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The Horse They Call Jayne

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        05-05-2013, 09:11 PM
    Ping Pong Pony. Odd move yesterday when Jayne wanted to spook at nothing. He did the 'elevator' and dropped about 8" and put his weight on his hinds, then went to spin to the right. All of this was in than less than half a second, so I wasn't even thinking about reacting yet. As he went to spin, he hit my leg, stopped, bounced mostly back to center an stood up from his couch. I adjusted my seat back a couple of inches and we carried on as if nothing had happened.

    Horses are weird.
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        05-10-2013, 10:44 PM
    Two things.

    1. Getting him to eat beet pulp is going. Sorta. He is normally a piggy so I was half surprised that he turned up his nose at it to start with. He would pick cookies out of it and play with it, but no real eating of it. Then I got a little smarter and tossed his Strategy (2lbs) on top of it, and he ate about half of it. Then I got a little smarter than that and mixed 1lb of strategy into the 2 quarts of BP (soaked) and put the other lb on top. He ate most of it, but left a couple cups of BP in the bottom of the bucket. I figured that was some progress. Today I only used half the strategy (0.5lb each mixed and top dressed) and he ate it well and even licked his bucket clean for the first time since introducing it. Not bad for just four tries! Think I'll do the same tomorrow, and then the next day just mix a half a lb in. If that goes well, he should be eating straight BP by the middle of next week, which is good since the whole point of it was to get him to eat it to get water into him, not so much for weight or forage.

    2. I need to teach him to jog. For the love of all that is light, I need to teach him to jog. His trot has gotten better. His canter is too fast, but it is much more balanced than it used to be and he actually listens to cues now while doing it, so that's progress, but he has Zero Concept of the jog, and as he's a fairly well-built type QH, there should be no reason he can't do a passable job of it. So we will begin that. It'll be good for working on my seat too. He understands rating, so I just have to teach him that the slow trot is something I want him to keep doing for more than a couple strides (which is what I get it for now). I figure there will be lots of rating speed down from his 'normal' trot and lots of pushing him back to a trot when he breaks down to a walk. Sound about right?
        05-11-2013, 02:16 PM
    My trail ride got rained out this morning, and the loop I was using for endurance training by ourselves is now impossible to get to due to construction, so I am feeling rather sorry for myself. Maybe we'll do some more arena work. I guess. (I know, it's a whine of the privileged) The weekends are supposed to be for riding OUT! I'm not sure it would be smart to trailer out somewhere by myself though, so I won't do that quite yet.

    I was thinking of our ride yesterday and it occurred to me that he was paying REALLY GOOD attention the whole time. Anytime I looked down, both his ears were turned to listen to me. And he was feather soft on the stops and downward transitions, which is a nice change from his usual bad habit of getting rushy when we're mixing some canter in with the trot work.
        05-11-2013, 10:08 PM
    Good Evening. Good, good evening! Soaked 1/2lb of beet pulp (makes about 2 Qts soaked) and only mixed in 1/2lb strategy and he ate it enthusiastically and even licked the bucket clean. Tomorrow I'll reduce the strategy by half again and maybe the day after that he'll actually just eat BP!

    He chased one of the hussy mares around in turnout. I am not thrilled about that on the one hand since she nearly kicked him in the head a half dozen times. However, he is normally the low man on the totem pole, and between this and him pushing around a 17hh grade gelding in pasture that most of the other horses are scared of, I am wondering if maybe he isn't deciding to come up in the world. That might be a good thing if it means he doesn't get as bit up any more. So long as he doesn't get any ideas towards people in this new rank structure.

    Finally, I rode. We worked on SLOW. Slowing his rushy canter to a nice lope and slowing his trot to a nice jog. Got the lope fairly well. It helped that he ran that mare around earlier and burned off some stupid, he was already nice and loose and warm. Got a slow trot fairly well, both for a handful of strides at a time. Even got a few strides of a fabulous jog here and there. Much to my surprise, he hardly ever went to break down to a walk, despite me asking for such restraint on the 'speed' front. I think if I work with it, we'll have a nice slow trot and an easy lope in a week. The true QH jog may take a little more since it takes a lot of strength and balance, but we should have that in a month if I can do my part right.

    He also was turning nearly entirely off of leg, even at a canter/lope! What a HUGE first I wasn't expecting. YAY! This from a horse that thought any/all leg contact meant "Go Faster" when I bought him. I wish I was a better trainer- most of the time I feel like he is learning what I want in spite of me, rather than because of me. It's like he knows what I am really asking instead of what my arms, legs, and body are actually doing.
        09-22-2013, 06:27 PM
    Hmm... new place and I've been busy. Moved to a new state, new job (sort of anyway) and have some actual endurance peeps at the new barn. My horse has been getting some good conditioning and though we didn't 'finish' the one LD ride we've tried so far we're having a blast with it. We went too fast, and it was hot, humid and hilly, so he took 8 min longer than permitted to pulse down, but vets said they were not at all worried about him since he was sound, happy, well hydrated and had great gut sounds. They suggested more conditioning (and very politely, and correctly, implied smarter riding).

    So, next time I am determined to a) ride my own ride rather than letting others influence me to ride faster, and b) not let my horse race so much. I never realized he was the competitive type like that, but holy mother of * did he about dislocate my arms for the first two miles! This is the horse I ride 'english' but normally on a loose rein and all it takes is a couple of ounces of pressure at most to get him to comply. Definitely an eye opener for me.

