Sunday, June 7, 2009

Starting a Young Horse Under Saddle: Day 1

I was asked to talk about my methods for starting a young horse under saddle and what I expect to get from that horse for the first 30 to 60 days. Well that varies from horse to horse as every horse has a different idea of how things will go.

There are a some things that I feel have to be mentioned before we start.

1) I have been starting young horses for 35 years. I am very comfortable doing so and I am a professional trainer. I still get a little bit of a 'rush' every time on every horse. That rush keeps me on my toes and keeps me from becoming complacent. When you start becoming complacent, you start to make mistakes. Those mistakes can get you hurt.

2) The way I have been starting horses has been working for me for 35 years and may not be the best way for you. Always trust your instincts and only do what you are comfortable with. If you aren't comfortable getting on for the first ride or the 10th, don't do it.

3) If you are not comfortable starting young horses, have a professional do it for you.

4) In all my years in the horse industry as a professional, I have learned to read horses. I am able to tell when they are ready for the first ride. If they are not ready, I do not get on.

5) WEAR A HELMET! Personal safety and safety for the horse are to be considered foremost. If you get hurt, you may not be able to ride another day, if the horse gets hurt- their career could be finished before it even starts. Remember, when it goes wrong, it goes wrong quick and big. No time to second guess or try to undo anything.

The most important thing to remember when starting a young horse, everything you do with that horse the first day will set the tone for the rest of that horses career. If you allow that horse to buck, then he has learned to buck with you on him and he will continue to do so. If he bolts, there again he has learned to bolt with you. Now these problems are not hard to deal with, and the horse wont buck or bolt every time, but when the wrong buttons are pushed, the horse will go back to what he knows best and what is easiest.

So lets get down to the nitty gritty and tack this young horse for the first time shall we.........

First of all, the prep work. Before I even get the horse out of his stall, I really like to check my tack. And I mean everything, because when it goes wrong, it can really go wrong. I check the cinch, billet, latigo, fenders, and then I thoroughly check the bridle as well, bit, reins, headstall and everything holding it together.


Now that I am done with my inspection, I will take my saddle, bridle and pad and put them in the round pen so I can tack that horse up the first time where I have a little more room.

Then I go get the horse!

To prep the horse, I take them to the grooming area and groom them like I do every time I am going to work them. I check their backs to make sure they are not sore before the first ride. Now it is time to go to work.

I like to lunge my horses before I tack them for the first time and I prefer to use a lunge line, because when I tack the horse, he is going to be on a lunge line. I will only lunge that horse until he relaxes, not until he is tired. Very important to remember!

Once the horse relaxes, he has his ear on me and stops when I say whoa, I am ready to tack him.

I do not like to take a lot of time tacking the horse, if I am going to tack him, then I am going to tack him. I am not going to make a big deal out of it and sack him out with the pad for two hours. I am not going to take ten minutes and let him sniff the saddle and the pad either. I will not tie the horse the first time I tack either.


When I approach the horse with the pad, I approach from the front where he can see it and then I place it on his back. If he starts to back up, I will stop and say 'whoa' and continue to place the pad on the horse.


Now for the saddle, I will put stirrup over the horn but not the cinch, I will approach the horse from the front and then go to the horses side. I will slowly swing the saddle over the horse back, and let it land gently. Once the saddle is on the horses back, I will wiggle it a few times and then go to the other side to drop the cinch and the stirrup.


When cinching this horse for the first time, there again, I do not make a big deal out of it. I reach under the horses heart girth where the cinch will go and grab the D-Ring of the cinch and pull it up, then like I am going to do every time I cinch the horse up, not too tight at first, just gradually. Once it is snug, I buckle the flank cinch.

Once I have tightened the cinch and checked to make sure it is snug, I will let the horse out on the lunge rope. I will not force him to go forward but rather let him go when he is ready. If the horse wants to buck and run for a little bit, I will let him, that way he gets all of the buck out before I step on. Letting them get it out of their system, really only takes a few minutes, and soon they start to relax and start to work. Better they buck with the saddle and not me!

After they have accepted the saddle, and are relaxed and "whoa" when I ask, only then will I put the bridle (snaffle bit)on and only then will I consider getting on. If I feel the horse needs another day, then I will wait until he is ready. They are young and have their whole life ahead of them. There is no reason to rush anything.

169 comments:

windingwinds said...

First! hehehe What bout yer "special magical" equipment that fixes everything? lol

JohnieRotten said...

Cant fix a horse if he aint broke!LOL

I keep that equipment hidden! IT IS TOP SEEKRUT! VERY HUSH HUSH!

BuckdOff said...

Yay, JR, really nice blog!

charlienchico said...

My Romeo, (avatar) just turned 2, has been ponied a few times with the saddle on. First couple without the stirrups, now the stirrups are there flapping around. For me that needs to be a complete non-event before we add my body to that. So far he's been so near to perfect and his personality is so laid back that I'm actually anticipating being finally able to ride him.

He also loves to play with the tarp- flaps it around all over the place- walks right up to my Mom's flighty horse, flips it at her and she freaks out, (she's 4) I know he's giggling inside.

Oh, and I could have chimed in on the color discussion the other day. Yes, a palo is my dream horse and Romeo was bought for his color. But I just love him all the way around, everytime I do something with him I'm so satisfied with the results. He's such a great guy.

LuvMyTBs said...

Oh come on JR....no horsenality? no dick stick? no $120.00 rope halter? This can't be correct!

JohnieRotten said...

charlienchico said...
My Romeo, (avatar) just turned 2, has been ponied a few times with the saddle on. First couple without the stirrups, now the stirrups are there flapping around. For me that needs to be a complete non-event before we add my body to that. So far he's been so near to perfect and his personality is so laid back that I'm actually anticipating being finally able to ride him.

_________________

I totally agree with you. The thing is, over the years, there were times that I had so many to start in the barn that I did not have the time to pony them as much as I would have liked to.

I do make sure that I horse accepts the saddle before I get on and that includes getting used to the stirrups flapping around. By the time I get on the saddle has to be a non issue!

JohnieRotten said...

LuvMyTBs said...
Oh come on JR....no horsenality? no dick stick? no $120.00 rope halter? This can't be correct!
________________

Fuck me! I have been doing it wrong!

Is there a Parelli Clinic near by?

LuvMyTBs said...

HA HA HA....don't know about the clinic but I do know where you can get yourself a pair of really used
LP full seat britches!!! You know you want em.....admit it!

JohnieRotten said...

Yes please, I want the beeches. As long as the Carrot stick has not touched them!

windingwinds said...

Congrats Johnie, you hit FHOTD! (& not as a future guest of the state of AZ!) And I do like the common sense tips you share for training.. why is it so rare these days?

fernvalley01 said...

Well stated. Good point ,"if the horse is ready you will get on" There is an old saying(about marriage) that suits horse training "Marry in haste , repent at leisure" Replace "marry"I also with any step in training too soon and you will have plenty of time to see where it went wrong.I also think the longe till they are tired theory is wrong ,If you try to teach a tired horse you have missed the window of their learning.

JohnieRotten said...

windingwinds said...
Congrats Johnie, you hit FHOTD! (& not as a future guest of the state of AZ!) And I do like the common sense tips you share for training.. why is it so rare these days?
_________________

Common sense to avoid common dents!

Yep, common sense seems to be a lost art sometimes.

________________


FV

I used to get on them before they were ready, but I was a lot younger and pliable!

katphoti said...

JR, I'm glad you started a blog! CNJ keeps trying to get me to use you as a dressage trainer, but she said you hate it, so I won't bother you!

Just had to comment and say THANK YOU for pointing out that lunging it to get the horse to relax, not to wear him out. I tell my students that we cannot physically wear out a horse--it is impossible. We must approach lunging or round pen work as the way to get our horse's brain in gear and ready for work. Once he is showing us he's relaxed, then it's time to ride.

I also appreciate your pointing out that you approach saddling the first time like it's no big deal. I do the same thing. I find that with many horses, when they flinch at the saddle, if I just wait and pretend that nothing is happening, then they stop fidgeting and will accept the saddle. They get no reward nor are they punished for their behavior when they act up, and then when the do let the saddle on they get tons of praise. I just always think of it as you said, no big deal!

Thanks again for a blog--can't wait to read more!

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

>>I used to get on them before they were ready, but I was a lot younger and pliable!<<

Ha ha! So did I! When I think of how LITTLE ground work I used to do...shit, now they longe and ground drive and can practically cook a souffle before I get up there!

And yes, you are doing it wrong. You know, you'd have a REALLY nice stainless steel trailer if you just developed a $200 work bridle like everybody else.

nzphoebe said...

I am so pleased to hear someone else say they get a rush from starting a young horse. There is nothing better than getting on a youngster (or and older horse) for the first time and having him / her walk on, turn, and stop without getting uptight or scared. I get off and am walking on air for the rest of the day - and like you I have been doing it for 35 years. I still haven't got over the magic of those first few rides.

Dena said...

Can we make mention of the sometimes unpredictible 3rd to 5th rides?
You know, when the newness wears off?
And they sometimes express their personalities a bit?

I saw something move!!! There it is again!!!
CAN'T YOU SEE IT???

or

Oh, are you still up there? I don't know what I was thinking.
(damn that was one of my better moves).
Followed by nose to knee and a really sincere are you okay look.

Please don't kill me JR and CNJ. I would have admitted if I had seen any.

SFTS said...

One of the things that just gets under my skin...the owner who wants the horse "broke", and NOW.

I have one of those at the moment. Nice lady. Really nice horse. But he's just turned 3 and he is NOT mentally ready.

I've been on him maybe 7-8 times now. She got on him Saturday when I wasn't there (hauling a horse home from vet clinic)...then yesterday he decided he was just done, and started hunching that back up and then trying to rear. He's sore in the back now. Argh!!

oleancrotchity said...

I have been reading your blog for the past few days.

I am a retired horse trainer and I started training horses in the mid 1950s. Mostly sow anr ranch horses. I always thought the younger trainers that started in the 1980s had lost all of their common sense.

I am very impressed in what you have said on here and will continue to follow this site.

I may not post here a lot, but I will definietly continue to read what you post.

CharlesCityCat said...

I also like your common sense approach to training JR and CNJ. It is too bad that common sense isn't so common anymore. I have always found that if you make a big deal of something, then the horse will think it is a big deal. This works for dogs and kids as well.

cattypex said...

Dogs, horses and toddlers have a lot in common. ; )

GAH. I was at someone's farm the other night, someone I've known since about 1984... I've always had fun with her, but always disagreed with her horse philosophy.

(A horrific characiture seesaw hands, loooooooow heads, troping, and just plain harshness.)

She showed me a horse in the roundpen, a cute 7 yr old with the reins tied SHORT on those metal rings behind the fenders, to force his head down and "think about how baaaaad he is" you know the drill...

