Top Secret Mission - My Midlife Crisis - Page 12

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Top Secret Mission - My Midlife Crisis

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    05-01-2012, 10:17 PM
The big guy is liking his new barn. He's got a pasture buddy (another gelding) named Dollar who is somewhat bigger than he is but a total sweetie. The owner at the new barn is really helpful and easy to get along with. There are two other boarders there with gaited horses, one of which I've talked to several times and will probably end up going out on trails with.

About Mission... Unless we get a really great offer from somebody to buy him, I am going to keep him. Several people have told me that it's unlikely that he will change. He is twelve years old. So he is probably set in his ways. The biggest problem that I have with him probably has more to do with his natural instincts combined with my own fear after falling from him twice.

Fighting the fear of falling is frustrating. Try to say that four times really fast. He is suspicious of a lot of things. I don't mind doing a lot of groundwork with him to get him to trust me and desensitize him to things. I just wonder if any of that will ever really make a difference.

I lunged him today for about twenty minutes. A lot of cantering. At the end of it, he still looked like he was full of energy and ready to spook at anything. He didn't spook though. Blew through his nose, eyes were wide, head up. Very alert, just like always. We walked around the edges of the arena, checking everything out. He will back up for me now with a hand signal. So that's progress, I guess.
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    05-01-2012, 10:39 PM
See, SJ! You're already recognizing what you need to work on and assessing it. In my honest opinion, though you've decided to keep him and face your fears (hopefully), I am rooting for you that you can prove all those people wrong, those who said what they did.

But oh! What also happened to the trade?
    05-01-2012, 10:57 PM
It's hard for me to know whether or not to trust anybody regarding a trade. And I won't hand him over to anybody without telling them everything about his past. I've had one or two trade offers, but not locally, which is a must for our situation. Family obligations right now make it difficult to travel more than an hour or two from home.
    05-01-2012, 11:27 PM
Green Broke
Fighting the fear of falling is frustrating
Fighting the fear of falling is fustating
Fighting the fear of felling is fustaing
Fighting the far of felling is fussing

Dang, I can't do it!

I am so happy for you! That barn sounds much better for both! I love it that there are gaited riders there, should help a lot!

Also, I was wondering, will you describe what you liked about Mission in the begining? Sometimes it is better to focus on the good things. It is a relationship, so the trainer is like a therapist couples go to when times are tough...

How did the trip go, did he load & unload good?

We are ready for the next chapter
gunslinger likes this.
    05-01-2012, 11:46 PM
He is an angel to haul. Walked right in to the trailer.
AnitaAnne and gunslinger like this.
    05-02-2012, 12:52 AM
He seemed to be very smooth ride on the video I saw
    05-02-2012, 10:20 PM
Green Broke
Good things often take time.

My guess is that Mission, like my Lacy, is waiting to see if you're willing to put out the effort. Like anything else, the more you put into it, the more you'll get out of it. Some call it paying your dues.

Once he figures it out, and I think he will, you'll have a buddy for life.

Just keep working with him.

Patience my dear, patience.
AnitaAnne likes this.
    05-02-2012, 10:52 PM
You are probably right, Gunslinger. I have never had an abundance of patience. I'd like to hear more about Lacy.
    05-03-2012, 02:37 PM
Green Broke
Ah yes, my Lacy. She's my baby. I bought my wife a colt right at three years ago. (His name is Jack). So, the girl I got him from asked my wife to ride with her........she was having fun so I bought her Sonny, a Palomino Appendix quarter horse.

She got to having so much fun she decided I should go with her. So, I though, if I must, I'm going to ride a Cadillac. Enter Lacy.

Lacy is a Legacy Tennessee Walking horse, registered Spotted Saddle horse. Her blood line is many crosses of Midnight Sun, and Merry Go Boy, and has many other big name show horses in her blood.

When I brought her home, she wasn't a real happy horse. She had a hoof abscess almost immediately, and just wasn't willing to trust me, or my wife for that matter. She bit me a couple of times, and yelled the scream that mares do. I really thought I'd bought the wrong horse....Kind of "oh know", what do I do now? Thought about selling her.

I didn't ride her for a couple of months. Just ground worked her a few minutes every afternoon after her hoof healed.

The first time we went to ride, I saddled her up and walked her around the trails, never got on her, never tried to mount. I think she thought I was crazy. We got back to the trailer and I unsaddled her, loaded her up and took her home.

When I first rode her, not knowing her que's, she was, well, a bit gamey.

Two years later, what a jewel she is. She's my girl friend,very affectionate, loves peppermints, loves to be groomed. Makes a bad day good just being around her.

I learned to communicate with her and get her into her gaits, and can usually get her into the one I want.

My horse lives here with us, and I spent a lot of time just hanging out with her. I'd practice random acts of kindness with her, (and still do, she's very spoiled) show up with some watermelon, apples or carrots. Wipe the eye buggers out of her eyes.....ask her to pick up her her and ask her to move over....just little things that don't really amount to much..I put sun screen on her twice a day as she's a bald face horse and burns easy.

I bought her a fly mask a week or so ago. I pitched it in her stall and let her smell it. Asked her to let me put it on. She refused. So, I just stood there, holding it, and she finally came up and stood for me, she let me put it on, but it was her idea. We're still learning about each other, but I never rush her, and I think sometimes it takes her a little bit to figure out what I'm asking her, but when she does then she's okay with it. There again, I wait on her to come around rather than try to force my will on her. See trusts me, but still has some issues with new scary things, but given a minute or two, we work through it.

Believe it or not, when I finally did get on her, and until this day, she's never bucked or tried to dump me, she's always the perfect lady.

Needless to say, I never would have dreamed it possible, how much I've learned to love her.

Something about getting a 1100 pound animal to do a few simple things is quite satisfying to me. I'm just a beginner, and am awed by those who teach there horses to do amazing things.
AnitaAnne and sjwrightauthor like this.
    05-03-2012, 10:52 PM
Green Broke
Gunslinger, your post brought tears to my call yourself a beginer, but actually you are very advanced about common sense horsemanship!!!

I totally think ppl need to spend time, as you put it, giving random acts of kindness and just spending time with their horse without stress. I used to spend about 30 minutes a day grazing my previous horse on the end of a lead rope. I would brush him or rub on him or even just lean against his back. Just hanging out.

If a horse trusts you, you can do most anything with them. Yes, some very experienced trainers can use some tricks to get horses to do their bidding quicker. BUT, good old time & patience, plus equal amounts of work & just hanging out, allow the rest of us to train our horses to suit us, and also become great partners. This is what I like best!

Congrats gunslinger, on being a loving, caring owner, and turning a suspicious horse into a trusted partner!
sjwrightauthor likes this.

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