Sunday, April 8, 2018
The trainer had to cancel due to a horse emergency.
I went out by myself. Went pretty good. Did a little trotting.
Went by lots of dogs behind fences and other horses in pens and goats and such.
I decided to make the block since I thought I could go down the sandy side areas instead of the road base but we did some road base. His feet may not be happy about that. We shall see.
We got on the desert trail and he was impatient but did walk for me. We went by a scary sheet of metal.
I will see how his feet are doing tomorrow and then maybe trot in his home pen where the footing is really good. Not sure yet.
I guess at least I didn't chicken out and not ride today
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Magnificent day. 2 1/2 hours of riding. Karen V. came by and we rode to Karen A.'s house.
Sir Richard was wonderful but those boots really did aggravate him. I have to try another brand. He has a rub spot on the back of his heel and I won't put those boots back on him again.
Other than that, the afternoon went really well. Karen A. hadn't met us yet so we went across the desert trail to her house. We met Karen A and Brownie the Wonderhorse. Turned and went to Karen A's obstacle course.
We did a lot of work on a lead line. We stepped down into the dry 6x6 foot pool. We went over black squares of rubber. We went over a rubber strip with white lines on it. We stepped over some poles. We went through pool noodles as a "gate" We went across a bridge. We went down into the ditch to let me mount and stepped up the steep bank to get out of there.
Then we did some riding through some of the obstacles we had done on the lead line.
Richard was fine with the big American flag on a stick. He got it rubbed all over him.
He did not particularly like the pool noodles.
We went across the bridge...lead line only today.
Richard took the lead on the way home and he rated his speed nicely for me. He listened well with all the twists and turns on the desert trail home.
We got to the sand road and I said "Surprise, we aren't turning towards home." I rode him a little ways up. Then, I did turn him around. My friend and I rode side by side at an even pace back to my place.
He wanted to walk fast on the sand road home but one rein slowed him down and he did great.
I rode him to the home pen today. That was a first for me.
What a fabulous wonderful sunny day with Sir Richard. And my new friend, Karen V. and my old friend Karen A.
Hey, I just remembered. I asked my horse to move sideways to hand out my camera to Karen V. I really didn't give it much thought. Just picked up the reins, moved my foot to his side and asked the horse to do it.
Sir Richard moved over sideways. Is that cool or what? First, that I didn't have to think real hard and second that Richard said "Okay, I can do that for you."
Friday, March 30, 2018
Had a fun day yesterday. I met a new horse friend. She got one of my horse magazines by accident and got a hold of me through facebook.
Had her over for coffee. She said she would love to use my round pen. I thought that would be a great way to see how she handles her horse.
She trailered hoer horse over and I found out she got spun off awhile back so her confidence is a little low but she handled her horse nicely. Her horse had lovely manners.
We desensitized on the ground with another friend on an ATV. Both horses did fine. She got on her horse and my friend with the ATV drove around and desensitized to the ATV while in the saddle.
We walked across the street in a halter and looked at the barking dogs behind the fence. Both horses did quite well once again.
She lives close by. I told her I am almost ready to go around the neighborhood on Richard with a friend. So in a week or two we may just do that.
Thursday, March 22, 2018
It sometimes feels so satisfying and wonderful to be outside, hanging out with my critters. Sir Richard felt the need to connect with me this evening as I sat on the mounting block in his pen...enjoying the sun finally coming out however briefly.
He listened to the sounds around the neighborhood. I told him "I hear that." or "What are you listening to now?" He just stood with me and then let his head down and relaxed next to me. I put one hand on his shoulder and enjoyed the fact that a big whole critter like Richard would want to hang out with little ol' me.
I feel like we are learning to listen to one another. I am finding out that he really is a good guy. He is figuring out that I am a good and strong person for him. We can feel safe with one another...if that makes any sense. He in his horse way and me in my human way.
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
On the theme of attention.
It is raining like the dickens out there this morning.
I thought I would share the progress we made yesterday which is actually a culmination of the last few weeks of us working together.
The farrier came by and we got Pony out of the big pen out back. That left Richard alone. Richard doesn't "do" alone very well. While the farrier worked on Pony [the farrier is pretty slow and likes to stop to talk a lot], I made sure I was there for Richard.
When he got agitated, I walked in and asked him to focus on me. And Richard did focus on me. That's a real confidence builder for both of us.
Later in the day, I took him out to the round pen. Pony was right next to us about 40 feet away.
I've been saying that Richard and I just need to work together and we will be a team. He will have confidence in me and stop looking around so much.
That happened yesterday. Earlier in the week I had made sure that I got big when needed on backing and a couple of other small issues. of course, I take my responsibility seriously to make sure that the horse knows what I want when I do get big. Yesterday, I made sure to tell him "I'm over here, buddy" when he looked away..by gently pulling his head straight.
I had that horse's attention :)
That certainly is a confidence booster for me. I am on the right track here.
And, even though Richard can get pretty worked up over his buddies not being there, he can and does calm down when I go in to work with him. He isn't super buddy sour but this could turn into buddy sour. Using CJ techniques, I think we are nipping this in the bud. When I am around, he is focusing on me and not his buddies.
Sir Richard is a wonderful horse and I am so happy to have him.
Saturday, March 17, 2018
I found this saddle on Craigslist and the guy gave me a great deal. It is a similar size to my current saddle in all respects but I do believe the gullet is just a tad taller [which I wanted].
The seat is a 16 but closer to 15 1/2 with padding...same as my old one.
It has the bucking roll.
It has tie strings.
It has D-rings for the breast collar.
My current saddle has none of that.
The sheepskin underneath might be a little better than the sheepskin on my current saddle.
The saddle is older for sure but I think the leather is still serviceable.
