Monday, July 31, 2017

Team Tucker got a lot of lessons today!

Team Tucker got a lot of lessons today! Trainer came over.
I feel like Tucker backs when ever you touch the reins!
I got some tools in my tool belt today.
We did ground work and I rode.
Flexing the head to the right and the left in the saddle
Asking the front feet to cross over using ground work.
Being firm when asking for a forward motion.
Having the horse drop his head during groundwork and from the saddle. Drop your head is similar to back but it is just a shortening of the reins, holding the reins low and closing the hand around the reins with out leaning back and with out pulling.
Tucker backed and backed a few times with the left side flex but then as soon as he stopped I let off the pressure. After awhile I could flex his head and neck without him backing at all.
Then, that could, after some practice, become a smooth turn when "walk" is added to the flex. I looked pro a couple of times 
I had a small stick to use as a tool for him to see waving and that convinced him to jog sooner than later 
We had a discussion when I turned him and wanted to go the other way in the pen. I tapped his butt with the stick and told him we were moving forwards and we were not turning around to go back his favorite way! Just a tap nothing abusive. My reins aren't long enough to spank him.
We had one more discussion and then it all went pretty smoothly after that. We did some nicely collected jogging. We are definitely a work in progress.
Tucker is seeing me as more of a leader more of the time! I am definitely gaining some skills.
I have lots to practice.

3 hours today

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Team Tucker Training Day

Team Tucker Training Day
I was determined to do some stuff with the horse today. Stuff like turn hind, turn fore, jog or even trot a bit. Try out the new trail course.
I cruised him around to show him the new obstacles. Then, took him into the arena.
He doesn't like the arena 
We had a mixed day. He wants to back at the drop of a hat.
We did some successful hind and fore turns. We jogged and trotted a bit while I tried to get the feeling for posting. Not too much. I finally jogged half way around the pen several times.
I actually managed to back him in a curve several times. Just something I wanted to try.
We got into a couple of small arguments. I tried to consider what to do about that. I think I am going slow but I bet I am not going slow. I think I am trying to be light but I bet I am not being light.
Anyway, a couple of times I made it clear that we were going to move forward or make the turn. Seems to have helped.
We went back out on the course and did some of the obstacles. We looked at the cowboy curtain several times and eventually I did the weave poles and then cruised through it. It isn't tall enough so I had to duck. I was happy with once. We'll get it taller and then try it again.
I did some hind end turns in the zig zag obstacle. I cruised him around the outside of the round pen and then up front where I asked him to jog in the driveway circle. Then, we turned and walked and jogged the other way.
We relaxed in the shade a bit and then I took the back way behind the garage then around the round pen and then home.
Since he had been lobbying to go home for the entire time, I tied him up and he is standing out there right now. Hey, getting home doesn't always mean grass hay and good times!
My plan is ground work with the saddle and bridle on and make backing up a non option just because I touch the bridle or rope or ask him to turn. 
Also, keep going with the intermediate riding videos.
I'm proud. I was working by myself with no one to help except Hubby took a few photos and left. We mounted and dismounted with no problems. We did have some success at my goals and we are going to keep trying at this thing called riding.

2 hours riding

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Tucker got his donut

Team Tucker
I got Tucker's donut for his right fore foot to prevent the shoe boil.  He doesn't seem to lay down much in the daytime so I have been putting it on overnight.
Tucker and I managed to get saddled up in only about 15 minutes today including brushing, fly spray and cleaning the feet!
Mounting did not present any issues.
A lovely evening for a ride. Met my neighbor and her horse Brownie and we went to her friend's house about 2 miles or so away.
Tucker and I met other horses. We both behaved politely  We did a couple of simple obstacles and watched Brownie do a few harder obstacles.
We had dogs barking in yards and bunnies and ATV's and neighbors outside. We did fine.
My ability to communicate with Tucker to have him move just his hind or fore isn't great but we did manage to do that several times. Also, I asked him to move sideways to allow me to touch a rope gate and Tucker did it!!!!
Home as dusk was descending into darkness. A nice brushing, foot cleaning and some hay.
I sprayed his scratches on his back feet with vetericyn. They look improved but boy is that stuff expensive. I am switching to anti fungal and anti bacterial cream after this if it still isn't cleared up all the way.
That was 1 1/2 hours in the saddle!
It is going hot so my plan is to watch the reining videos of CJ's and then work on that late evenings or early mornings by myself. Wouldn't it be fun to be improved before my next ride with my neighbor? Surprise 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

