dressage!" whilst pointing at the SRS. Just like they did when I called out SFTS for admitting she uses them on FHotD. Big deal, so they do. Does that make the use of side reins in the dressage world mandatory? Do these people understand the why and how behind the SRS's use of them? Probably not, at least from the sounds of things, that's my understanding.

As CNJ stated, the riders of the SRS use the side reins in their "Airs Above the Ground" work. The SRS chooses a few *select* horses to train and perform those movements and of those horses, each one is only taught one or two of those movements. The horses are chosen by their expression and display of talent and athleticism that lends them to being able to perform the movements with less difficulty than their peers. It is difficult work for the horse and the SRS like anyone else, wishes to present only the horses that perform each one with such style and grace, as will reflect well on the School as a whole. Understandable.

But people instead, see them as the ruler by which we should all be measured. Regardless of the fact that plenty of the Olympic level riders from various countries are performing the same level of movements under saddle, as the SRS. They both do one tempi changes, canter pirouettes, passage, piaffe, extended trot, shoulder in, haunches in and yes, even a natural, free moving walk and halt.

We don't see or hear of the SRS using Rolkur, though Anky van Grunsven does it. She may have others clamoring to mimic her riding- even if that means doing Rolkur too, but it doesn't make it right or any better than any other method of actual training. It's a shortcut that produces immediate results, however short or long term the lasting effects may be.

People will buy what they think will work, they use what they see others using and often have no understanding of the proper adjustment of things, let alone reasons for use or a feel for timing to get the desired response from the horse.


It seems like I might preaching to the choir... Sorry about that.

Steps down from soapbox and ducks in case Mr. Rotten still weilds his newspaper...

JohnieRotten said...

Cp

That is why we offer lessons to every owner for free as long as their horses are in training.

Cut-N-Jump said...

CP- Makes you wonder about some of those people who keep returning their horse to "the trainer". (Spoken in a whispery spooky kind of voice.)


I wonder if some of them send the horse off for the attention or for the insinuation and impression that they may have money. Because, ya know, them trainers is expensive... They must be rich if they can afford that!


You can stop laughing and get up now.


I had a horse I was working with in Scottsdale. How did you guess it was an Arabian? Stallion material? Not hardly but he had the equipment...

Never once seen the owners at the farm, but the check came every month to cover his board. No training, just board.

Don't need to train, show or promote the horse to use the lines- "I own an Arabian Stallion. He's at 'the trainers' in Scottsdale. We pay $XXXX a month to keep him there."

Truth be told, the farm could have gelded, trained and sold him, stuck a Breyer on the shelf or in the stall and they wouldn't have known the difference. Hell they could have passed off just about any horse in the barn as theirs, if they ever did bother to show up. How many grey Arab stallions do you think there were in Scottsdale, back in the day?

SFTS said...

PrairieFarmer wrote:
Lateral Flexion - Why do you want it? And what exactly is it, when achieved?

Bending around leg (related to lateral flexion?).

Headset - What the hell is it and, again, why do we care if it is not for the sake of winning points at the horseshow?

- - - - - - - -

JR did a really awesome job of explaining lateral flexion, and it can take on many forms, from just asking for a neck bend, to a smaller circle, to leg yields and so on. You cannot get proper vertical flexion without having lateral flexion. Your horse must be flexible in order to achieve proper collection, as well ~ I like to see my horses flex at the base of the neck as well as at the poll. Bending to the side, no matter how small of a bend, is the essence of lateral flexion.

Headsets, well, in the sense so often discussed, they are for the show ring, but JR makes a good point that's been lost on a lot of folks. How the horse naturally carries himself is where his "headset" is. For the show ring, the "perfect headset" for whatever discipline is sought, frequently at the expense of the horse's correct carriage, collection and the overall picture. Four beating isn't pretty, but as long as it (and the "headset") wins in the show ring, everything else suffers.

CharlesCityCat said...

Good post Who Said That. You are right on with that.

cattypex said...

That IS a REALLY awesome explanation of lateral flexion if I didn't say so before. I am copying & pasting into a doc. for later quick reference!!

I was taught by my trainer to bend the horse around my leg, and how to actually accomplish that. It was a very organic process, teaching it to a couple of horses. (who were already taught to move off of leg pressure in a basic way)

When I was a teen, the Girls Who Showed At Big Shows would talk about "their Trainers" ad nauseum....

They had rich parents. Actually their parents weren't any richer than mine - they were just into showing it off.

fernvalley01 said...

WARNING LONG RAMBLING POST
OK JR < I was actually going to email you privately with this , but I could use all the insight I can get. 8yr old gelding out of an old Appy mare (tb type) and by a grandson of Peppy San Badger. So a little predisposed to being hot. Here is the thing , I raised him and with me he is a pussycat, sold him and they were afaid of him. This guy is not a super confident horse so if you walk in scared he thinks there is a monster on your back! Anyhow bought him back and sent him out for training. Good guy ,the trainer kept him a couple weeks longer free of charge to get him truly settled . I gothim back and rode him daily , what I noticed about this horse is he is very keen and super sensitive /dependant on the rider , couple of others have handled him and on the graoun again pussycat in the saddle , he has been nervy unless I ride him. Add to this ,my Lupus has flared up and I am only now feeling strong enough to ride that kind of horse after a 2 yr break . What I am asking is 1) do the work myself ?2) start from scratch or just condition and try
3) send him out
I am not asking you to be a concience or cheering squad , just what are your thoughts on my neurotic pony

JohnieRotten said...

FV

In reality, it is a comfort thing at this point. If you are not feeling up to it, do the ground work and then send him out.

If you are comfortable in doing the work,and I have no doubt of your capabilities, then take it slow and one day at a time!

If there is one thing that I hate doing, it is getting on a horse when I dont feel well. It reflects on me and my horse~

fernvalley01 said...

Thanks JR, not sure yet , guess I will do the ground work and see from there.

windingwinds said...

I love all the differences in personalities, my favorites are the ones whom act aloof then stand and pout when you choose another pony to work with! Informative post JR!

SFTS said...

JohnieRotten wrote:
SFTS

As far as training the lazy horse , we can do that as a topic!

- - - - - - - -

I guess I am lucky, in that I have not had too many of the really hard cases. :)

But that lazy horse topic, I think that would be helpful to a number of folks, especially to talk about those "lazy" horses who get pissy and act sour when being asked to go back to work.

By sharing, we ALL learn.

SFTS said...

cattypex wrote:
"well, it's just so ugly. As soon as one of those people get on a horse that is actually forward they start shutting them down. (Usually with sharp jerks to the outside rein). Ruining their walks and any kind of 'from behind movement' the horse has."

YESYESYESYESYES

I want somebody PROMINENT to "stand and deliver" this message... I can kvetch all day long, but who's gonna listen in the WP world?

- - - - - - - -

It would be a true blessing if there was such a *prominent* person to get this message across. I don't have much hope for that, unfortunately.

It's sad about Arabs. I loved seeing them in WP because they were proud, floaty, collected, beautiful - in stark contrast to the QHs, who were just then starting to get their heads jacked down.

I think maybe some QH trainers infiltrated the Arab WP world or something?

- - - - - - - -

Yes, actually we did have some QH trainers who defected to the Arabian breed, much as we had Saddlehorse trainers that infiltrated the ranks of our English horse folks. A lot of QH Reining and Cutting trainers are taking Arabs now, particularly the Reiners. But, it's all about following the money. When there is big Futurity and other prize money on the line, everyone tends to jump on that bandwagon.

