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Top Secret Mission - My Midlife Crisis

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    03-26-2012, 01:23 PM
  #21
Foal
Great posts keep it up! Very entertaining! You'll get a handle on this soon! It takes some time to get back into the groove!
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    04-01-2012, 08:26 PM
  #22
Foal
Great Ride!

My initial fear has faded. The in-laws had been wanting to meet Mission, so the hubby and I and our youngest son went out to the barn and hubby's parents followed.

I brushed him, picked out his hooves and tacked him up with the Aussie saddle. Worked him in the round pen to get some of the jitters out of him. Then I put the bridle on, adjusted the stirrups and got on.

I sat there for a couple minutes, catching my breath and pushing the fear back. Flexed him left and right at a standstill several times. We moved off at a calm walk in the round pen with my husband and son and in-laws watching. Keeping him against the fence can be a bit of a fight sometimes. Pressure on the outside rein and giving him the inside leg with steady, but light pressure will keep him there. We went both directions at a walk, did some bending to the left and right.

Feeling very comfortable and happy with his responses, I went ahead and pressed him into his gait. He wasn't very happy about it, but did get going forward for a few strides. The second time I pressed him into his gait, my mother-in-law said he was limping.

She said he was favoring his right front hoof during the bending and when he was gaiting. Farrier is scheduled to come out to the barn tomorrow to pull his shoes and give him a good trim. There was no indication at the walk that anything was wrong.

Overall, it was great because I finally feel comfortable being up there in the saddle. I just hope that taking those keg shoes off and trimming him up will take care of that right front hoof.

Thanks again to everybody who has been posting on this thread. You all have been great!
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    04-02-2012, 10:03 PM
  #23
Foal
Shoes are off and feet are trimmed up well. Will take some pics tomorrow.
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    04-03-2012, 06:26 PM
  #24
Yearling
Hay! I just read this thread and laughed hard! I did practically the same thing last month!

After years of riding Dressage, I woke up one day and decided to purchase a Chocolate Rocky Mountain Gelding!

The only difference, I fell in love with a picture online and drove to Kentucky to buy him. I spend 2 days freezing my rear off up there trying to ride him in a Dressage saddle (didn't work) that kept tipping forward and using my daughter's bean snaffle bit (a first for him) and even though the whole process didn't go very well, I bought him anyway! Now we are trying to figure each other out!

I am still hunting for a saddle that will work on him...does anyone have any ideas? My Wintec Pro Dressage with a blue med-wide gullet and a newly purchased Wintec front lift-back pad works, but I think it pinches his shoulders because he will lift his shoulders to gait and then go right back into a walk...bummer!
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    04-06-2012, 10:17 PM
  #25
Foal
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnitaAnne    
Hay! I just read this thread and laughed hard! I did practically the same thing last month!

After years of riding Dressage, I woke up one day and decided to purchase a Chocolate Rocky Mountain Gelding!

The only difference, I fell in love with a picture online and drove to Kentucky to buy him. I spend 2 days freezing my rear off up there trying to ride him in a Dressage saddle (didn't work) that kept tipping forward and using my daughter's bean snaffle bit (a first for him) and even though the whole process didn't go very well, I bought him anyway! Now we are trying to figure each other out!

I am still hunting for a saddle that will work on him...does anyone have any ideas? My Wintec Pro Dressage with a blue med-wide gullet and a newly purchased Wintec front lift-back pad works, but I think it pinches his shoulders because he will lift his shoulders to gait and then go right back into a walk...bummer!
Figuring each other out. We're still doing that. That's so weird that you just got a Rocky too! How do you like him so far? I love the idea of doing dressage with my gelding, but I know very little about it. It looks amazing when I see the professionals doing it on video.

I just got a set of videos by a guy named Larry Whitesell who is a great trainer who works exclusively with gaited horses. He talks a lot about how to move the front end and back end without using very much rein pressure.

I'm not sure about your saddle problem. You may need somebody experienced with gaited horses to give you their opinion. I have been using an Aussie saddle on Mission with mixed results. I did have a good trainer with experience dealing with Rockies check out the saddle fit for me. One thing I've heard over and over about saddle fit for gaited horses is to make sure there is plenty of room between the girth and their front legs so they have space to move the front end. Please let me know what you find out about your saddle and how your new guy is doing!

Update on Mission: I rode on Wednesday in the round pen. He was good at a walk but was pacey when pushed any faster. Not much of the floating rack that I was hoping for. I've done "join up" on the ground with him about four times. Each time he gets better at following me. My cues on the ground are getting better (except for back up). Also, I tried to get him to back up under saddle and could not get my point across. He just grabbed the bit and fought me. He did that a few times when I asked him to go left too. He's in a plain D-ring snaffle. I don't really want to get anything more severe, especially since he's great at flexing in both directions and because we're just getting started with each other.