It came with a complete new front and back cinch.
And it is not super heavy.
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Oh boy, we did it. We rode out alone.
First, we rode around the driveway making sure our turns were good. And our "Whoa's". And we stood for a couple of minutes at a time to make sure our patience was good.
I already had the big gate open just in case I got brave enough to go outside the fence.
I headed him out there and then around the corner to the sand road. I stopped at the corner to let him look around and see the new world. The corner dogs were not out in the yard so we didn't get to see them.
Then, up the road. I said "Hi, Craig" but I guess Craig wasn't out there. We went past his flapping laundry on the line. No problem but the shiny puddle was a slight issue.
We went by some trash on the road and a flapping supermarket bag. We went by several more puddles. By the big puddles at the end of the line, he seemed just fine with puddles.
I started asking him to keep his head straight by jiggling one rein until his head came back forwards. I stopped him several times and pointed out different things to him. That's Karen's house she has two horses. That's Mike and Delores house. They have two horses, as well.
On our way back the wind came up some but I sang "Hey, shoulda been a cowboy. Shoulda learned to rope and ride. Singing those campfire songs...yeah, shoulda been a cowboy."
He did pretty good. He seemed to want to start to trot a couple of times on the way home but I said "Walk" "don't get to going too fast buddy."
I asked him to stay on the road and not be looking around so much. I had good hands on the reins, I think.
.I actually had some semblance of relaxation so that was good. We rode about one mile total. Half mile up and half mile back.
I stopped him at the corner again on the way home. Then we turned towards the driveway and I had him go past the entrance before turning him to go in.
I had him go around the driveway, then sat for a couple of minutes before getting off him. I took his bridle off, put on the halter and off we went out the gate on foot.
I let him see the houses with dogs and the haunted house going the other way on our road.
We got back in, I punched the button for the gate to close. That startled him but I walked him in and then let him "push" the gate closed by walking him towards it as it was closing.
I tied him up to the patience pole and got his saddle off, brushed him, cleaned his feet. He's standing out there right now waiting for me to come out.
Coming home doesn't mean instant hay.
Friday, March 9, 2018
Sir Richard and his owner pull it together today.
We did great. I got home and sat in the home pen, drank my afternoon cup of coffee and waited for Richard to come see me. Of course, I was irresistible and after about 10 minutes of consideration, he came to where I was sitting.
I put his halter on him and then left him standing there while I ran in for the new camera. He was happy I came back out :)
We did some little things like back and then we went out to the round pen. I asked him to walk and to trot off line. It didn't take him long to get his mind in the game.
I snapped his lead line back on.
I got up on the rail of the round pen and asked him to come underneath me. He did that willingly. Again, directing him from a distance.
I asked for a turn on the fore on each side and a few turn hind.
Then out to the log section where I asked him to move out on his own to step over on of the big logs. Did that in both directions. Then we did the fan of skinny logs, again asking him to move out on his own while I stood in one spot and directed him around. His ears were perky. Hey, this is something new.
I took his halter off but he followed me all the way to the gate of the big pen so I put his halter back on and took him up front for the platform. He backed off hesitantly but he did manage to do it.
We took a nice break while I played with the other two horses, then, I said "Why not put his saddle on him and ask him to step up to the mounting block." He did great. I mounted and dismounted a couple of times with some relaxing in the saddle for several minutes.
After my final dismount, I asked Richard to walk out [lounge] with the saddle on. He was a bit stickier but I encouraged and he did do it both ways.
A lovely couple of hours spent in my horse world. Felt good.
Saturday, March 3, 2018
The adventures of Sir Richard.
Not training related...or maybe it is :)
Well, it was a winter wonderland this morning. Fortunately most of it has melted away this afternoon.
I took Sir Richard out to the big pen out back this morning. I left him there and went to pony's home pen, picked up the Pony's halter and then I heard a commotion. Here comes Richard rounding the corner at a lope.
He pranced around showing off for the little horses poking at them over their fencing. He tried to find an escape route. Total dead end both ways buddy.
I grabbed a halter and lead rope and we went back and forth a few times. When he stopped and looked at me, I took the pressure off by turning sideways. He decided to stop and let me come up to him.
I put him back in his home pen and then took Pony out to the big pen. Richard was pacing and calling when I got back. I let him fuss for awhile while I sat on the bench by his pen.
Then I heard a little voice say "Be the leader he needs."
I got his halter on and asked him gently to back, step up, turn left, turn right, get out on the lead and circle. Once I had his attention, I walked him out to the big pen with one stop in the middle to ask him to step out and turn to the right and turn to the left and back and lead by my side.
On the way back in the afternoon we wandered around, he got a few mouthfuls of dried grass, we stepped over a few logs and back to the home pen. I asked him to line up at the mounting block. The fourth time he got darn close to what I wanted. I petted him and told him what a good boy he was. I quit right there.
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Okay, Sir Richard and the rest of you probably thought this is a silly idea but.....
My trainer said, "Just tack him up, get on him and sit for 10 minutes. Get off and your done." It teaches him, patience and it doesn't take a lot of your time. and you get used to each other.
So, I brought Richard in from the big pen, cleaned his feet, brushed him, got the saddle on him. Left him in the rope halter.
Now, he is still learning to come up to the mounting block. I went ahead and brought the mounting block to him. He stood like a rock for mounting. Yay!
We sat for 10 minutes. He looked back at me from both sides of his face. I patted his butt, adjusted my feet in the stirrups, rubbed on his neck.
I relaxed. I needed that.
I got off onto the mounting block, took his tack off and we did a bit of brushing and we were done.
Richard thought that was the shortest ride he's ever been on. :)
I got some apple slices out. I am teaching the horses to come when I whistle.