Tuesday, September 19, 2017

TeamTucker rides alone

Team Tucker had a gorgeous morning to go out for a ride....alone. No other peeps.
I shined up my saddle and turned the stirrups while it was windy yesterday. I'll keep turning them with a broom handle. I do think it helped.
We started out by going through our home obstacle course. Kind of a warm up. The wind was gusting a bit. The computer is saying about 10 mph.
Tucker is good in the wind but once we went down the driveway and got on the road, he acted very alert.
I decided to go to the right instead of the left today. Tucker was on making sure he was keeping an eye out for us. Not ridiculous but definitely watching for trouble. He wanted to turn for home at the end of our fence line but I kept him turning until we were facing leaving once again.
We got to the dog corner and no dogs on the right but a new dog barking on the left. I had to encourage Tucker to continue forwards. I told him the dog was safely behind the fence!
Tucker was pretty hesitant all along there and when we got to the next corner, I could see two dogs running loose in the desert. I let Tucker rest and watch them. They didn't seem like a threat but I decided to circle the mailboxes and then turn us around to go back the way we came. I wanted it to be my idea that we were turning around.
At the dog corner I said "Surprise, we are not going home. Make a left and go east young man." He did that nicely. He was still being a lookey loo. I asked him to jog and walk and jog and walk for that half mile. We actually got to trotting a bit and I think I was posting the trot for 200 feet or so. Woot! I did NOT start bouncing like a rag doll at any point!
We made a right turn and walked and jogged to our sandy road home. Surprise again, Tucker. We are taking the big loop trail through the desert and then back to our sandy road. He did quite well at listening.
I think we were riding for about an hour and a half. I think Tucker is still not sure he can trust me to be a good leader when we are doing a new route alone. We had been on that road before but from the other direction and with Brownie the Wonder Horse. I think the way to overcome that is to make sure we keep going out by ourselves.
Here is is standing at the patience pole at the end of our ride.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

We opened the big gate

Team Tucker has another first!
It wasn't smooth, it wasn't great but it was an accomplishment.
We opened a big 14' gate at the neighbor's house. I did start rushing which was not good but.....we undid the latch, stepped back to the first third of the gate, pulled the gate open, got turned and got around the end of the gate [almost caught my foot], got side passing to pull the gate closed, backed and closed the latch. That was a real accomplishment.
It was a lovely ride to my neighbor's house with a bit of a breeze and 80 degrees out.
Up the sandy road and a bit of jogging which felt pretty comfortable today.
We went the back way through the desert. I didn't pick up the trail right away so I had to turn back on the road. Tucker thought "hey, we are headed home." No we are not!
I managed to find the trail. We turned on to the trail and I rode the trail with very little reins just using my body and legs to guide the horse until we got to the tricky part where there were squirrel and rabbit holes on the sides of the trail.
When we got to the neighbor's house, I told Tucker to go through the obstacles. He said he didn't want to. I patiently made my position clear and he did go through the dry pond area, over the bridge, around the trail and then we headed to the back.
Brownie the Wonderhorse was tied up waiting. We measured Tucker and he needs an 82 inch blanket. He is one long horse.
The horses stood tied for quite awhile until we were done chit chatting and then off we the four of went, through a couple of more obstacles including the real pond which we splashed through all by ourselves with no help from Brownie who was no where near us. Then over to the gate where we were a success!
Took the long way home through the desert, down the sandy road to my house. I asked Tucker to make a left and do a couple of obstacles before heading to the home pen. Of course, he started to object but decided to go along with the program.
I maneuvered us through the home pen gate and we closed it like a couple of pros. He side stepped to get me over to the gate. He is such a good boy.
I jogged him around the home pen once and called it good. I told him to line it up at the mounting block where he stood like a rock for me to get off.
I felt so relaxed and peaceful finishing up, brushing, checking feet and feeding and watering all the critters. What a lovely time we had as the sun was heading due west and getting lower and lower in the sky.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Tucker and his new saddle pad