We go it alone

Team Tucker
I was out of town for three days so I had to ride Tucker today no matter what!
I couldn't get a hold of my friend so I tacked up and cruised around the back acre. Tucker was very happy when he saw we weren't going into the big pen to use it like an arena.
Then, I went up front and cruised around the big circular driveway.
Then, I decided it wouldn't hurt to open the gate with my handy automatic gate opener button.
Well, I decided to go get the mail. Then, to go up 10th street. Then, it wouldn't hurt to go across the desert trail, now would it? Pretty soon I was at my friend's house.
At first Tucker didn't want to listen very well although he is not a really bad horse. He wanted to turn into a neighbor's driveway and he was looking everywhere craning his neck to watch for things.
I steered him around a couple of puddles but tried not to nag him. I got him on the trail where he needed more guidance and needed to pay attention to me. That helped some.
My friend was home. I stopped to talk to her. TUcker started calling and calling to Brownie so I said "Great, you holler, I turn you in a big circle." Everytime he hollered I did a big circle. Pretty soon it wasn't a priority for Tucker to holler 
Tucker and I tried some new things like multiple downed limbs and stair steps up between tires trail. We did the pond which he did pretty well at. The super narrow bridge which is a metal loading ramp that is just 6 inches off the ground. He decided to try it after some approach and retreat and then following Brownie. It was rough the first time. We got half on, half off. We managed to abort the mission and the second time went just fine.
I do have some rein management issues but honestly did pretty good. Tucker did well at trying new things although he needed to see Brownie do it first on a couple of the obstacles.
My friend showed me how to break the gate opening down into smaller steps. She opened and closed her gate and the Tucker only had to get maneuvered around to open it and stand there next to it. I managed to get Tucker to step to the end of the gate, we turned while I held the gate. I let it go and it opened itself. That was a big enough step for today.
We walked the horses back to my place. We had llamas run up to the fence at the blue house. Tucker was taking a good look but didn't seem bothered. We talked to someone on the road while more llamas showed up on the fence line. Tucker looked and looked but didn't seem bothered.
I managed to close the gate to the home pen. Wasn't pretty but it is safer to get off the horse with the gate closed [I didn't try to chain it closed it is just with the visual effect of the closed gate there is no temptation for the horse to bolt through it for whatever horse reason while I have one foot in the stirrup and trying to finish getting off].
That was about 2 hours and 15 minutes on horseback today. Maybe more.

PS -

My Tucker. So far, it's all been okay although he likes to look around a lot! It got us into trouble on the trail my first time out alone. He insisted we go right. I wasn't so sure. I didn't whoa him soon enough. We ended up on the holey side of the trail. His back foot went into a rabbit hole. He was calm as a cucumber. I paused for a bit and then said "Well, gues we better get out of this mess.. Let's go." He got us both out of there.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Team Tucker does groundwork

Team Tucker
My first attempt at a horse selfie 
It's hard owning a new horse in some ways. I do feel like Tucker and I are bonding. I also feel like Tucker totally does not see me as the leader.
I haven't done much ground work. Maybe two times since I got him on 6/15 or about 5 weeks ago.
I did use the bag on a whip. He isn't afraid of it.
Today we worked on staying out of my space again. Also back. By the time we were done today, when I said "Back", he did!
I worked on turning the fore. Maybe still not our best thing but improved. Turning hind is going pretty good.
Stop when I stop...improved. move out on the lead and walk around me...improved.
I decided to hang out with him and just sit for awhile on the blue barrel. He finally decided to come see me and he got some rubs and some scratches. He wanted me to brush the flies away from his eyes so I did. I got a couple of selfies.
To finish up, I decided to see what he would do at liberty in the 100' 100' pen
I pointed and said "Walk". The first thing he did was fling his front foot at me as he jumped out sideways and I shook the bag and he got moving.
After a few tries got him to move out from a fair distance away. Then he took off galloping. He went around three or four times. I dropped the flag down and let the life go out of my body and said "whoa". He did whoa.
I got him to turn. Same thing on the other side. I'm in the middle of the pen and he just starts galloping. After three or four times I said "Whoa" and he stopped.
Had a turn without asking but I ran up there and got him going the right way again.
Towards the end I asked him to trot and he did. He galloped and then went to a trot when asked on each direction.
I actually think the galloping was fine. He really needed to get moving and let that energy out.
I let up on him and he stood still while I got his halter on and then desensitized him to the bag by rubbing it on him.
I let him eat a little grass on the way back to his home pen. When I said we were done, I meant we were done eating grass!
We were almost to the home pen when he kept going straight instead of turning with me. He was totally focused on the back yard instead of what he and I were doing. I told him in no uncertain terms that was bad, back up and get off the top of me.
He got some fly spray and some vetricyn on his heels. He was sweet and walked over for a little more attention while I cleaned the pen.
I am happy I did the ground work even if he is a well trained 17 year old horse with lots of experience.