Some still do produce BEAUTIFUL Arabian Western Pleasure horses. However, much of what I see winning makes me cringe.

horspoor said...

Posted this on the other topic. Realized it should be here:

JR....yes this question is for JR.

Little arab mare. Was doing really well. She's kind of a scattered tough thing to begin with. In the last week she's deteriorated. It's an odd deterioration. She's not being naughty, she's not overly hot. It's like she's lost the rhythm to her gaits. Oddest thing I've sat on in a long time. Gave me that, "holy shit we're going down" feeling. She wasn't being bad...she was just walking. Felt completely out of balance.

It felt worse than it looked, and it was worse in the turns. She's not off. No shortness of stride, no bob. I rode her with swinging reins, I rode her with a little contact, I rode her with legs on, legs off. The frame would change, the level of impulsion would change. But that unbalanced feeling of going to eat shit at moment didn't change. It gave me pit of my stomach, going to puke feeling.

Something is wrong. I have no clue what it is. But I don't think it's good.

The Turd Burglar said...

I would rather clean up after horses in training, because they are usually too tired to stomp and break up the turds. Tired horses make my job easier. On the other hand, don't teach your horses to back up to the manure pile or muck bucket to shit as that leaves me with nothing to do. "Idal dungbeetles are the Devil's pets"___First Droppings, Crapter 1, Verse 7

SFTS said...

PrairieFarmer wrote:
So then, what is the point of having a horse heavy on the front end? Is it just a show/appearance thing? I've ridden a few horses like that and I hated it. Felt like I was going to go right over their neck if we were doing anything other than real slow.
And why would you want a horse to four beat? Isn't that bad? And uncomfortable?

- - - - - - - -

Some of us don't want our horses to go forehand heavy or four beat. :) But as it has become the norm for Western Pleasure in so many venues, that is expected of a lot of WP horses. I like to call that the "crippled shuffle". I find it very uncomfortable. And also, the shifting the hips to the inside, which is something I have truly never understood the point of. I want my horses to go STRAIGHT down the rail. Yeah, it is sadly a show ring "thing".

And when you are riding a reining type horse, do you just not worry about the "forward on the bit" thing I am also reading about as well, which is more dressage or hunter/jumper style? Because the collection (control?) is more in your seat and legs?
- - - - - - - -

Most any "Western" type horse doesn't go on much, if any, real contact as you would see in an English discipline, these days. Some years back the Arabian WP rule was consciously re-written to allow for the enormously "draped reins" which became so very popular in our show ring. Example of such Here. This horse is IMO phenomenal. I just *hate* that intimidated, behind the vertical excessively draped rein look.

SFTS said...

horspoor wrote:
The game has changed so much. You used to be able to take a good horse and all around. And be competitive doing it. Now it is so specialized. I'm serious about the four beating. The jerking on the outside rein. The riders with their hand above their shoulders, 3 feet wide, yanking alternately on the reins to 'soften' their horses into some sort of bizarre caricature of what it should be. When you slow them down so much that they look like a helicopter coming in or a landing, and you totally lose the quality of the gaits (what the hell happened to three clean gaits?) I just don't want to play anymore. I see more lameness on the pleasure circuit, than on the barrel circuit. WTF?
- - - - - - - -

I've tried asking QH/Paint trainer friends why they train their horses this way, what makes the movement they achieve so desirable. All I get for an answer is, because that's just the way it is.

If judges wouldn't place these horses, trainers would not do this. But it's a vicious circle, because owners want horses that win, trainers need clients in order to stay in business ~ thus they tend to cave to the demands of the owner, and judges can only place what is in front of them. If more judges were like Peter Cameron, and had the huevos to actually place more correct horses (and in the process, piss off a number of BNT's), things would get perhaps better.

I was shocked, and saddened when I watched an Arab show. What the hell...who decided double bridles, and a saddlebred way of going was what an Arab should do?
- - - - - - - -

Double bridles have been used for Arabian English horses since at least the 50's ~ though yeah, they really seem to have evolved into a more "Saddlebred-y" manner of carriage and movement. It's far more up and down as opposed to true, natural floating Arabian movement. I miss that.

I don't have a problem with Arabian CEP, EP, Native Costume and Show Hack horses competing in double bridles. However I do see an overabundance of way too long shanks on so many of the curbs, along with some really severe bradoons.

SFTS said...

Arab-N-OTTB wrote:
UGH! Let's not get into 4 beating. At a recent all arab show the judge infuriated all but the reserve and champ by picking 4 beating ARABIANS. WTF...its in the rules excessive slowness in arabs is to be severly penalized and NOT placed!
- - - - - - - -

While it really did used to be rare in the Arabian show ring, I have noticed more and more four beating Arabs. In asking trainer friends, I get pretty much the same answer I get from the QH/Paint trainers ~ because they WIN in the show ring!

But then, there are so many specification rules in the Arab world that are routinely ignored. Hunter Pleasure horses that are supposed to be judged on their Suitability as a Hunter. Country English Pleasure horses that are supposed to be penalized for having high knee action. Extreme speed to be penalized in Native Costume classes. It just goes on and on...

SFTS said...

Cut-N-Jump wrote:
The over use of side reins, draw reins and martingales has led or helped the disgusting downward spiral of pretty much a lot of breed shows.

I'm sure someone will go all SRS on me and remind me how they use side reins on the Lipps, but how many people understand why and how they use the side reins. You only really see them in the 'Airs' work. And when attached to the girth of a saddle- how long doe your arms need to bee to get you hands that low while maintaining any type of posture? I would guess 98% of riders will never make it that far in their riding career.

- - - - - - - -

Maybe it would be beneficial to post those reasons from the SRS for using side reins, for the sake of discussion.

Who Said That? wrote:
Someone inevitably states "They use side reins! They do dressage!" whilst pointing at the SRS. Just like they did when I called out SFTS for admitting she uses them on FHotD. Big deal, so they do. Does that make the use of side reins in the dressage world mandatory? Do these people understand the why and how behind the SRS's use of them? Probably not, at least from the sounds of things, that's my understanding.
- - - - - - - -

There really was no need for any "calling out". ;) I do not hide the fact that I use side reins, and I most definitely know why I do. It has nothing to do with the SRS using them...however, for discussion's sake, let's bring the above mentioned into play.

We don't see or hear of the SRS using Rolkur, though Anky van Grunsven does it. She may have others clamoring to mimic her riding- even if that means doing Rolkur too, but it doesn't make it right or any better than any other method of actual training. It's a shortcut that produces immediate results, however short or long term the lasting effects may be.
- - - - - - - -

I've never understood the desired effect of Rolkur, myself. I have always thought that hyper-flexing was not good for the horse and caused far too many more problems than you could ever hope to solve. Has Anky, or anyone else, ever made any statements to the effect of benefits of such a method? It's not something I have searched for.

People will buy what they think will work, they use what they see others using and often have no understanding of the proper adjustment of things, let alone reasons for use or a feel for timing to get the desired response from the horse.
- - - - - - - -

That's right. Thankfully, most of my clients do trust my judgment enough to ask me for recommendations on tack, and buy what I recommend. But I insist on followups with them to fully explain *what* I am doing and *why* I am doing it.

fernvalley01 said...

STFS, Please ! For the love of Pete stop with the cut and paste!!!!

SFTS said...

Cut-N-Jump wrote:
The shows used to be fun. A chance to see old friends, talk about breeding, upcoming foals, new foals, the hopes and expectations we had for them, who showed promise as an English, western or hunter horse, who had a good show at the last one, so and so just had to put down this horse, the kids got married... In general we hung out on the rail chatting about Everything, catching up on life and cheering for our horses.

