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Breaking Bad Habbits

 

Cash just looks to good in this pic not to use it again :D
Cash just looks to good in this pic not to use it again 😀

Oh happy days!!! I think I’ve finally taken a huge step in breaking a major bad habbit!!

Ok before I get into that I’m gonna back track a bit.  So some of you might have read my Change in Enviornment post. Well couple a change of enviornment and a newly formed attachment to Jack and now you might have an idea of Cash’s behavior!

Now I do have to say he has been a great boy. Even though he’s nervious he’s actually been using his brain…at least 90% of the time and that I can definally deal with!! (knock on wood!!!!)  Yesterday evening I actually got to ride Cash for the first time since getting to Washington.

Ok so insert me breaking (at least starting to break) a very bad habbit of mine. After 10 minuets of lunging to make sure Cash’s brain was indeed engaged I decided today I was gonna ride him!!  So I put my foot in the stirrup and I swung up into the saddle. Cash tensed a bit and I do mean tensed! I could feel every muscle in his back was tight.

Now when Cash was much younger this would have ment that we were about to have a mega fight and potentially bucking, heading in what ever direction he wanted to go and at this point it was towards the gate closest to Jack.This is also the point where I would take alot of contact to make sure I had control.  Cash would go hollow and pop his sholder out and still go where he wanted and we would start the mega fight that had been brewing since the start. Can you see the snowball effect yet?

So last night Cash was super tense and I’ll admit I picked up contact on the reins and I was tense myself antisipating him but this is where I noticed what I was doing! Emotions travel to your horse. If he is tense and he felt me being tense then by golly something is about to eat us and the whole world is ending! So what did I do? I took a gigantic breath let it out…cringed a little… and released the reins all the way to the buckle!

Ya know what happend? Nothing. Not darned thing!!  He was still tense but he stayed standing. Now I wasn’t about to push my luck just standing there so moved him up into the walk and then to the trot. After that moment I made sure to keep off the reins and I can say today he was hands down the best he’s ever been! He listened to where I wanted to go, up and downward transitions, and most importantly to whoa! After a little while he even started looking like a horse and not a mule/camel by putting his head down! ALL BY HIMSELF! All I did was ask for forward movement!!!  *happy dance! *

So I am thrilled with our progress!! It just makes my day!! (can’t you tell by all my exclamation points?)  😀  I will attempt to get ya’ll more pics and videos soon as well. I have a new gopro I gotta set up and play with! muh hahahahah.

Anyone ever have that moment where you realized you were finally breaking a bad habbit?

Let me know in a comment below!

 

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Wine, Chocolate And Horses

wine chocolate and horses
All of the horsie persuasion of course.

 

What better way to enjoy the start of a new adventure and to keep the loniness of leaving family away then drinking wine, eating chocolate and working with horses…not nessicarliy in that order.

 

Starting new adventures in new places is always nerve wracking and terrifying no matter how exciting an opertunity it is. A new place with new people.  ehh yikes! but its an adventure in and of itself as well. The hardest part for me is always saying “see ya later” to my family. I love my parents to pieces and the time I have with them is so precious to me that it really rips me up inside to have to  leave!  Thank goodness for horse! I’d be a total wreck without them. And a HUGE thank you to my brother! The trip out here would have been horendious if he hadn’t volnteered his vacation days to drive with me!

 

The boys are now happily settled into their new barn (they even have a new friend! an old TB!) and I’m working on settling into my area. A hotel for now until my house is ready to move into but at least the boys are happy.

The boys all hanging out together
The boys all hanging out together

 

Today the boys got worked in the new arena! Cash wasn’t to happy with the new arangmens.  He became quite attached to Jack and was more intersted in where Jack was then in paying attention. Luckily there were some nice heavy wooden poles handy he had trot over them. That got him thinking really quickly otherwise he woud have tripped on his face!  I was actually suprised at how attached Cash got to Jack. At home he didn’t seem to mind at all going out by himself. Hopefully once he settles in and realizes that this is home he will not be quite so buddy sour. *keep fingers crossed* Though Cash has never been one to make anything easy on me!

