I love reading the journals that y'all keep on here and I have been inspired to start my own for Roux's training and Gus's feet!
Earlier this summer I was looking for an older dead-broke gelding for my mom and I stumbled upon Roux. I just fell in love with him after I went to see him but I walked away. I went home and told my fiance about him with the hope that he would talk me out of it but he was just as interested in Roux as I was. The next day I took him with me to look at Roux again and when we left I had a new horse!
Since then I have discovered that Roux is one of the sweetest horses that I have ever had the pleasure of working with. He is the first to run up to me from the pasture, he loves to be groomed and loves attention. But he is not perfect! Hence the training blog.
The first time I got on him after he was home he bucked when I was mounting. He did it once more the week after. Then a few weeks after that he spooked really hard and threw me! It was so embarrassing I haven't been unseated even with the greenest horses in years!! It caught me completely off guard (isn't that always the case). I landed on my sciatic nerve and I wasn't able to get back on. The next day I actually went to the doctor they were concerned I had broke my pelvis but luckily I was ok just diagnosed as a bone bruise, sprained shoulder, and bruised ribs.
The next Monday I had to have surgery (unrelated to the accident) and wasn't allowed to ride for a while, Dr. Orders. Which was great! Because I have been able to focus on getting back to basics and ground work!
Today we worked on a few things. It was his second time lunging with me and he did great. I am really enjoying his progress. When we first started he just wanted to lope the whole time. Today we worked at walk, trot and lope in both directions. I work really well clockwise and am terrible counter clockwise so it was a big improvement for me as well!
When we first started with the tarp he would just tremble and shiver if it got to close to him or touched him. He also was not too sure about walking over it. Today I was able to open up the tarp all the way and drape it over him and get him to walk. The wind picked up and blew it off him and he didn't even flinch. He also didn't think twice about walking over it. After that I gave him a bath and spent about an hour grooming and fussing with his mane.
Then we walked through the barn! (Normally we walk around the barn). Ok I know that should not be a big deal. But Roux doesn't really like walking by other horses he doesn't know especially when they are poking their heads out at him. He is also an "out-door" kind of horse and doesn't appreciate being closed in yet. It would break his heart to live in a stall I'm sure. He didn't refuse to walk in there at all. It was a great step for us!
Under saddle Roux is 85% perfect. I like to do most of my saddle training on the trail I know this isn't the way everyone likes to do it this way. He is very alert on the trail but he hasn't spooked or been scary at all. Roux did not know how to neck rein at all when I got him. That has been the biggest thing we are working on training wise so far. He works off of leg cues really well and has a great foundation with most everything.
My analysis of him thus far is that he really has trust issues and low confidence. My approach is getting him to trust me completely and boost his confidence in himself.
I will be back in the saddle soon! This is a picture I took of him today:
Gus is the horse I found for my mom. He is a solid horse that I trust completely. I would put any one on him with compete faith in him. I think I found the perfect horse for my mom to get back into it.
When we got Gus he had shoes on all four feet. While he has really good quality feet they were overgrown and I wasn't happy with them. I began the process of transitioning him to a healthy barefoot hoof.
The first thing I did was to take off the shoes. His front shoes were to completely different shapes and he had a hind shoe on one of his front feet. I am not going to judge or second guess another farrier's work but we are going in a new direction now. After the shoes were off I took off a little length and gave him the best "mustang roll" I could.
Since then I work on his feet little by little every week. Getting a horse off shoes is a slow process that I think is better not to rush. He has never walked off soar after I have worked on his feet, which I am really proud of. Almost all the old nail holes are out and his fronts are starting to look more uniform. Gus has very upright feet so I am working at correcting some of that as well.
I predict that it will take 4-6 months to get him to a really great hoof. If any one is interested I can post more about my thoughts and experiences getting horses off shoes and knowing when shoeing is the best option.
Thanks for reading! Any comments and advise are welcome