Wesley - all-around horse in the making
Hi everyone - thought I would try to post stuff here both to help me remember where my horse is and where he is coming from and for other people to read/give suggestions/get ideas from.
So Wesley is a 10yo Buckskin QH gelding that is bred for Western Pleasure. My family was trying to leave him as a stud to replace our old one that had to be put down. Wes appeared to be exactly what we wanted - out of our best producing mare (she put 6 foals to the QH world) and by a top stud that was a little different from what we had previously. Was working with him to be my amateur all-around horse and he started having some tenderness on his front feet his 4yo year. Found out he was mildly navicular, gelded him, and I switched to another horse. He was used as a recreation horse for multiple years, roped off of some, gathered cattle, trail rode, and babysitter for my nephew. A few years ago with grad school I had to sell all of my show horses to help pay for everything and am just now starting to get back into showing, but doing it on a budget. Thought about this guy out in the pasture, he had stayed sound for 5 years, had him re x-rayed, no change in his navicular status since he was first diagnosed, and decided to start working with him again.
Brought him to where I live now in Alabama right after Christmas, which is 800 miles away from my trainer, so I am doing everything on my own and with phone conversations with my trainer when problems develop. My goals with Wes is to compete with him in all-around events, starting first with Buckskin shows either at the end of this year or early next year and then transitioning over to QH shows in a couple of years. Classes: I'm looking at horsemanship, trail, showmanship, hunt seat eq and maybe pleasure, hunter under saddle, hunter hack, and western riding.
Basically I'm starting over from scratch with him. He is a natural jogger, needs help loping, but he could do it as a 4yo so I'm sure he still can. We're going from a lope that was strung out and often 4-beating. Now have him moving out quite a bit, using his hind end more with a better cadence. I'm starting to work on slowing him back down and rounding up.
So for today - haven't ridden in 3days due to extreme cold. Started out in a new bit for him, a plain curb that I used to use on my old reining mare. He seemed to do okay with it, a little intimidated when I set his head and drove him up into it, but not bad, Switched to a snaffle later on with a running martingale.
He was fresh - he listened the entire time, but had more spring in his step and go. Worked on collecting off of my leg and one-handed in the curb at the jog. For the lope, in the curb worked on slowing his cadence, then used the snaffle and martingale to work on body positioning at the lope. In the snaffle, he is trying to pull at the lope but is stopping better than ever with more collection and backing softer in it than he was. It was weird.
For trail, I did some trot overs and single pole lopeovers, which went better than previous days. I made an "L" back through. Needs more work but no huge mistakes. Side-passed the L in both directions, YAY, considering he wouldn't sidepass a week ago.
Later did a Showmanship lesson. He set up beautifully for me, even starting on his own a few times. Not as strung out as he was earlier. Starting to pivot without using my right hand as much. Back was better and more responsive moving away from me once I got him started. Need to work on being straighter and on initial response to cues.
Next entries won't be as long but I wanted to put the background info in here.