If we didn't win, it was good when our friends did. When we all swept a class, we all cheered and the order didn't matter.

- - - - - - - -

Sometimes it is still fun. You can get out there and show with your friends, with folks you enjoy showing with, catch up with old friends and just have a general blast watching beautiful horses. We do it.

PrairieFarmer wrote:
That does sound fun! Maybe you all should "take back the night" so to speak. Start your own shows! Invitation only! BYOB! Awards - just having a good healthy time, you and your horse!
- - - - - - - -

This does sound like a great idea, doesn't it. :)

And that story about the cow and that cow show? Hilarious! LOL!

- - - - - - - -

FV ~ Please, if you do not wish to read my posts, by all means when you see my handle, skip over them. Please. How about not dragging this stuff over here to this thread? Keep the bashing on the party thread. Thanks.

SFTS said...

horspoor wrote:
Yeah, that counter bend to dump them on the lead, so they basically fall and catch themselves to get the lead.
- - - - - - - -

That one is one of my major big time peeves. Um, how about teaching the horse to take a lead correct and straight? Like the rules dictate? I have had this very discussion with a number of trainers, and it always leaves me shaking my head. Best answer? "Because it's easier for my ammy's to get the right lead that way." WTF?

fernvalley01 said...

STFS , I have not issued a challege nor have I been rude .I find the c&p irritating , and simply asked that you stop or do less. I didn't "drag" anything over from anywhere.

SFTS said...

JohnieRotten wrote:
Along with those stupid ducking show outfits that they where now. What is wrong with a regular western shirt and jeans.
- - - - - - - -

Awww come on now JR, I like some of the show outfits. ;) But guys look just fine in the western shirts and jeans. They'd look sort of silly wearing anything frilly, silky or shiny from Hobby Horse...

rosesr4evr wrote:
Here here about the ridiculous Las Vegas showgirl outfits! I wish they would go back to minimal silver and regular clothes. Lots of luck on THAT one though, too many people just love their $5000-$10,000 outfits.
- - - - - - - -

Ya see, I find some really beautiful show clothes, for fairly inexpensive. I have a pretty extensive wardrobe, and have spend relatively little on it, but I love the clothes. My daughter says it's like playing a "grown up" version of dress up. My most expensive item by far was my Arabian Native Costume. Even it didn't cost me an arm and a leg...well under $2,000.

cattypex wrote:
Heh. I wish people understood that $$$ does NOT equal quality - well, OK, how bout that Armani suit? THAT is expensive, but .... not gaudy.
- - - - - - - -

Those gaudy clothes, the bright neon colors, the spangles and sequins, that sort of thing is a put off to me. Tasteful doesn't have to be gaudy, but it can be expensive, depending on where you buy. It might be easier on us, though, if the trend swung back toward the simpler things. I don't see that happening. At least we aren't having a return of those bright, jewel toned day coats in the Arabian show ring's Saddleseat classes! ;)

- - - - - - - -

FV, I am sorry you find it irritating that I c&p what I am replying to. It helps me focus on what I wish to address, and isn't meant to offend. That said, I've been trying to only c&p the few words from each post that I really wish to address. I am sorry if that bothers you, though I don't know what to tell you.

JohnieRotten said...

SFTS

How about we keep the bashing off of the blog.

While I have no intention on blocking you please keep the cutting and pasting to a minimum. I am after all a cutting horse trainer, not a cutting and pasting trainer.

SFTS said...

I can agree with that, LOL. Keeping the bashing OFF the blog sounds peachy to me. :)

And I have tried to only pull out to c&p the sentences I'm responding directly to, for reference. I often find myself wondering what someone is referring to if they don't pull a snippet of a post. I also see a lot of folks doing a c&p. Maybe it's just that I do it in an irritating way? LOL

It seems to me that a key goal here should be addressing each other in a respectful manner. No baiting, bashing or any of the nastiness seen on the Party thread. By anyone, including me.

littledog said...

Hi PrairieFarmer, I hope you're still here. Here's a really uncomplicated thing about lateral flexion vs. moving off your leg (from someone who is eventing-trained, recently started to finally get more serious about dressage, loves backcountry trail riding/horse camping/farm riding--all with the same horse, with mixed results:P)
To achieve lateral flexion, keep your inside leg at the girth. Use your whole leg pressure evenly, from the heel to the upper thigh. Keep your outside rein steady, except what is needed to control speed. Ask and release with your inside rein, to keep an even curve throughout your horse's body and neck. As you achieve a more balanced bend, with no outside-shoulder-popping or falling on the inside, try making smaller circles by pushing him around more with your outside upper leg and thigh, and vary the size of the circles depending on the results you get.

When you want the horse to move away from your leg, use that leg, mostly your lower leg, a few inches behind the girth. Keep the rest of his body and neck straight by keeping even contact on both reins. Start with turn-on-the-forehand at the halt, then when he understands the cue, try moving his body around briefly at faster paces, all while keeping him straight.
Sorry if this is "riding 101" to you--you probably know as much as I do since we both did cross-country on hot horses on our youth--but I just wanted to distill some basic riding skills out of all the weird "this is what's required in breed shows" stuff. Hope it helps.

PrairieFarmer said...

Littledog -
This is great! Thanks! And I love all the pointers. This is pretty much how we I was working with her yesterday. What is nice with me is to get some of this stuff explained. And reminding me of how to do it, cuz it's been a LONG time!

cattypex said...

I'm not very good at explaining X, Y, Z = RESULT!

The successes and epiphanies I've had have been the result of a bunch of teaching, reading and FEELING kind of mixing together in my brain, and then... one day... if I'm lucky, AHA!!! It happened, and the horse understood it, I knew how to get it, etc.

Systems & methods are great for the beginning "how to" stuff, but like a voice teacher told me after years of lessons, "OK, you KNOW all that stuff, now just stand up there, don't think about it, and frickin' SING."

Is my long winded way of explaining what a TA DAAAA experience it is when you get that lateral flexion going.

Now I need to get my own horse and get back in good riding shape again, so I can re-learn all that stuff.

cattypex said...

Oh, and I actually LIKED those bright day coats, when they were well-made. A friend had a gorgeous raw silk Fuschia coat that looked stunning on her gray Arab. Of course it lived in a garment bag until 30 seconds before a class...

That WP Arab looks AWFUL. WHO thinks this is pretty, compared with
http://www.wiwfarm.com/jpg3/bookc03.jpg

JohnieRotten said...

Cp

What I like to tell people is to make the horse an extension of you. Once that happens it all becomes a lot easier get the horse to work to understand what you want. Remember, when you are on the horses back you are a team.

When my students hear that then they start to make huge positive changes

SFTS said...

My last day coat was silver raw silk. It was gorgeous. If I still had it, I'd probably wear it. I bought it to go on a grey horse with a navy suit and a number of various ties. But there are just some things that I thought were in bad taste.

I prefer more subtlety, especially for Country Pleasure, and because it's supposed to be conservative. But then again, take a look at what the upper level Hunter Pleasure horses are looking like. If we're not careful, Arabian Hunter horses are going to start looking like the HP Morgans, all bridled up and trotting level.

Doesn't that WP horse just make your stomach turn? Well, not the horse, he is incredible, but the headset / behind the vertical / excessive drape. That's the extreme in the show ring that a lot of us work against these days and have to contend with.

