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Two Horses at Home, a journey of Discovery

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        05-07-2013, 12:44 PM
    Super Moderator
    Our Clyde X arab is bigger in front too - massive shoulders though she's a true cob type all over really just not as much back end as she should have.
    I like the ID x TB - really good cross, I had the pleasure of riding one some years ago that belonged to my boss - managed to hold on to him for 8 years before he was sold to the then Hunt Secretary of the Albrighton. I was so sad to see him go but he had a wonderful home
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        05-11-2013, 11:42 PM
    So much progress has been made!

    Where to start...


    Lunging was progressing slowly; he was sort of getting what I wanted. I decided to try long reining him - had been musing on this at the back of my mind for a while. Now, I've never actually done it myself, but I have watched and learnt many a time. So I set us up very carefully....and went to the arena..... and got in position....and he was PERFECT! He clearly understood exactly what I was asking, and enjoyed it all a lot more than lungeing

    The next day I......

    GOT ON BOARD! Hip-hoo-blimmin-ray! About time too. After the whole breaking arm, steel plate, winter freeze thaw ice debacle of the last few months I am now back in the saddle.

    I rode in the school for ten minutes. He was super responsive to my aids, very attentive to me at all times, and just so soft in mouth and body.

    And then today we left the school and went across the field. His first trip out for a long time and he didn't hesitate - just strode forward in true unflappable Riley style. Yes, I was singing as I crossed the field. Funny isn't it? You can be as confident as anything on old horse, in familiar scenery, but when you have to start to build that all up again.... I am very much looking forward to the building up of trust and fitness.


    Still lunging, mostly with tack on. I always start on the right rein, and ask for just ONE canter transition. Which he gives me every time. Then, onto the other rein and repeat. He is getting is soo much more chilled about being out of sight of the others. I like to think that is down to my consistent training, but it could just be because it's so dang hot and he can't be bothered to get in a flap
        05-12-2013, 01:26 PM
    Green Broke
    Originally Posted by Shropshirerosie    
    Where to start...

    My consistent training...
    I think we tend to forget what an important concept and necessity that is and I know I'm always surprised when it actually works
    Shropshirerosie likes this.
        05-16-2013, 03:50 PM
    Riley and I have now been out and about three times. Today we went over neighbour's acreage and past his shop which is surrounded by suspicious looking machines. Riley was not keen to go past and attempted to turn, or to back up.

    I now know that a swift boot in the ribs accompanied with a growl will get him going forward again, that's good to know

    I have set up some obstacles in the arena: blue barrels to walk around, tarpaulin held down with plastic flowers in crates, and poles on the ground in an L shape. I rode Riley, and took Ukon in hand around them yesterday. Ukon stuffed his nose right down into the barrels in search of food, while Riley regarded them with deep suspicion. On day one neither boy wanted to go on to the tarp and only walked around it with a lot of snorting. Riley I eventually got to follow me over - in fact as soon as he saw me step on it he immediately started pawing it. Ukon I didn't ask to walk over it on day one, we just looked at it and sniffed it a lot.

    Today I lunged Ukon (who is now starting to look a wee bit fitter), and he achieved good w & t work, with one successful canter circle on each side. The arena is quite deep where we were lunging and a couple of times he started to run away with himself, but is nicely learning to balance himself. After 18 minutes (yes, I was timing exactly 9 minutes on each side) of lunging he was blowing a bit and happy to have the girth loosened. Then he quite calmly followed me across the tarpaulin

    It's all good.
    jaydee likes this.
        06-03-2013, 12:14 PM
    I am a bad journal keeper! Can't believe that it was the 16th of May that I last posted. And what's motivating me now is to ask for a little advice.

    Quick Updates:

    Riley is doing fabulously. He had an old crack in his hoof. Which had dirt in it so wasn't growing out. This has now been drilled out and the hoof is is now patched. He is in front shoes for six months or so - put on to enable the vet to drill up high enough to get to the end of the crack.

    He is doing fab! I really enjoy hacking this boy out and just wish there was more time in the day to do it!


    Ukon has been doing little and often under saddle. His attention span is increasing, and his worry-head decreasing. I now have to figure out my trot transitions: he is very soft and responsive off the leg, which is great. His tendency on the lunge, if he's getting out of balance is to speed up, pick up canter, and get his legs in a knot. This is improving though.

    My first ridden trot transitions were not good; I was nervous (buck-arm-break-surgery memories), and didn't smoothly make the transition myself giving him bit of a jab in the mouth, and a bump on his back. Since then I have consciously given him a long rein in the trot transition, and worked on smoothing my rising. But I am CONSTANTLY watching him for signs of a tantrum, and I'm over-reacting to his ears facing me concentrating, and I've got to the point where I'm not sure if he is unhappy, or just unsure of what we are doing.

    So today I need to go out again and work on achieving a flowing trot long enough for both him and me to relax into it.

    I keep on reminding myself that when I went to try him out before I bought him, I W, T, and C him in the arena with absolutely no problem! So I need to focus on that memory rather than the more recent ones.

    I do think though that I could do with a trainer to be the eyes on the ground and so I am going to try to find one who will come here during the day when son is at school.
        07-18-2013, 11:28 PM
    Well, so much for sticking to a journal routine...

