Training Shamrock

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Training Shamrock

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        02-17-2014, 05:13 PM
    Training Shamrock

    I made up my mind to write a journal after making a thread about how I might not be able to give this guy up. I recently got 2 horses to train for resale- Dublin and Shamrock. I'll be focusing on Sham. We've had two rides so far but I'll try to backtrack to the beginning.
    The beginning is January 8th, on Camelot auction's facebook page. My boss, a former high school teacher, had been looking for horses for me. He caught her fancy, and I got a message that night saying "I found you another horse!"

    Then came the groundwork days. I have never spent so much time doing groundwork with one horse. But, he would spook if I lifted a hand, didn't like being touched past his shoulder, and was terrified of anything that resembled a saddle or pad. We worked with tarps, bags, hula hoops, saddle pads, everything. I would walk around and randomly jump or throw up my arms or drop what I was carrying. He is the most respectful horse I've ever met. Even being anxious, he never once stepped into my personal space and always moved when I told him with almost no pressure. I took one step at him, he backed up. Working with him is a dance of sorts. He is easily the most sensitive, intelligent horse I've ever worked with.

    These are all out of order, but this is the first time I sat on him, about a week ago.
    The tarp
    Introducing the saddle
    The bag
    SueC likes this.
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        02-17-2014, 05:30 PM
    The riding days

    I rode Shamrock for the first time Saturday, after over a month of patient work just getting a saddle on his back. For the first time, he didn't get all panicky with the saddle, didn't tremble when I tightened the girth. He picked the bit right up, with a "I'm ready now" attitude. So I got on. He didn't try to kill me. We started walking, and then spent the next half hour or so walking in circles and figure eights, trudging through 2 feet of snow. He was a little champion. Forward, but not rushing. Responsive to my leg, will need to soften to the bit a little.
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    It's hard to know how much training he has had, as we have absolutely no information about him. We have some clues though: First, his fear of saddle, the scars on his nose, and his fear of my lifting a hand indicates some abuse, perhaps at the auction house. His bridlepath, ears, and chin were all clipped, and he is well muscled, with excellent coat condition. At one time, he received excellent care. His superb ground manners indicate that someone put a lot of time into his training, although its difficult to say how much saddle time he had.

    Today was our 2nd ride. He saddled like a pro, and he accepted the bit eagerly. We worked more on softening up, and did a lot of walk-trot-stop transitions, and a lot of change in direction. I love this boy. He was even more forward, and his trot is so fast and so bumpy. I still need to figure out the secret to sitting it. We went for a walk up and down the driveway after, and he was an absolute pro. He has a lot of 'go' and I can't wait to try him on the trails. Unfortunately, we're getting more snow tomorrow, and then its going to warm up and rain some, which means it's going to get icy. But hopefully we'll get some good days! Pics from today's ride are below. My boss is making more and more comments about him being my horse. The more I ride him, the more I want him to be my horse! We'll see how it all pans out!



    SueC likes this.
        02-21-2014, 10:07 PM
    I haven't been able to ride Shamrock since our second ride. It was raining today, and I spent too much time riding my other guys yesterday. But, even though I saw him yesterday, I miss him. So I'm posting more pictures of our whole process together thus far.

    Playing naughty with Dublin

    Introducing the hula hoop

    I feel like this sums us up
    1511261_662488737128153_581264654_n (1)_edited.jpg

    I guess the tarp isn't SOO bad

    That first ride!
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        02-26-2014, 04:52 PM
    I want to RIDE! It got warm over the weekend, but its back to wind and cold so there is ice everywhere. I did take Shamrock for a little walk today. He was perfect, he always is on the ground. His personality has done a complete 180 now that I am riding him. He is more confident, more personable, etc. He is still very sensitive to pressure, and always respectful of my space, but riding him has made him fall into his true self! I'm glad he is keeping that, even though I haven't ridden him in a week.
        02-26-2014, 05:59 PM
    ^I feel your pain xD