Alright, I'm out to ride for a while. I spent a lot of yesterday hiding from lightning strikes and scowling at the rain. :( Hopefully the thunderstorms are done for the week!

Who Said That? said...

SFTS- The reasons behind the use of side reins in the SRS have been discussed.

You mentioned keeping the snide remarks and personal battles on the other thread, yet you come to this one and start back in. Complete with the cut, paste, italics and bold. Even though you have been asked by numerous posters to STOP!

You claim to be a professional, but your behavior lately, does not reflect that. Instead you appear more or less, just another 'bad egg' for others sharing of the same chosen career field.

Dena said...

JR-Mom called. She said you have exactly until she gets home from work to get your cyber room clean.
She also said, if you didn't she was going to hit you with something that would make your rolled up newspaper look like a Barbie baton.
Sorry for your trouble.:)

Good post on bringing back laid off show horses.
Bob Avila says, he can never understand why people want to pay him $1200 a month to bring their horses into training condition.
Crazy huh!?!

SFTS said...

WST ~ note that after JR requested that I "keep c&p to a minimum", I have not yet copied and pasted ANYTHING on this blog. He is the blog owner. I am honoring his request. It will be at a *minimum*

He has also asked that bashing be kept off the blog, yet it continues.

Are you a part of the problem, or a part of the solution?

Feel free to go to Dena's blog if you wish to bash me. That seems to be the major hobby there. But don't expect me to follow.

Back out to ride more...

horspoor said...

CP,
I looked at the link you posted, and thought...yeah that's what it should look like. I then looked at the date on the cover...of course I thought that's what it should look like.

cattypex said...

I know *sigh*

That horse has some good bone, too....

The horse in the recent photo looks so unhappy.

The horse from 1977 looks very naturally elegant and... FUN! Like he and his rider are a team.


I will nevereverever understand rich owners who never hang out with - let alone RIDE - their horses. Sheeesh. If I were a bajillionaire, you can bet I'd be at the barn ALL THE TIME.


So what if you're bringing back a horse who's been out of the show ring for a looooooong time, like.. a decade.... and a bunch of changes have happened since? Is it advisable to even try? Or .... ?

cattypex said...

Here's how I like to see a halter horse, so that I can actually JUDGE it, like I was taught in 4-H:
http://harmonyroad.com/ref/Mosry.htm

and now I will shaddup with the nostalgia.

Heh, I've never showed Arabians, I've just always liked them.

horspoor said...

CP,

When I was a horse crazy kid...this horse lived across from our ranch in the summer. They'd move most of the stock out of PHX in the summers up to Parks.

http://www.camelotfarmsarabians.com/cp_naborr_p2.html


I really loved this horse. He was a gentleman. He and his owner were both very kind to horse crazy little girls. I later worked for the owners.

cattypex said...

WOW! Even *I* have heard of Naborr, and that's sayin' something. ; )

soooo pretty.

cattypex said...

OK, one more thing I just randomly came across, because Johnny Johnston has been taking photos for a jillion years and I googled.

http://www.boldheart.com/TTL/ThroughTheLens_03-10.pdf

Cut-N-Jump said...

CP & HP, I like how MisDee is riding correctly with her legs on the horses side, all contact on the snaffle rein, head in the correct and natural position, too.

Don't see much of that anymore...

Cut-N-Jump said...

CP- I used to have an Arabian Horse World or Times from 1975. I won't disclose my age then or now, but I can say the horses it contained on the pages within looked like the one in your link from 2 years later.

Not much had changed in those two years. The rest between then and now? Can we just not go there? Please?

*Bask, Khemosabi, The Real McCoy, Aladdin, *Naborr, *Asaad, Raffles, *Muscat, Skrowneck, Padron, Hilanny Mistany, El Hillal, Ferzon, Sotep... all and more were in there on the pages. I lost it when I kicked my rat bastard of an ex to the curb.

horspoor said...

Yeah MisDee could ride. I remember showing against her. I'd be on my Fadjur son, she'd be on some Naborr baby. She'd quietly torture me..."When are you going to get a Naborr horse? When are you going to get a real Arab." lol It was really funny. Seeing it just written it sounds rude and mean...but she was playing. It didn't come across nasty at all at the time.

horspoor said...

I really really like the Hallany Mistanny horses. Man that was a cool horse, and passed it to his offspring. The fact that his 'look and type' still shows through in so many of his descendents says a lot.

cattypex said...

Between Awesome 4H Leader, and all y'all... if I'm not careful, I'll end up with a A-Rab!

Lord knows you can find a lot of cute ones for decent prices.....

SFTS said...

Unhappy seems to be the order of the day in WP horses, no matter the breed. I had a gal ask me once why all the Western horses "looked so depressed". I couldn't really give her an answer.....

I preferred Gai Parada+++ to Mosry+. :) It's in the neck.

And Cattypex, don't you just have to love JJ's photos? Just like Sparagowski. He sure had an eye! :) We have some exceptionally talented newer Arabian photographers these days, too. I'm planning to have Bridget Lockridge out soon to do some photos for us :) :)

HP, did you work for Mr Chauncey? A friend of mine, Candi Pettibon, worked for him for quite some time in the 1980's. She never had anything but good to say about him. Misdee was an excellent rider. I remember being so incredibly impressed with her. Remember the column she wrote for that Arabian magazine? She made some great observations, I used to have all of those issues.

My old grey gelding is sired by a *Naborr grandson ~ his sire is out of the *Naborr daughter JDW Sans Souci. :)

CnJ, if your magazine was from 1975, there likely would have been no mention of *Aladdinn, *Muscat or *Padron. *Aladdinn was just foaled in '75 and wasn't imported until 1978, the year before he went National Champion Stallion. *Muscat, though foaled in the early 70's, wasn't imported until '78 either, after the ban on Russian horses was finally lifted, two years before he was named National Champion Stallion (1980). 1982 National Champion Stallion *Padron was not even foaled until 1977, and imported by Make Believe Farm in I believe 1978. Just sayin. ;)

Cut-N-Jump said...

HP- There was a Hallany Mistany mare I worked with a the first Arab farm I was at. She was one of twins.

Short and fat did not begin to cover it. She would have made our 'couch' mare look sick and thin. Hai Rachelle was a round mare in many ways, but she did produce some gorgeous babies. You could only clip her from one side and her back feet were an issue when we started out.

I was always sent out to the pasture for her because everyone else thought she was a bitch and hard to catch. Her and I had a chat, then no further problems. I even rode her back to the pasture in a halter & lead a few times.

Was she broke? No. Not then. Did I know better? Sure did. She was a sweet horse that just wouldn't tolerate much bullshit.

She was buddies with a Sotep bred mare. My gelding as it turned out was a Sotep G-Gson. Those were some BIG horses with substance, but a bit coarse.

horspoor said...

I like them...but maybe they aren't for everybody, huh Cut? lol

SFTS said...

CnJ, sometimes Saddleseat riders do still ride correctly, these days. :) Take a look at some of the kids competing in the W/T division, as well as the 13 & Under and 14-17 Youth riders. More than a few of them are amazing little riders, and correct!

Cattypex, you SHOULD get yourself one of these crazy Ayrabs. :) You'll be thanking yourself and telling everyone it's the best thing you've ever done! :P

While I never got to see Hallany Mistanny himself, the Mekeel Ranch down in Temecula stood Zar Hallany. We had a Half-Arab son of his named Ztargazar. Beautiful little WP horse, too small in those days to compete as a Halter horse, but correct as they came. My mother always attributed that to Hallany Mistanny.

Cut-N-Jump said...