Team Tucker hasn't been in the saddle for about a week!
Tucker got his new saddle pad delivered last night. I went with the Reinsman, sway back, contour pad with the tackytoo backing in the 30"x30" size.
It has the approval of Tucker  I like that I have only one saddle pad instead of two saddle pads or a saddle pad/blanket combo. Much easier to deal with when removing the saddle.
I also got 1/2 way notches for my stirrups and as I suspected, halfway is just right for my knees, my hips and my sense of balance.
I did take Tucker out to the big pen and have him do some running in a big circle to get him wanting some air before working with him. After all it had been a week off. I also asked, told, demanded on the turning the fore and turning the hind and stopping when I stop on the lead. I think I was doing pretty good after reviewing one of the Carson James respect videos earlier in the day.
Later, I got a lesson on Tucker from the neighbor after working on my set up with the saddle and stirrups.. Tucker wanted to follow her and/or go to the gate so I had some challenges today both in the round pen and the big pen.
Tucker and I did jog in the big pen and even though we were jogging kind of sideways when we were near the gate because that little booger wanted to get to that gate!, there was no sign that anything was pinching him.
I got a stick to wave on the side towards his butt and he could see it and decided to keep going when near the gate or the neighbor.
I have to teach myself not to be so high headed [that's just natural for me] bring my chin down and watch where the horse is going.
One idea the trainer had was get out of the saddle and walk Tucker out the gate. I am limber enough to do that without a mounting block now 
Tucker looked really content by the time we wrapped it up. He came and stood near me on the fence. I remembered I had some watermelon for him so he got a treat. The weather is cooler and I am looking forward to my fall season.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


Tucker Time....filed under Don't try this at home.
I lined Tucker up at the mounting block.
I got on Tucker bareback...sort of...I was laying on top of him clinging to his neck....he decided that he needed to go backward while I said "Whoa, I mean that ..whoa! ... whoa .... whoa...!"
He finally did stop but then I had to figure out how to get off him without dying. I grabbed some mane and slithered my off side foot over his rump and managed to get off.
Tucker looked relieved  I pretended like it was all good and took him out to the big pen for the day.
All's well that ends well.
Thank goodness my new saddle pad arrives tonight. Tomorrow I will try this again..with a saddle on the horse.
— feeling amused.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Bath Time

What do you do when your client cancels? You go to yard sales and buy a metal cabinet for your tack area. Only $5.  I'll need to get the tacky tape off and repaint it some time before the end of October when it turns cold.
What do you do when she cancels again? You organize the tack area....bathe Tucker...and bathe the cutest little mini, Wiseguy. The tack area is so organized now.
Usually I would ride Tucker but I am waiting for the new swayback saddle pad to come in the mail. So, baths was my next best idea.
Tucker was a good boy. He was a bit like "knock it off already." He did mostly cooperate but I got after him for moving around a couple of times. He tried to push me with his head. I think he appreciated looking good at the end. He got the full spa treatment including shampoo, conditioner and comb out.
Wiseguy got the spa treatment, as well. His mane was a complete mess including some dreadlocks. He got a couple of carrot treats for being reasonably patient about the whole brushing the mane out from below and above and being parted and brushed in the middle. He has more mane than Tucker and he is 1/6 the size 
I went to get the scissors to cut Wiseguy's overly long tail and give him a nice bridle path. That is when I noticed that Tucker was untied and getting a snack. I decided to put his fly sheet on and his fly mask. By the time I got back to Wiseguy, Wiseguy had gotten untied from the rail and managed to roll in the dirt even though he was still wet. He had to have some more brushing.
It was a nice day and I laughed when it became a bit of a three ring circus. The warm days are to be enjoyed now that fall is approaching.

Bonus photo of Obie the Giant goat who is probably about 11 years old now.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Horsefly Trap

Michael made me a horsefly trap. Horseflies seem to be invincible but these traps claim to do the job. The commercial versions are well over $100 and $200. Ours cost $10 for enough net cloth to do like 20 of them. The hula hoop was laying around here and probably cost $1 at the dollar store. The ball was the jolly ball the horses don't play with any way. I found some black spray paint in the garage. The canning jar was from the kitchen.
The horsefly is attracted to the motion, color and, apparently most importantly, the heat of the ball. The fly then flies upwards to leave when he figures out there's no meal available. Then, into the jar where it is trapped.
I'll update if we actually get any of those horrid horseflies!!!!!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Rough patch