 

 

Jack seemed the more mature one today. Who knew a 3 year old could act better then the 7 year old?  I hope the trend continues. I should be riding them very quickly and we will see how their brains are really working here. I can say it is surprisingly much drier here then it was in Colorado!! Who whould have thought.

 

Well I think I shall finish my glass of wine and a few chocolates and get ready for work in the morning!!

 

~note~ I apologize for the links instead of videos and the shorter and not quite so informative post. This move has really wiped me out both physicaly and emotionally.  Plus I’m still working from my IPAD. Much harder then I anticipated!!! I’ll be back to normal very soon!!

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We Made It!!!!

Whew,

We made it to washington! It was a long haul on the roads but man oh man am I glad to be here and Im sure the horses are too.  This state is absolutly beautiful!!!  Everything is green and cool and just beautiul! And so far not many bugs though that may change as the days roll into summer.

We managed to make it in two days! huzza. My brother and trusty co-piolt helped me out the whole way. Though he did decide to lock me in the trailer one stop as I was giving the horses water and I probably got some very wierd looks as I begged to get out. Geesh brothers. Aparently locking your sister in what ever is handy never gets old.

We stopped for the night in Idaho at a nice horse hotel so the boys could have a break, move around and really get a good drink of water before continuing on to Washington.  The boys were pretty good about drinking water offered in the trailer though Cash had to be the stubborn one and would just beg for treats instead of drinking so I had to leave the bucket in there fore about 10 minuets so he would drink.

We got in at about 8 pm and would have been done about 30 min faster if Cash hadn’t decided he was not getting out of the trailer because he was just gonna get back in (He just loves his mule immitation) Thankful with some persuasion he jumped out. Jack happily backed out and we took them to their paddocks.  After turning them out and letting them move around abit while they introduced themselves to their neighbors I made sure there was no obvious swelling anywhere or limping and headed to a hotel for a good nights sleep.

The boys are settling into their home and recovering from the long trip though Cash rules the roost ( Poor Jack. Ahh well It’s a good character builder)and I’m exploring my new home before I have to go back to work 😀

I do promise to upload pictures to the site! I just managed to forget my labtop at my parents house, don’t ask me how (I always forget something *sigh*) and I can’t figure out how to get my pictures from my phone to my Ipad since the bluetooth doesn’t want to talk to each other….so have no fear you’ll get all the cool pics eventualy I promise! (Check Facebook, I’ll probably get them on there before here)

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Thank You….And an Update

Lately I’ve been receiving a lot of posts and comments on my blog, particularly on my post Side Reins. I really just wanted to say a heartfelt THANK YOU for everyone who reads by blog even if it’s only once! I also wanted to apologize for how slow I’ve been in posting new content!

I’m in my final day before I hit the road and I can’t believe how quickly the days have been going by! I swear I blink and the days over. So for those who faithfully read my blog, and those that just pop in  I beg you (really I do! ) hang tight! I’ll be back posting with a vengeance very quickly!!!

And just for an update on Cash and Jack…. They are both doing fantastic! We have managed to somewhat conquer the evil water demons with Cash. He’s still not happy about going through water but he will now trot through it without much preamble(Eeke! Happy dance! )  😀

Just as a quick note: As you can see Cash is going around with his nose pointed out. As of right now I’m not worried about him having his head perpendicular to the ground. I want forward and straight first then I’ll work on getting connection and contact on the reins.  And I finally have my new (ok very old but new to me) Stübben jumping saddle and a County dressage saddle that I will soon be testing out with the Cash-man. Though I must admit I love my western saddles too!

 

Its only my first few rides on Jack so we are taking it slow. Lots of walk and trot so far. He doesn’t seem to mind the water as much as Cash which is nice! 😀

 

 

So have no fear I’m not abandoning my blog! I just wish I could put those hooves to work packing all my stuff! hahaha. Stand by I’ll have lots of fun info and posts about our up and coming road trip to Washington and of course our arrival and continued training!

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Good Ideas

Cash western

Well I must admit my mom is a wonder woman! You’d have thought of all the time I’ve worked with Cash that I’d have realized how such a simple change could really improve my ride!

As some of you may know I have issues with Cash and going forward. By this I mean he really lacks motivation to move in the arena. It can be a struggle to get him going from the halt to walk and the walk into the trot. If he gets bored it really gets to be a workout and fight to keep him moving.