She was like, "He wasn't started till he was FOUR!!! He has such anxiety around other horses, and unless he gives in, I'm gonna have to put him down." I just looked at her and grunted.

What else could I do? She'd never listen to me (she's older, makes her living with horses, knows quite a bit actually.....), and since her kids are in 4H I don't want bad blood.

*sigh*

kestrel said...

Third time's a charm! 1st day horse is "WTF?! Yeep!" 2nd day horse is "well, okay I gueeeess." 3rd day is "and what happens when I say hell no!!"

horspoor said...

I have a carrot stick. Elaine and I keep passing it back and forth as a gift. I gave it to her for Christmas in a restaurant. She started to unwrap it...got a shocked look on her face, and kind of stuffed it under the table. It was like she'd opened pornography or something in a public place. The look on her face was priceless. lol

So, of course she gives it back to me in a public place where I can't say anything. All sweet and sugar coated...like she was bestowing some grand gift on me.

Beware JR...it could show up at your place. lol

JohnieRotten said...

Fugs said:

Ha ha! So did I! When I think of how LITTLE ground work I used to do...shit, now they longe and ground drive and can practically cook a souffle before I get up there!
_______________

I like em quiet the 1st, 2nd, and even teh 400th ride. And I do prefer to cook a pizza up there!
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SFTS said...
One of the things that just gets under my skin...the owner who wants the horse "broke", and NOW.

______________

I have had plenty of them in the barn.
+++++++++++++++++

oleancrotchity said...
I have been reading your blog for the past few days.

I am a retired horse trainer and I started training horses in the mid 1950s. Mostly sow anr ranch horses. I always thought the younger trainers that started in the 1980s had lost all of their common sense.
____________________

I was taught to use my head and not as landing gear for the rest of my body.

Common sense really has taken a back seat to the blue ribbon!
+++++++++++++++++
katphoti said...
JR, I'm glad you started a blog! CNJ keeps trying to get me to use you as a dressage trainer, but she said you hate it, so I won't bother you!

______________

I can help you, but I am willing to do so, but I can only take you so far in dressage!
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Dena said...
Can we make mention of the sometimes unpredictible 3rd to 5th rides?
You know, when the newness wears off?
And they sometimes express their personalities a bit?
________________

There again, been there!
+++++++++++++++
nzphoebe said...
I am so pleased to hear someone else say they get a rush from starting a young horse.
_______________

As long as I have been starting them I have gotten that rush. Especially when satrting my own!
++++++++++++++++++++

CCC

Like I said before....

Common sense to avoid common dents!
+++++++++++++

Ok no more copy pasting!

horspoor said...

I used to turn them around a couple times. See if they looked agreeable, and got on. I think we can thank the kindness of most horses for the fact I'm still here. They really are quite forgiving animals.

Now they are pretty much 'broke' before I get on. Lunging, driving, handling, hauling, etc... I figure it's way easier to teach it on the ground, so they have a clue of whats to come before I get on. Really makes it easier for them, and for me. Much easier for them to learn without my fat butt sitting on them. Hard enough for them to figure out how to balance and carry me, without the added unknown of what is expected. It only took me 10 or 20 years to figure out applying my aids on the ground where my leg would be later so it translated easier. lol

LuvMyTBs said...

Humor aside but not too far aside I think your blog has alot of good things that NEED to be said.

In my world of H/J/Eventing I sadly see more and more of people who have the $$$ to chase the blue ribbons but not the understanding or the real skills/talent to get there.Unfortunately these are the people who can afford wonderfully trained horses (that they usually sour or ruin)that absolutely pack them around and do the work and the winning for them.

cattypex said...

Rich folks are famous for using things up without a care!

Just go buy a new one....

And they think that just throwing money will make it happen faster.

Not all rich people of course. Just the ones who get into horses/cars/fancy dogs/trophy wives for the Glamour Factor.

My gastroenterologist paid more than most people make in a year for a horse she knew was nerved, because it would WIN dammit. When she doesn't win she says "I was ROBBED!!!!"

Yeah, I know. But I do like her as a doctor.... she is blunt and solution-oriented. I think she just got in with the wrong AQHA crowd right off the bat.

CharlesCityCat said...

LMT:

I never had the money to really pursue the big A circuit stuff but what I saw on my circuit in hunters was bad enough. Especially bad with the kids and the ponies. I was doing what I did being a divorced single mom with a mortgage, a job, no child support and thankful that I could even keep my horse and do the little bit that I could and seeing the attitudes just drove me nuts.

CharlesCityCat said...

JR:

Wanted to know if you have some advice on cold-backed horses. Ways to work them to get them loose with as little discomfort and drama as possible.

Dena said...

There are many things one can do from the ground besides wonder how long before they can get off it.

I am a very bad girl. Heifer was working on pushing out another stall door.
Have I mentioned, I have cattle dog pups?
2 birds with 1 stone.
She even looked at the door and they lit up. And then we must explore other avenues. That didn't work either.
Not a hair out of place on anyone and a lesson presented.

Looks like I might have some talented pups too. They never went beyond their space into hers.

Kestrel sometimes you just have to outhink, outmaneuver, and multi-task. She did eat wreck a stall door trying to chew her way out in a very short period of time.
Lumber is expensive.LOL

*walks away whistling a very merry tune*
And with a definite glint in my eye.

Dena said...

Oh Oh Madame X. The thrills of pushing CCCs buttons may be coming to an end for you.

I am so laughing CCC I can imagine your tone and it seems determined.

JohnieRotten said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cut-N-Jump said...

Add my name to the list of saddle 'em up and I'll ride them. If ya can't saddle 'em, I'll just get on them bareback.

Ah, youth...


I did climb on the Arab stallion shortly after having the girls though. He hadn't been ridden but once in the 5 years he's been here and he was reportedly 'broke' when he was young. I just climbed on and rode him like he had never been ridden before.

I also chose to get on in a smaller arena with muddy ground. He's a smart horse and knew it was a little slick. Too slick to do anything stupid like run away or buck. If he did, the mud was soft.

As I age, I find myself looking at things like that. Smart horses and soft mud.

JohnieRotten said...

CCC

The thing about cold backed horses is that they also tend to be cinchy, and that in of itself creates drama.

Ususally what I like to do before I get them tacked is lunge them for a little bit. Let them loosen up and see if they will relax a little. I will also make sure that their backs are not sore. I ask them to stretch before I get them tacked as well!

Then when I tack them, I like to cinch them up slowly, there again to avoid any drama. Once they are cinched, I will lunge them a little more before I get on them.

When I finally do get on I will ususally let them chose when they want to go forward and let them make a few decisions and mistakes before I correct them. I will try to get them to walk smaller circles and get a little lateral flexion out of them to try to get them to strech their backs.

Bottom line if you can get them to relax, that is your best bet!

CharlesCityCat said...

Maybe I should go back to the lungeing (?) part for a bit first. She isn't cinchy, and Dena how did you know I was talking about Madame? But I have always been very careful with her (and every horse) as far as putting the girth on. I never just put it on and yank it up. I always imagine how that would feel to me. I also like to do the front leg stretch out thing. She does seem to enjoy that. I have been lazy about working her first, but then I used to be able to ride more frequently and have found the more I ride the better her back is. Damn job!

Do you have any exercises I could do with her while riding that you think would help her back other than just regular stuff?

Cut-N-Jump said...

nzphoebe- the 'rush' from starting the young horses is a little more of an adrenaline rush, while you are in the moment. It helps you stay alert, on your toes and ready for anything.

When you no longer feel the rush, you begin to become complacent, make mistakes and wind up getting hurt. Kinda like getting a little too big fer yer britches and getting knocked down a peg or two.

I think we have all seen it happen or done it ourselves and been humbled and put in our place. Sometimes it is a gentle reminder- others like a whack in the forehead with a clue-by-four!

The rush afterwards- like you say is like walking on clouds.

Cut-N-Jump said...

SFTS- the want it All, want it NOW! folks usually don't last long in any one place. Just like their horses don't hold up or last long either.

JohnieRotten said...

CCC

First of all take it slow. I know you already know this, but i always have to remind myself of the same thing.

Do a lot of lateral flexion work and get the mare to cross over in the front as well in the hind end when you do a cirlce. That will really get the shoulders to stretch as well as the SIs in the hindend. Sometimes backing them a little will help them stretch out the muscles along the spine(Paraspinal muscles).

If you want to email feel free to do so cmcuttinghorses@aol.com

Dena said...

CCC because there was a time when you thought she might be perfect to teach me a lesson in humility?

And pride goeth before a fall as they say.
Heifer won this round too.
Another stall gate trashed to smithereens,
And if anyone is wondering they ARE/were sturdy.

JR I am at a loss. Everything in my experience and gut says to take this girl to the post.
Horses are not mules though. Mules are about self-preservation where horses don't always think.
We have done 5 mos. of slow. And repetitions. Nothing scary and nothing tough.
Waiting to hear from the owner on this with regard to their wishes.

Any thoughts?

CharlesCityCat said...

JR:

Thanks, I do tend to forget the lateral work. She is really good at it and requires little on my part to get her to do so. This mare is what I would call a Ferrari, very sensitive to aides. I guess I do forget to do that type of work because she doesn't need to practice it, but really, there is more to it than just knowing how to do it.

I think I should set up some cavelleti poles as well, do you think that would help her back as well, getting her to stretch out and go long and low is my goal for her. She does like to ball up a bit.

I need to stop being so freakin lazy with my riding.

***Smacks self in head repeatedly***

JohnieRotten said...

Yes poles would definitely he

CharlesCityCat said...

Dena:

Now I remember. She is cold-backed and will crow-hop but not that hard to sit if you know in advance. I should have threatened you with Wizard, far more difficult to sit when he does his shoulder pop thingy. I think I threatened Fugly with that one, LOL.

PrairieFarmer said...

Ignorance showing here but, well, I'd rather ask then not know -
What is a cold-backed horse?

And JR - rode my crazy polo pony yesterday. Much better. Took a lot of your advice and some from FHOTD involving, well, lots more work (polo ponies think walking is "dumb" as Cathy reminded me...).
Gave her a workout in the pasture before I even caught her (she follows me around when I DON'T have the halter but walk out there with it and another story - LOL), then lunged her 15 minutes with the new martingale on to make sure all systems go and work on the voice commands.
She stood while I got on and we stood for a bit after moving off. Did the slow walk circles and the lateral flexing. Then rode a bit ways off to another paddock and did some trotting and cantering work. She walked back, head down easy. Also, I deliberated carried my old polo stick to prevent myself from going toward two handed reining and getting into her mouth more if she got antsy. So rode her like a polo pony, loose neck-reined, tugs when she was going a bit too fast, but quick release, lots of leg.
She was awesome.
Thanks JR and everybody else (including FHOTD), for the advice! I'm going to ride her again tomorrow morning and get us on a more routine schedule.