Team Tucker is going through a rough patch. Nothing too major but a rough patch none-the-less.
So, today I decided to take Tucker out and let him graze on our meager grasses and then had him go to the big pen.
I worked kind effectively on watching me and not getting into my space, I think. I did rather poorly on getting him to move out in a circle using the flag.
I let it go and gave him some hay and hoped a change of scenery would do us all good. Wiseguy went out to the round pen. Pony stayed in the little guys home pen.
When I went in later to get Tucker, I asked him to back and he did so without much pressure. I told him he couldn't have any grass. I do think his attention was more on me and less on everywhere else.
I put his flysheet on and he took off for the feeder the moment I took off his lead. I shooed him away and then he stood waiting for me in the middle of his home pen. I put his fly mask on, gave him some love and pets on his muzzle and called it good.
I may try to ride later using our old saddle pad set up.
It is break time.
Well, a bit windy, kind of smokey and I am tired from yard clean up and I have to work for two days in a row still this week....I decided to just run Tucker off with the flag at feeding time. I had to do that several times since he has been getting away with "I'm not looking" and not actually moving his feet. Today I got out the flag and said "Move back, buddy."
I think a little respect work will go a long way with a nice character like Tucker  I probably do baby him a little much. I'm pretty sure the cowboy that owned him told him to listen up and fly right  Not in a mean way but in a "I'm the boss " way.
Tucker is acting a little spoiled. Having said that, I believe that Tucker does not like his new blanket/saddle pad combo and I do have a sway back, contoured pad coming in the mail. Should get it next week.
I think a couple of days off with a bit of groundwork might be best anyway. I've been pushing myself hard and maybe Tucker is feeling my tiredness.
That is just an adorable photo of Cash the Giant Rat Terrier helping me with Tucker.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

saddle pad troubles

Team Tucker
Tucker was kind of a brat today. I had a couple of hours to ride so I decided it was a great idea.
I am trying a blanket folded under the contour pad for his sway back.
I think something was pinching him with the blanket underneath. Tucker threw a little fit when I asked him to jog.
I am thinking about trying:
Both are priced within the realm of reason.
Tucker did really well in his diamond wool pad with a contour pad on top with his old saddle so I am leaning towards the diamond wool pad. I will probably be able to use it without the contour pad on top with this saddle ???? Hard to know without trying it.
Hate to throw money at a situation but need my horse to be happy and he does have a swayback and high withers. Not sure what I want to do.
PS - I have decided to try the reinsman swayback contour pad. Hope it helps.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

High horse fashion

Team Tucker got on the road in style today.
New stretchy pants, new reins, new saddle.
Had Hubby take a few fashion photos this morning. I thought this one was nice.
We just rode around two blocks which is actually probably around 3 miles. I figure an hour in the saddle.
We walked fast, we jogged, we trotted and I almost posted  I'll get the hang of it eventually. We did that the whole way.
I threw in some tricky maneuvers in turning like go past the dirt road and then turn into the Y and then turn and go West like we really actually want to  Gotta keep him on his toes.
Stopped to talk to the neighbor and his somewhat barking dog. Tucker had no problem. We checked the mail box on our way in.
I had Tucker jog both ways around the circular drive before heading to the home pen in the back.
We did a superior job of moving over to close the gate. I was very proud of that. I am also proud that I got out there and rode my horse. No excuses..even though I am tired and sore. I didn't over do it today and that was good.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Three hours

Team Tucker spent three hours in the saddle today.
I have officially reached the "just kill me now" level of riding.
I rode to my friend's house for a lesson. We worked on walking in a straight line.
Walking faster.
Jogging in a circle by following each other and peeling off and coming in around behind the other person.
And, posting the trot....and posting the trot...and posting the trot. It seems I have no thigh muscles so I will have to work on that.
Yes, we took some breaks but we did not get off the horses.
I finally told her I need to leave because I have to make it home before I seize up. 
Tucker helped me get the mail before turning into the driveway, after a small argument.
We got in the gate, headed to the home pen and I got off while clinging to the horse. He is a good boy. He didn't move a muscle while I got my legs to work.
I hate to say it but I got his saddle off, his bridle off, sprayed him with lots of fly spray and threw some hay and I came in the house and collapsed for 20 minutes. I'll have to go out and brush him and check his feet a little later.
By the way, it is only 87 degrees out and sunny!
Love the riding pants although they seemed a bit sweaty.
Love the new saddle. Yeah, the tush is a little sore but not too bad.
Love my new reins as well.
Now, if I could just get a younger body I would be good.
Looks like the wrong photo but after the morning I've had, I can live with that 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