*Enter mom* So she watched me work with Cash the other day and said “Hey why don’t you try with no contact. I’ll help you from the ground if he needs some encouragement” I happily agree since I’m rather frustrated by this issue thats been around since he was a wee little boy. Why not? Worse comes to worse it doesn’t work.

So I grip the reins at the buckle and ask him to go forward with a small squeeze from my leg. He doesn’t move so I give him a small tap and mom lifts the lunge whip to get him moving like we do when lunging him. He goes forward. I praise, Stop and repeat with a small bump but no pressure what so ever on the reins. He goes forward.

Now to try walk to trot. A few clucks, and a tap with my heels he doesn’t want to go so I say “Tr-ot” and mom lifts the lunge whip and he pops right up into the trot. I praise him with scratches and a bunch of good boys!

Soon with little effort he’s easily transitioning from halt to walk and walk to trot. The only time there was contact on the reins was to help guide him in turns. We didn’t try canter because the footing is a bit to sloppy and he gave a tremendously good effort. We even trotted through the dreaded puddles of doom that Cash just swears are trying to suck off his hooves!

I’m so proud of Cash! Today was a big step forward or him and a kinda light bulb moment from me. I should have thought of this on my own. His half-sister is super sensitive in the mouth and can’t be ridden with any contact on the reins. I honestly think it confuses the crap out of him and could possibly be a huge annoyance to him with contact on the reins.  A lot of the time I might be giving him conflicting signals with contact so for now we will happily go around with no contact except to help guide the turns!

I love when something gets pointed out to me that I had completely overlooked. Some days it really does pay off to have someone watching from the ground!

 

Have you ever had anything pointed out to you that’s kind of a “Duh” moment?

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Trucks And Trailers And One Step Closer

Koda riding shotgun on the way to the vet!
Koda riding shotgun on the way to the vet!

 

Whew a huge step is now completed in my journey to getting to Washington! What is this step you ask? Why the vet visits of course!  Jack and Cash both got their health certificates and Coggins and Koda has her health cert and  shots all up to date!

My truck and trailer have been thoroughly gone through to ensure that nothing is wrong with them so unless we get a blown tire it should be smoothing sailing!(knock on wood!) What are some of the things I check for?

Trailer:

  1. The Floor!!!!!! The number one thing I always check is my floor! No one wants a horse to fall through a floor on a trailer. It’s a devistating and very avoidable accident. Since most floors are made out of wood and usually covered with mats its easy for the wood to begin to decay with all the urine and feces that end up under the mats. Trailer flooring can need replacing from just wear and tear from use or from the elements if it’s been sitting a while. If you’re not sure what your looking at you can get most trailer shops to check the floor and most things out in a trailer!
  2. Brakes! This really should be another #1. I actually just had to change my brake system. Thankfully it started malfunctioning this week before I was on the road! Have your brake system and wiring checked out. While you can drive a trailer without brakes it really is nerve wracking not being able to stop realitivly fast especially when going through a city plus it puts some major wear on your truck brakes
  3. Ball Hitch! ok Really these probably shouldn’t be numered because this is HUGE! Double, Tripple, and Quadruple check that your ball hitch, weather bumper or goose neck, is the right size for your trailer! Even if the hitch is a fraction too small say a 2 1/3″ instead of 2 1/2 inch the possibility of your trailer popping of your hitch is very high! Not only will it cause immense damage to your truck (especially if its a goose hitch) and trailer it is also putting the welfare of your horses at risk. Spend the money for the right hitch. It will save heartache and headache later!
  4. Trailer lights. This is mandatory should you wish to drive anywhere. Without trailer lights you will most likely be pulled over quickly by the police, not to mention should you get stuck driving at night your chances of getting hit are really high if your trailer lights aren’t working.
  5. Bearings. Having the bearings checked/greased is a good idea. I’m not a mechanic so I can’t tell you exactly what they do but they are an integral part of your hub/axel and when you blow them it’s expensive and will be one bumpy ride for your horses until you get them fixed.