SFTS- Muscat's picture I'm thinking was from his stay at Karho, next door to Paradise Park which is long gone. The Park, not Karho. So he probably wasn't in there, like you said.

There were plenty of greats though and none of them were the contorted looking freaks we see in the ring now. No bulging bug eyes, the only extremely stretched freakish looking neck IMO, was Ivanhoe Tsultan. He looked like someone added a little too much extra neck in the mix.

Hooves. You could actually see the hooves! Not just in one or two pic's either. The entire leg and the Hooves! Rarely did they have stacks of pads or giant shoes either. There was a weight limit on shoes for showing too. Throw a shoe, there was a brief time out in which the shoe was found, weighed and reset.

Cut-N-Jump said...

SFTS- some of the trainers though- their legs are a mile from the horses sides. Bill Porcher's asst. was riding a western horse at Scottsdale like that. Seriously a WTF? moment.

Any movement in the leg for cues is NOTICEABLE! Of course a lot of those horses were four beating, stiff, strung out behind and miserable looking anyways.

Cut-N-Jump said...

HP- Funny you say that. Some 'lines' people are drawn to and others run from.

I'm trying to think of which ones I dealt with most that were easiest to get along with and loved everyone.

JohnieRotten said...

SFTS

I was Mr Chauncey's stallion barn manager in 1983. I got to ride Kaborr, Amir Kaborr and got to hang out with Assad

I was also there when that nasty mare Gardenia was brought over from Lasma.

I also hung out with Misdee and she was a not of a party girl. And yes she could rideca horse too.

I also used to hang put with Dan and Robin Gainey back I'm the mid 80s. I did prefer the Gai Parada horse because
of substance.

Soon after that I got out of Arabs for the most part.

SFTS said...

Yeah, Tsultan was sort of a freak. I was trying to find the picture of him they used often in advertising ~ it wasn't this one, but similar. I knew a son of his, Tsultans Tsunrise.

You know, I hate the "hide the legs in grass" thing. Artsy pictures are just NOT my cup of tea.

And back in the 70's/80's pad stacks were not allowed in the Arabian show ring. It wasn't until late 80's/early 90's (would have to look it up to verify exactly when) that we were given the option of using one pad, then in the late 90's the rule change which allowed stacked pads was approved.

SFTS said...

You've got me about that "legs a mile off the horse" thing. What it seems like to me, from observation, is that trainers and riders are worried they're going to push the horse out of that depressed, robotic, crippled looking gait.

SFTS said...

JR, do you remember Misdee's bay English and Costume horse she rode and did so well on in the 80's? I'm drawing a complete blank...but I loved the horse. I want to say it was a Heritage bred horse, but I'm totally not recalling his name.

SFTS said...

cattypex wrote:
So what if you're bringing back a horse who's been out of the show ring for a looooooong time, like.. a decade.... and a bunch of changes have happened since? Is it advisable to even try? Or .... ?
- - - - - - - -

Cut and paste, sorry. :)

If you're talking about trying to show a horse in today's show ring as you would in the 70's, or even the 80's, sure you could do it, but you would more than likely be wasting cubic dollars trying to do so. Most judges today I don't believe are open minded enough to even give a horse presented in that manner a look.

JohnieRotten said...

SFTS

The horse name was Hertage Emir~

SFTS said...

Heritage Emir...that's it! I knew it was a Heritage horse, but it had just escaped me. Thanks :)

He was a Canadius son, right?

You know, I should have remembered, he is the sire of Heir To Glory, and I have a client who's breeding to him next year!

CharlesCityCat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CharlesCityCat said...

Guess you had to be there!

Arabs don't do well here in my part of the country, just sayin.

cattypex said...

All the Arabs and Morgans I've ridden (all huntseat) have been HOOTS.

One of my faves. was one of the dumped Lasma geldings. Pretty little gray with the most cutest expression....... I would've bought him if I could....

I guess the only way I'd want to bring back a horse after a decade away would be if they'd been a winner in their day, and then "styles" changed for the worse, and then you wanted to bring back your excellent oldster to prove a point...

Like Bjorn Borg.

See how well THAT worked!!

Anyway..... to be vaguely on topic...

Are people actually bringing their broodmares back into the show ring instead of breeding this year?

Or.... no more than usual?

Dena said...

CCC Arabian Hunters? Don't do well in your neck of the woods?
*collapses in a fit of uncontrollable laughter*

LizBeth said...

JR - When you worked for Chauncey ... did you work with a woman named Dawn Green? Just curious as she is the manager of Los Cedros now, as well as a being an instructor at SCC for 15 plus years ... although I'm sure you know all that already Lol.

I ask only because I considered her one of my mentors for a very long time. Hell of a lady, and taught me more than I could ever accredit to any one else.

As for topics for future discussion ...

1. how to put a "STOP NOW" type stop on a horse that doesn't have a clue.

2. maybe a basic conformation clinic? like what .... oh hell forget which magazine does it... but they picture 3 horses together and you pick which has the best conformation while the expert explains which is the best to the worst and why. That is ALWAYS helpful even to those of us that have been horsey our entire lives.

3. what about horses that aren't being trained for any specific purpose other than just to make a good horse out of them? I'm trying to figure out how I can maybe explain the question in my head here... A horse that is in rehab training, yet won't ever be shown. Headsets and the specific discipline training don't apply... yet collection and the like still need to be taught. How to work with a horse that isn't being taught any specific thing, but just to be a 'great horse'. Not sure if I'm making myself clear here.

4. how to fix a problem with a horse that tips its nose to the outside of a turn at the trot (we haven't loped yet). I've had one suggestion on how to fix it, but so far its not working.

5. pros and cons between having a horse move away from leg pressure and moving into leg pressure.

hmm thats all i can think of for now, thats just what came into my head while reading the rest of the comments.
um.... thats all for the moment? lol.

JohnieRotten said...

Lizbeth

thanks for the ideas.

I believe I did work with Dawn Green. The name is really familiar.

Tomorrow I doing ride two and three on a young horse and then on Sunday I planng on talking about a stop.

I defintely need the ideas.

fraidykat said...

Gosh my eyes hurt after getting through all these comments. How did I miss this blog before?

About those low headed qh's.
Youtube has videos of qh show driving classes. They keep their heads low and mosey along just like they do in wp classes. Now I am not one who thinks a horse should be driven with its head unnaturally high, but a horse should be able to take you to town and back in a reasonable amount of time. My gosh, wake 'em up a little..

horspoor said...

I think Arabs would do better everywhere, and more people would like them if it wasn't so artificial.

Arabs have gotten a bad rap. They aren't by nature skitish, spooky, wild eyed kites on strings. That's been created by the breeders, trainers, and handlers bizarre ideal of what they should be. The quietest horse I own is half arab. I'll tell you what, he doesn't have the heat and sting the cowbreds do.

I think people got the wrong idea. They thought, oh so hot, spirited, we should show that. And accentuated it and have made a mess as far as I'm concerned.

Kind of like, oh quarters are quiet with a lower headset, flatter movement and they accentuated it to the detriment of the breed.

pedfjords said...