JohnieRotten said...

I meant poles will definitely help!

JohnieRotten said...

PF

Glad to hear things are looking up things worked out for you and the horse.

horspoor said...

I sold a horse to a very nice woman. Perhaps too nice. After she had had the gelding for a couple months she was telling me how she had to get up at 5am every morning to feed him. If she didn't he would start kicking and banging in his stall. I'm thinking, hmmm...didn't do that to me. So, she feeds him, goes back to bed, and then has to get up and put him out in the field at 7am when he's done...as he starts kicking and banging again.

She asked me what I would do. I told her I'd probably get up at 5am a couple times...and tie him to the hitching post outside his stall. Sit in my breakfast nook, drink some coffee and watch him for a couple hours, then feed him. Figured it would only take a day or two for the kicking to stop.

She thought I was a horrid mean woman. lol I'm sure she feels she rescued him now.

fernvalley01 said...

horsepoor , funny how some people think teaching boundaries or common sense is abuse. I have a friend who always gives her horse a treat before she rides and was surprised when I was starting my young one that I didn't. I told her ,"he doesn't get paid until I come back alive " . So her daughter is riding hers and she blows up and piles her, sorted out daughter got back on rode the beans out of the mare then brushed her down to put her out , along comes mom with the treats , both daghter and I said hell no! you don't reward that with anything more than a cool down rub . I don't mind using treats as a reward or an equalizer for catching , but they don't need it every time either.

Cut-N-Jump said...

HP- I just snorted my coffee on the keyboard. Too bad I'm not sitting in a breakfast nook! LOL!


I love it when people say they have to feed at a certain time morning and night. It creates issues like you describe. Besides, what happens the day you can't get up or back home at that particular time? The horses destroy the palace...

We try to feed within a set hour or two time frame. They know it's morning or evening and none of them have missed any meals.

But the Arab stallion watches the house and any detected movement- he sounds the alarm. He whinnies loud and long. He lets everyone know he is hungry and movement has beed detected so food will follow soon.

horspoor said...

The ones that kill me are the ladies with the little bags of sugarcubes attached to their saddles. They reward the horses often through the ride. So...you'll see this horses do something, lock 'em up, and sling their heads back for a treat. UGH

horspoor said...

this should be these by the way. lol

fernvalley01 said...

>>But the Arab stallion watches the house and any detected movement- he sounds the alarm. He whinnies loud and long. He lets everyone know he is hungry and movement has beed detected so food will follow soon. <<
Hubbies old geldinng was like that ,I swear he heard the alarm clock go off ,or the toillet flush and would commence hollering for breakfast !
Sorry , Nothing happens at my place before my coffee (unless it is an emergency or I am watching a mare but even then I have the ones I am watching right outside my window.)
So Poor old Sunny would have to bitch and whine for as long as it took for mew to pry my eyes open and get chore clothes on, and he lived .

Cut-N-Jump said...

FV- I agree. Treats should be for a job well done and whenever I think you deserve one just because.

Mostly though it ends up being when I remember to grab a handful of treats before heading out. And then I either have to count them or divide them evenly. Can't get caught playing favorites.

Those horses talk. It could mean the difference in the next ride...

Cut-N-Jump said...

FV-
So Poor old Sunny would have to bitch and whine for as long as it took for mew to pry my eyes open and get chore clothes on, and he lived .


ROFL! Pal watches the house and if we walk through the kitchen he sounds the alarm as the back door opens and the dogs are shooed out.

He's telling us to get dressed and get it in gear. But he waits and he lives.

Of course we also have to wet down his hay so he won't dunk the damn thing in the water tub and make alfalfa tea. Given a day or so and it just reeks.

Cut-N-Jump said...

HP- I've seen that. And when they don't have treats the horses refuse to move.

Brilliant.

horspoor said...

I give treats. I don't always give treats. lol Do I have any in my pocket? Did I bring any? Did I think about it? So, for my horses there is no set time for treats. Makes it much easier. And a very happy surprise when they get them.

I try to reward with rubs and pats more than treats. Works better for me. I often forget treats, but can always rub somebody and tell them they are wonderful.

cattypex said...

D'you think it's because more middle aged women are getting into horses for the first time that so many newbies tend to be ... overnice?

I feel weird disciplining other people's horses when they watch me, unless I've been explicitly given carte blanche.

Cuz I ain't no professional!!

horspoor said...

I don't touch other people's horses, nor discipline them unless I have permission.

If they lunge at me when I go by their stall or something...I just give them a wider berth.

The only time I will touch anyone's horse without permission is if it's cast, colicking, hung in a pen bleeding, or has gotten out and is loose. Other than that...I just walk past.

fernvalley01 said...

D'you think it's because more middle aged women are getting into horses for the first time that so many newbies tend to be ... overnice?

COuld be that ,or they have bought into the siller side if NH. I was watching my friend the other day standing beside her mare and bringing her head around across her body to give her a cookie ( I know I am describing it wrong ) anyhow I blurted out wtf are you doing ? she says "In the book I read ..." I think I saw a version of carrot stretch , my problem with that is ,we teach our horses to respect our space then get right back in it, for cookies?Teach them to bend or flex with pressure and release, we are not training dogs here!

kestrel said...

I usually do the kid type training with a cold backed horse. They're sometimes hyper body sensitive all over, so I wallow all over them, jump up and down, lean over them bareback from the mounting block, and just do the "Awww, silly horsie, noogoe noogie let me rub my knuckles on your head and laugh at you' attitude when they get upset. Usually I find that a suspicious minded horse needs to be desensitized without making a big deal out of it. Some horses will actually train their humans to do everything just exactly like that horse wants it done!

JohnieRotten said...

kestrel said...
I usually do the kid type training with a cold backed horse. They're sometimes hyper body sensitive all over, so I wallow all over them, jump up and down, lean over them bareback from the mounting block, and just do the "Awww, silly horsie, noogoe noogie let me rub my knuckles on your head and laugh at you' attitude when they get upset. Usually I find that a suspicious minded horse needs to be desensitized without making a big deal out of it. Some horses will actually train their humans to do everything just exactly like that horse wants it done!

June 8, 2009 2:19 PM
____________________________

We do that to.

Normally around here it is we have a Get your bad self over ir policy and work out your own inner demons!

Cut-N-Jump said...

HP- the treats are the same way around here. Never know when you may get one. I'm just not consistent with that. Better not get pushy or bite me taking it either or there will be no more.

CP- I don't like disciplining other peoples horses either. Just like I wouldn't want someone walking by and whacking one of mine for something either.

Ours don't get away with anything and know not to try pulling any monkey business, but they may try when someone else is around and we aren't.

If they are here to fix a problem- that's one thing, otherwise it's not my problem to deal with. I didn't create it, not getting paid to fix it, not going to deal with it unless someone is about to get seriously hurt.


We have a young colt in the barn at the moment who gets all huffed up and full of himself at feeding time. Ears back, bowed neck, bared teeth sometimes and rolling eyes- thinks he's really a bad ass mo-fo. It's ok, he can think that.

He gets fed when it's his turn, just like everyone else and that behavior has gotten him nowhere. It may go away- it may not. Doing anything about it could make it worse. As it is- it's all a bluff.

PrairieFarmer said...

Unless I missed it I don't think anybody answered my previous ignorant questions (wah-wah-wah), which I'm going to repeat in my ignorance and ask again because I'm dying to know...
What is a cold-backed horse????? (I keep thinking in my confused way, a gay horse? Oh no, that would be a "Broke-Back" horse. LOL).
Back to hoeing the taters now.

kestrel said...

Cold backed is a horse that starts out real humpy and jumpy when you saddle them and first get on. They seem to work out of it once they get going, but it usually is an almost every ride deal. Some horses have been pinched by saddles or a rider who pulls the saddle too far over getting on so there is a fear factor, but some just seem to have cold and stiff back muscles that take a while to warm up, hence the term cod backed. Least that's what I know about it...

horspoor said...

Coldback...buck alittle if they aren't warmed up or while warming up. Sometimes have to give you a woohoo each direction to get warmed up. lol

kestrel said...

Cod backed should be cold backed...
JR,I usually just make them get over it too, but depends on the horse.

Cut-N-Jump said...

PF- now you will likely be buried under the avalanche of answers you asked for. Prepare yourself...

'Cold backed' generally describes a horse who once saddled, bucks and humps their back, maybe even crowhops a few times, as they start to work. Once they are warmed up they settle down ready to work. They can be this way once in a while or every day, every time you ride.

It's like getting out of bed and leaving the front door starting line to run a marathon without stretching or warming up. You're stiff and not too limber the first mile or so, then once you are warmed up and limber- everything works like it should.

JohnieRotten said...

kestrel said...
Cod backed should be cold backed...
JR,I usually just make them get over it too, but depends on the horse.
______________________________
Do I have a spelling error somewhere?

OOOOOOOOOOOOPs!

The thing about riding clod backed horses is that I try to get as much of the shit out of em before I get on.

Some of the time there is no way to do so and they are just going to buck no matter what.

But we also try to check the horses back evertime we tack tehm up.

horspoor said...

Hey, has anyone else experienced this. A mare I worked with was never cinchy, ever. After she had a foal, she'll sometimes act cinchy. Is it just a coincidence, or is there a relation? Or did somebody do something they aren't coping to?

JohnieRotten said...

HP

The only time I ever had anything like that was a little mare that had mastitis after the foal was weaned. After that she was really sensitive on her belly. If I accidently touched her with a spur underneath she would turn me into the loudest cussing dirt dart you have ever seen

kestrel said...

Cod backed was MY spelling error..LOL, may have been a Freudian slip. I have had a couple of them buck like a hooked fish!

Cut-N-Jump said...

HP- trying to relate to the mare, but being as our mammaries aren't in the same area...

I would be grouchy too if someone is snugging up on my chest after giving birth, but then there's aren't in the same place, so it doesn't compare.

Maybe her back muscling has changed ever so slightly and cinching up brings the saddle down onto a suddenly sore or tender spot?

JohnieRotten said...

Freudian Slip?

I did not even know he wore a dress!

Or was that Mrs. Signund?

kestrel said...

Can't distract me and steal 'Cod Backed!' It so perfectly describes a wretched spoiled gelding I worked a couple of years ago.

CharlesCityCat said...

PF:

My mare Whinnie is mildly cold-backed. She has gotten better since I first got her at 4. When you first get on, she would hunch her back up and walk off like her shorts were up her butt. She would sometimes try some crow-hops as well. The more frequently she is ridden, the less she has this problem. She has improved with age but when I get on, I do try not to plop on her back and do try to warm up riding light on her back for the first 10 or so minutes.

I am always interested in finding ways to make her more comfortable. A happy Whinnie is a good and fun Whinnie.