Truck:

  1. All Trailer connections: Where ever your trailer connects for your brakes and lights, have the connection checked incase it’s loose and rusting. You’ll notice if your lights on your trailer keep going on and off. If theres a lot of corrosion you might want to consider cleaning it or changing out the plug for a new one.
  2. Ball Hitch. Again check to ensure the ball hitch is the right size but also check the pins and assembly that hold the hitch onto your truck. You don’t want your trailer coming unhitched because the pins broke!
  3. Oils/fluids: Check all oils and fluids in the truck. You don’t want your truck over heating because coolant was low or your engine seizing because you had an unknown oil leak!  I always carry some extra engine oil in case a leak develops or my truck just starts burning it. Check the oil every morning when hauling! And look under your truck to see if there is any oil/fluid leaks from when you parked it the night before.
  4. Get any transmission or engine issues or troubles checked out!  The last thing you want is your transmission going out half way to where ever your going! Have a mechanic do an inspection on your truck just to nip any issues in the bud. It’s easier on the pocket book and just helps manage any issues that might be occurring.

I’m sure there is probably some things I have missed but these are the major ones that I always want checked when I’m hauling long distance! It’s a very good idea to have all these systems check regularly regardless of how far you are going just for peace of mind and for the safety of our beasties!

Well now the daunting job of packing up and loading all my stuff is upon me! The days are dwindling down until my date to head out arrives! Talk about exciting and sad all at the same time. I get used to hanging around my parents ranch! *sigh*  Better go find my boots! Might have to ride the boys before I go fight the dust bunnies!

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Getting To Know Jack

Jack pen

Now that the weather has turned back to sunny and warm I’m finally able to really sit down and start working Jack again! And I must say he is a lot different then I thought.

When we get a new horse we both have to learn one another and Jack and I are defiantly on that learning curve now! He has buttons that I’m inadvertently pushing and he’s misunderstanding some signals that I’m giving. But thats ok! We are both very new to one another.

Take yesterdays session in mind. I wanted to free jump him in and out of the water puddles that are in our arena. When I started I lead him over the jump. I’d get him into a trot and jump the jump with him. Now he scared himself cause he tried to step over the rails and when he hit them and they fell and splashed him and it caught him off guard.  I couldn’t get him to go over it again free lunging him.

So from here I had to put the halter and lunge rope on. I lead him over it several times before I asked him to do it by himself. He would cautiously jump it.  I began to lunge him and ask him to go over the jump on his own.  I was lunging him in a circle but as I asked him to go over the jump I went to walk with him so I wouldn’t catch him and jerk him as he landed.*Insert Miscommunication here* As I moved forward to go with him he assumed I was signaling for him to stop. So he slammed on the brakes and stopped! At this point I would ask him to move forward with a click and a swish of the lunge whip. He was royally confused and would start to feel trapped and run which ever way he could. This was very frustrating as we tried this several times with the same result.

It wasn’t until he ducked out from infront of the jump and circled to the left and jumped the jump while I stayed where I was.  When I just made him do a big circle and come back to the jump to the right with my feet planted that he happily jumped it to the right.

The light bulb went off in my head! I was telling him one thing while asking for another and he was just trying to do what I asked. Needless to say we both have some figuring out to do! I ended on that happy note and let him graze on the grass while I groomed him. (He now is shedding like its going out of style)

With new horses it’s easy to forget (at least for me) that they don’t necessarily understand everything like the other seasoned horses do. Their buttons might be a bit different. I know my body language is most likely very different then the trainers. With a few more weeks of working with him I think we will both happily figure each other out. Until then I have to remember to not get frustrated and realize that I may be just as confused as my horse on why he’s not doing something I asked.

 

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Product Review: The Dublin Pinnacle Boot

Hey everyone!

Since it;s warming up but the footing is still to bad to ride I thought I’d do a product review on these boots I recently bought.

boots

The Dublin Pinnacle Boot

Price: I think they are rather affordable sitting at about $200 depending on the retailer. Considering the price of other boots in similar lines they are much nicer on the pocket book!

Size: These boots seem to run a tad bit big. I’d say if you’re not planning on wearing thick wool type socks I’d go down about half a size.

Waterproof: Oh yes they are! Between all the snow and rain we’ve had I’ve had these wet all the way to the top and they are completely waterproof so far! My feet have been toasty dry no matter if it was water, snow or muck.