Fraidykat,

Check out some non-QH driving videos. I cant stand watching the QH ( and others ) breed shows anymore. Give me your basic ADS pleasure driving class and Im in.
Of course with our Nordic beasts, we shoot for most everything natural. Love it. Lisa

PrairieFarmer said...

horspoor -
Here! Here! I grew up thinking Arabs were bug-eyed, neurotic crazy animals. Then I was lucky enough to ride for a summer with this slightly wacked, definitely "horse poor" lady (w/ probably hoarding tendencies, although I don't recall any skinny horses), who had a serious thing for rescuing and rehabbing Arabians. She had a bunch from show trainers that she had gotten because they were "dangerous" and "psycho" and couldn't be controlled. How did she fix them? Well, she had no arena really. What she would do would just take a new horse and start ponying it. Everywhere. A lot. Through pastures, woods, beaches, town. Then she would put a saddle on it and pony it. Then eventually she would put a person on the horse and pony the horse and person. Pretty soon, horse seemed to figure out life. She gave those horses so much to think about by giving them such a varied, stimulating life, I think she just helped put their heads back on straight. Let them be a horse.
I remember riding those "crazy" arabs all over the place. I remember one point even riding them over big stacks of driftwood to get to a beach. I think this seems crazy now - prime way to break a leg. But what I remember is how great those horses where at calmly picking their way through it, it was kinda like riding a goat. I remember taking them and riding in foxhunts (I rode an endurance type arab that did that great extended trot - we floated! - and just dusted all the other folks moseying along on half appys - that was the rage back then, I guess - in their hand gallop!).
I don't once remember those "arabs" having any crazy moments, even spooking, refusing or anything nuts. They were amazingly reliable even with young kids that were beginner riders.
Ever since then I have totally appreciated the breed but just feel so disgusted when I see what happens to them in the wrong hands.

windingwinds said...

My first horse was a Arab, swayback litte grey mare, um no we didn't show well against the qh nation here, but we had more fun. I've always liked to have something different, no fun to follow the crowd on sorrel qh!

Hayley said...

jr-cnj-
love the blog, usually when people find out my hubby rides, they assume he either has a husband safe horse (im still confused on what that is, is beginner safe and husband safe the same thing? are we talking about the horse is guy proof ie will stop and ask for directions even if rider doesn't want to?) or that hes gay..him being gay wouldn't do me much good would it..although, i did get pink water buckets for his mare :0)


i love how you posted that you returned to working the horse at the walk. egos are at a bigger play around where i live, than whats good for the horse.

cattypex said...

PF that's an awesome story!! That lady was doing a good things, giving those horses a real life.

Pretty sorry comment on the state of the show industry that horses have to be rehabbed from showing....

No wonder so many don't want to work!

windingwinds said...

JR-bit question, lease mare for 4h rides in snaffle, our 4h requires curb bit in horses over 5, which bit would be mildest to get her in? (I would prefer snaffle forever, if it aint broke why fix it?)

SFTS said...

Wonderful story, PF!

Usually those former Arabian show horses needing all that deprogramming and decompression time are the Halter horses. They don't have to be trained in an abusive manner, even to get that beautiful Halter stand up. Not all of us want our horses bug-eyed and jumping out of their skin. :)

CCC, in some shows out here, under some judges, Arabians don't do well, either. I have some clients who just prefer to stick with all Arabian shows, because of that stark reality. :(

Cattypex, my new Hunter gelding is a BLAST. :) Of course he is a Purebred Arabian! On the broodmare thing, I haven't seen any real change out here, though people do seem to be breeding less. I know I didn't breed anything this year, even though we intended to, but I don't have anything that's "just a broodmare" now.

LizBeth, those are some GREAT topics! I hope JR tackles all of them, because there could be some fantastic learning for us all.

Fraidycat ~ watching QH's in a driving class is painful for me. It's nothing like watching a good working driving horse (like Pedsfjords' horses) or some of the other breeds (Saddlebreds, Morgans, Arabians) that are a true thing of beauty when driven.

HP is right, of course, Arabians AREN'T naturally dingy, spooky horses. I have several that are sane, excellent lesson horses, one in particular that I know I can trust with any beginner child, and I have used many others, too. "Crazy Ayrabs" indeed!.

Hayley, my interpretation of a "husband safe horse" would be one I could attack handlebars to the saddle and he could ride safely. :P LOL But really, I have always figured those would be the same as a child safe, lesson type horse. I know you didn't ask for my take, so I hope you're not offended that I answered.

Windingwinds, if you wouldn't mind, I would also be happy to let you know what works for me when I transition a Western horse into a curb from the snaffle. Just let me know. :)

JohnieRotten said...

Windingwinds

If they will let you, a shank snaffle with a 6" to 7" dog leg shank is what I prefer. Remember the longer and staighter the shank the harder the bit is. If they will not let you use a shank snaffle, then a grazing bit is the way to go.

You can and would reccomend continuing to school in the snaffle and make sure that the rider understands how the curb works. Also remeber when you put the curb in the horses mouth keep working on lateral flexion to keep the corners of that horses mouth soft.

autumnblaze said...

I was of the mindset (started in horses working at vet school equine hospital) Arabs are crazy spooky freaks - but they're pretty. Learned to ride on QH's and WB's. The bigger the better in my head at the time...

I'm riding an ex nationals hunt seat champ (RS Renegade son of Desperado V). He'll be mine in a matter of weeks. He's got a spook on him on the trails... but he was a show pony and he's anything but a fruit - if not lazy. Has bone and is a good size (15.2). I never thought I'd ride an Arab ... now I'm not sure I'd want anything else. Love the personality, love the size, love that there's a brain between his ears. Any thoughts on his lines? I'm told they're good but I know jack shiz.

Also the farm who I'm getting him from (he's their daughers ex show horse) is a small time Arab breeding operation. She loves to go on about the lines... I know very little. She's very particular and spends tons on breeding. I'd be interested to know what someone else who knows the lines better than myself thinks. I think they're fantastic horses (they are raised right too). Check it out.

www.jmarabians.com

autumnblaze said...

CCC - You're very correct in that Arabs do not do well here in open shows.

I'm pretty sure people think I'm nuts because I'm getting an Arab.

Good lord do Arabss get a bad rap around here (and on the other side of the state where I'm from)... I have spent my fair share of time at the local Arab A barn here no names...) and I guess if you go there you might get that impression but I'd be psycho too if I was stalled 24/7.

JohnieRotten said...

Autumnblaze

I do not really remember all of the Arab breeding but I can say this. Regardless of what the pedigree says. A good horse is a good horse, whether he is well bred or not.

autumnblaze said...

JR - Here, here!

SFTS said...

Autumnblaze, first of all, congratulations to you for acquiring such a cool horse! I don't know of him, however he sounds like a wonderful gentleman! May you have MANY years of fun and enjoyment with him!!

And welcome to the "Arabian family"!! :)

Thoughts on his lines...you say he's by Desperado V, I personally LOVE the Varian horses. Desperado tends to produce more Western-type horses than anything, but all of them that I've seen (which have been many) are on whole exceptionally nice horses. Who is his dam and how is she bred? Is this horse on the all breed pedigree site? I may be able to give you a lot more insight into his bloodlines if I could see the full pedigree.

As for the farm you're getting him from and their breeding program/lines, I am very impressed with the blood behind their mares and I think VERY highly of the stallions they've been breeding to.

Afire Bey V ~ one of my FAVORITE sires of all time, quickly becoming the very favorite. I wanted to breed my English mare to him some years ago, before his book was originally closed and before his stud fee rocketed right out of my realm to afford.

Afires Heir ~ this is THE horse I plan to breed the aforementioned mare to. I fell in love with this horse the first time I set eyes on one of his videos from early training. Then he went on to be named unanimous Scottsdale Champion English Pleasure Junior Horse and unanimous US National Champion English Pleasure Junior Horse in 2007, then unanimous Scottsdale Champion English Pleasure Open and unanimous US National Champion English Pleasure Open in 2008. I certainly hope I can still afford him next year... :)

HF Mister Chips+ ~ wonderful horse, wonderful pedigree, outstanding athlete and sadly under-used as a sire of English horses.