you must commit to working with Tucker in order to have the kind of relationship you desire. It won't happen on its own, so get in there and work with Tucker to establish that relationship. I wish you great success and satisfaction.
Reply19 mins
 I think I am committed to working with Tucker it is just that I have been riding him and not doing groundwork. I have been told he doesn't need groundwork, he needs to be ridden. Which he does need to be ridden. I, personally, think he also needs ground work. So, I will be riding him at least three times a week like I have been but I will also be doing ground work from now on because I think we need that. I am becoming more independent as a rider which will help me ride more times a week At first, I didn't feel secure trying to tack up and get on and manage the horse without someone here. Now I feel more confident about getting the saddle on properly and riding him although I still like to ride when Hubby is home so I have someone to call if I feel I am needing some help for some reason. Soon, I will be riding even when someone is not home.

Thursday, July 20, 2017


Still super smokey around here.
I tacked up and got Tucker to the mounting block. It took several tries to get him to hold still. I smacked him on the butt for backing up and walked him around. About the third or fourth time he decided to hold still.
I opened the home pen gate while mounted and almost looked pro today.
I exited the main gate and Tucker stopped and said "Brownie isn't here." I know but we are going to go find Brownie. Head out buddy.
We met Brownie after about a quarter of a mile down on the sandy road and walked out together.
Tucker likes to look around a lot but he isn't spooking and Karen thinks it is fine that he looks around so much. I said "You don't think he's looking for trouble?" "Just ride" she said.
I guess we went about two miles maybe closer to three miles. Two hours including tacking up, riding and putting Tucker away for the night.
She thinks Tucker has scratches. It isn't oozey or anything just rough looking on his hind feet. It's actually looked like that since I got him.
She also thinks that Tucker needs wedges on his front feet [due to low heels] and she asked this farrier and he said he doesn't know how to do that.
I think I need to find another farrier that does know about stuff like that. Maybe he needs them or maybe he doesn't but I think you have a farrier so you can get expert advice and if this guy knows nothing about that, then I need to find someone who does.
He didn't come with wedges and the guy that owned him had his feet x-rayed and a vet looking at him so, again, maybe he needs wedges, maybe he doesn't. I don't know.
She also thinks that $120 was too much to be charged for shoeing 4 feet.
She said I am not taking good enough care of Tucker and I have to treat him like a baby. Really, I never had to treat my mini horse or my pony like a baby so I don't know about all this but I am going to get some vetricyn to treat his hind legs. It isn't wet here so .... maybe he really just needs some moisturizer?????
I do brush him and clean his feet and I try to feed him good.
Anyway, we went around two big blocks and Tucker finally sighed and relaxed after awhile.
When we got home, I managed to close the home pen gate good enough and then Tucker stood like a rock for the dismount.
For some reason, I feel sort of insecure today.
I kind of look forward to being able to ride by myself sometimes once I think I have a handle on your basic trail riding. Too much talking wears me down. I am learning a lot but a little quiet time with my horse would be nice too.
I wonder if I am ready to ride down the sandy road and back alone? Not sure. Maybe soon.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Smokey Sunrise

A smokey sunrise Yesterday makes for incredible photos.

Tucker got his feet trimmed yesterday.  He was a good boy.

Tucker seemed happy with his new shoes.

Pony's feet were really messed up and the farrier did his feet.  It will take a couple of tries to fix this.

Wiseguy got his feet done too.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Tucker goes around the block

Tucker Time
My neighbor came by and we went around the block which is about 1 1/2 miles. I spent about 2 hours in the saddle. We chatted with a couple of neighbors and sat on our horses talking to Hubby and taking photos for part of that time.
Neighbor working on problem.
Neighbor walking on road with walking problem.
Going by the obstacles Tucker has been to problem.
Strange problem.
Neighbor "hiding" in the shade of a tree and problem.
Guy stringing cable in the air from pole to pole while on tall problem.
Trash truck going problem.
Car going by.... no problem.
Got on after two attempts at the mounting block. Opened gate to home pen. Opened automatic gate using push button keypad. Met my friend and Brownie at the corner.
Karen said I was micro managing my horse on the road...let him relax and enjoy his ride  Over all, she thinks I am doing great.
Tied Tucker up at the post using the halter under his bridle with no issues before and after the ride.
Might go to her place by myself soon. Meet her there and do obstacles until she is ready to ride her horse. Bonus, I get to watch her work her new colt.
Current goals are to start trying to trot again [Tucker's feet are getting done tomorrow]. Riding by myself. Riding in a group of a few riders. This doesn't all have to happen in one week.
I decided we needed a few photos of Karen and I together so Hubby obliged. I'm in the red shirt.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Team Tucker goes through the desert to do obstacles