    Today we did some 'sprint work' since I just got some EZ stirrups, wanted to try them out, but didn't have much time in my day. We warmed up in the woods, then trotted the 1km down the lane, cantered back, up the hill, walked back down and repeated about four times.

    I LOVE my horse. He is the best horse I could ask for, even if he never does pulse down like an Arabian. He is so willing to do anything, everything, and has such a sweet and eager to work mindset that it makes riding a joy. Canter up a hill is like riding a well controlled rocket- he just gets that QH booty under him and you can feel just how strong he is and how well he can go. Or if I ask him to gallop, he's got that fifth gear and just GOES. But when I want him to come back down, he's soft and willing to do that and settle back down too. So the 'race-brain' during our LD really caught me off guard and unprepared. I will do better, and keep my horse in better condition (maybe despite himself) next time.
        10-27-2013, 09:22 PM
    We completed a 30 mile LD last weekend! I was wet, wet, and cold for most of it. It rained most of the morning and pretty much all of the first loop, so that even though I was wearing a plastic poncho I still somehow wound up soaked. We rode our own ride and my plan was to go SLOW. And we did, and we still finished with forty-five minutes to spare. Jayne though he was the last horse in the world and wanted to be sad and pokey though, I guess he likes the company and/or competition of others about.

    Planning on going to a 25 mile ride this coming weekend and then it will be the off-season for us. Thinking of taking his shoes off since going fast(ish) will not be a concern for us for several months.

    Tonight he galloped in from the field to meet me. Maybe mostly because he was excited to come in for dinner, but I like to think it has something to do with me too. I rode him with his bareback pad and he was doing very well- obviously eager to get back to work again since he has had all week off. He was soft, responsive and forward whenever I asked for it without being pushy. Lovely little ride.
        11-30-2013, 05:35 PM
    Just another rave on my horsie-boy. I love this horse. Seriously. How did I get so lucky? Especially buying a green-broke five year old as my first horse. By myself. As a first time horse owner. Like you're exactly NOT supposed to do.

    1. Skymont Endurance Ride. 25 mile ride with two loops, gorgeous weather, lots of riders. I was riding 'alone' so to speak, in that I was camping and traveling with two other lovely ladies and their ponies, but we travel at a different speed than they do- they're more racing, I'm more getting my full money and time's worth and enjoying the sights. Hooked up with another easy going rider and her pony, turned out she's a vet from TX! Too cool! My horse did great, and is getting darned good at keeping pace along with all sorts of different gaited horses (Her's was a Walker? I think?). We did each loop, walked in the last half mile or so and he was already pulsed down by the time we got to the box. No spooking, no silliness, and no being so lazy and sad about being the last pony in the world that I got sidetracked by worrying something actually might be wrong with him. Same on the second loop. At the end of it, both of us felt great! The last two rides we were tired at the end. Not this one- I think we both had another loop in us without any issue. Guess we *think* about moving up now, at least on cool-weather rides.

    2. Thanksgiving day ride. I went out to the field (Army speak) for two weeks starting just after Skymont. So the pony got a vacation. Then I came home and got sick, so the pony got another week off. So that's three weeks of being completely off. Finally I am feeling a little better, or at least alive and horse deprived, and on Turkey day, it's clear and cold and sunny, so I figure I'll toss a bareback pad on him (because his withers = ouch!) and walk around in the field for a little bit. He was an angel. Despite brisk weather, three weeks off, and me being sick, he was nothing but sweet and willing and perfect. Didn't take advantage a bit or take a wrong step. We wound up doing a nice little lesson with circles on the w/t/c in his halter and bareback pad and even finished up with a couple little circles out to a straight sprint and stop exercises. I was not planning on being so ambitious, but he was being utterly perfect and wanted to work and I couldn't help but go with it. Best medicine in the world!
    smrobs likes this.
        11-30-2013, 11:29 PM
    Green Broke
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        12-28-2013, 12:52 AM
    Speaking of green-broke five year olds. WANT Green Kiger Mustang Gelding Do not need, should not get, must stop oogling. But wow, do I want. Don't know why, most ads I shrug off and don't think twice about. Like that guy. Maybe it's that I would love to have a pair of dun-factor boys with no white. Yep. Probably that. I keep trying to figure out how I am going to manage that one when my second horse also needs to be an arabian endurance prospect and they don't carry the dun gene. Hmmm... what a problem to have to worry over, right? ;)

    And uh, yeah, Jayne's great. I mean really great. Getting to where people's image of a nice QH gelding should be. So far, no one who has ridden him has had the least issue and he just takes new riders in stride as if he's been there/done that forever.
        01-04-2014, 12:23 AM
    Thinking of teaching Jayne to lay down on request. Not that that is particularly useful, but why the heck not, right? Bored. Tired of muddy, messy, slick trails and cold but not cold enough to snow and freeze properly. So, stupid human tricks. His cantering is getting MUCH better now that we're focusing on it though, at least when the arenas are usable.

    We'll see how laying down goes. I've never actually seen him lay down other than to roll, but know from the leaves in his tail and marks on him and the ground, he's not very shy or nervous about it in new places. He's laid down to rest at every ride we've gone to. In a strange stall, tied to a strange high-line in the open, doesn't matter. He lays down and presumably sleeps. So, we'll give it a shot and see what happens. If we get it, maybe I'll have someone take pictures. Pictures of horses laying down are always cute, right?

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