SF Specs Shocwave ~ the sire of this past February's Scottsdale English Pleasure Futurity class, SF Aftershoc, who was stunning. He is another Afire Bey V son, who seems to be outproducing himself (even though he is a National Reserve Champion).

Enzo ~ National Champion, sire of National Champion Eden C and more...this horse is producing incredible Halter horses and many of the young ones that have hit the show ring under saddle thus far have been awesome. Troy E is one of the most superb Arabian Hunter Pleasure horses I've seen in a long, LONG time.

Khadraj NA ~ I have always liked the (predominantly) Western horses he has produced, and his daughters seem to be producing phenomenally as well. Good old Russian blood mixed with a little bit of "American" breeding. JR should like him, and not only because he's out of a Kaborr granddaughter. ;) He's sired horses like National Champions RA Monaco, Kharaktor++/ and RA Lanai (who was also a National TT Reiner). Someday I'd love to get my hands on one of his daughters.

You're not nuts for getting an Arabian. :) You're the smart one. They get a bad rap here, too, and oftentimes have to be SO much better than the other breeds in order to do well against all breed competition, but it's so satisfying when they do succeed.

JR is SOOO right.

"Regardless of what the pedigree says. A good horse is a good horse, whether he is well bred or not."

I'd take it further and say, a good horse is a good horse, no matter what registry his papers are filed with, or what blood (pedigreed or not) flows through his veins.

Again, congrats!!

GoLightly said...

Good grief.

Cut-N-Jump said...

fraidykat- Stock horse driving classes?

Please don't get this group started. Proper position of the shafts is *level*.

So much to rant about there and so little time.

Cut-N-Jump said...

SFTS-
JR is SOOO right.

"Regardless of what the pedigree says. A good horse is a good horse, whether he is well bred or not."

I'd take it further and say, a good horse is a good horse, no matter what registry his papers are filed with, or what blood (pedigreed or not) flows through his veins.


Or what color the horse is. Spots, stripes or day-glo green!

CharlesCityCat said...

Personally, I like Arabians as a breed. They don't do well around here because they don't move or jump like the accepted standard. I say pish-posh on that but hell, I am the one who was showing a Palomino QH in hunters back in the nineties.

SFTS said...

CnJ...I always wanted one of those "horses of a different color". You know, like that horse in the Wizard of Oz.

But seriously. I had a lady who came to look at a gelding one of my clients had for sale. "But he's BAY." Like that was a bad thing. Or the guy who wasn't interested in a little mare who would have been PERFECT for his daughter. Why? "I don't like grey horses, I want one of those fancy, colored horses for her." Then there was the lady who bought the black & white pinto National Show Horse gelding (former EP and Driving horse, only recently gelded) to be her neighborhood trail horse, because "He was SO flashy!" And then he proceeded to dump her and send her to the hospital more than once, because he was waaay too much horse for her.

Hayley said...

sfts-and however else is bored enough to read what i post.

here i was picturing a horse that could mow the lawn, drive a truck, order pizza...........

Hayley said...

jr-
still not making progress on the whole bit deal......

saddle fitter said the mare had a fat tougue, (!) so rubber, while the mare went best in it, was taking up too much room in her mouth in her opinion, though the only thing ive seen mare do is chew the rubber down..

she put some 120 dollar bit in her mouth, of course im praying with that price tag it won't be the ideal one, it was a myler? im sure im spelling it wrong, and that didn't work that well either.

she fusses in a snaffle..

although people praise bitless bridles, i don't have the desire to go that route yet.

JohnieRotten said...

Hayley

Depending on what you mean by fussing, it sounds like that is nothing new as she chewed down the rubber snaffle.

I like a horse that works the bit because that is how they lubricate their mouths. Also as far as fussing in the snaffle it may be that she needs to be ridden with a little light contact for support.

She may need to have her teeth checked.

What kind of Myler bit?

SFTS said...

Hayley, LOL! That would be a horse my husband would fall in love with for sure...

On your bit issue, hope you don't mind if I weigh in ~ like JR said, I too would get her teeth checked. If that's already been done, I would look into a bit that lies as contoured to her mouth as possible. My preference is a French link/dogbone or oval mouth bit. They tend to generally be softer and more mild than the Mylers. But Myler has a LOT of bits.

I don't really like the rubber covered bits and they do tend to be quite thick. Recently I had to change bits on a youngster from one of them, because he does have a fairly small mouth and a relatively low palate. I'm working him in a regular smooth snaffle now, and he is almost a different horse.

JR ~ What is your preferred mouthpiece made of? I like the inlaid copper and the sweet iron. Do you have a preference? And if so, why?

Cut-N-Jump said...

All this talk about color... and JR will likely kill me for this, but he can deal. Put down the paper dear.

His pali mare was not anything he would have looked at twice because of her color. I had shown him another pali mare in our search for new additions to the herd. I liked the horse, but the first words out of his mouth were, "But she's palomino."

Now he's hooked on her and there's not much hope for anyone wishing to pry the lead out of his hands.

I recently found out my pony stally is a pretty rare color combo and 80% chance he will likely pass on some color when bred. Yet he has 2 fillies on the ground from years gone by and he's not being promoted.

Nice horses with good confo, good personalities and working brains! Color and pedigree are the bonuses. However, pedigrees tend to give you an idea of what you might expect- in both confo and brains.

JohnieRotten said...

Sfts

I prefer an Offset D ring sweet iron with copper inlay becuase
1 they iron and copperake the horse work the bit

2 because iron rusts and horses love rust

3 the offset d has a straight bar on one side so allowing th rider to apply slight pressure to get the horse to give.

I believe they are $16 or $17 in the Schneiders catalog.

JohnieRotten said...

Oh and I don't liike Myler bits.

SFTS said...

JR, that's why I love the sweet iron and copper inlaid bits. Keeps mouths nice! I have a couple of offset dee's.

Out of curiosity, what don't you like about the Myler's?

JohnieRotten said...

The problem that I have with Myler is that everything they produce has a roller or barrel on it. I hate that on my snaffles. I do have one snaffle with a French link on it but not a barrel.

SFTS said...

Okay, hey, thanks JR.

There are a few Myler mouthpieces that don't have barrels. I know this only because I have two of them. :)

CharlesCityCat said...

JR and SFTS:

The sweet iron bits you are talking about, are these just western bits? I really don't recall seeing sweet iron bits listed in my oh so english catalogs. I use plain D-ring copper snaffles on mine. They like rust? I am truly intrigued.

I have a question for all:

In the many comments on "equipment" I have gotten the feeling that standing martingales are frowned upon. I would really appreciate some explanation on why.

I ride hunters and in my area, they are pretty much a piece of standard tack.

JohnieRotten said...

CCC

the bits we are talking about are found pretty much everywhere and in every discipline.

As far as standing martigales are concerend, there use is not so much frowned if used properly. What we frown upon is the over use of them as a way to take short cuts in the horses training. But that goes for all martingales, drawreins and other such devices.

cattypex said...

Hey, George Morris said something NICE about Arabs in Jumping Clinic in a recent PH! Something about how some folks don't like the flatter jumping style, but he thinks that their quickness and agility more than made up for it....

I think it would be kind of neat to kick it old school on a true spade bit horse someday. I've seen it done before on a few horses around here (AGES ago), and got the "you should be able to ride effectively with a silken thread with this horse and this bit, IF you've got the right hands to do it" lecture.