JohnieRotten said...

Kestrel

Cod backed must refer to that cold backed slippery son of a bitch!

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

I have had to work several cold-backed horses and IMO, ten minutes spent longeing with the tack on is good insurance against taking a spill. I used to get giggles at polo when I did this with one, but you know what, funny how I never came off of him...

That and as was already mentioned, getting on gently and not plopping on their back helps a lot. I get on and let them walk off while I'm in a half-seat, then slowly settle my weight down.

PrairieFarmer said...

Ah-ha! Thanks for all the answers. I've known a few like that, I thought it was just ornery!

Dena said...

In this day and age, with your reputation on the line every step of the way. One can't afford a miscommunication, slip, or oversight.

More severe addressing of a problem can create a more severe outcome.
Snub em and let them fight it out with themselves can leave some evidence.
I don't know if I made it clear that she went through 2x8s. Several of them.
And they sure were not made of pine.

In this day and age, I make sure the client knows what my opinion is and where I am going. And that I receive permission to do so before I go there.

I appreciate all the suggestions. Been done though. Over the last 5 mos. of slow.

And everytime, there is the expectation of alone or settle time, this is the outcome.

A tall post, set deep, and immovable, is all I have left.
Combined with long nature walks away from home.
Otherwise, my bag of tricks is empty.

JohnieRotten said...

Dena

If you are referring to the herd bound mare that you have out there. It is like I said, sometimes they are just herd bound and there really is nothing you can do but work the hell out of em and try to wean them. I have even tried turning herd bound horse out with the bitchiest mares I have and let them take care of it. I know that sounds mean, but they have a way of teaching them things that I can not.

Other than that, sometimes there really is nothing else to do. I will work on some ideas for you though and see what I can come up with.

Dena said...

Thank God for clients who let you do your job...
And trust you to do it right.
"I trust your judgement".
The sweetest words any trainer will ever hear from their client...
Do you mind if I pay in advance are a very close second.LOL
The pole and nature walks it is.

Dena said...

JR there have been lots of advice and suggestions offered here.
Including by you.

I did turn her out with bitchiest mare. They became friends.
Turned her out with Big Bad Gato who tolerates zero crap from anything on hooves. She just stays out of the way.
I don't necessarily think it is mean. And I believe in peer socialization. Learn to get along, whatever a person calls it.

And I think there is a 90% or better chance that she will remain herdbound.
And that just sucks...
And JR? She will be tired. Nature walks don't involve being dragged behind anything except me.LOL

CNJ your avatar has convinced me I need bifocals. At first, I thought it was someone dressed up in a bug costume. Put my face closer to the screen and eeeeeewwww.

fernvalley01 said...

Dena , the only thing I can suggest (and it may have been said) is put that girlie in a stall or pen where she can't see the herd and crank up a radio so she can't hear them . Then you are it , her only buddy and source of comfort ,I have done this with a gelding who wouldn't be caught and would crank up the rest of the herd with his antics . He and I are good now

JohnieRotten said...

FV

I never thought of that one. I have a friend that put goats in the stalls with the horse

fernvalley01 said...

JR it was a last ditch effort , and similar to the proccess of weaning the babies from mom. The radio distracts them enough that they stop calling and helps them to focus on you . It worked with that gelding ,I honestly don't know if it wil help Dena's case but it might. I know I was thinkin some pretty evil thoughts about that horse at times ,now he calls and comes to me like the rest.

JohnieRotten said...

We already told her to try to wean the horse gradually but never though if a radio.That is a good idea.

windingwinds said...

Herd bound? There are always other options, for example finding a pasture with NO other horses for a bit. A mare like that is a PIA. Some horses need a outside the box outlook. Good Luck!

cattypex said...

RE: Disciplining others' horses... I was talking more about just "casual" help, like "show me how to set up my horse who walks all over me for showmanship" but nothing more explicit than that...

It's good when I actually grow a pair and simply ASK "Mind if I get after him a little? he needs to learn some boundaries." Usually that's no problem, but some people are such weirdos about their preshkus ponies....

I would NEVER mess with anyone else's horse unless I a) knew horse & owner very well and had permission to do so (not a common occurrence, but it's happened)
or
b) the horse was about to damage some part of me or a kid.

Cold backed mare... hey, after I had a kid, and after my sis had her twins, we both suffered some achy spinal misalignment. You hold your body in weird ways when nursing, plus the added weight of pregnancy pulls your body all out of whack... (my sis could nurse both kids AT THE SAME TIME - and then get 8 oz. of milk from each side. TMI, but I thought I should show her at the State Fair.)

I saw an article in Equus from 2007 - funny, that issue floated to the top of the Old Magazine Pile. Has a green cover with a pretty dark bay/brown horse looking at you.

I like No Fuss, No Drama. It's sometimes hard for me to achieve unless I do some serious self-talk.

SFTS said...

JohnieRotten wrote:
I like em quiet the 1st, 2nd, and even teh 400th ride.
- - - - - - - -

Me too!!

SFTS said...
One of the things that just gets under my skin...the owner who wants the horse "broke", and NOW.
______________

I have had plenty of them in the barn.

- - - - - - - -

I think we all have. One of my major peeves. I've been known to hand the reins to an owner and tell them hey, if you know so well how to do my job, here, GO FOR IT! They usually hand the reins back and say no, ma'am, that's YOUR job. ;)

oleancrotchity said...
I have been reading your blog for the past few days.

I am a retired horse trainer and I started training horses in the mid 1950s. Mostly sow anr ranch horses. I always thought the younger trainers that started in the 1980s had lost all of their common sense.
____________________

I was taught to use my head and not as landing gear for the rest of my body.

Common sense really has taken a back seat to the blue ribbon!

- - - - - - - -

How true...and well said. BOTH of you!

I don't know about anyone else, but I'd love for you oleancrotchity to make a habit of commenting. :)

Ok no more copy pasting!
- - - - - - - -

Oh plllbbbttt! :P

;)

SFTS said...

horspoor wrote:
I used to turn them around a couple times. See if they looked agreeable, and got on. I think we can thank the kindness of most horses for the fact I'm still here. They really are quite forgiving animals.

Now they are pretty much 'broke' before I get on. Lunging, driving, handling, hauling, etc... I figure it's way easier to teach it on the ground, so they have a clue of whats to come before I get on. Really makes it easier for them, and for me. Much easier for them to learn without my fat butt sitting on them. Hard enough for them to figure out how to balance and carry me, without the added unknown of what is expected. It only took me 10 or 20 years to figure out applying my aids on the ground where my leg would be later so it translated easier. lol

- - - - - - - -

I've ALWAYS done quite a bit of groundwork. That's never really changed for me. But I can read a horse these days sooo much better than years ago. Amazing how much smarter we get as we age, huh?

Cut-N-Jump wrote:
SFTS- the want it All, want it NOW! folks usually don't last long in any one place. Just like their horses don't hold up or last long either.
- - - - - - - -

Unfortunately, that's not always true. :-/ Quite a few of them pester me on a regular basis with each NEW horse. Sigh.

SFTS said...

Cut-N-Jump wrote:
I love it when people say they have to feed at a certain time morning and night. It creates issues like you describe. Besides, what happens the day you can't get up or back home at that particular time? The horses destroy the palace...

We try to feed within a set hour or two time frame. They know it's morning or evening and none of them have missed any meals.

But the Arab stallion watches the house and any detected movement- he sounds the alarm. He whinnies loud and long. He lets everyone know he is hungry and movement has beed detected so food will follow soon.

- - - - - - - -

I do have a "general set feeding time". Which changes if I see fit. ;) In the Wintertime, I feed at 7 AM & PM. I'm not gonna go out there and ride that early in 20 degree weather, they can wait later. But I change over to 5 AM & PM in the Summertime, because of the heat. That way, I can start riding at 7...

But I am NOT clockwork every single day, for the reasons you stated. I have clients that have horses at home who are, and I have friends who are. What I'll tell them is, what if you're at a horse show and happen to be competing in a class at "dinner time"? THEN what? Your horse is an ass because you created a monster.

SFTS said...

horspoor wrote:
I don't touch other people's horses, nor discipline them unless I have permission.

If they lunge at me when I go by their stall or something...I just give them a wider berth.

The only time I will touch anyone's horse without permission is if it's cast, colicking, hung in a pen bleeding, or has gotten out and is loose. Other than that...I just walk past.

- - - - - - - -

There was a TB gelding once, years ago, at a barn I trained out of who would come after you if you walked down the barn aisle. They always had him with only a stall guard. !! Narrow barn aisle, looong necked horse. Not a good combination. One day, I happened to be walking by carrying an empty bucket. That sucker came over his stall guard at me, ears flat back and teeth bared. I let him have it with the bucket, right in the kisser. The owners had been told not to leave him like this, and warned that something WOULD happen. They never said a word. But the horse's stall door was closed from then on.

I agree for the most part. I don't like to interfere. However, there are limits I do have, and that was one of them. No excuse for not keeping the door closed. What is someone's toddler has wandered into the stall, under the stall guard, and gotten mauled by the horse? Not something I want to think about.

Cut-N-Jump wrote:
I don't like disciplining other peoples horses either. Just like I wouldn't want someone walking by and whacking one of mine for something either.

Ours don't get away with anything and know not to try pulling any monkey business, but they may try when someone else is around and we aren't.

If they are here to fix a problem- that's one thing, otherwise it's not my problem to deal with. I didn't create it, not getting paid to fix it, not going to deal with it unless someone is about to get seriously hurt.

We have a young colt in the barn at the moment who gets all huffed up and full of himself at feeding time. Ears back, bowed neck, bared teeth sometimes and rolling eyes- thinks he's really a bad ass mo-fo. It's ok, he can think that.

He gets fed when it's his turn, just like everyone else and that behavior has gotten him nowhere. It may go away- it may not. Doing anything about it could make it worse. As it is- it's all a bluff.

- - - - - - - -

In theory I do agree...and that's generally what I practice.

About that colt, that's one of those LOL moments. :) I have a client's Paint gelding who is like that. You'd think he was going to eat you alive at feeding time. But he's all talk.

SFTS said...

cattypex wrote:
D'you think it's because more middle aged women are getting into horses for the first time that so many newbies tend to be ... overnice?
- - - - - - - -

Good question.

To me, the biggest issue is all the bullshit they read...in the magazines, on the internet, etc, or all the stuff they see...at the horse expos, at the seminars, symposiums, clinics...in the videos and DVD's...on RFD-TV...ad nauseum. It's information overload. Much of it conflicting.

This is one area where that saying about not believing everything you read and you hear would come in handy. Some people take things so damn literally. Or they read (or see) one thing one day, and have just GOT to try it. Then the next day, it's something new. Pretty soon, you have a completely messed up horse.