Comfort:  These boots are super comfortable! There was vertically no break in time! I’ve worn them pretty much nonstop since I bought them and haven’t had any rubs or blisters at all! The fact that I can adjust the boot to fit my calf is also a huge bonus for me! I love being able to snug it up and loosen it where I need it! Not to mention the lacings are beautiful!

Durability: I haven’t owned these long enough to really say how durable they are but they seem to be well constructed and I think as long as they are oiled occasionally they should hold up very well! I’ll update this when I’ve really had them a while!

 

I must say I’m absolutely in love with these boots so far! They’ve worked great during our monsoons and snow storms recently here in Colorado and I’m sure they will be really tested when I get to Washington. So far I highly recommend these to anyone looking for a stylish boot that is comfortable and can be used in the barn, riding horses and out in town!

 

 

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Sorry Colorado I Jinxed you

SOOOOOOOOOO I owe and apology to those living in Colorado. A few days ago I said that Colorado had stopped the monsoons and was now imitating Ireland with lovely foggy weather….well apparently I jinxed us because not only is it flooding here it has now turned into a gigantic snow storm as well…..sooooo I’m really really sorry!!!!

At least our ponies were smart and while I got soaked feeding them…

wet and rainy

 

They were all nice and toasty in their dry stalls. They even refused to come out and say hi which never happens! Not even treats would coax them out! (This is my Dad’s horse Laredo and her wonderful foal Tahnee who I’m so stealing once she’s older hehehehe)

smart ponies

 

 

And of course now we have about 2 inches of snow on the ground in a matter of 4 hours

 

to snow

Since horse activities were kinda out of the question it was mostly a play day! Shopping at tack and feed stores,  A replay of Rolex Cross country, eating homemade ice cream and watching Despicable Me! Huzzah! 😀  Hopefully this will be gone quickly and the footing will be back to ridable quickly. Until then I’ll have no choice but to actually pack up all my stuff and get ready to go *sigh*

I hope everyone, your horses and dogs too  are warm (unless your in Yuma, AZ), Dry and comfortable for the night!

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Changes In Environment

I must say I am currently loving the weather in Colorado now. Instead of monsoons we are now imitating Ireland!  And I must say I LOVE Ireland. If I could just up and move there I would!  I get to wake up every morning to birds singing and fog!

So I had a grand plan to ride my ponies in the field yesterday since our arenas are a filled with various puddles evidenced from my last post.

Of course I have to work Cash first. He’s a wee bit jealous when I work other horses. I must admit that it’s kind of nice, but needless to say if I don’t work him first I get the death glare and he’s just mischievous enough I worry how enjoyable our ride will be.

So I saddled up Cash. He was already being a bit of an idiot but some of that was partly my fault. I have my trailer parked near my tackroom so I can slowly start filling it with my hordes of tack that I’ve somehow managed to collect.  Cash loves trailering, or at least going new places so he gets really excited when he sees the trailer there. Enter in cool weather and he kinda looses his mind.

Off to the small pasture we go! And we begin to lunge…It was at this point I decided I was not gonna ride anymore. I haven’t seen him so energetic and just playful in ages. Apparently he loves foggy weather as much as I do, though there were a few to many spooks in there and after 20 minutes of cantering he didn’t seem to want to slow down. (Video clip below) I worked cash until he was finally listening to me and transitioning easily before calling it a day.

Now it was time for Jackson (yes his name has evolved from Jack to Jackson…you can thank my mom and my husband for that) l figured I’d lunge him without the saddle and bridle. After watching him at home it amazes me how much like his Uncle Jackson really is!  I’m not sure if I’m excited or scared about that. Luckily Jackson seems to be a bit more low key then Cash but their mannerisms are very very similar. You can see his exploits on the Lunge below as well. (Though I wished I’d caught his ability to trot and snag a bit of grass without breaking stride. It’s quite impressive)

Now to get to the meat and bones of this post. As I went to ride yesterday I failed to take into account the change in weather. Colorado is very rarely foggy and cool like this. Add to the fact the boys haven’t been getting a lot of exercise due to the mud and also changing up what the tack area looks like by adding a shinny trailer, And working them in a new area, I’m thankful I decided to lunge before jumping on. My day could have ended drastically different if I hadn’t.