new riding pants

It's not easy being a rebel.
I always wear a helmet and none of the ladies around here wear a helmet. I don't care. I am a beginner and might just manage to fall off just trying to trot or turn the horse 
So, I bought those stretchy riding pants. I had to point them out to my riding friends. I got a pair in indigo with a boot cut so I wouldn't stick out like a sore thumb. It isn't that obvious at first glance that they aren't jeans.
My neighbor says "Aren't those English or something?" The other neighbor said the color might be kind of hot even though they are new blue jean colored.
I kind of brushed her off with a "I don't know about that but they seem pretty comfy so far." One gal informed me that she buys jeans with a little spandex and they cost a lot less.
Does anyone else like those special riding pants? So far, after one ride, they seem great.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Team Tucker tries selfies

Team Tucker tries selfies
Well, two hours of riding. I gotta tell you, I felt much more comfortable using a single loop rein compared to the split reins. The weather was really nice because it is really cloudy this morning so not nearly as hot as I feared. Tucker did really good in the wind that came up towards the end.
We tried the new reins and I bought some of those riding pants with a boot cut. I think I like them. They are kind of stretchy.
I am all worn out. Just did riding the streets and back roads of dirt. Went with two neighbors.
Did not get to work on jogging and trotting at all really. The few times I jogged felt pretty good.
My butt is a bit sore and my legs are tired. Trying to keep more of my weight in the stirrups but doing that is using more different muscles than I am used to, I think.
I did challenge my horse to turn away from the peeps and go back the way we came. I knew he wouldn't like it so I did it anyway. Once he decided he could walk out with out trying to turn back, I turned him around and rejoined the group as they were playing with a mattress on the side of the road 
Tomorrow is not supposed to be too bad on the heat so I am hoping to go out alone tomorrow, maybe go to the playa and work on jogging and trotting.
I like going out with people but I also like feeling independent and I have certain things that I want to work on. Friday, I am signed up to have a real lesson.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Tucker gets a fly sheet

Team Tucker
Too hot last night to go out so we tried the new blanket on under Tucker's saddle. And Tucker got a fly sheet so we tried it on him. We shall see if this helps him get less welts. I really think it is those horrible horse flies causing the welts.
We did go out riding this morning and, by golly, I think I managed to post the trot!!!!!
Tucker went out the gate with very few problems and off we went down the sandy road jogging and trotting!
Met up with Tucker's bestie, Brownie the Wonderhorse. Had a lovely ride. I am definitely improving as a rider!
Here's a concept I wasn't thinking of: I need to keep some of my weight in the stirrups. What? For some reason, wasn't on my riding concepts list.
Being new to riding is an amazing experience and I am so grateful to all who have helped me and to my new horse Tucker who is a joy to learn on.
1 1/2 hours in the saddle and my butt is not sore and my hip and knees feel good. Hoping the new saddle set up is the ticket for a pain less ride 
Don't worry we took the fly sheet back off him for the night.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Pony Baloney got a bath