Then, they bring it to ME to fix. Oh, joy! LOL

SFTS said...

fuglyhorseoftheday wrote:
I have had to work several cold-backed horses and IMO, ten minutes spent longeing with the tack on is good insurance against taking a spill. I used to get giggles at polo when I did this with one, but you know what, funny how I never came off of him...

That and as was already mentioned, getting on gently and not plopping on their back helps a lot. I get on and let them walk off while I'm in a half-seat, then slowly settle my weight down.

- - - - - - - -

Walking off while I'm mounting...MAJOR peeve here, MAJOR no-no. :)

My English mare does it. Still. She's 21 this year, I've had her since she was 6. Sigh.

horspoor said...

Okay, gotta admit I did but in unasked in a huge way last year. I kind of freaked when I came across these folks.

Horse had never been backed. They have the horse in cross ties in the barn aisle. Our barn aisles are not tall. If a horse goes up it can be in the eaves.

They decided to cross tie the horse, tack it up and get on while the filly was still crosstied. Of course you have your teenager get on. Hey the horse is tied...it's good right.

I came around the corner as the kid was easing a leg over. The filly was already splay legged. I said low and in my meanest mom voice..."Get off that horse right now." Halfway off the filly went up, and the kid stepped clear.

They of course thought I was a pushy rude bitch. None of my reasons for not starting a horse crosstied in the aisle way didn't matter to them, with their convoluted assbackward reasoning. The only thing that got through to them was it was against barn rules to ride horses in the aisleways. That they could get kicked out.

They dislike me to this day.

SFTS said...

Dena wrote:
Thank God for clients who let you do your job...

And trust you to do it right.

"I trust your judgement".

The sweetest words any trainer will ever hear from their client...

Do you mind if I pay in advance are a very close second. LOL

- - - - - - - -

Clients ALWAYS pay in advance. ;) I'm not about to go chasing after payment at the end of each month.

But I have had clients who offered to pay for multiple months' training up front. I had one that used to even pay for six months up front. Woo hoo!

Yes, clients who allow us to do our job as trainers are so very important. That's what they pay us for. If I have someone who constantly wants to question what I'm doing, my method, my schedule/timeline for the horse, how come I don't do it THIS way, etc, that's it. They can take the horse elsewhere. See if they can get a better deal for their dollars and have a better trained horse than I can provide. Have at it. Knock yourself out. But don't say I didn't warn you that most trainers are nowhere near as lenient and tolerant about that sort of BS as I am. ;)

I have NO problem with questions. Hell, I encourage clients to ask questions. I want them to fully understand what I'm doing with their horse(s) and WHY. Big difference than always questioning or second guessing. Wanted to clarify that.

Dena said...

Nature walk translation, horse, me, and Jesus.
Equine baptism.

I just got back in. It was a long one.
Haven't danced or growled like that in quite some time.

I see two things I don't like. Maybe three.
She is insecure. Extremely. The anxiety comes first. Don't blink because she moves on to trying to kick your ass immediately.
She progresses from fear to mad in a nanosecond.
Those are the first two. The third is that she is smart. Good thing is she can learn quickly. Can also be a bad thing.

Her mother is a blind Saddlebred. This little girl has been in charge almost since day one.
Mom is hyper-reactive. Saddlebred, blind, and who knows what part her history and breeding have played.
Baby learns most everything from Mom. Throw into the mix that she has literally been on the boob for 3 and a half years and Houston we have a problem.
She learns to beat you.

The choices as I see them are as follows.
I can send her home to do nothing for the rest of her life.

I can refer her to another trainer I know that has more years and experiences than I do.

I can snub her and let her fight it out with herself.

The mad makes me think I should just snub her and get it over with.
She runs too much weight off separating her by herself.
And I do not have a stall that will hold her.

3 more days of nature walks and I will have a better idea of what might be best based on where we are then.

Improper weaning makes me want to cry sometimes. The cussing comes first.
It can prove so damaging to the horses psyche. And almost guarantee that they become unwanted.
That is not the case with this one. Her people will keep her forever I have not one doubt about that.
This young mare was originally to be the sighted companion for her mother. A lot of times it works wonderfully.
I don't blame the people. There was not an appropriate at the time replacement companion.
Shit happens.

Fern I agree a radio can be a great soother.
I had a real prick of a paint come one time.
After a couple of weeks of people seeing me ride him everywhere on a long rein someone finally asked me what turned the trick.
He liked it when I sang blues and jazz. As long as, I was singing he was fine. He went to Oklahoma I think.

I really do appreciate everyones help.
I will let you all know how it works out in a few days.

There was quite a bit of lick and chew going on tonight so I have some hope left.

JohnieRotten said...

cattypex said...
RE: Disciplining others' horses... I was talking more about just "casual" help, like "show me how to set up my horse who walks all over me for showmanship" but nothing more explicit than that...

It's good when I actually grow a pair and simply ASK "Mind if I get after him a little? he needs to learn some boundaries." Usually that's no problem, but some people are such weirdos about their preshkus ponies....
______________________

We have a no bullshit policy here.If a horse needs discilpine he gets disciplined, no questions asked. I used to give lessons at another facility and when a non clients horse would get stupid or need a 'manner minder' I would go over and tell that person, "Here let me show you something."

I found that 90% of the time it was appreciated. The other 10% appreciated it and just did not know it at the time.

As far as having any sort of set feeding time, we do not, the times vary especially when we are showing a lot. The last thing that I want is a horse banging on the gate in the morning waiting to get fed.

I may seem like a cranky mean Son of a Bitch, but my horses are not discipline problems. AND I DO LOVE EVERYONE OF THOSE FOUR LEGGED MENACES!

Dena said...

STFS
It was the 3-6 months in advance I was talking about.
I don't do the 30-60 day wonders.
Ever.

Too much like the $20 a ride pricing we all see so much of. Hell, some of those craigslist trainers will even do it in your own pasture.
On your horse and your homeowners insurance.


And let someone leave their horse for training with no money down?
*funny...I needed that laugh*

Dena said...

JR No discipline problems? For a trainer that translates into, you cause a problem, you get disciplined.
Don't we sometimes call that schooling? Or..ummm...training?
I am not being snarky. I am being a smartass.

Leather, bits, whips, and getting paid.
That brings new light to the definition of, "Paid Professionals".

JohnieRotten said...

Dena said...
JR No discipline problems? For a trainer that translates into, you cause a problem, you get disciplined.
Don't we sometimes call that schooling? Or..ummm...training?
I am not being snarky. I am being a smartass.
___________________

Nothin wrong with being a smartass!

horspoor said...

I just avoid the morons and their rude horses in town anymore. Tired of slamming my head into that particular wall. Now if they are endangering me or mine...I'll speak up.

The ones that ask for help, then don't take the advice...I just wait. Invariably it blows up in their face...like the little mare with the broken withers the other day. Usually I say something like...'So how's that working for you?' Even I don't have the heart to say that to these people with the little Morgan mare. Gawd, they took every bad piece of advice from every 'expert' idiot out there.

MommaSheesh said...

Totally off topic but do you have any solution for a biter besides punching him in the face? We acquired a mini stallion who quickly became a gelding -- he doesn't bite me anymore after the punch nor hubby but I guess the kids don't punch hard enough.I realize punching him may not have been the best solution but it was pure instinct.

JohnieRotten said...

MommaSheesh

The thing about biters is that every time they bite we want to knock them on their asses!

Like you said it is a reflexive action.

Horses don't have hands obviously, so they explore with their mouths. Especially young horses. As they get older they will bite more as a defense mechanism. Mostly against other horses.

With horses that bite, we do the easiest thing that you can possibly do, and that is nothing. We will smack them once or twice when they are deliberate about it, but they do grow out of it.

The more you hit them when they bite, the more defensive they will become. And before you know it, everytime you raise your hand they will try to bite it. Teach him boundriea and do not let him in your space.

Believe me, when I was young, I tried everything under the sun on biters. And I soon realized, that if I left them alone 99% of the time they left me alone. The nice thing, is that none of our stallions bite, because for the most part we did nothing and let them grow out of it. I know that can be difficult to take that approach.

I know I rambles, but I need to get some sleep!

cattypex said...

"We have a no bullshit policy here."

hee hee

The interesting part is how to be all diplomatic about it. Like, around kids and their clueless parents.

I have done the "Here lemme show you something" a LOT this year as a 4-H volunteer.

But this experience also makes me wonder how much $$$ I could make if I hung out a shingle as a reasonably-priced beginners' instructor?

Because when you're dealing with a whole passel of kids for 2 hours once a week, and you realize that at least half of them need some REAL intensive work on the most basic things, and you just don't have enough TIME....... dang, now I know what my mother-in-law went through as a Head Start teacher!!

JohnieRotten said...

CP

I hate giving my services away too! Afterall, I have a family to feed. But if it prevents someone from getting hurt then I am all for it.

Usually when I do that I end up giving those people lessons even if they are short term clients.

Dena said...

JR CNJ HP STFS CCC FV didya all catch that?

CP is contemplating hanging a shingle to become a "Beginners Trainer".
Pretty sure she isn't insane.
We can send all of the question/don't listen newbies?
To her?
Just the thought has brightened my day.

CP if you have the patience you should.
Newbies are not for everyone.
And too many try to wear too many hats in training and it shows.

One a year was my new policy. The last family had a little girl with tremendous promise. The parents just made me crazy buying all the wrong horses.
New policy is horses not people.

I have a beginner coming out today. But she is a humane agent and a friend.
Who actually "listens".

horspoor said...

Newbies are fine. I get my share. Some of them are great, some of them aren't. A newbie kid is often much easier than a newbie adult. The adult already has some preconceived notions...and some of those are just flat bizarre. I read this, or I was told that. Or I rode as a kid. Okay so they were on a dude string, or went to girl scout camp for two summers and rode horses. Really not the same as 'riding as a kid'. At least not the kids that got to 'live' on their horses growing up.

I'd say go for it Cattypex. I wouldn't hang out my shingle though. I'd just go by word of mouth at first. That way you can kind of 'cherry-pick' your first students. This will help you get a feel for what it entails without dealing with any nutjobs right off the bat.

I've never advertised. I also only train and give lessons part time. I only get students through referral anymore. Yeah, I'm a cantankerous old witch, and will fire students.

I thought about going fulltime, and only doing lessons at one point...but realized for me it's nice to have the office job, and the outside job. One is a break from the other, and helps keep me sane. And the bod is pretty thrashed from car wrecks, horses, and just being a dolt...so good to have a fall back plan. lol

MommaSheesh said...

Thanks JR we shall try the do nothing approach -- does it make a difference that he is 8? The fact that he bites is why he was given to us. I told hubby to put him in the pasture with our Queen B**ch mare and let her sort him out.

JohnieRotten said...