Team Tucker
I called my friend this morning and she came over. By the time she got here, I already saddled, bridled and mounted my Tucker .
Not only that, I managed to close the gate to the tack area and I managed to open the gate to leave the home pen....while mounted. Tucker did so good and so did I  Tucker wanted to help me by pushing the gate [Hey, lady, you don't know what you are doing, do you? Let me help.] I said no, just do what I ask, move your hind end over and let me work the gate.
I was already out front when Karen showed up. I headed out the main gate, met Brownie and Karen and we took the desert trail way to her place. About 1/2 a mile total.
We did obstacles while on horseback like the pond, the close together logs, the bridge, the cowboy curtain. Got off, checked the cinch and got back on! Did the dirt trench. Did the trash heap filled with scary stuff with a real narrow opening to leave through.
Backed out of a gated area and had the horse turn while backing.
Turned just the fore, just the hind.
Brownie the Wonderhorse expertly opened a gate going forwards and backwards. I managed to close the gate at her place [but not lock it].
Lean back to go downhill, lean forward to go uphill.
The bridge has steps going up to it and a step down!
Another neighbor showed up on her mare.
The other neighbor helped me ride home. She insisted on watching while I got off so I got off on the white board fence out front. Tucker stood still. Totally ungraceful but did get off safely. 
So many firsts today since this is our first time going through the desert, doing obstacles on horseback, riding with a stranger, working gates. Wow.
I didn't get any photos of Tucker doing obstacles but here is a photo of us in the desert on the way home. By the way, that was at least 2 hours and 15 minutes in the saddle.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Team Tucker went outside the fence.
My first between the ears shot.
Yes, he does have a long neck.
First of all, I got on after about 4 tries of having the horse stand at the mounting block. I got on by myself with no one else in the pen!
Second, Brownie the Wonderhorse and Tucker walked side by side out the big gate and onto the roadway. We walked down Tenth Street in the sandy road direction.
We saw the neighbor in the back of his truck shoveling gravel out and Tucker was looking. Karen says if you say hi to people the horse will feel better. So I said "Hi neighbor. How you doing?" Neighbor said hi back. That is all it took and Tucker felt better and looked ahead again.
Junk on the road and jack rabbits were no problem.
We went half a mile to the next road. We halted and took some between the ears photos. I even positioned the horse just right for a couple of photos. Way to communicate with my horse 
We turned around and came back the same way. Tucker sped up just a bit on the way home but was totally good and didn't get out of hand.
I managed to close the gate while on horse back. Yeah, nothing fancy. Just shoved it hard enough to make it look closed but we did manage to do that after a couple of maneuvers on horseback. I'm proud.
Tucker was guided to the mounting block where he stopped nicely and held rock solid still for me to get off.
Of course, some brushing and foot cleaning and some feeding and we were done but Tucker looked quite pleased with himself and I was quite pleased with both of us.

1 1/2 hours with Tucker

1 hour on the road, 1/2 hour in the round pen.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Hubby and I are both on horses

We both ended up having riding lessons on Tucker and Brownie the Wonderhorse. So cute with us both on horses.
I found out that I was making Tucker back up because I was holding the reins tight while urging him forwards. Oops.
I swear it was 97 degrees when we finally came in the house. Hubby was on the horse for almost 3 hours and I was on a horse for almost 2 hours.
Trainer got really firm with Tucker when he wouldn't stand at the mounting block. Looks like maybe I have been a marshmallow 
Tomorrow, we go outside the fence!
Hubby is on Brownie and I am on Tucker.

Rode 3 hours.

A weasel and a trip to three mountain lakes

Yesterday we went to the area near Bridgeport.

We saw a weasel run across the road right in front of us when we were almost to Bridgeport.  Amazing.

Big Virginia Lake was gorgeous.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Relaxed Tucker Time

I love this photo.

And I love this photo.

I think I look pretty good in this photo.

Team Tucker
Yes, my helmet is unbuckled. It got buckled. Let's leave it alone.
I did a good job on saddling and bridling today.
Still couldn't get Tucker to stand at the mounting block but finally had Hubby to help me hold the horse and I got on.
We cruised around in the home pen a bit and then Hubby opened the gate and out we went. Duck, there's a gate header 
We cruised through the back area and did some cross country through the back acre.
Into the arena where we walked and jogged. I tried out the posting. Yeah, I suck but I will keep working on it.
I went down the driveway and out to the front two acres.  It was our first time down the driveway and I felt really confident even so.
Frankly, it was a total success for me today except for the mounting block and getting on. I felt relaxed and comfortable.
Hubby wanted to ride so we got the step out, Tucker walked right up there and stood like a rock. To his surprise, I got off and Hubby got on.
Hubby did pretty good. Got Tucker up to the mounting block and I held him while Hubby got off.
We both gave Tucker the spa treatment with brushing, feet cleaning, saddle off and some ointment on his dry spots on his elbows and such.