He's definitely starting to see me as the leader the majority of the time. I'd like to ride him outside of the round pen, but I'm also a little timid about getting him out in the open after our episode in the indoor arena. So far he's shown no indication of bucking, kicking, nipping or anything else that would qualify as a bad habit. Although he did show a little bit of being gate sour. I just worked him through it with leg pressure and a firm tone of voice. He figured out pretty quick that I wasn't letting him get away with that. Overall, things are going well.
     
    04-06-2012, 11:17 PM
  #26
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjwrightauthor    
Figuring each other out. We're still doing that. That's so weird that you just got a Rocky too! How do you like him so far? I love the idea of doing dressage with my gelding, but I know very little about it. It looks amazing when I see the professionals doing it on video.

I just got a set of videos by a guy named Larry Whitesell who is a great trainer who works exclusively with gaited horses. He talks a lot about how to move the front end and back end without using very much rein pressure.

I'm not sure about your saddle problem. You may need somebody experienced with gaited horses to give you their opinion. I have been using an Aussie saddle on Mission with mixed results. I did have a good trainer with experience dealing with Rockies check out the saddle fit for me. One thing I've heard over and over about saddle fit for gaited horses is to make sure there is plenty of room between the girth and their front legs so they have space to move the front end. Please let me know what you find out about your saddle and how your new guy is doing!

Update on Mission: I rode on Wednesday in the round pen. He was good at a walk but was pacey when pushed any faster. Not much of the floating rack that I was hoping for. I've done "join up" on the ground with him about four times. Each time he gets better at following me. My cues on the ground are getting better (except for back up). Also, I tried to get him to back up under saddle and could not get my point across. He just grabbed the bit and fought me. He did that a few times when I asked him to go left too. He's in a plain D-ring snaffle. I don't really want to get anything more severe, especially since he's great at flexing in both directions and because we're just getting started with each other.

He's definitely starting to see me as the leader the majority of the time. I'd like to ride him outside of the round pen, but I'm also a little timid about getting him out in the open after our episode in the indoor arena. So far he's shown no indication of bucking, kicking, nipping or anything else that would qualify as a bad habit. Although he did show a little bit of being gate sour. I just worked him through it with leg pressure and a firm tone of voice. He figured out pretty quick that I wasn't letting him get away with that. Overall, things are going well.
Well, I really like my Rocky he is really beautiful! I need to take some more pictures of him, maybe tomorrow. Chivas already follows me around in the pasture. I think the 9 hour drive home really helped us bond, but he is not as affectionate as I want yet. We are still working on that too!

Which Aussie saddle do you use? I've ridden in a Aussie saddle before, and it is fine for short rides, but I can't do long trail rides in them because the saddle seams to just hold me in one position and my rear can't handle that! I have to shift around some on long rides.

I think I am going to save up and buy a Tucker endurance saddle for him, they run about $1500.00, and in the meantime ride bareback or with my kid's western saddle, even though I hate having a horn on my saddle (they rarely use it - it's more for guests).

I have been researching what works best for Rockys and is comfortable for riders too, and everything points to a Tucker saddle. They even look comfortable. There is a gaited endurance that is really nice looking. The saddles can be custom for your horse's back too, I think for the same price. And made in America.

What happened in the indoor? I didn't read that part...round pens are kind of weird to ride gaited horses in, they seam to do better going straight forward. Something I do to relax me and a horse is to walk them around the area before I get on their back. It kind-of takes the pressure off.

Are you allowed to have that gaited trainer back or are outside trainers still not allowed? I have never heard of that before, usually outside trainers can come for a small fee. You really need to work with a gaited trainer if you are not used to gaited horses.

The bit I am not sure of. Most of the ones I saw in Kentucky used bits with shanks on them, same as the gaited folks use down here. I am using an "O" ring snaffle though, but it has an extra oval link in the center, usually called a "bean" snaffle. The bean makes it brake in two places, so it does not hit the roof of the horses mouth, thus is an easier bit. I got a copper mouth one, and Chivas really seems to like it.

If your horse is getting "pacey" it might be that he is used to a different bit and often gaited horses need contact on the bit to gait right. My horse tends to get "trotty" instead of pacey according to the previous owner, but he has not been that way with me. I more have a problem with him slowing back down to a walk...

I've ridden gaited horses before, but never seen a Rocky in person until I went to buy him. I always had trouble fitting a saddle to them and I knew going into this that Wintecs just don't seem to fit on gaited breeds. I really don't know why that is, but it is just my experience. When I ride friends gaited horses I use a cut-back saddle, but they are soooo uncomfortable! No way will I use one on a trail.

Anyway, I am going to send the wither tracings in to Tucker to see what they say about a saddle. I know of a really good saddle fitter in the closest large city who I have used in the past on my Dressage horses' saddles, but I don't know if he knows anything about gaited horses. They move much different, and Chivas has a low whither and kind of high butt right now, but since he is not yet 5 yrs, he could still grow. It is a problem!
     
    04-06-2012, 11:28 PM
  #27
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjwrightauthor    
Figuring each other out. We're still doing that. That's so weird that you just got a Rocky too! How do you like him so far? I love the idea of doing dressage with my gelding, but I know very little about it. It looks amazing when I see the professionals doing it on video.