MommaSheesh said...
Thanks JR we shall try the do nothing approach -- does it make a difference that he is 8? The fact that he bites is why he was given to us. I told hubby to put him in the pasture with our Queen B**ch mare and let her sort him out.
___________________

MommaSheesh

The only thing that age may have to do with anything is that it may take a little longer. Turning him out with a witchy mare will also help change his little attitude some.

Just remember patience and boudries. If you have to get after him everyonce in a while then do so.

Horses hate being treated as a punching bag as much as we hate being treated a chew toy!

Cut-N-Jump said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cut-N-Jump said...

Dena- you have a tough road ahead of you with that horse.

All things considered, it's almost like she was set up to fail. Poor horse, those seem to get the worst of it. When the intervention comes, it's the end of their world as they know it. Having nothing to fall back on for support, they turn to everything that has worked so far...

The fact that you can recognize the anxiety- then the agression, make it easier to deal with each emotion as it comes. Fear and anxiety are one thing, trying to purposely pummel you and take you out- entirely different. Each has to be dealt with accordingly.


As with any horse though, when the situation escalates- it does so quickly and often ends with injuries. We all try to avoid it, but there are times it happens and there's nothing to prevent it. The punishment has to fit the crime, has to be swift, just and done.

Sometimes the horse will instigate, the handlers counter with 'Bring it!', the horse does and the handlers aren't prepared for what's to come. Then the issue is bigger the next time around. The horse has your number, knows which buttons to push, when and how...


As JR said about our horses- they behave, no matter where or what. There are no options. Our safety and theirs depends on it.

Cut-N-Jump said...

HP- I agree about newbie kids, just like fresh unhandled horses. Both clean slates. What they learn is what you have taught them.

Nothing to undo, fewer bad habits to overcome- it often comes easier for them too.


JR and I were discussing this the other night over feeding. I had boarded at a place where the woman was a hairdresser by trade. She was body clipping some horses before running them through a sale. To read: butchering and scalping before an auction...

Anyways- I had clipped my horses a few weeks proir and they turned out flawless as usual. I had learned how to clip halter horses and how to do it right, from the first time I picked up the clippers. It's easy and now second nature to me. I actually enjoy bodyclipping.

As I walked past her working on one of the horses- leaving lines everywhere, noticeable random tufts of hair and doing a less than stellar job, she says to me "I bet you just cringe when you see me clipping a horse."

I do, but I just told her "No, I just walk away." and I did just that.

When you learn the right way to do things from the start, it seems tough to mess up. I still don't understand how she could be that lousy at clipping a horse when she cuts peoples hair for hell sakes...

cattypex said...

Man, I'd SO rather start from scratch, yup....

I'm rounding up some freelance design work right now because I need to make good $ pretty quickly, but I think that I will pursue this avenue.

Take a couple of newbies under my wing.

I did it a few years ago when a coworker's daughter was borrowing another coworker's totally unsuitable horse because I thought intervention was in order. It ended OK, and the next year they leased the SWEETEST kid's horse, so it was actually fun when I helped them again.

I just have such an issue with the preponderance of headsets & spur stops around here. I had to hold my tongue the other night when a Professional Horsewoman Mom was "helping" at 4H, which was held at her place that evening.

She started out by giving a seesaw hands headset lesson, and expanded on that by saying "I do it a little differently cuz I do spur stop."

Fortunately she agreed with me that a couple of the horses didn't need their riders' hands all up in their mouths all the time, but it was an exercise in diplomacy all evening!!

horspoor said...

The see-sawing is one of my big pet peeves. That and the 'professionals' with the hard jerks on the outside rein to 'soften' their horses...with their hands spread three feet apart and level with their shoulders.

cattypex said...

OMG She told them to do that too....

*sigh*

But training is her primary job, so what would *I* know anyway....

Dena said...

CNJ you nailed it! She was beating all boundries placed on her.
She needed to know she could not beat me.
She needed to know I am her alpha.

When it comes to this point you cannot lose these battles. Or, the dangerous seed flourishes.

She has never kicked at a person.
So, I knew it would all be coming out the front. And that would also gave me the opportunity to push from behind.

And when they rear and strike if you are running out of the way you lose.
You have to be able to aggressively and confidently come forward into their space and push them out of your's.

Properly fitted halter, cotton line with a chain(under her chin), and no whip.
It isn't about beating them...
Consistent tones for specific behaviors. And you cannot quit until you have accomplished something.

When she started clacking I knew I was getting somewhere.
And yet, today I fully expect to repeat the whole entire procedure.
And we have both had time to think about it. I expect worse today not better.

I rarely ever use a whip. Because what happens on the days you don't have one? Bad way to go. Especially with a smart horse.

Voice, body language, and working the hell out of both ends of the line.
This kind of crap is not for beginners.

Angry head and striking hooves are serious weapons. That can lead to serious injury.

To tell you the truth CNJ after thinking about it? I would be more concerned if the mad came first. It comes quick. Damn quick. But it comes second. The anxiety would concern me more if it were primary and lasting.
3 days ought to let me know where we might end.
Silly heifer does not even realize she is drawing the map.
Oh, and I turned her out with a little band of those she used to delight in tormenting.
I call this, "The Revenge of The Nerds".
She is so bottom of the pecking order now. They do not abuse her. They just don't tolerate her shit as a unit.

SFTS said...

JohnieRotten wrote:
I hate giving my services away too! Afterall, I have a family to feed. But if it prevents someone from getting hurt then I am all for it.

Usually when I do that I end up giving those people lessons even if they are short term clients.

- - - - - - - -

Boy do I hear you.

But yeah, sometimes that does lend itself to gaining a client you might not otherwise get. I've actually had those deals turn into long term training. Not often, but it does happen.

SFTS said...

Dena wrote:
JR CNJ HP STFS CCC FV didya all catch that?

CP is contemplating hanging a shingle to become a "Beginners Trainer".

Pretty sure she isn't insane.
We can send all of the question/don't listen newbies? To her?

Just the thought has brightened my day.

CP if you have the patience you should.

Newbies are not for everyone.

And too many try to wear too many hats in training and it shows.

- - - - - - - -

I'm curious about the "wear too many hats" comment, but then again maybe I don't wanna know. LOL

Like HP, I like newbies/beginners. But unlike her, I enjoy the newbie adults as much as the kids. Giving a newcomer to the horse world a good, solid foundation for their ongoing equine education is so important.

Word of mouth is ALWAYS the best form of "advertising". It's how I get the vast majority of my clients and students. :)

SFTS said...

cattypex wrote:
I just have such an issue with the preponderance of headsets & spur stops around here. I had to hold my tongue the other night when a Professional Horsewoman Mom was "helping" at 4H, which was held at her place that evening.

She started out by giving a seesaw hands headset lesson, and expanded on that by saying "I do it a little differently cuz I do spur stop."

Fortunately she agreed with me that a couple of the horses didn't need their riders' hands all up in their mouths all the time, but it was an exercise in diplomacy all evening!!

- - - - - - - -

I have a really hard time keeping my mouth shut under those circumstances. But I'm probably lucky, because being the group leader, I get to choose who we have out as a guest, I know the other mom's (we have no other professionals in our group yet), and I know how they ride.

Like kids need to be shown how to "spur stop" a 4H horse, or shown why they should yank the Hell out of their horses' faces. That makes me want to scream.

horspoor wrote:
The see-sawing is one of my big pet peeves. That and the 'professionals' with the hard jerks on the outside rein to 'soften' their horses...with their hands spread three feet apart and level with their shoulders.
- - - - - - - -

One of my good friends (who happens to be at Pinto World right now) is like that. She's so old school 80's yank and spank on her horses. Patience poles all day, saddled with sweat running from them; nothing but really severe bits in her tack room, and scarring inside most of her horses' mouths; heavy handed...but the clients pour in, because she gets the results they WANT. Sigh.

horspoor said...

SFTS...I like adult beginners. I don't care for adult sort of beginners. Those with an eyedropper full of knowledge, thinking they have it all figured out. Some come around, some don't.

Do not show up to your first lesson with me, carrying a stick with a plastic grocery bag tied to it...asking me to sack your horse out. Don't tell me how good you are, and then be unable to get on the horse, or be unable to not balance off your horse's face on the reins...big news flash, that's not contact, nor is it collection...it's abuse.

Your horse is not in a collected frame when it's chin is touching its chest. There are not four beats in a canter...I don't care who told you your horse had a lovely canter...4 beating is not cantering.

And if you want to ride with your hands spread three feet wide at shoulder level, your feet stuck out in front of you, half lying on your pockets, back rounded and shoulders hunched...go buy one of those chopper motorcycles. We don't ride horses that way. It's ridiculous.

Dena said...

STFS

I am referring to the folks who advertise EVERYTHING out of one barn with ONE trainer.
And
They almost always seem to have the crapiest tack, the poorest footing in their arena, or what passes for.
And in a word? Come across as ridiculous.
They know everything, have done everything, and every horse and rider gets the same cookie cutter education.
Think used car salesman with a loud plaid jacket and a bad rug.
And just because they saw something done once they are now an expert. Or, they did it themselves. They really did.

I have a hat from the PRNC in Vegas. That doesn't mean I was either there or rode in it.

horspoor said...

I know what you mean Dena. I've been to Devon. The seats are not comfortable. lol But some of these 'trainers' I know would say, "Oh yes, I've been to Devon." And it sounds like they competed. The most common one around here is, "I went to the CDI." Before I really understood the name of the game for some of these folks, I'd step in it. One woman said this, and I said "Yeah, me too. I must have missed you, sorry. How did you do?" Dead silence. Now I just smile and nod.

Another one, was a local western and gymkhana trainer. My friend Sabrina (yes the infamous Sabrina, lol) and I were looking at these flyers she'd put up. State Champion this, Div 1 champ at that. Sabrina, gets all huffy. Says she's a lying bitch etc... I say, "Oh come on Sabrina, who remembers who won that 5 years ago?" She says, "Me, I do...I remember because I won this and this and this..." Pointing to this woman's accomplishments on the flyer. Just cracked me up. Sabrina underlined the lies on the flyer...and wrote "LIAR FACE". lol She was having a very adult moment.

I've been to the Kentucky Derby too....lmao.

Dena said...

HP that has me lmao.
I know my strengths and my weaknesses.
And I can get a pretty good read just listening.
I can do some things well. But where I am at my best is from the ground and building the way up.
Foundation work.
I love the LIAR FACE...

You know I know a guy who bought a bunch of trophy saddles out of OK and TX.
Imagine the credentials that could be faked. ROLMAO

Cut-N-Jump said...

HP- That is priceless! Roflmao!

I guess we should advertise based on the fact our horses, clients as well as JR, have been in a catalog as well as a few magazines. To carry it one step further, one of the pictures was chosen to be on the cover.

Let the dollars come rolling in!!!

