Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A mare and lessons

No photos.
I went to see a mare this morning. I am going to pass.
She was really sweet, worked off seat and legs basically.
I only trotted briefly because the girl said slow her down even though I thought it was fine. The trot was very nice.
Stood nicely to be saddled. Bridled easily.
One hesitation was that one foot had a very old injury to the coronet band so she said the mare didn't lope well. Also said that the horse didn't like farriers so she did the feet herself since the farrier would "dig too deep" and with her injury it hurt her.
She did say the horse is sound and can be ridden for hours at a walk and a trot.
I think no foot/no horse.
The mare went over the logs very easily.
Another hesitation was the horse is, quote, an alpha mare who does not want you to touch other horses, end quote.
I didn't have anyone to take with me and I felt very bold for managing to go by myself 
On another note, I have a lesson lined up for Sunday with the new trainer. She seems very experienced and starts everyone out in an English saddle....wish me luck!
I think I will let my neighbor/trainer know so she isn't surprised.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Saying so long to Tucker








Alright, the folks showed up right on time for their new horse. The 16 year old walked him down the driveway and Grandpa got him in the trailer. I think he will do great at his new home. I am moving on to new adventures. Wish me luck.
I have dozens of photos of my time with Tucker and this seemed like an appropriate last photo.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017



What a year.
Should I mention that I am taking up riding at the mature age of 58?
I lost my rescue horse Tanka to a tragic end early in the year. I loved the way he would talk to me. I still remember the time we stood looking out over the desert across the neighbor's yard. Tanka turned to me and said, "There's been someone over there." He looked back towards the desert. "I know, that's the neighbor. He's building a fence." Tanka pondered that, turned his face towards me again and said, "I'm very worried about that." "it's okay, buddy, it's his yard." Tanka sighed and we stood there looking out into the desert....content to be with one another.
I found Tucker and then outgrew him in only 6 months.
The having a big horse and the horse riding has been an emotional, satisfying, scary, exhilarating, confusing roller coaster of a ride. A real learning and growing time in my life.
I have bought or used several types of bridle, lots of saddle pads. I bought a saddle. Used four different saddles to ride in. Ridden three different horses [not counting the three or four I rode when buying a horse]. Bought lead ropes and halters. Used a couple of farriers. The experiences are adding up.
Who knew that I would come so far in so few months of riding? Yes, I have a long ways to go but I am doing it.
I am physically stronger. That was one thing I was hoping to get from riding.
My husband's uncle the cowboy so wants me to keep going. He is so impressed. Such a nice man.
I agree that I have done pretty good at the riding. Maybe not quite as good at the horsemanship and maybe not so good at sticking up for myself. I'll have to work on both.
I am going to ride as many horses as I safely can for the time being. Learn what I like and don't like.
I have a lead on a good trainer who has lesson horses. I'll make the call after the first and see what we can arrange.
I now know that I don't like a horse that is klutzy. I want a horse that can trot or lope but, obviously, is really good at a walk.
I want a smoother trot on a horse. Not so choppy.
Probably a shorter horse. I want to be able to get off and on without a mounting block  The desert is so flat here. There are no ditches or logs to use for cheaters.
I want a horse I can go out by myself on. I have miles and miles of riding available to me out here and I love being alone.
Of course, I want to be able to camp and ride with a group, as well. I have a couple of fabulous groups available to ride with.
Looks like my buyers will be getting Tucker just after the first of the year. Tucker is going to a great home with experienced owners and lots of grandkids.
I am moving on.
I have lots of advice on what kind of horse to get in the future and some of it is conflicting. That's okay. I have a feeling the right horse will come along.
It's nice to see that my family thinks I should keep going. I have been unsure but I do love riding and horses. We shall see.
Let's just relax and see what the new year brings!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

What did I learn?

Do more groundwork from the start.

Watch how the horse tracks when walking, trotting and loping before buying.

Make sure horse can go out alone.

Make sure horse has a nice [not choppy] trot.

Do not buy a really swayback horse.  So hard to fit for a saddle and I swear that saddle slides backwards.

Try to find a sure footed mount that doesn't have lazy feet.

Try harder to find help from someone who seems to understand what is going on.  For instance, Tucker has turned into a real turd going home.  I mentioned some problems to a person who said stuff like "All horses want to hurry home."  "Your horse did not crow hop."  "This is all your fault, you know."  They aren't there and they are totally discounting what I am telling them. 

Okay but that isn't helping me with my horse.  The horse has been getting worse, not better, and I haven't got anyone to help me who is trying to understand what is going on. Now that we have reached the point of bucking, I am done.

The fact is that I so dislike trotting on this horse due to the choppy gate.  The horse has a real stubborn streak.  And I don't have the inclination nor the skills to handle these shenanigans like hopping and bucking. 




Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Tucker is being sold

Team Tucker
I have decided to sell Tucker.
The vet says Tucker is sound and does not have arthritis.
I am not confident riding him. I don't want to be bucked off.
I have a nice sounding family coming over and looking at buying him. They have horse experience and several grand children.
Thus ends Team Tucker.
I think I will take some riding lessons out of town on a lesson horse and go from there.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

arthritis? and Tucker

Team Tucker talked to the farrier today.
He said he wouldn't lope on Tucker either. Don't get hurt.
He said Tucker definitely has arthritis in his knees. He said you can spend hundreds of dollars at the vet and they can do lots of tests and they will still say he has arthritis in his knees which might be causing him to trip.
It is the arthritis that is causing him to trip.
The saddle may have caused some problems but it has nothing to do with Tucker tripping so often and so badly. Definitely worth changing saddles since he has seen saddles cause problems with the withers and bucking but realize that Tucker will still trip a lot.
Ride Tucker at a walk and trail ride him and consider that Tucker may need an early retirement. And don't get hurt.
He's going to call me if he comes across a nice trail riding horse for a decent price.
And don't get hurt. It's not worth getting hurt because of the horse.
He also said that a lot of people blame themselves for the way the horse is but Tucker really does have arthritis and you didn't make the horse what he is today.
We shall see where we go next. I'm not ruling out seeing a vet. I do think I will get the new saddle on Tucker again tomorrow. We will see if we can do okay with that but I will need to work him at a lope without me on him to see if he will be calmer and willing to just go at a walk. But trotting and loping on this horse is not recommended. Which is what I have been thinking myself.
This is just this guy's opinion but I think he is right.
And that really limits me to a great degree.
I think lessons on another horse is my best option to improve my horsemanship skills and to learn to post and lope at least for the time being

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Tripping

I'm starting to wonder about Tucker and his tripping. He even manages to trip when cantering by himself in the big pen. I have the farrier coming out Monday.
I realize that I feel comfortable walking with Tucker but trotting and tripping is scarier and I certainly don't want to canter on him.
He's been klutzy since I got him. There is so much to like about Tucker that I have been hopeful that the farrier work would help but I don't think it really is. I am going to talk to the farrier about this on Monday.
The neighbor wants me to trot him but I am at the point where I certainly don't want to trot him on uneven ground. That is when he tripped and bucked last time. Still, the first time he bucked, he stepped on his own foot [I saw the scrape on his hoof] and it is smooth in the driveway. I have been trotting him in the driveway or carefully on the sandy road.
I think I am riding him okay and, again, he does trip even when cantering in the big pen without me on him. I may talk to a vet in the future.
I'm feeling kind of worried.
My husband is being very nice about this since I have spent a lot of time and effort and some money getting Tucker. He says if Tucker has issues that can't be fixed, we will just have to get another horse. That made me feel good about our relationship 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Peace




Team Tucker is at peace tonight. I thought what a beautiful afternoon. I need to just relax and hang out with my critters.
I took Tucker an apple slice.
I took a book and read it outside Tucker's pen. He wandered over and tried to nibble my pants. I shoo'd him away.
I cleaned his pen and took my time. A friend called and I sat on the mounting block to talk. When Tucker came in too crowd me, I asked him to move away. And he did.
I rubbed his withers and he enjoyed it. He let his lip droop and curled his neck and head up like do that some more! That tells me a lot. The other saddle I had does NOT fit him right. He has not enjoyed those kind of rubs in a while.
He willingly backed up and stood to get his hay today.
I made sure I remembered those releases when he did as asked.
Joseph Pote was thinking what I was kind of thinking today and I enjoyed his post. It pertained to Tucker and I. I need a few baby steps to get back my confidence in Tucker.
I think Tucker and I will go out to the big pen tomorrow and I will ask him to blow off some steam and then do some ground work. I bet it goes very nicely tomorrow.
Tucker is very patient with Cash who likes to share his food.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Tucker bucks again




