ASKING FOR ADVICE: on riding someone else's horse at a dude ranch. - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 23 Old 06-28-2012, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by loveduffy View Post
with any stuff you use the person using must know how to use them right or it will do the opposite
AMEN to that!

-Cynthia
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post #12 of 23 Old 06-28-2012, 12:18 PM
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I tend to agree with Speed and Foundationqh. She cannot be changed that quickly, unless you have a great deal of "presence" and the willingness to get really, really firm with her , and that would entail hitting her, no doubt more than once. you would have to probalby have several "come to Jesus" meetings with her before going out on the trail, so that she thought you were a really powerful rider. She is probably too smart to be fooled by you . . . yet.
ANd, if the hill you are going down is steep, and you bop her and pull one rein sideways (which in normal circumstances is a good tactic) you may unbalance her and it be dangerous to the both of you. Same with restricting her with some kind of tiedown rein; on hills she needs her neck free to balance herself.

I would just put on the grazing muzzle. It frees you both from the mental bondage of this ; she can no longer be constantly seeking that opportunity and you do not need to police her second by second.
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post #13 of 23 Old 06-28-2012, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
I tend to agree with Speed and Foundationqh. She cannot be changed that quickly, unless you have a great deal of "presence" and the willingness to get really, really firm with her , and that would entail hitting her, no doubt more than once. you would have to probalby have several "come to Jesus" meetings with her before going out on the trail, so that she thought you were a really powerful rider. She is probably too smart to be fooled by you . . . yet.
ANd, if the hill you are going down is steep, and you bop her and pull one rein sideways (which in normal circumstances is a good tactic) you may unbalance her and it be dangerous to the both of you. Same with restricting her with some kind of tiedown rein; on hills she needs her neck free to balance herself.

I would just put on the grazing muzzle. It frees you both from the mental bondage of this ; she can no longer be constantly seeking that opportunity and you do not need to police her second by second.
oh ya...I was thinking that too...mountain riding up or down, she has lots of slack in the reins because she's the one doing the climbing. And being a Belgian, she's a big woman and some of those climbs are astounding. She will stop and evaluate the situation and then go like hell!! I'm telling you, she took my breath away with her amazing footing.

(after they've been turned out in the evening, the horses enmass climb the surrounding mountains. you can watch them, these smaller herds and groups running up and down for fun and good grazing. it's just beautiful!)

They have set trails and I can deviate somewhat, actually I could deviate all I wanted but that wouldn't be sensible on my part.

Tiny, you're right. All of you are right actually. The only time I would use a switch is for trot and canter on level ground. And I wouldn't dream of popping on a steep hill. I think for the mountain climbing we'll use the feedbag. For level riding I'll try correcting her slowing down and stopping. And the reason I would is because I was told she IS a good trot/canter horse, so my guess is, she simply did whatever she wanted because she could. I have been told she is a supersmooth ride at canter. I can't wait! (and this is provided I get my cantering relatively sorted out and safely proficient before I get there.)

-Cynthia

Last edited by wild old thing; 06-28-2012 at 12:35 PM.
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post #14 of 23 Old 06-28-2012, 12:56 PM
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it sounds like a great place to spend some time. may I ask where is this ranch?
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post #15 of 23 Old 06-28-2012, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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it sounds like a great place to spend some time. may I ask where is this ranch?
Cherokee Park Ranch in Livermore CO.

It is everything they say in their online brochure and more. The owners are wonderful and welcoming - truly the salt of the earth. The rates are reasonable and they have spectacular horses. If I can figure how (and I can find it), I'll post a video of the horses either comng in in the morning or being turned out.

I do have an image of some horses grazing which I will upload if (again) I can figure how...it's just a wonderful place.

-Cynthia
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post #16 of 23 Old 06-29-2012, 10:19 PM
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The problem might be that you aren't riding someone else's horse...you are riding a LOT of someone elses' horse. This horse doesn't have one consistent owner/rider and in the limited time you have with her, you aren't going to overcome this and change her. I'd just enjoy my time with her.
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post #17 of 23 Old 06-29-2012, 10:44 PM
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I think you can overcome this.

I believe you will be able to tell when she is going to dive for grass. She'll slow a bit. You'll notice her ears intently focused on a spot off trail. THAT'S when you re-direct her with the reins and give her a good thump with your heels. Throwing in a menacing growl makes the point even stronger.

You mentioned that you wouldn't want to do anything to make her uncomfortable, or something similar to that. You're not. I doubt she is underweight. I'm fairly certain she gets plenty of time off. She's not working very hard. Really. Not at all.

Go for it.