The trophy saddles crak me up as anyone competing hard enough to *win* one, already has tack that fits their horse. If it didn't hold up or didn't fit- they most likely would have had issues that would have kept them out of the running.

Showing, speed events or other types of competitions, if you aren't winning now, people don't care. If you won three years ago- the memories are fading.

Cut-N-Jump said...

CP- you might as well hang out your shingle or like HP said, take a select few under your wing. Choose the ones who can use it, will listen and do as they are told.

When they are doing consistently well- word will spread and folks will take notice. How can they help, not to?

Have someone in mind to pass them along to once you have gotten them as far as you can take them. Maybe work with that other person and make sure your teaching compliments theirs. I see the beginnings of a good thing there.

Good luck!

firecoach said...

I am getting a new baby. She is a mini mule who is still on the mother, so it is going to be a couple of months before I will bring her home. I have never had a baby horse before, much less a mule. Everyone tells me that mules are harder to work with, but since this little girl is fairly a clean slate, what is the most important thing to keep in mind?
Next to Fugly this is going to be my favorite blog, because I always get a chuckle out of JR's posts! By the way, I have a PINK carrot stick, is that not the epitome! Do I use it? NO, but it is PINK!

Dena said...

"An An An An he tossed his head and the trainer said he was dangerous and almost killed her"!!!

"Oh? And what did the trainer have in his mouth? Ahhhhhh...I see now".

Because Mylar with long shanks and a correction mouthpiece is a logical progression from a ring snaffle.

We have completely passed over the unprofessionalisms between trainers.
In a word? Sabotage.
Clients are not that hard to come by.

Not your best idea when the horse has been through several of the better training barns in the area over the years. And packed a kid with serious disabilities for several more before coming to you.

Dena said...

A mini mule? Shall we form the prayer circle now?
JK
Kind of.
Pony mule crosses. Ouch.
Was Mom the donkey? Donkies are the most permissive mothers in the equine world.
That said. "Consistency". One word.
Feet... Handle the feet. All of them... Consistently...
Good Luck.:)

firecoach said...

No the mother is the pony and the sire is some sort of jack ass ;-).
he he
But she is so cute. I get to go see her tomorrow. I know my barefoot trimmer will really appreciate me handling her feet a lot.

charlienchico said...

Cut-N-Jump said...
I guess we should advertise based on the fact our horses, clients as well as JR, have been in a catalog as well as a few magazines. To carry it one step further, one of the pictures was chosen to be on the cover.
____________________

Inquiring minds...?
I'm impressed.

Athena said...

I finally gave up on my password, but managed to figure out my login so I could reset it. Bonus! Pfft!

Athena said...

^^If we got to get paid like that I would have sooo much more money, AND a better job. lol

horspoor said...

I had a trophy saddle and some buckles stolen years ago. Makes you wonder. lol Why steal someone's buckles? They are pretty much worthless unless you actually won them. It's not like they are high value items...even the Wage ones. lol

PrairieFarmer said...

Championship buckles! Totally OT but that makes me think of a funny story - my nerdy brother, who never rode horses nor wanted to in any shape or form - went to college at Georgetown in WaDC. One of I think probably 5 public school, middle income family, kids who ever attended that very la-ti-da university.
Anyways, bro has a pretty wicked sense of humor so he took with him a belt buckle from a roping championship named after our grandfather "Knight Smith Memorial Roping Championship." My brother's name is Charles Knight Smith. So he started wearing the buckle and telling folks he won it, of course, along with showing photos of our place back from about 1910 and telling them we didn't have any power, and used an outhouse, and saying "ain't" a lot and what not. Those private school kids bought it, hook, line and sinker! And Charlie had a great time hamming it up, I think he had quite an audience of hanger-ons for a while. "Look Blake, a real cowboy hick type! Right here in our ivy-covered university! And he has BELT BUCKLE...". My mother was not appreciative, however, that he also told everybody that his mother was a horrible alcoholic hence reason he did not drink (remember, he is a nerd, we could never get him to touch any booze, no matter how hard we tried...). Mom didn't really care all that much, except when she went to visit on occasion and all the funny looks from the trophy wife/stepmoms!

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

I can see my brother doing something like that. lol I went to Mills...didn't really fit in. lol I didn't stay long. Then headed to ASU. ASU was like DisneyLand after Mills. lol

JohnieRotten said...

About buckles. My ex wife stole mine just before she filed for divorce, then she threw them all in the trash. They wresting peacefully in a Flagstaff landfill!

Dena said...

Progress Report. There is progress to report.
She blew within 10' of coming out of the gate.
It was a thing of beauty...
And that is all I am going to say for now.
As tomorrow she may prove me wrong.LOL

horspoor said...

Nice. Makes you wonder doesn't it JR. All about being vindictive. There is no payoff for anyone in that.

I donated most of my old trophys to the leadline classes. Little bitty kids, great big trophys. Some had reiners, some had pleasure horses, or pole benders etc... Just pulled the brass plates off, had new ones engraved and stuck on that said leadline. They were a huge hit with the kids. lol

horspoor said...

Just a note on the polebender trophys...if you've ever seen one, did you notice the horse is on the wrong lead?

JohnieRotten said...

No kidding HP

My ex hated my job. Did not want to me to train the horses.

horspoor said...

Was she a Flagstaff girl?

JohnieRotten said...

It's pole bending. I never noticed LOL


Why do they call it pole bending. I've never seen them bend one!

JohnieRotten said...

Yeah. She was a Flagstaff gal. Now she is a Winslow Ho!

horspoor said...

OH, you have to tell me what her maiden name was. I'm a few years older than you, so the chances are slim...but worth a shot. lol

I was never sure. I think cuz the horse has to bend around the poles? Who knows. Why do they call the main pattern of run straight down, weave poles down and back, and then run straight back Washington Poles? No clue.

horspoor said...

Oh man, I wouldn't want to live in Winslow. Maybe it has changed? lol

JohnieRotten said...

I will let CNJ email her name to you.

I have no idea where they come up with some of the names.

Cut-N-Jump said...

Dena- I kept trying to post in response to your previous post ^^^^ upwards there somewhere.

I read it thinking about a young stallion I worked with years ago. Long before meeting JR, having kids and losing my ability to heal quickly. Back when I had nerve and grit in large amounts.

Koty was coming 3 and learning his hormones and nuts impeded rational thought. He started to charge the front of the stall each time a horse went by. Since he was near the crossties- every horse in that end of the barn had to pass his stall. He would charge, they would shrink back or shoot forward, often slipping on the cement aisles.

He was under my care as the two other grooms either didn't like or hadn't handled stallions. Especially a hormonal 3 y/o.

Then he learns a new game. Rear and strike at anyone putting you on or taking you off the hotwalker. Try to bite as the halter is snapped and unsnapped to the lead or the arm. I was told "Always carry a whip and use it as needed."

Things weren't getting any better. Eyeroll.

Then the day came that changed a few things for a short time between me and that horse.

We were lunging horses in the south 40 which was the only place dry enough after a series of storms. He worked well enough and behaved for me but as I was leading him back across the property to the barn, he spots a horse on the neighboring property, quite a distance away. He started to huff himself up, snorting, prancing and calling out. I could see things were darting to escalate.

After a few worthless yanks on the lead and chain and realizing I had no whip, I had to do something...

So I channelled my inner bitch and she had a field day!

I threw my hands in the air, screamed and charged as I caught him off guard and 'attacked' him- yelling, swearing and screaming the whole time as I took the end of the lead rope to him. The one other groom that was walking with us said Kotys eyes were huge as he was trying to figure out WTH? happened. I had scared the total crap out of him!

After that I could give him a "Hey!" from anywhere in earshot and he stopped whatever he was doing. I didn't carry a whip for a few weeks and had no need to. I was still after the BNT and BO to geld the SOB before someone got hurt.

He soon started to resort back to his agressive ways and I was told again to carry a whip. I persisted about gelding, with more and more urgency as his behavior deteriorated and respect diminished. Finally they had a revelation- we should geld him.

That was a happy day in the horse world. Even though I had to work him twice a day to keep the swelling down, it was soooo worth it.

horspoor said...

CNJ...did you notice a correlation to not being as brave with having kids?

I know that I did. It wasn't a gradual change either. It was instant.

Dena said...

CNJ you nailed it again. Wanna bring out my inner bitch? Come for my back. Didn't lay anything on her. I charged her. Hard...
Think Banshee.
Hubby was there. At the end he had the same dazed look on his face.
If, he ever had a single spousal abuse thought/fantasy in his mind?
I promise you it is gone.lol
I don't believe he knew I could move that quick.ROL
Or, channel that much aggression.mao
My Native ancestors would have been proud...

Dena said...

I do not believe I have ever seen a horse drive so hard in reverse in my life.:)

Dena said...

I meant to add that Andalusions of Granduer sent me an amazing article on Separation Anxiety. It explains in fabulous detail the why, how, and when.

Cut-N-Jump said...

CNC- I will email the links...

HP- No correlation to the kidlets, even the one who is now 15.

I think it has become more of a lowered tolerance level on the bullshit and bad behavior meters. I just don't want to deal with it if I don't have to. Why should I and why should anyone else for that matter?

I hold to the belief- Crotchety old people didn't get this far through life by being nice. The ornery and insufferable seem to live forever. Besides, if they made it this far in life- they deserve to be as crotchety as they want. They have earned that right.


That horse was going to hurt someone (if they were lucky, that was all) if he wasn't gelded. They held off until after their big farm sale. They wanted to offer him as a stallion. All I could see was a trainwreck in someone elses barn.

As it was, one of the bidders was a couple who were totally clueless. They had bought another gelding I was caring for- a flashy bay with chrome- blaze and four white stockings. These two horses did not get along either. At ALL! Put them in the crossties next to each other and they huffed up and started 'sparring'. That would have made for some interesting trail riding...

They ended up not even being able to handle the gelding and trading him for another horse.

Koty was a 'No Sale' (whew) and held to the reserve price. He was finally gelded and turned out to be an awesome, gorgeous, western gelding.

horspoor said...

I had my son at 30. I did change. Very odd. I don't know if it is because I was his sole support or what. But I did become more cautious.

Cut-N-Jump said...

Firecoach- Re: mules

Handle the feet and everything else, much like you would with a horse.

Unlike horses though, mules have a high sense of self preservation and a low tollerance for roughness and mishandling. They rarely forget and are slow to forgive. Your cues need to be crystal clear in the beginning and correct reponses should bring loads of immediate praise. Focus on the positive and try to ignore the negative.

Someone else posted that mules have to be trained the way horses should be. Pretty much sums it up.

A good mule is priceless. A bad mule is a nightare.

firecoach said...