eam Tucker is trying it again.
Tried out the new used saddle and saddle pad today.
Neighbor came by.
I felt tired and nervous. Just not having my best day. I tacked up with the neighbor's help.
Tucker and I walked around the pen.on the ground while we took turns watching how he seemed to feel about the new saddle. Tucker seemed like he likes the new saddle. The pad seems to sit in the right place. He looked relaxed. There seems to be more room between his withers and the pommel.
I am pretty sure I wasn't very relaxed. I mounted and we walked around the pen and then jogged a little.
We went out to the obstacle course and Tucker walked over the logs with no problems so his shoulders are moving well in this saddle.
She said trot him over by the vertical poles. He stepped in a small hole with his hind foot and then he started bucking. I turned him with one rein while he bucked and he stopped. She said, "You just take him back through there. There was no excuse for that."
So I turned him and went back through there and turned him and went back through there several times.
The good news is I did not loose a stirrup and I did turn him to get him out of bucking mode.
I also felt good jogging in this saddle. It's not as hard on my butt as I thought it would be.
She says, "Did you take him out to the big pen today?" Well, no I didn't.
She took him out there and had him circle and lope. Of course, in both directions. One note here is that Tucker is feeling better. His scratches are almost gone and he got antibiotics for his tooth. He is a good weight. The weather is cooler.
He is feeling his oats a bit. One day, I was looking out the window, Tucker thought I wasn't fast enough with the food and he was trotting and shaking his head and he threw in a couple of bucks all on his own.
I am not capable yet of cantering. So, the next best thing is to let him lope in the big pen without me on him. I am corking him up. I will have to work on that aspect. Fiddle with the reins less and have him walk out on a looser rein. Rewatch rein management on the CJ site.
I also think the side pull maybe isn't the right bridle for him. It is pulling up towards his eye sometimes if you use one rein on the ground so might be doing that when riding. Since I have to be bitless due to his tooth, the neighbor wants me to try a mechanical hackamore. I'll have to read up on that.
My game plan for the next week or two, I think, is that I will tack up and take Tucker out to the big pen where we will lope during ground work. I will make sure he gets to blow off some steam. I will also do more ground work and I will be firmer in some areas. Expect more of him. Which I am doing already and it is helping our relationship.
I will get on him if I think I am ready to do that. If Tucker isn't ready on the ground, then he isn't ready for riding. I'll know.
I think more ground work is in our future  I think if I would have been doing ground work since the beginning, we would be further ahead as a team but that is water under the bridge. No time like the present.
Hopefully on Saturday, when I work with him again, I'll have my energy level up some  Ill try to get some photos of the new pad and saddle.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Confidence

When do you start trusting your own skills as a horseman? I think I need to start now 
My Uncle Cal was here and he is a good horseman. He is 73 years old and riding all his life. We have talked on the phone. He understands all about pressure and release.
Now, several other people have told me that I am doing great. Sometimes telling me I need to trust my instincts with my horse.
Yet, it is hard to be a beginner. I am the type of person that knows she doesn't know.
Back to Uncle Cal. He was so impressed by where I am at. He said from talking to me on the phone, he thought I was a total beginner but from watching me work with Tucker and ride Tucker , I am way ahead of what he thought I would be.
I tacked up Tucker and got him to ground tie. He threw in a pointer here and there as I was brushing, tacking up and cleaning feet. I enjoyed that.
I walked up to the mounting block and Tucker lined right up and took one step when asked. Uncle Cal was impressed and I said, "I taught him that," with a big smile on my face. I am proud of that.
"Do you want me to open the gate?" he says. "No, Tucker and I can do that." We side passed to open the gate. "Wow, I'm impressed."
Uncle Cal watched me ride Tucker at a walk in the circular drive and he thought I was doing a great job. Maybe a little stiff in the shoulders. But way ahead of where he thought I would be in only 5 months.
Tucker and I trotted a bit and Uncle Cal thought we did fine at that. Then, Tucker and I were coming around, Tucker tripped pretty badly forwards and then Tucker did a couple of bucks headed towards where Uncle Cal was sitting.
"Well, you did really good with that and just following where the horse went. You got a little stiff at the end."
I bet I did since I lost my right stirrup and my thigh was up on the horn. I did not jerk on the reins. I did not look panicked. I sat on my horse and we talked calmly about what just happened.
He was very impressed that I didn't look panicked or wasn't screaming or crying  "How did it feel." "It was a little scary, Uncle Cal, but I stayed on." I gave him a big grin.
"It was like he got stung by a bee but it is winter and there are no bees." I told him I think it is the saddle. I have had little problems and I have bought 4 saddle pads and a blanket trying to make this saddle work out. I am done with this saddle."
I walked Tucker around the driveway, into the home pen, dismounted and took his saddle off.
Here is what Uncle Cal told me. "I think you should have confidence in yourself. You are doing fantastic. Don't listen to other people, listen to yourself. Yes, learn from other people but do what you think is right for you and your horse because you are doing just fine."
I do have to thank Carson James Rhodenizer for teaching me so much.
And some of the people in this group have helped me so much. Their encouragement has meant the world to me.
That saddle is never going on Tucker again and I will be purchasing another saddle.
Tucker is a good horse. I have been saying for awhile the saddle is pinching him. I have bought pad after pad because people were saying that the saddle wasn't pinching him but I knew something was wrong.
It is time for me to spread my wings and have more confidence in myself.