First off, lip flapping?!
After a year of recovery, I finally put a saddle on Sammy and took him out for a spin. Well, I put the saddle on, mounted, then got off, lunged him, THEN got back on and took him for a brief (10min., he was getting to hot for my taste) ride around the pasture. He's got a HUGE motor and was acting overly sensitive, did a few 360's when asked (gently) to go left or right, bucked and reared. No issues after a lunging session though.
I rode him in a good-fitting western saddle and blanket, with a backstrap fitting correctly and a breast collar. As for a bridle, we rode in a not-too-loose nylon halter, with reins attached on the side, and a lead rope tied in a half hitch under the chin with the two resulting 'reins' knotted in the back so I don't loose one. I'm looking for a not-too-harsh hackamore. I'm considering trying him again in the snaffle once his teeth are done.
He worked very well off leg cues, neck reined, and literally whoa'd when I said 'Whoa'. Except for one thing...he constantly flapped his lower lip!
He WAS excited, definitely feeling hot blooded and ready to go-go-go. He's a TWHxBelgian (I think) so it flapped in time to his head bobbing. It was rather amusing to listen to. I have no idea of his former training, so for all I know he could have been raced on a track or around barrels, or just plodded down the trail.
Nothing pinched or squeezed, and I focused on keeping light in seat and hand. He collected nicely (he gaits!) but still did that flap-flap-flap-flap thing.
This is Sam when I first got him:
And this is Sam on July 11th, soft ground so he wasn't standing correctly
He's getting a lil' cresty and needs muscle tone. But boy, do I love me a fat horse!
Next up....Loki! Hasn't been worked with all winter. Tried a couple weeks ago and fought with him for half an hour. Nothing but bucking, rearing, trying to bolt, and wanting to buck/rear/bolt. It was the first time I have literally heard a horse squeal under saddle (this was just before he AGAIN tried to bolt on me).
I'm thinking of lunging before tacking him up again, much like what I did with Sammy, then riding. Good idea? Or does anyone have any other suggestions?
Annnnd.... I bought a QH mare! But...I need to finish her out.
I would really like to do some showing with her, she's a lovely buckskin. But I don't know what to do, I'm thinking Showmanship and trail type classes? I figured for the time being, I'd work on teaching her to neck rein, practice working off leg cues (she's very sensitive and a joy to ride), whoa-ing, etc.
She was delivered on Saturday, and integrated into the herd pretty quick. How much longer should I give her before I start work? I don't want to freak her out and think I'm the devil every time I approach with a halter and lead.
Loki (the boss) and her are still sorting out their differences. He's now tolerating her being with the rest of them, but he'll chase her off whenever I turn up and stand in front of me and the other two boys in a protective stance. Not much help if you want to give her a pat and a cookie. Red is fine with her, Sammy pins his ears every so often but doesn't give chase. The herd pecking order is a tad confusing at the moment.
She was also a rescue (I didn't rescue her, though) and was previously abused. The lady I bought her from did wonders with her using Clint Anderson methods and natural training. She has a massive scar on her butt that doesn't affect her, it's purely cosmetic. She certainly wouldn't win any beauty contests with it, but she's level headed and intelligent. And, doesn't spook at loud noises or the hint of a plastic bag! (yay!).
Last but not least...can Foxtrotters jump?
Red Man, my four year old, popped over a low part in the dividing fence last Saturday. I had put him in with the mare (no problems) and let them be after watching them for a good half hour. Few minuets later...Red shows up, at the gate. The gate that goes into the other pasture.
I checked him over and he's perfectly fine. I suppose he just missed Loki and Sam (or thought I was bringing treats, he's such a cookie fiend).
My question is....can Foxtrotters jump, without ruining them? I figure they can, but I want to make sure first. He seems to enjoy it (I've watched him jump some small stuff a time or two, usually when I was trying to catch him and Loki decided to be a pain). I wouldn't be doing anything massive, just small stuff in the pasture in a hornless saddle. I'm no English rider, I don't think I'd have the guts for it
He's going off to the trainers to learn how to behave under saddle in a month or two for 30 days. I almost want to break him myself, then send him off to be finished out, but I fear my training abilities aren't up to par for it just yet.
One more question...any idea on how to enlist fathers as 'Designated Other Horse Rider'? It would certainly lighten the riding workload!