I just got a set of videos by a guy named Larry Whitesell who is a great trainer who works exclusively with gaited horses. He talks a lot about how to move the front end and back end without using very much rein pressure.

I'm not sure about your saddle problem. You may need somebody experienced with gaited horses to give you their opinion. I have been using an Aussie saddle on Mission with mixed results. I did have a good trainer with experience dealing with Rockies check out the saddle fit for me. One thing I've heard over and over about saddle fit for gaited horses is to make sure there is plenty of room between the girth and their front legs so they have space to move the front end. Please let me know what you find out about your saddle and how your new guy is doing!

Update on Mission: I rode on Wednesday in the round pen. He was good at a walk but was pacey when pushed any faster. Not much of the floating rack that I was hoping for. I've done "join up" on the ground with him about four times. Each time he gets better at following me. My cues on the ground are getting better (except for back up). Also, I tried to get him to back up under saddle and could not get my point across. He just grabbed the bit and fought me. He did that a few times when I asked him to go left too. He's in a plain D-ring snaffle. I don't really want to get anything more severe, especially since he's great at flexing in both directions and because we're just getting started with each other.

He's definitely starting to see me as the leader the majority of the time. I'd like to ride him outside of the round pen, but I'm also a little timid about getting him out in the open after our episode in the indoor arena. So far he's shown no indication of bucking, kicking, nipping or anything else that would qualify as a bad habit. Although he did show a little bit of being gate sour. I just worked him through it with leg pressure and a firm tone of voice. He figured out pretty quick that I wasn't letting him get away with that. Overall, things are going well.
I changed my Avatar to Chivas, he looks alot like Mission! They are both beautiful
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    04-07-2012, 06:15 AM
  #28
Showing
An old saying that my father used to use is "...the right tool for the job". While you can unscrew a bolt with a pair of pliers, a wrench or socket is the right tool.

Trying to do dressage with a gaited horse is using the wrong tool. You are going against their inbred, natural, motion. They are not built for the discipline. While I am sure that there is an exception to every rule, those are exceptions. While I am also sure that every horse can benefit from the training, it has to be within the horse's abilities.

I'm a believer in using a horse to the best of it's breeding, what the horse was bred to do. If I wanted a horse to work a cow, then I would look to one of the stock breeds. If I just wanted a horse to take me on a trail at a comfortable pace, then I would look for a gaited horse. That isn't to say that for an occasional time or two that I wouldn't take a TWH into an arena for ranch sorting or a barrel run, it says that I wouldn't expect to compete with any success at it.

Also, a gaited horse needs room to open up to a gait. Trying to do it in a round pen is not giving the horse enough room.

Just my 2
     
    04-07-2012, 09:20 AM
  #29
Foal
I am thinking the round pen is too small as well. The indoor arena they are building at my barn is not finished (no idea when it will be done). I rode him in it once before they started adding the additional dirt and sand. I probably just need to put on my big girl panties and ride him in one of the pastures instead of being such a wimp.

AnitaAnne.... Chivas is gorgeous! Need more pics!
     
    04-07-2012, 10:14 AM
  #30
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by iridehorses    
An old saying that my father used to use is "...the right tool for the job". While you can unscrew a bolt with a pair of pliers, a wrench or socket is the right tool.

Trying to do dressage with a gaited horse is using the wrong tool. You are going against their inbred, natural, motion. They are not built for the discipline. While I am sure that there is an exception to every rule, those are exceptions. While I am also sure that every horse can benefit from the training, it has to be within the horse's abilities.

I'm a believer in using a horse to the best of it's breeding, what the horse was bred to do. If I wanted a horse to work a cow, then I would look to one of the stock breeds. If I just wanted a horse to take me on a trail at a comfortable pace, then I would look for a gaited horse. That isn't to say that for an occasional time or two that I wouldn't take a TWH into an arena for ranch sorting or a barrel run, it says that I wouldn't expect to compete with any success at it.

Also, a gaited horse needs room to open up to a gait. Trying to do it in a round pen is not giving the horse enough room.

Just my 2
My thoughts exactly, and I have no plans to ride Chivas Dressage. I was hoping the saddle would work with a lift-up pad in the front, but it didn't because it is pressing on his shoulders.

I will use some of my Dressage training to teach him a few simple things like moving sideways, turns on the forehand or rear, etc. skills we may need on the trails. Also I need to do some "bomb-proofing" because he is still green. Chivas wasn't started under saddle until 3 yrs, and ridden lightly after that, he's only had two owners. The previous owner wanted a flashier Stallion for showing, which she bought already.

But I digress! I adore your Avatar iridehorses, did you do some photoshopping or did you find it? Funny!

Do you know of any less expensive saddles for Rockys or other mutton-whithered gaited horses? The one that I thought was best was a Tucker, because it looks great and can be custom made. There is also an Imus and Circle Y saddles that look very similar, that claim to be made for gaited horses. One lady I talked to had to buy an Imus for her Rocky because nothing else fit.
     

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