It's just so ... BEAUTIFUL and light, something very romantic about it, and it speaks volumes about the training and riding that horse has had - not to mention what it says about the rider, if it's done well.

Other than that, though, I really like a full-cheek snaffle (they look cool, and I think give you a smidgen more control without harshness - just a smidgen), either a regular or Dr. Bristol mouth, depending upon the horse's preference.

horspoor said...

I'd personally opt for a regular french, rather than a Bristol. The 'dogbone' on the bristol is substantially longer, and the way it lays tends to be sharp. The length of the dogbone also makes it a pretty harsh bit.

I do have one. It's Cat's big girl bit. Somedays I need a tad more on her. Her normal everyday is a loose ring french...even when running barrels. Her big girl bit days are those, I'm going to shake my head, stuff it between my knees and buck your happy ass off days. lol I'm not even sure if it's so much to get rid of me, as I feel the need to buck. She was a nasty bucker when I got her. Bronc bawl, walking on her front legs with her butt in the air, and can sunfish. (wuuhhhh, glad that's over with). So the Bristol has enough bite I can get ahold of her head into my knee. lol

Hayley said...

jr and sfts
thanks for the quick reply.

she got floated by our wonderful dentist thanksgiving time, 2 weeks after we bought her.

she was very defensive first time in snaffle, refusing to take contact at all, throwing her head up, ect. she was tought some english, but was used as a heeler for awhile, so we are getting her used to not being so depending on neck reining. we downsized to the rubber, which i thought up until yesturday when the saddle fitter told me she had a fat toungue (!) that she was going well in it. she was just starting to get into enough shape to accept light contact, ect. im not sure which myler bit she tried, it was very $$$$..it had some roller piece in the middle for her to play with. we tried various sweet bits, she manages to get her toungue over it.....
the saga continues... :)
shes a very patient sort of mare to be putting up with all this.
shnieders? wow. here my hubby thought that there wasn't a horse catologue out there that i didn't have.. we have stateline tack and dover, and of course the lovely i know everything your an idiot owner person whatever at the local tack shop...

SFTS said...

Hilda Gurney likes Arabians, too. :) So, they are making some inroads within both the H/J and the Dressage communities. Did you ever hear of Russian Roulett? Pretty incredible little Purebred Arabian jumper, who retired last year.

Spade bit horses...I have gone to a couple of clinics Sheila Varian did on putting the horse to a spade. Also, there is a local bit maker named Stan Ruano who was a master bit maker, specializing in half breeds and spades...and Ervin Quick's son Mike has taken over the family bit business, they produce some spades.

In snaffles, I really like the full cheeks and the half cheeks, too. They tend not to slide into the horse's mouth like an o-ring does. And since I hate using a curb strap on a snaffle bit, I prefer them to that alternative. Dr Bristol mouth is a pretty severe one, which is why I'd rather use a French link or an oval mouth if I'm wanting a three piece mouthpiece, unless I need the extra "ooomph" of a Dr Bristol. One of my Bristol's is actually a bradoon, I've needed it for a couple of pretty strong English horses, LOL. But it's better than going to a twisted wire one...

Hayley, does she still try to get her tongue over the bit, and what sort of mouthpiece were you using on her when she did that? Because I have a few "tricks" to get them to stop that. Just let me know. :)

And you had not heard of Schneiders?? LOL...then I won't tell you about all the other tack catalogs out that I have. :P Your hubby will be happy about it, though. Mine isn't. Ha!

JohnieRotten said...

Hayley

I know your frustration.

Ten years ago I had a horse in training that was so that was constantly working the bit and it drove me nuts. He got his tongue over everything we put in his mouth. I tried curbs with wider tongue releases and shanked snaffles. He drove me nuts if I put a roller in his mouth.

Then one day I got tires of trying everything I had in my arsenal and put him back in a snaffle. I adjusted the snaffle to where it should be and he had one wrinkle in the corners of his mouth. Then I raised each side one hole. Worked like a charm.

I am not saying that will work for you but you may try it. I always tell people the rule of thumb is 1 wrinkle. But not all horses fofllw our rules.

cattypex said...

Big Girl Bit... I LOVE IT!

I came to like the Dr Bristol (and French Link) bits after I developed good hands, and my QH mare came with one.

Some horses just don't like a fat bit. I tried a plain eggbutt fat bit on her and she just pulled, and dawdled, and such. In the other, she was happy and forward and light.

Cut-N-Jump said...

CP- You better be careful. We have the ways and means to produce a nice Anglo-Ayrab for ya and get ya in on the fun.

A son of *Gondolier and a mare by the same stallion as Petersburg Knight off of Fugly. She also has Icecapade breeding and they were winning in Scottsdale in the SH classes...

JR can't stand some of the Ayrab show people. They are a whole other breed in and of themselves.

But the horses- we are destined to have at least something half-arab in our barn. Whether he likes it or not.

cattypex said...

Oh... I do know a few serious Arab show people. One lady who volunteers at Scottsdale most years.

They ALL wear a LOT of jewelry... and they tan.

Maybe it's a Midwest thing, but they are so 1987 it's not even funny.

cattypex said...

I want an Anglo-Arab. I do I do I do!!!!

But first I have to be able to ... like ... FEED it and stuff. :P

All in good time... I think within the next 2 years at the most.

Which gives me plenty of time to lose enough weight to look GOOD on an Anglo Arab.

In conformation, I'm kind of a Halflinger. One that's been at the spring grass.

Actually I have a friend (daughter of Scottsdale lady) who either owns, leases out, or merely helps the owner of, the most beautifulest NSH. He goes Hunt Seat - I think he needs to be a dressage horse. He actually has some purdy extension. And he has that easy floating swanlike thing goin' on.

I wants him, too.

SFTS said...

cattypex wrote:
Oh... I do know a few serious Arab show people.

LOL...I don't know if that's a Midwest thing, but being a serious Arabian show person myself, I would not fit in with the crowd you described. I don't wear ANY jewelry and the only time I get a tan is on my arms when I wear a tank top or sleeveless top. Ha! ;P

Hayley said...

thanks for the quick reply :)
and JR- i wasn't going after you on fugly about the posting for you got mail. it was more directed at someone else, so please accept apologies.


big girl bit. well, she does have one of the bigger velveteen noses ive seen on a qh in a long time........ :) she got used to me poking it and kissing it after only a week! amazing what you can desensitize your horse to.


the only bit so far that she doesn't get her toungue over is the rubber snaffle. but, she chews the rubber down fast enough that its a 20 dollar a week ordeal.....

i adjusted it to one wrinkle on each side, i had it up tighter, so it was 2 wrinkles. she seems happier with that :0) so many many thanks.

we actually got her to stand in the arena now to be mounted!! now, if only she will remember that around other horses/people/rocks/grass and other such distractions on a trail ride..

Hayley said...

the most serious arab people i know, are so rich, they have a chauffer to drive their golf cart from their house to their barn (all on their property of course..)
they have 8 arabs, an indoor arena, outdoor, paddocks, ect.

their arabs are only out for 2 hours at a time, or they will get stressed?
maybe its all on how you bring them up...

Hayley said...

sorry- sffts just got the last question..

she gets her toungue over in a snaffle..
we tried 3 varations of a snaffle, from thin to fat (glad im not talking about my weight here..)
and in each one she got her toungue over.
we havem't tried anything stronger as when she wasn't getting her toungue over, she was being defensive//