Team Tucker and friends.
I haven't talked much about Pony Baloney lately. Pony is actually doing better. I really do think it is the magnesium that is helping. Pony doesn't act like his skin hurts to be touched. He is livelier and calmer. My friend thinks it is that I have another horse and now Pony is jealous 
Anyway you slice it, Pony has come up to me to be petted several times now.
While I may disagree with my friend on that, I will say the woman is amazing with the Pony.
The day before yesterday, I went out and worked with Pony on allowing me to use a hose to get him wet. We did okay but the Pony was running around me and it was difficult. Once we reached an acceptable level of calm and he allowed me to get him wet all the way up to his top line, I called it quits.
The next day, my friend came over and she set up the Pony so he could move but he couldn't go around in circles by tying him into a corner of the fence. of course, it was an easy to release tie method. It felt much safer. She then got him to accept the hose a little at a time. I got shampoo into his mane and tail, she rinsed and then he got conditioner. Pony looks so much better!
Wiseguy needs to be next but he will be a good boy since he is sweet unlike the Pony.
Tucker seems happy with his new shoes. I took him out Thursday evening after several days of smoke and lightening kept us in for the evening. He did good for me but objected to leaving his home area. He did agree to cooperate. We did a few obstacles and then went out front in the circular driveway to practice jogging. Once we got into the home pen, I had him jog in both directions until he did well both ways and then we quit! Being home shouldn't be all fun.
I am going out riding tonight. Wish me luck.
PS - My keyboard died but today I got a new one. Can't live without a computer 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Team Tucker: New feet and new saddle

Team Tucker tries out the new feet and the new saddle.
Out by 9 and home about noon.
Met up with my friend. Rode to another gal's house. Did obstacles. 
rode home. Rinsed Tucker off with a hose.
Weaved through cones at a jog. Did some jogging around the place. We are doing better. A few times we had that beautiful floaty jog.
Went up on the gravel filled tires tires and back down again.
Over the metal ramp.
Tucker doesn't think he can do tight spaces and I found a couple of obstacles that challenged his feeling that the path is too narrow! Nope, you got this Tucker.
Backed really good in the zig zag once. No bueno after that  My friend said I was leaning forward and impeding his shoulders. Leaning forward seems to be my go to when things get rough. I am trying to break myself of that habit.
Stepped over poles and logs. Tucker is doing better with his new shoes. He lifted his feet over without touching the logs much more often.
My friend Karen observed that Tucker is very attuned to me. That is a compliment in my book.
My neighbor Kay said I was riding so much better.
That was at least 2 1/2 hours in the saddle. Wow! My butt is happy but my knees and hips are complaining a bit. That's why they invented aspirin, right?

Saturday, August 19, 2017

New rider worries

Half of Team Tucker has beginner rider worries!
I bought some rommel reins which I will try out this evening. Ever since my trainer turned my reins into split reins instead of having them tied together, it has caused me problems!
I feel like I am constantly playing with those split reins to make sure they are even. She keeps saying "Are your reins even?" I don't know! I have no land mark. Then I am playing with the reins to move my hand up to turn. If I do one hand reining I have to check and see if the reins are even a lot.
On top of that, if you lead the horse by the lead rope, the split reins want to come off of the horse so you are having to watch. If you sit your horse to relax for a few minutes in the shade you have to make sure one rein isn't trying to get away from you.
My bridge is slithering around everywhere. Then, I am told I play with the reins too much...which I do, I am sure but they are constantly needing adjusting.
I am letting my nerves get to me today. I try hard but have a difficult time with a number of things.
I have the new saddle but I didn't have the new stirrups on yet so my toes weren't in very far in the stirrups since they were a bit small. Then, when I was trying to jog, I got to bouncing around like a rag doll. I would then not be steering the horse worth a darn. So, I would whoa the horse.
So, I start bouncing around like a rag doll while the horse is going wherever he wants and I am worried so I say "whoa". Then, the trainer says, "You aren't jogging" as she looks back from her horse. We do that about 5 times. It was honestly comical so I started laughing and I am afraid she thinks I am not taking this seriously enough 
With the rommel reins, there is a clear delineation of evenness due to the popper right in the middle. And they are a continuous loop so they can't get away!
Wish me luck, I am trying them out this evening. I am also going to experiment with shortening the stirrups just a little more. Once I get the better gear set up and a little practice, I should be able to do better at riding. The new saddle is much nicer to ride in but it is a change and change is hard.
Tonight, new saddle, new reins and Tucker has new feet. Maybe we will do great and if we don't, we are on our own, so we can just critique ourselves.

Update:   Thunderstorm was coming in so no riding.  I decided to shelve the rommel reins for now and buy a rope loop rein.  It's coming in the mail.  I will still be able to try the rommel reins or the split reins in the future.  