It’s easy to forget that our normally good horses can be completely different with the weather or simply being in someplace new. In hot weather they can become sluggish and slow to respond and in cold weather they can become hot headed and spooky. In new environments they can become the classic lookie loo that feels like a bomb ready to explode. Don’t be afraid to sit down and re evaluate what your plan was for the day. Maybe instead of riding, lunge or walk the path with your horse until they calm down. If you’re at a show and your horses aren’t used to show environments try to get there a day or more early so they can learn the area and get used to all the commotion.

My mistake was thatCash and Jackson are never worked in the pasture. Pasture for them has usually been about turnout and play. Asking them to suddenly focus and listen is just not gonna happen, especially on a cool day. At least not with my boys! So for now we will take it slow as they adjust to working in the Fog and the pastures. I’m sure with a few days solid work we will have the brains cells back!  Until then, I do believe there will be a lot of lunging and a bucket full of patience to go with it to.

 

 

 

 

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Jack Is Finally Home!

My lovely boy Jack is finally home! Boy oh Boy is it good to see him standing in his pen in the morning! 😀

A huge heartfelt THANK YOU to Lizabeth Latham for the amazing foundation and hard work she put into the 60 days she had Jack.

Jack home
Jack checking out his new pen and wishing he could reach the grass on the other side.

 

And now its time to play with WATER in-between the storms!!! 😀 Sooo it appears Jack will probably be my Eventer for sure!  He doesn’t mind water in the least.

 

Cash just can’t get into liking water. He’ll go in it if he MUST but if it’s of his own free will he adamantly refuses!  lol (I had to play with Cash to avoid the death glare)

 

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Jack Is Coming Home!!!

YAY! Jack is coming home today!! And while we are getting swamped out here with large quantities of rain I am so excited to have Jack home even if I can’t ride him for a while!

He’s been doing fantastic in his training. He now knows how to pick up the walk trot and canter under saddle and some basic turn on the forehand and haunches. And while he has lots to learn from here he’s doing so well I can’t help but bounce in excitement.

What really surprises me is how similar he is to his uncle Cash. Their personalities are so similar it’s scary sometimes. Thankfully he’s not as excitable as Cash but their reactions to pressure are nearly identical. They both are very much “ask nicely” kind of horses. If you try to tell them or make them do something it can turn into a very very big fight very quickly.

But they both have loving personalities that make up for their bit of feistiness.

Well this is gonna be short and sweet as I gotta get ready to go pick up my beastie! Updates will be coming soon so stand by for some pics latter on today! 😀

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Cavalletti’s And Forward Momentum

Colorado can’t decide if it wants to be warm and sunny or cool and rainy.  Luckily it usually gives me the morning to harass the beasts.

Yesterday we worked on using ground poles for motivation and to help with steering.

Two notes before continuing:

1.) I am currently in the process of changing how I handle contact on the reins. I really want my horses to be more responsive to my legs. Growing up in the english world I have learned to ride with way more hand/contact then is needed. So I’m retraining myself as well as my horse. I have a very very bad habit of trying to use the reins and end up over using the aids or pressure to try to do what I want creating a very backward way of riding. So for now I’m riding cash with as little contact as I can to break my bad habit of riding front to back and his bad habits of really leaning on the bit.

2.) I’m teaching Cash to listen to direction off my leg and seat aids and not my hands. Soooooo its not very pretty to watch. We are back to the wiggly stage for a while.  It’s very much a work in progress as he learns that legs on dosen’t just mean go and that I’m actually telling him to move left or right with just my legs and some slight weight adjustment. He’s getting it though and I think a few more sessions and we will really be on track! 😀

As I’ve mentioned before Cash tends to hate ground work a.k.a. Dressage. Since I’ve been working him in the arena for the last few days he’s gotten rather bored and today he started wanting to kinda shut down. When he gets tired or annoyed a lot of times he will just stop and refuse to move. While I’d rather have a horse that stops then runs and bucks, this trait gets really aggravating after a while.

To combat his issue of refusing to move we brought in ground poles. A simple set of 4 poles set up in a fan to get him thinking.  He didn’t want to move forward so I would ask for trot with gentle pressure from both my legs. When he didn’t respond I gave him a big bump with my heels and I pointed him at the poles.