    Subbing. ^^
        02-28-2014, 06:13 PM
    I have NEWS. I didn't ride, but will be tomorrow. However, my boss, dad, and I went to Double G tack, in Maine, which is about 2 hours from me, and my new favorite place. I got new boots, and a nice green halter for Shamrock. On the way home, we were all talking about the different horses I'm working with currently. These words came out of my bosses mouth "Shamrock is yours, if you want him. I haven't said too much because I don't want to pressure you either way, but I want you to spend a lot of time riding him, and if he is as fun and athletic as he has been, and you want him, he is yours". Gah! Mine! Maybe. I've only ridden him 3 times. I don't know how he is going to react in a lot of situations. But, if we continue to work together the way we have, all I have to say is "I want him", and he is mine. I am now allowing myself to fall in love with him as much as my heart desires, and plan on making my decision in the next few months. I have no idea where this is all going, but I'm on cloud 9 and enjoying the ride (pun intended) I'll ride and put pictures up tomorrow! With my new boots on!
    tinyliny likes this.
        03-01-2014, 04:41 PM
    Shamrock went on his first trail ride today! It's still icy, but we managed to get down the road to the railroad tracks, which is a huge snowmobile trail. Perfect footing! There were cars, dogs, snowmobiles, one other green horse and one good ol' boy, and Shamrock was perfect. He only spooked once, at the first snowmobile. We mostly just walked- didn't want to run because of the snowmobiles. Fortunately, everyone was very polite around us.

    He has a big, forward walk and trot, but he is so calm. It could have been a kid on him today. So excited! All the anxiety and fear has just disappeared. He is a completely different horse and a LOT of fun. Cannot wait to canter him. He has a short, short neck, so I am hoping he is not a bucker! Really don't think he will be. We need to work on our brakes a little more, but today couldn't have gone better. And the other green horse, another boy I'm working, did nicely as well. First time my boss had ridden him, so I was nervous, but she is happy with how he is coming along! Come on 30 degree weather! That's all I need! 40s would be even better.

    SueC likes this.
        03-06-2014, 08:49 PM
    Taking Shamrock to an indoor tomorrow! Should get a good ride in! And finally canter. I have never ridden so long on one horse without cantering, but the footing is just too slick. I also have another possible resale, a horse coming in soon for trail training, another horse to just ride for a lady a couple times a week- so I'm riding about nine different horses each week. Yippee! Shamrock is my favorite though. In a bit of a dilemma. My mind is battling keeping him. I have a feeling he would be ready to sell soon- he's progressing so quickly, is responsive to pressure and not spooky. He is also a perfect kid size, and I know I could make a good profit, and I know that this is the business I'm in, and I need to get used to it. I know that I can keep him, but it seems selfish, when I know he could make someone's dreams come true. My dreams are already coming true- I'm training horses, and seeing real progress, and keeping busy. Do I want my own horse? Absolutely. I just don't know if it will be him. If I don't keep him, I have three resales, and will make enough to afford MY dream horse. I hate decisions. I can't do things if I think they are selfish. I guess I already know that I will go through with the original plan and sell, but this is the stinky part!
        03-08-2014, 05:56 PM
    Shamrock and I didn't make it to the indoor last night, but we had an awesome 3 hour trail ride today. He spooked maybe twice, and didn't react to the less than polite cars that passed, the person walking their poodle, or the horses from other farms we passed galloping at us. We had one nervous rider, so only walked/trotted, but Shamrock was perfect. We switched leading and following, and he didn't care either way. I'm going to start taking him out solo for long rides this week. Once we get his canter nicely, he'll be ready to sell. I'll be very sad to see him go, but he is turning into such a gem, I think he deserves his own little girl.

    SueC likes this.
        03-09-2014, 09:13 AM
    Shamrock is officially for sale.
    This whole process has gone by so fast. I can't believe how far he came in 2 months. Now its time to be very picky about who gets him, and enjoy however long I have with him.

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