Friday, August 18, 2017

Team Tucker
Tucker got new shoes today.
The new farrier had a very professional set up and attitude.
The new farrier went with aluminum shoes, rounded his toe and gave him a slight wedge shoe. All seemingly appropriate for his funny front feet according to what my horse friend has been saying all along.
The farrier says that Tucker will be fine as a pleasure horse for many years to come even with his slightly funny front feet. He will work on changing the shape of his feet a bit as we go along but because of Tucker's slightly rotated coffin bone he will need shoes all his life.
Tucker can never be a performance horse but should do great with the riding I am doing which is trail riding and pleasure riding. Suggested I get some bute from the vet in case he looks stiff or sore from being ridden due to his age and shoulders he could have arthritis. I'll talk to my vet about that.
Tucker might be able to go barefoot for the winter or maybe just on his hind feet. We will decide that when the time comes.
Pony is extremely cow hocked and Wiseguy looked pretty good. We will not be doing them until next time.
Seven weeks from now we will be doing the feet again.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

New saddle

I got out there at 8:30 and didn't finish up until 12:30.
I got the cinch changed on the new saddle and I found a set of stirrups that have been decorating the freezer shed for a couple of years that are bigger than my old stirrups. Yay.
Tucker looks really good in his new saddle and I think he likes it.
I rode to the friend's house. I had just a bit of trouble getting him out of the gate and past the neighbor's house. Once we got by those two landmarks we were good to go and even jogged a bit.
Went on the desert trail to my friend's house. We fussed with the saddle once I got there. I got it off and checked the sweat pattern. We brushed his mane and tail and prettied him up.
Got his saddle back on him and rode some obstacles. Did some jogging.
Came home on the road. Checked the mailbox on the way in the gate. Had Tucker jog around the driveway circle. Also had him jog in the home pen once we closed the gate like pros:) Getting home shouldn't be too fun!
My butt feels so much better than with that other saddle. I am so happy.

Monday, August 14, 2017

2 hours in the saddle

Team Tucker
Wow, 3 or so hours working with the horse.
Two solid hours of riding mostly on the streets but a bit of trail riding.
But first, we had to do some groundwork today. Tucker was moving around a lot when I was brushing him and putting his blanket on him. So off we went to the big arena pen.
I got him moving and boy can that horse run! We did that for several rounds. After he had blown off some steam, I put his halter back on him and worked on backing on the lead and respecting my space and paying attention to me.
Back into the home pen where Tucker was a real gentleman about getting saddled and bridled. I got on with only a couple of reminders to hold still. Rode out to the front, went around the circular driveway getting his attention by having him give me his head and turn.
Decided to check the saddle and made a few adjustments. Yes, I had to get off without a mounting block but I did arrange the mounting block to get back on again. Got off again and rechecked and got back on again. Tucker stood like a champ.
We rode out the gate with nary a problem and down the sandy road. Yes, he started to give me a tiny bit of trouble but I nipped that in the bud before it could get out of hand!
Decided to keep his attention by wiggling one rein until he straightened his head out. Pretty soon he wasn't looking around nearly as much.
Met Brownie and Karen on the road and went over 4 miles today.
I am sure that was my longest ride yet and my butt hurt bad. Plus, the muscles on my sides were starting to fuss at me towards the end. I am still looking for a better saddle. I think we will go to Reno to look later this week.
We went a mile or two then turned around, wove through the roads and then we got on my sandy road home.
Then we decided to turn back away from home and go the "long" way on the trail through the desert. Tucker did not want to turn back but I convinced him that I knew what I wanted and he should get with the program. "Give me your head."
About halfway, we separated with Brownie and Karen heading south and Tucker and I heading north. Tucker and I finished riding through the desert trail, back onto the sandy road, a photo between the ears and headed home again.
He was a little bit like you can't make me but I got him turned so that I could watch the automatic gate close, also got him to turn to close the home pen gate. Yep, he stood like a rock for the dismount. I clung to the saddle trying to get my legs to work, told him he had to help me down the steps [which he held like a rock for me]. We finished up and I went in for lunch and aspirin 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