Rode 2 hours

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Team Tucker is forging ahead

Team Tucker is forging ahead!!!!
Threw hay with all due respect this morning from Tucker.
Took Tucker to the big arena. I asked him to pay attention to me on the way there past the shrubbery.
Got Tucker lined up nicely at the blue barrel like we were mounting. Asked him not to move when the lead line is picked up and/or his back/neck/withers are being touched.
Did some leading respect exercises. Frankly, my success was a bit limited. The flag means nothing to him. He does like touching it with his nose 
Wiggle, wiggle....WIGGLE, WIGGLE ....flap bag. Ended up just stepping up and pulling back on the rope under his chin. Oh well, he'll get it. He has no concept of what this exercise means, I think but i did walk one step, back one step. Lead out, whoa, back up, don't leak onto me. He licked his lips so I quit and moved on.
Turn fore, turn hind. He did better at that.
Left Tucker in there while I dealt with the other horses and worked on the yard. Came back and did it all over again.
I'm afraid I still had a hard time holding his attention but after all, I have only owned him less than 3 weeks and this is only my second or third day of ground work.

Groundwork 1 hour

Pole Fire and Tucker Training

Team Tucker
I didn't get to work with Tucker last night due to a small explosion and fire at the pole yesterday evening. Fortunately the neighbor put out the fire and the power company showed up and fixed it pretty quickly. I need to file a claim with the power company to fix the melted conduit that holds the wire going to the well but the well is working!
Today I separated out the horses with Pony in the round pen, Wiseguy in his home pen and Tucker in the big arena pen.
I got Tucker out and did a bit of ground work on my way to the big pen. Once there, we did some little things. Asking to turn only the fore, only the hind. stand when I pick up the lead, follow behind me and then stop when I stop. Asked him to back. Asked him to maintain his space from me. Asked him to just turn his head toward me and not move.
Worked with him at the blue barrel to come close and not swing his butt away as with a mounting block. Got on the barrel. Asked him not to move when I am getting on or off the barrel. Lots of love and scratches for being near the barrel.
I was asking horse to do a few little things and hoping to get him to pay better attention to me.
I think the horse is really nice but he isn't paying enough attention to me and I need him and I to work together so we get to know each other. A bit of ground work should be okay to do????? I'm just trying to get to know my horse and him to know me.
Anyway, went back out later to bring him in and did a bit more with him on moving to the blue barrel mounting block. Wanted him to move his hind over and he kept trying to back instead so I moved him back up, tried again. Finally got one nice step with the hind end towards the barrel. Lots of praise.
Got on the barrel, just kneeling, I'm not standing on top of that barrel  Got him to quit trying to back every time I picked up the lead and put my hand on his withers. Every time he moved I had him go around in a circle and try it again. Gave him a carrot for standing perfect along with his scratches.
Brought him back to the home pen. Worked with a different mounting block. He did great. Quit on a good note. Fly sprayed him, picked up his feet and threw him some hay:)
Worked on Pony picking up his feet. The farrier is coming tomorrow.

Team Tucker
As I suspected, my horse does not feel respect towards me. I went out earlier and he came over so I went in to give him some scratches. He reached back and lipped me like the next phase is a nip. I was at his shoulder so I pushed him over and said "Move, move, move, move!!!!!" in a loud forceful voice. I let the message soak in for a few seconds. I then gave him some more scratches.
Just now, I went out to feed a hay snack today. This time I went into the pen with a bag on a whip [which I haven't showed him before]. I leaned the whip on the fence and he sniffed bag hanging on top of the whip. I told him back up and shook the bag while opening the gate and he did back up.
I walked in with the hay, told him to back off and shook that bag and he did back off. I threw the hay, lorded over it for a few moments and then walked away like I own the pen.
Tucker looked surprised. Yeah, there's a new owner in town buddy. And I expect a little more zip to my requests from now on.
And there will be ground work in your future and it will include a bag on a whip.
PS - I had this feeling that I wasn't being respected and he isn't just a slow mover. Of course, I don't want him to become reactive but he is looking all over when I walk him to the big pen so I know he does not think of me as a good leader....yet!