Thanks CNJ!
I am a bit concerned that she is not halter broken yet, but since she is a mini mule, I am hoping it will not be a big deal. She will have to learn to be led twice a day to go from her nightime stall to her yard until she can go to the big yard. So that should help with daily handling.
I have never had a baby horse or mule before so I am a bit nervous about the whole thing.
Yes, when I became a mother years ago, I developed a sense of self preservation that I did not have before. I guess it started because now I am responsible for someone.

Cut-N-Jump said...

HP- didn't you have the friend with the fairy who taps your shoulder around the age of 40 or so, granting you to say what you feel and not care what others think?

That fairy got a hold of me early on. It went for saying things and not taking any crap- from horses or people.

There are times- like you and Firecoach said, that I think what if something happens- who will care for the kids and the horses?

I still do that occasionally, but accidents happen on horses, in cars and on bicycles too. I can't live in constant paranoid fear. When it's your time, there's not much anyone can do about it. You can be the safest driver in the world, get T-boned by an asshat and that's the end of it. There goes your 'safe driver' status...

We can only try to prevent what we can, and weather the storms as they come. Sometimes it seems like an ark would be nice to get through it all, other times it's just a sprinkle- no umbrella needed.


I still get a little warning *tinge* on certain horses. CIP- the Arab filly. Although she did everything you asked. Something about her rattled me. She offered only once to get pissy, humped her back and cow kicked. I got after her and that was the end of it. But I still felt that *tinge* getting on her, every time.

The TB mare has little to no brakes at times and I let her get away with a lot. She came with issues, yet nothing she does phases me in the least. She jumps, does a 'victory dance' in excitement which includes a few BIG crowhops and moves on.

The Arab stallion, came to us without having been ridden in some time. Yet I climbed on him shortly after having the girls with no doubt in my mind he would behave like a gentleman. He offers to buck now and then and he does, as well as crowhopping in protest to having to work. I just ride it out, he gets over it and we move on.

The COB mare hadn't been ridden for some time when we got her. I took her on one of my wandering rides through the desert with the neighbor, the first time on her back. She jigged and danced the entire time, for what turned out to be a most miserable ride. I had to get into her a few times, and to her credit she never went stupid on me. I still ride her with not a doubt in my mind, or the thought of coming off.

There have been numerous other horses we have started, shown or gotten as re-treads- none of them bothered me in the slightest to climb on and ride. I rode out the bucks, rode through the issues and never thought of getting tossed.

Yet that one horse still give me that *tinge* when I get on her. And there is no reason for it that I can explain.

horspoor said...

I still ride them. Still do what needs to be done. I'm just not fearless anymore. That little tingle you're talking about...I listen to that now. I'm not so, 'You will do this, and you will do it now.' And there are some I look at, and just think, "Oh hell no." lol I still end up getting on or whatever, but I take more care in preparation, and pay more attention.

Cut-N-Jump said...

Firecoach- just treat her as you would any other horse. Nothing special, age appropriate skills. You will find the patience of a saint.

Just take your time with her. She's got a whole lifetime ahead of her. If you ever need help with her- don't be afraid of getting it. Waiting too long won't do either of you any favors.

HP- I have had my share of the "Oh, hell no!" horses. There's always the time to get off, always the time not to get on and always the ones to just walk away from while you can.

I'm not out to 'win the warm-up' anymore, or impress a bunch of railbirds. Self preservation is good. Age has taught me that.

cattypex said...

Wow... I had more paranoia those first 8 months of motherhood than a VW busload of tokin' hippies.

It's evened out (she turned 4 today), but she's expressed a very lively interest in dirtbikes (huh), roller coasters (yay) and riding horses (YESSSSS). So you just sort of deal, and don't take stupid chances.

horspoor said...

I think that's it Cattypex it did mellow over time. Now he's 16 and it's back with a vengence. lol

Cut...The Opinion Fairy comes and taps you on the shoulder around 40. lol And if you are already 'of an opinion' type...it's just heightens it. lmao.

SFTS said...

horspoor wrote:
SFTS...I like adult beginners. I don't care for adult sort of beginners. Those with an eyedropper full of knowledge, thinking they have it all figured out. Some come around, some don't.

Do not show up to your first lesson with me, carrying a stick with a plastic grocery bag tied to it...asking me to sack your horse out. Don't tell me how good you are, and then be unable to get on the horse, or be unable to not balance off your horse's face on the reins...big news flash, that's not contact, nor is it collection...it's abuse.

Your horse is not in a collected frame when it's chin is touching its chest. There are not four beats in a canter...I don't care who told you your horse had a lovely canter...4 beating is not cantering.

And if you want to ride with your hands spread three feet wide at shoulder level, your feet stuck out in front of you, half lying on your pockets, back rounded and shoulders hunched...go buy one of those chopper motorcycles. We don't ride horses that way. It's ridiculous.

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Just getting a chance to come back and offer up replies...

I actually think the teenagers who have "ridden a little" are way worse than the "sort of" beginner adults.

But yeah, sometimes stuff does get on my nerves. :)

SFTS said...

Dena wrote:
STFS

I am referring to the folks who advertise EVERYTHING out of one barn with ONE trainer.
And
They almost always seem to have the crapiest tack, the poorest footing in their arena, or what passes for.
And in a word? Come across as ridiculous.
They know everything, have done everything, and every horse and rider gets the same cookie cutter education.
Think used car salesman with a loud plaid jacket and a bad rug.
And just because they saw something done once they are now an expert. Or, they did it themselves. They really did.

I have a hat from the PRNC in Vegas. That doesn't mean I was either there or rode in it.

- - - - - - - -

Hmmm. I offer training for show horses in a number of divisions. Halter, Showmanship, Pleasure horses (Western, Hunter, Country English, English), Show Hack (english & sport horse), Sport Horse (in hand & under saddle), over fences (hunters, jumpers, hunter hack), Dressage, Driving, Trail, Reining, Cutting, Sidesaddle (english & western), Native Costume ~ pretty much the gamut of the Arabian show ring.

Most Arabian show horse trainers are fairly all around. Well, so are many trainers in other breeds. Except for the "halter trainers". Of course, I train pleasure trail horses, too. Give lessons, check. Run a summer camp, check.

I don't have crappy tack. I don't have poor footing in the arenas. Ridiculous? Really now.

SFTS said...

horspoor wrote:
I've been to Devon. The seats are not comfortable. lol But some of these 'trainers' I know would say, "Oh yes, I've been to Devon." And it sounds like they competed. The most common one around here is, "I went to the CDI." Before I really understood the name of the game for some of these folks, I'd step in it. One woman said this, and I said "Yeah, me too. I must have missed you, sorry. How did you do?" Dead silence. Now I just smile and nod.

Another one, was a local western and gymkhana trainer. My friend Sabrina (yes the infamous Sabrina, lol) and I were looking at these flyers she'd put up. State Champion this, Div 1 champ at that. Sabrina, gets all huffy. Says she's a lying bitch etc... I say, "Oh come on Sabrina, who remembers who won that 5 years ago?" She says, "Me, I do...I remember because I won this and this and this..." Pointing to this woman's accomplishments on the flyer. Just cracked me up. Sabrina underlined the lies on the flyer...and wrote "LIAR FACE". lol She was having a very adult moment.

I've been to the Kentucky Derby too....lmao.

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I LOL'd. :)

Sabrina sounds like my kind of gal.

There was a Paint trainer from Bakersfield who happened to show up on a horse rescue email list I was on a number of years back. Tried to start shit with me. Said she had seen me at a show, she wasn't impressed with the horse I showed, I was a know-nothing, etc ad nauseum. Then I found out she'd been at a show in Palmdale, the green mare I was showing won all four of her classes, and I'd beat this uppity Bakersfield chick in every class. :P When she was exposed, she pretty much disappeared. Um, hello?

SFTS said...

JohnieRotten wrote:
About buckles. My ex wife stole mine just before she filed for divorce, then she threw them all in the trash. They wresting peacefully in a Flagstaff landfill!
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Now THAT is f*d up. Bad! That would be like my taking my hubby's 1945 Harley and giving it away. I'd be dead.

SFTS said...

JohnieRotten wrote:
My ex hated my job. Did not want to me to train the horses.
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My husband is NOT a horse person. However he knew when we got married that I trained horses for a living. Like it, or leave it. He liked me enough that he learned not to ask me to give up my lifestyle and livelihood. He is a great show groom, and helper. He does all sorts of things for me, I couldn't do it all without him. I can even g et him on a horse for a trail ride, occasionally. He's hinted at maybe, someday wanting to show Halter. Maybe. I don't think I could have married another trainer. I was engaged to one once. It would have been a DISASTER.

SFTS said...

JohnieRotten wrote:
It's pole bending. I never noticed LOL

Why do they call it pole bending. I've never seen them bend one!

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LOL! Funny, until now I never questioned that. Thanks a lot JR!

SFTS said...

horspoor wrote:
CNJ...did you notice a correlation to not being as brave with having kids?

I know that I did. It wasn't a gradual change either. It was instant.

- - - - - - - -

I know what you ladies mean. I fully understand my mortality now. Things hurt more, faster. And I'd better not get hurt ~ I have a family counting on me.

I'll also never forget the first time my daughter went into a walk/trot class as a little one. My heart about jumped in my throat. It was so different than just a student. That was my baby out there! Like her learning to drive. Talk about SCARY.

SFTS said...

Cut-N-Jump wrote:
I still get a little warning *tinge* on certain horses. CIP- the Arab filly. Although she did everything you asked. Something about her rattled me. She offered only once to get pissy, humped her back and cow kicked. I got after her and that was the end of it. But I still felt that *tinge* getting on her, every time.

There have been numerous other horses we have started, shown or gotten as re-treads- none of them bothered me in the slightest to climb on and ride. I rode out the bucks, rode through the issues and never thought of getting tossed.

Yet that one horse still give me that *tinge* when I get on her. And there is no reason for it that I can explain.

- - - - - - - -

I find that as I age, I am a LOT less brave than I once was, and I do get that *tinge* myself sometimes. But I consider it a good thing. Keeps me from getting complacent, which is when you're more likely to get hurt.

horspoor wrote:
I still ride them. Still do what needs to be done. I'm just not fearless anymore. That little tingle you're talking about...I listen to that now. I'm not so, 'You will do this, and you will do it now.' And there are some I look at, and just think, "Oh hell no." lol I still end up getting on or whatever, but I take more care in preparation, and pay more attention.
- - - - - - - -

I've always been such a firm believer in ground work preparation, like I've said before. But every once in a while there are still some horses I just think, damn, WHY do I have to ride YOU today. Most of them I truly look forward to. But there have been a few over the years........

SFTS said...

horspoor wrote:
Oh man, I wouldn't want to live in Winslow. Maybe it has changed? lol
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Nope, Winslow hasn't changed a BIT in the last 20 years. Other than there are a few more truck stops. LOL