That's true, Christy! I'm prettty sure I have some crazy horse-related quirks too. I could try and justify it by saying that I try to keep them inside...but that might be a lie. Haha
Ok, that sounds terrible, but you know what I mean?? Haha
Thankfully she took the photo down on her own. A singular prop to her.
In great/FABulous news, I dosed Fabs with slippery elm bark and licorice tonight - the first two to arrive of his natural ulcer cure, and he LOVED THEM.
I was a little concerned about getting them into him since he seems to be kind of a picky eater and the amounts to feed are kind of large [1tbs of SEB twice a day, a teaspoon of licorice twice a day, mixed into .5lbs of Triple Crown 30 twice a day] but oh no. The boy vacuumed up his evening feed like nobodies business [usually it takes him two "visits" to his bucket before he kinda finishes everything off=not tonight!].
I determined that I'm a little nervous about riding him right now [he's just so big, wobbly feeling, and different than Lacey..] and he's a little nervous about being ridden.
However, how is that going to be solved? Is it going to fix itself if I just don't ride?? Probably NOT.
Especially the feeling wobbly/out of control thing - he's never going to figure out how to balance with a rider if I don't ride him!!
So I decided that our goal for today was to get him moving off my leg. He understands "go" from leg cues...but that's about it. So the goal was to get some turn off leg cues as well.
I set up a circle of objects, we just went around the circle, and I'd have him turn in at this or that object, go across to the opposite object, then turn the other direction, and begin the same thing going the other way, etc. He thought that was pretttttty boring, but [after riding around for a few minutes] I realized that he was mostly unengaged in the activity because he had just decided that he wasn't going to do it.
So we walked through the pasture, found some tree stumps that were outside his comfort zone, and did a similar activity. Once he did it acceptably -for being concerned- over there, we "got to" return to the "easy" circle [in his comfort zone].
And, magically, the initial circle was a lot more fascinating.
I think I'll continue to use that technique - don't want to pay attention? Well, we can make this more challenging, take your pick!
One thing I have noticed is that he seems to just kind of "fall" downhill. Like he kinda lets any downhill slope just drag him down, instead of carrying himself downhill.
I tried placing a ground pole right in the middle of the downhill sides of our riding area [the riding area is the flattest part of the pasture, but it's still strongly sloped] and he'll briefly pick himself up to not trip over it, but otherwise he just charges downhill and drags himself uphill.
I tried half-halting, I was probably doing it wrong though, but that worked for all of 2 seconds...just like the pole.
I also tried just kind of being "all up in his face" and holding him up with the reins. That worked great. However, 99.9% sure that's not going to help him learn to carry himself...
Maybe he just needs more riding and time to get over that. On the plus side, our first time down the hill today, he started trotting. By the last time downhill, he just opened up his stride a lot but didn't break into a trot.
And, on the front of our goal, by the last turn into the circle, I only had to open the rein up a bit and push him over with my leg to get to turn. So we stopped right there and ended.
We're getting there!
In other news, it's SO FUN to have a horse that stops on a dime when I lean back and throw my legs forward! Ha. Makes me feel so fancy-shmancy.
And it's also cool how good he is a ground-tying. I can leave him anywhere and just walk off if something attached to his face his touching the ground, and he WILL NOT move. It's the greatest!
Well don't follow my lead in teaching horses to go down hill.
The way I was taught (when teaching Charlie horse) was "let's find the steepest hill possible and make him go down. Either he goes nice and soft....or we die" lolol it was interesting. But it works. I've done it with lots of babies since then.
But it sounds to me like Fabs just needs more experience. He's already ahead if my guys in the ground tying dept. Lucky!!!! Haha Posted via Mobile Device
Reminds me of the only two trail rides we did with this one horse I rode in one stable. He was a great horse. I mean I loved my dressage training with him, we rode every day almost, and it was going great. We even jumped in a few lessons, but before we had jumping lessons together my trainer decided that I should jump in the competition too (club comps), which was first time jump with him, everything went fine, battled our 50-60 cm, and got 3rd out of 13.
Anyway, the story was about trail. We had to go down this one very very very steep bit. And mind you, my dear pony was about 16.3 or 17 h. One big fluffy thing. And we walked down. And didn't die!!!!!!