    And again I find myself castigating myself for not making better entries. Life was busy and the end of term, followed by elderly relative visits took over. On the horsey front it has been one step forward, two steps back HOWEVER I do actually feel that progress has been made.

    I have found a massage therapist who is also a rider and trainer

    And I have had a saddle fitter come who did a really thorough job on both boys.


    Ukon was progressing, but with ants in his pants. He was happy in walk but showing attitude in trot. I wanted to eliminate pain so I had both the above out to him. The therapist (Josie) did an excellent all-over physical assessment and work out, identifying only a small amount of stiffness in the shoulders; nothing to cause tantrums. She and I talked at length and agreed that she would come and work with me and him. I like her approach, and we seemed to have a mutual respect. She was happy with my desire to continue him myself, and I was happy with the fact that IF I couldn't handle him, then she would take him to her place to resolve the issues.

    Saddle fitter (Donna) came and identified that his saddle was not fitting well (although not badly enough again to justify tantrums). After much debate and trials of many, I have ordered a saddle from her. Hip Hip Hurrah! Progress.

    In the meantime she has loaned me a saddle to work him in.

    Which I did. Until he bucked me off again. Cue long thought session for ShropshireRosie in which I decide that whilst I WANT to resolve these problems myself, the reality is that I have a seven year old son depending on me in the house while I ride outside, and I just CAN'T get injured again. So Josie will take Ukon for the month of August and I am fully confident that when he comes back and she and I work together we will finally have a workable path.

    See what I mean about one step forward, two back?


    Love that big boy. The saddle fitter mentioned above also checked his saddle and told me what I think I knew anyway; his Western Saddle fits him 'okay' but it's no good for his back. Before she came I had already decided that I wanted to get an English saddle for him. I really miss the feel of the horse under me that I just don't get in the Western one.

    [nb I am SURE there are Western riders who have amazing feel of their horses, and this is a comment more on what I am used to than on any kind of Western v English debate]

    So I have also ordered a saddle for him. That cleans out the bank account then

    Having a seven year old boy at home who is not interested in horses is not conducive to progress either. I need to get both horses trailer-loading properly and must do that in this coming week. I will then be able to a) go trail riding with Riley while son is in camp and b) take Ukon to Jose's place.

    Riley can load perfectly, but he also knows that he can just stand at the door refusing to move for a long time........... Treats needed for him as threats don't work.

    Ukon I hope will actually be easier to load train as he is much easier to move about on the ground than Riley.

    I will let you know
        07-19-2013, 10:26 AM
    Super Moderator
    Wise decision on Ukon - something I had to realize after an accident, our children have to come first.
    I had the same feelings with the western saddle after some lessons. I'm still thinking about buying one for Willow as I would like to try Cowboy Dressage with her - and maybe Looby as well - they are both very capable but lack the build and scope to go anywhere in normal dressage.
    I need a new saddle as Jazzie managed to get out of her stable for just a few minutes last week and chewed a chunk out of Loobys saddle which was on the rack outside Loobys door where she was 'visiting' (I don't have a separate tack room)
    Its an old saddle, I bought it 19 years ago second hand so not a huge loss in terms of actual value but its a Wyke saddle that I bought from their tack shop in Shifnal so sort of sentimental thing!!!
        07-19-2013, 06:37 PM
    Originally Posted by jaydee    
    Its an old saddle, I bought it 19 years ago second hand so not a huge loss in terms of actual value but its a Wyke saddle that I bought from their tack shop in Shifnal so sort of sentimental thing!!!
    Jaydee, I knew the Wyke well. Chewed saddle! How annoying!
        07-19-2013, 06:55 PM
    Super Moderator
    I could have killed her really but since it was my fault for not sliding her bolt across properly I have to take the blame. She is hell on 4 legs with a mane and tail if she gets out, I have never seen a horse cause so much devastation and destruction in a really short space of time. The time before that (husbands fault) she ate a whole bag of horse treats. You can't leave anything in her stable or in reach of her jaws.
    She let herself on to the ménage recently and I spotted her walking around with a cone in her mouth.
    Was Norma still at the Wyke? I'm sure that was her name, mid length blonde hair?
    When my youngest was about 3 every time we went in he went mad for a large blue elephant that they were using to show off some sweatshirt or something, so embarrassing and eventually they sold it too us and within a few days he totally lost interest in it so I donated it to the local schools fete!!!
        07-23-2013, 12:55 AM
    Trailer loading Ukon

    Yeah! A success! First day he walked into the trailer without hesitation to lots of rubs and a couple of treats. I didn't ask him to squash up so I could close the partition, that would have been too much. He didn't want to back out so we turned around to get out. I immediately loaded him three more times in a row to reinforce. Then we half loaded (front feet only), and backed off again to praise - then I left it there.

    Today loaded perfectly again and then asked for back out - which he did with a little hesitation, but the 'half in half out' thing had stuck

    Loaded again and asked him to move fully in so that I could close the partition. It was a bit of a squeeeeeze but he did it!

    There is no way in earth that Riley will fit in squeezed up with the partition closed, so my 'three horse slant' will just have to live it's life as a two horse slant.

    Next thing will be to load, and go for a very short journey. Then off to the trainers for Boot Camp.

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