My birthday ride

Team Tucker celebrated my birthday today with a trip to the lake Technically my birthday was yesterday. Karen gave me a nice photo of Tucker and I standing next to each other. By the way, I am now 59 years old and riding my first riding horse 
I managed to get nervous about taking Tucker somewhere new with a different trailer and Brownie the horse was already in the trailer but Tucker is a trooper. He loaded no problem and I learned how to load the horse. Tucker backed out no problem either.
There's lots of obstacles at the lake. We did the platform, the mailbox, the zigzag, the barrels, the poles in buckets. Oh yeah, and the pool noodles across the interior of a plywood box.
We got a lesson today and that included backing up in a zig zag. Also, bending around poles and barrels.
We jogged and we do look better at the jog and there was a good 200 feet that we just floated together.
Trotting is still my nemesis  We jogged and trotted in the round pen. We did transitions walk, jog, trot, walk, whoa. Karen said I did mange to look better at the trot  I can't really post but I am trying.
I can't believe how much better I am at turning hind and fore. Woot!
To finish up we did a nice walk out onto the dirt road and down by the overflowing lake. We haven't had water in this lake like this in years.
Tucker is still a lookey loo but I am able to get his attention back better.
Horse time equaled about 4 hours and at least 2 1/2 hours in the saddle.

I forgot to mention something important that happened yesterday. During my ride with Tucker, he started acting funny, odd, strange. Non cooperative.

I told Tucker "What is going on here? You aren't usually like this!"

I was turning to comment on that when my trainer said "What is wrong with the girth?" I hadn't done the girth properly, I guess, because it was working loose.

I was so glad I was trying to listen to my horse. That was a catastrophe avoided.

Karen said, "That horse is trying to take care of you!"

The other thing I forgot to mention was, when we were done with our ride and waiting our turn to tie up at the trailer, I hugged Tucker's muzzle to me and stroked the far side of his face. He sighed and said "I am so happy." Tucker has a sweet side.

It is nice to know that Tucker and I are learning each other's nuances.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Tucker and I work alone

Tucker is getting a nice meal but only after he worked for me 
I saddled up and had a relaxing good time with Tucker. We were all by ourselves today and we took it all at a pace that I was happy with.
I took him through the new obstacle course with the big logs spread out a horse length apart. He did pretty good. around through the brush trail, through the weave poles, through the cowboy curtain that was not hanging down. It was windy yesterday.
Through the zigzags and over to the barrels.
Did drop your head. Yep, we had some problems with backing but less today. Same with give me your head flex to the side.
I tried hard to do good rein management.
We went into the arena. He wasn't too happy but I gave him a carrot piece at the blue barrel...twice. Later, I had him flex his head towards me and gave him a carrot piece that way from each side. I did have him jog in the arena but at least he got a couple of treats while he was in there.
Out of the arena and back on the obstacle trail. I even had him jog just a bit between obstacles this time.
Took Tucker out front and decided what the heck, let's go down the sand road.  We had a small argument when we got to the street. I was patient put made him give me his head. After a few tries we got straightened out and got moving in the right direction.
We had an argument when we got to the neighbor's house. He said, 'We are going home. I said, "We are not going home, flex and give me your head. Do not back, flex and give me your head." Using some firmness and appropriate releases of pressure, I got him pointed the right way.
I said "We are going to walk, now" off we went with a few taps on the sides with my feet. We made the whole way [1/2 a mile or so] crossed the street so we could say we went somewhere new [about 100 feet] turned around and headed home the way we came.
He did get a little like 'I want to jog'. I told him we don't jog home.
When we got home, I dropped the gate opener so I had to dismount without a block. I had him facing the gate so he couldn't move forwards. I got off safely!
Since I was already off I decided we could bring the big rolling trash can in with us So horses on the right, trash cans on the left and in we went.
So that coming home wouldn't be a good time, I walked on the lead into the round pen and had him do some groundwork like back and turn the hind. I tied him up, loosened the saddle, took off his bridle and left him standing there for a good 20 minutes.
I hosed him off and slicked him down and cleaned his feet.
Then, he got that reward he so wanted, "Lunch is served."
That was at least an hour and a half in the saddle! I was out there about 3 hours total.