Some friends and I worked at a dude ranch that also had a registered Charlois herd. The horses on the dude string had some lazy habits. But, they are what we used to do all the cattle work with the registered cows, and we competed at open shows on them.

You can do this.
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post #18 of 23 Old 06-30-2012, 04:53 PM
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Watch for the clues she is giving about trying to eat, and be ready for it. She will possibly have a "far away" feel to her, or one ear will be forward, one back, which means she is up to something.

At THAT point, cluck, tighten reins, or give her boot to move. Be proactive here, as when you are only reactive it is too late.
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post #19 of 23 Old 07-01-2012, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by HagonNag View Post
The problem might be that you aren't riding someone else's horse...you are riding a LOT of someone elses' horse. This horse doesn't have one consistent owner/rider and in the limited time you have with her, you aren't going to overcome this and change her. I'd just enjoy my time with her.
This is the truth, she IS many people's horse, although truly she is Dicky's horse, who is the owner. So she's not used ALL that much by everyone. I'm a big woman and I'm old so I think they gave her to me because at that point I was a rank beginner. And she is so stable and confident. This isn't a spooky horse by a long shot. VERY good girl. It's just that she KNEW I didn't know how to read her or how to handle anything except not fall on my head.

Thank you. If I sense I can't get through to her, because horses let you know pretty quickly what they're thinking - there's no guile - I will either just love her to pieces but use the feedbag, or switch horses and still love her to pieces. Like I've said, she was my first "horse love". She really was. I'm so looking forward to seeing her and riding her.

-Cynthia
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post #20 of 23 Old 07-01-2012, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by boots View Post
I think you can overcome this.

I believe you will be able to tell when she is going to dive for grass. She'll slow a bit. You'll notice her ears intently focused on a spot off trail. THAT'S when you re-direct her with the reins and give her a good thump with your heels. Throwing in a menacing growl makes the point even stronger.

You mentioned that you wouldn't want to do anything to make her uncomfortable, or something similar to that. You're not. I doubt she is underweight. I'm fairly certain she gets plenty of time off. She's not working very hard. Really. Not at all.

Go for it.

Some friends and I worked at a dude ranch that also had a registered Charlois herd. The horses on the dude string had some lazy habits. But, they are what we used to do all the cattle work with the registered cows, and we competed at open shows on them.

You can do this.
Oh your wonderful advice made me laugh! This is great! I will look for the cues and see if I can't correct her before. I think the one thing I'm getting better at is thinking aloud, making my intent and my body convey to my horse. I think it's because I'm learning to use my body more sensibly and calmly and even assertively, not with reins or anything but I;ve learned not to take no for an answer. It's better to not because then it's a periodic struggle for the rest of the lesson. And I'd rather not frustrate the horse or me.

Yes, those ears. They do tell the tale.

I ride a horse I love named Brave. He's a great boy but he's a lot like this girl Muffin, he will sometimes get lazy and not give me what I ask for. He'll play dumb. He'll play tired. He'll be all "oh...is that what you wanted?...uh...I didn't know" kind of stop/go/slow/fast. I thought it was me not being clearer. But now that I've been assigned a more responsive mare Lily, I know a lot of it was him. So I am looking forward to riding him again. Because I KNOW he's fooling around and being lazy and wanting to eat grass and be turned out and the heck with what anyone wants. If he can get away with it, he will. He's wicked bad! I adore him but he is GETTING FAT being bad.

Horse are a hoot! Whoever thinks horses are dumb is an idiot. THey are smart, cagey creatures and they are quite adept at getting what they want, with either attitude or brute strength. I know they're formidable. I do not underestimate how powerful they are, or how pissed off they can get if you push them wrong. My Lily does not like to halt too much at the beginning of the lesson. Or go backwards. She wants to move for a while. She NEEDS to move, so I let her stretch and move. I'll halt her if I must but I also am mindful that she needs a warmup.

The problem with Muffin is if I shorten the reins, she's so strong, she will GO anyway. If we're on level ground, I can try to maneuver her some. But climbing down sometimes we only have, lets say one horse length between us so I am limited in how much I can do, particularly because there's nowhere to go but down and because she needs her footing.

However, if I can get some level rides with her and show her I mean business, maybe we can establish something. As Tiny said, "read her the come to jesus" riot act, which I might do in my own way. I am not a very experienced rider but I AM getting better.

I don't know what type of bit they use with her but I suspect, being the owner's horse, she has something nice and comfortable and nothing that has the potential to hurt her because they know to not give a new rider that kind of tool. Thinking back that is the impression I have. That she could be steered but not corrected.

Thank you for your advice. You've given me a lot to think about!

-Cynthia
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