Me and Clementine... a novice team

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Me and Clementine... a novice team

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    05-08-2012, 09:00 PM
Me and Clementine... a novice team

So, I just noticed this Member Journal thing, and decided to start one. I think ti will be good for me to track my progress with Clementine, because it seems SO slow.

A bit of background. I am a new rider as of last summer. My boyfriend leased us two horses in the month before school, because I love horses - they are Clementine, a 17HH Percheron QH cross, and Levi, her slightly shorter brother. From day 1, I have ridden Clementine - she is sassy, and she knows what she wants. Levi is a stubborn mule.

Anyways. At the end of the month... He bought both horses, which I was ecstatic about, because I couldn't really think about leaving them. They used to be trail horses for larger people, then they were left in the pasture. So I went to school, and Clementine came with me. It was a tough year. Now, it's summer, and she is stabled in Woodbury, close to Saint Paul where I live.

It's been a tough road - I don't know anyone who is into horses, so it's just me by myself, as much as I would love a companion. (we don't have a trailer, or I'd go ride with Jack, my boyfriend). I want to start showing, but again - I would need someone willing to haul me to shows with them. I can't pay for a trainer, and as I'm sure you can imagine, it's hard learning from the basics just from the internet. I feel like a bad trainer, and I wish I had help.

So, she is situated in her new stable. Of course, she doesn't like her pasture mates and she loves the people. She is afraid of the waterer. And it's been a month and a half since we rode, since her bridle broke and I had to commission a new one. So, tomorrow I'm going to try and ride. We'll see how that goes.
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    05-09-2012, 04:44 PM
Well.. We rode today! It went WAY better than I expected it to. I brought her in no problem (She doesn't like the other mares, so she's more than happy to come with me.) saddled her up and she took her bit like a champ, which surprised me, since she fought it so bad the first time I tried upon getting her new bridle. We rode, did a bit of trotting (But not much, my stirrups were uneven and I was too lazy to fix them.) I brought her into the wash stall, which is a scary place, and sprayed her feet while I held her halter. She didn't much like it, but she was thirsty, so she kept trying to suck water from the nozzle of the hose, so I suppose that's good.

Speaking of thirsty, she is still afraid of the waterers. She laps at it like a dog, because apparently drinking it like a normal horse is much too scary. Instead, she went to where the pasture was flooded and drank from there. I hope she gets over the fear of the waterer... That flooded pasture water is filthy, I'm sure.

Also, apparently she is in heat, and was still really easy to work with! Score!

-Below is a picture of her lapping at the water and pinning her ears at the waterer.
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File Type: jpg clem laps water.jpg (99.9 KB, 55 views)
    05-21-2012, 12:07 AM
So, I have decided that I am going to start Clementine's training from the beginning. I thought about it a lot, and it's for the best. I get in saddle, and I'm trying to get her to do things she just doesn't have the groundwork background enough to understand. And she's a brat who doesn't understand personal space (She loves to put her face on my shoulders and get face pets). She needs to learn ground manners and basic ground skills.

So, I've reserved a bunch of training books from the library. I desperately wish I could afford a trainer, but I just don't have that kind of money. So, I'm going to try it myself, even if I don't entirely know what I am doing. It will be a learning process for both of us. I'm going to start with lunging. She knows how, but it a complete brat about it and kicks and bucks. One of the ladies at my stable said try going without lead rope, just have her trot around the edge of the arena (It's not too big, but she's too huge to be in the round pen comfortably) and then graduate to a lead rope. So, that's what I'll do next time. We'll see how it goes.
    05-23-2012, 12:33 AM
I did some lunging today, and it went pretty well! She had a fit at first, and gave me some rope burn, but once she realized that was getting her nowhere she calmed down. After that we visited the wash stall, and she was a bit panicky (the wash stall is terrifying, after all). So, back to lunging until she was licking her lips. I brought her back to the wash stall and she stood nicely - I managed to spray her feet and legs before she got too scared, and after a brief settling down I brought her back into the pasture. I think it went pretty well. Here are some pictures of her rolling after I brought her back out!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg rollyclem2.jpg (90.6 KB, 37 views)
File Type: jpg rollyclem.jpg (101.0 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg standingupclem.jpg (100.8 KB, 38 views)
    08-20-2012, 10:00 PM
So I haven't posted in a while, but I don't think anyone will notice either way. I went on a trail ride today for the first time in months - we've been doing arena work all summer because I didn't trust Clementine to go down strange trails on her own (She gets spooked). So today I went with a friend. The first way down the busy road was okay, but tough... She spooked at almost every car. But we made it, and she did amazing on the quieter roads, especially with a riding buddy. But on the way back... Oh man. That was a disaster.