It only took a few tries before he understood that using the smaller cue was much nicer and for going into the trot he got a reward of doing the poles. Once he transitioned from walk to trot with a light cue we ended it on a high note.

Poles to Cash are amazingly fun. He love cavalletti’s. I’m not sure if its the visual stimulation as well as having to actually pay attention to his feet or something else but he perks up immediately!

Cash is really an aggravating and yet amazing horse to work with. He causes me to really think outside the box, and constantly ask for help from my mom,  in order to keep him engaged and happy in work, especially arena work.  I have to constantly remind myself not to get frustrated with him when stuff just isn’t clicking with him and just rethink how to introduce what I’m asking. But once he understands what is expected he is the most amazing horse to ride!

So for now cavalletti’s will be used to keep him occupied and I think it may be the key to getting and keeping him engaged in arena work. There’s only so many circles he’ll let me do before he says he’s done. And being 1200 pounds there’s not much I can really do to move him if he doesn’t want to. By using that which he loves, it become his idea to move and not my demand….We may have a dressage future yet!! 😀  (maybe!!)

 

Here’s the end of the session.

 

https://youtu.be/tUCwqxQ_sec

 

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Water Training!

Cash sporting his western saddle
Cash sporting his western saddle.

 

Whew the days are flying by! It is so easy to loose track of time with so much fun going on.

For the last two days I’ve gotten to actually ride Cash. I must say he has surpassed all my expectations!

When he was younger If I didn’t lunge him for a decent amount of time he would try to buck and carry on just because he would get excited or frustrated. Now granted I’m keeping our sessions short and sweet. No more then 30 minuets just to get his muscles used to working again and carrying my butt BUT he hasn’t put a hoof wrong!!! ((knock on wood!))  I’m such a proud lady!

With all this rain or arena has some standing water so it’s a new adventure.

What adventure is that? Why water training of course!

I worked with Cash and all our young horses in our puddles! I pulled on my rubber boots and grabbed some treats and headed out to the arena!

Now I approach this like everything else new that I teach even though for most of the beasties they have worked in water before.  When it comes to water I want to keep it as positive as possible. Water is a scary demon for most horses.

So what did I do? Well I walked out in the middle of the puddle and gave a little tug on the lead rope to give them the idea I wanted them to follow. Then I just stood there and relaxed. Every once in a while I’d give some clucks to remind them that I wanted them to come forward as most of the horses would stare hopefully from the waters edge probably hoping I’d change my mind, give them a treat and let them go eat grass.

Several of the youngsters walked the edge of the water and circled around it. I gave a light tug to redirect their heads toward me. After a few minuets of this they seem to realize they will have to come in to get the treat and eventially all of the horses walked cautiously but calmly into the water.

I rewarded them with said treat and lots of praise! Then I’d walk back out with them and do it again. It didn’t take long before they were all eagerly following me through all the water. One, a young three year old named Dollar (Jacks full sister) even started playing in the puddles!

For the young unbroken horses I keep working until they are confidently going through the water then I stop there and give them a good brushing before putting them away.

With Cash, he got to repeat the process with me on him and he was a champ! It took him a few minuets with me in the saddle and some light pressure with my legs for him to go forward, but just like on the ground I didn’t push him. If he tried to walk around it I just kept him facing the puddles and would give a light squeeze with my legs and some clucks to go forward and I just sat in the saddle and waited. I never wanted to try and rush him in. I want it to be his choice to step in without more then light coaxing from me.

Once he put his hooves in the water I would praise him and sometimes I even reach forward and give him a treat when he was standing in the water to reiterate that it was a good thing!

Cash doesn’t like trotting or cantering through water yet. I think the splashing water on his belly bugs him but he’s taken a huge step forward!   But thats something else to work on if the puddles stick around for any length of time!!

If you Event water training is a must! Eventually you’ll have to jump into and out of the water, and you’ll still have to cross water even at the lowest levels. If your more into trail riding eventually you’ll come to a point where you will have to cross water, even if it’s just a tiny stream or a puddle a crossed the trail. Take every opportunity to make water a happy experience for them!

How do you all convince your horses the water won’t swallow them whole?