Also that time on trail I first felt proper gallop from him (suprisingly a pony kept up with us in the back, but her face was full of sand). And he showed me the first extended trot in the forest - barely stayed in the saddle at all. He was quite amazing
I think Fabs just needs a little more work on the lunge, working on the slope, up and down, up and down, adding in some poles (can start with one, end with 4, like a clock) and just work work work. Eventually he will carry himself with you better, because he will not want to fall on his face with you on top of it
Fabs is great. Makes me want to have such progress too, but I guess I don't know why I am not doing those things.
Sorry, Wallaby but your picture isn't working for me -- all I get is little box with an 'x' in it and when I click on 'show picture' from my menu window, the little box just disappears. This has happened before, not just with you -- I hate when that happens!! And I also hate missing out on Hazel pictures!!
Haha Christy, I think I will avoid that!! Actually though, once we start going on the trails, that might end up being what happens since it's so steep out there. But it might be good - Fabs sometimes seems like he needs a clear goal, or to be able to see the point of something, before he'll give it much try. So maybe a steep hill is what he needs!
Great story and tips, Cherri!
And no worries about your guy!! Fabs is ten and it's basically time - past time, for him to be a "grown up". Grand is still a baby/teenager, I think you're taking it at just the right speed for Grand. :)
Noooo, Chevaux! Well, I took one tonight just for you. Hopefully it shows up!!
Tonight a few things happened.
I decided to ride again because I determined that, if I tell myself to ride everyday, I will be unable to make any variety of excuses for why I shouldn't ride. AND the more I ride him means the sooner we'll get on the trails AND the sooner I'll, hopefully, be able to start teaching lessons with him and recoup some of this $$ I've been hemorrhaging.
So I decided to hop on and practicing having him bend the opposite way of the way he did so well with yesterday.
First, let's be real, he hated that.
Then he decided that he was going to start trotting and hopefully avoid the task at hand.
Since this breaking into a trot thing has been a recurring theme in our rides, I decided to take a different tact. Instead of stopping him hard like I've been doing, I pushed him.
And boy. He did nottttt like that. I took him out of the circle and started trotting him towards the gate - away from his 'safety zone', away from the goats... basically it was the worst ever for him.
So he's trotting along, ears pinned flat back like a dork, AND HE THREW IN A BUCK!!
It was, I will give him this, the funniest ever. I definitely would have come off, had I not been in my Aussie saddle...but, thanks to those poleys on that saddle, I stuck it.
He was clearly expecting me to come off so, when I didn't eat dirt and booted him in the gut instead, well, someone was veryyyy surprised.
I had him trot a few more steps, then we trotted back to our "safe" circle and he got to trot circles until he was begging to stop.
Thennn I asked him to trot back up the path, towards the gate, and he, again, disliked it BUT didn't try anything funny. We did that one more time, with a good result, then we went back to our turning practice - which had miraculously become more interesting againnnn.
Ugh. This HORSE.
I will hand it to him for some solid trotting. He has a very steady trot. Even right before he bucked, and while he was totally unhappy, he kept the tempo of his gait. Lacey used to do this silly thing where, the more she didn't want to do something, the slower she'd go. You would literally have to squeeze/kick her each step to get her to even consider honoring your request to trot away from where she wanted to be.
Of course, she would have nevvvvver evvvvver dreamt of bucking..win some, lose some? Haha
So that was kinda so-so. But, at least, instead of wondering if he might buck, I know he will..but he'll likely back down just as fast.
I had figured he might be a bucker [all that ear pinning...] but I was half-worried he might be a committed bucker: that he'd start bucking and keep going until his rider gives up. I'm glad to know that that looks like a less likely scenario!!
Someone got a new bridle. The throatlatch on his nylon one would ride up and "choke" him so I had been really looking for a bridle where the throatlatch was a genuine part of the bridle instead of removable.
And I think this bridle makes him look quite dashing.
"I saw it, man. Big Brother definitely tried to buck Food-Girl off."
The other day, when riding my possible next lease (andalusian horse named X ) he was sucking back MAJOR in the arena, just chucking his head, sidestepping, and would NOT go forward. I tried a loose rein, a lot of life in my seat, flipping the reins on his shoulder, and then, I popped him! Twice on the haunch with my dressage whip, real fast, real hard not messing around. I knew he'd buck, but I thought it would be just one as he gave in and went forward. Well, the little sucker had a tantrum! He bucked like 4 in a row, and I disengaged him but I gotta say, for a sec I was off to one side just a bit much. But, I survived the mini CTJM, and he went more forward after that.
However, I know it's not the last one we will have.