She went into full on panic mode. One hundred percent. Every car would provoke a squeal and a skitter until it got so bad I had to get off of her and lead. The last straw was when a fire truck passed, and she turned and bolted a few steps, then bucked her back legs out. So, I lead her instead, as far from the road as possible and talking to her the whole time, petting her, calling her a good pony (hah... Pony. 17 HH pony.) She got progressively worse until she wasn't just spooking when cars went by, she was constantly darting to one side or the other, whinnying, bucking. It took absolutely everything I had to hold onto her, my hands are raw from holding on and I nearly got very literally trampled several times. By the time we got back to the stable my arms were shaking and I could hardly breathe.. I'm sure I'll feel this in the morning.

Now, I don't know why she was like this. Her old pasture used to be bordered very closely by a pretty busy road, and she's never had any problems before, even when we would ride along the road. AND she was with a riding buddy. The only thing I can think happened was that she hasn't been ridden on a road in several months, and she's lost her immunity to them. I'm going to have to start getting used to roads again. Walk her on less busy roads, hang out near the end of the driveway where we can retreat if she gets too spooky. It was honestly rather scary, and I'm glad it ended well. We did some work when we got back so we didn't end on such a negative note.

So, today was eventful, and to be honest I was pretty angry with Clementine. It's not even like I had reason to be angry... She was afraid, and acting on instinct. But she can be afraid and listen to me at the same time. She can be afraid and trust that I will protect her. I was angry that she so blatantly refused any command at all, as though I didn't even exist. We are definitely going to have some work to do. But, on a higher note.. She did amazing the rest of the ride! She didn't even balk at the white crosswalk paint! :) Aside from the chronic head tossing. Not sure how to stop that. I should have a dentist look at her teeth... But I honestly don't think that's the problem. She'll bo good half the ride, then start up with her head. Constant tossing, constant stretching her head to get the reins from me. So I'll have to figure something out to help with that too. *sigh* Lots of work to go yet.
    09-20-2012, 08:52 PM
We moved back up to school! She's at a new stable about two miles away. I chose stall board to try to prevent the herd bound issue... It didn't work. On the plus side, because she's so used to a stall now she crossties wonderfully. Nice side effect.

I rode today a bit. Tacked her up and lead her down the road, as the outdoor arena is a bit over from the barn. She was okay until we got in and I got up and she realized she was trapped and couldn't see her buddies. No major freak outs, just a lot of head tossing and trotting back to the gate. I didn't do much - I rode until we could go around the entire arena (Pretty large) without issue, then I brought her back. I would have gone longer, but her feet are pretty badly in need of a trim right now and I thought we would end on a good note (and I had a friend with me who wasn't riding and I didn't want to make her wait.) So once we got all the way around calmly I walked her back. Of course, on the way back, she pulled ahead, which I'm not sure how to stop. I try stopping her and starting again, and if she pulls ahead stopping again, which usually works, but apparently not if she thinks she gets to go back into the turnout.

Stood in crossties wonderfully to be untacked, and walked nicely back to the turnout. One day we'll go down and I'll keep her in the arena until she's completely calm, and maybe we'll start learning new things. I *really* wish I had someone to help me. I wish I could afford lessons, or a trainer to come out and help. I feel like I'm not making any progress, and doing everything wrong, and it's really discouraging. I don't even know any horsey people to talk to about it. It's just me and this horse forum to try to learn what I'm doing and while I get awesome advice and I feel like I'm doing the right things, it just doesn't seem like it's working. Hopefully it'll get better.
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