Okay so my first horse came home a few days ago! And he's SEVERLY overweight so i think it would be fun to have a progression thread for him!
Backstory? Okay! Well.. as most of you guys probably know im extremely horse crazy! Well i always have been. Apparently when i was little i was too brave on them and my parents never trusted me on them so it took a while for me to finally get my first. I remember mom telling me that it was a secret and not to tell my dad but Mr. J had offered to sell her a kid gentle horse. I remember riding my bike pretending it was a horse soo excited! Well we finally got to go see him and i was SOO excited because the only horse i saw was my dream horse! This big black horse! Well... while i was watching him this chunky bright red horse makes it to the gate and he's the one Mr.J pulls out! Who cares!! Still a horse! We paid 800 for him as a three year old. And guess what... he was green broke... and i was ten and had never ridden before. I never knew how to handle him as a child. For around six months when i was fourteen i got brave enough to jump on him bareback and ride him in the pasture. We even started loping some! However one day my brothers decided to race in the woods on horses and Blaze slipped and i injured my back really bad. Well.. to the doctors we go and guess what! I have to have back surgery! Yep! At 14 years old! Well i wasnt allowed to ride for a complete year so Blazey got to sit in the pasture again. When i was able to ride again my mom was really cautions and made me ride a mare she trusted more. I ended up showing that mare for three years but sadly she wasnt mine. I begged my dad to send Blazey to the trainer so i could ride him! He did but Blazey is soo intune to his rider that he could tell i was mad one day and threw me without a second thought. Then we had a saddle mishap and he tossed me because the saddle went under his stomache. I realized that he was still not mentally ready to be a showhorse yet. He needed graduality to get there. That of which i didnt have time to do... so he ended up going into the pasture and never coming out. I ended up getting Rosie and Roman and Nova then and they took up all my time. He was moved with the herd of horses my brother has to our other farm with 40 acres of nothing but grass. Blaze has always been able to stay fat off of eating barely anything and he got extremely obese from this. I couldnt stand to see him like that and have finally decided that since Rosie isnt needing constant work and roman is done with groundwork and just needs to mature and Nova is retired as a broodmare that its time to finally finish him! I feel like i am finally ready to fix a probem horse and i think Roman for that. He taught me how to chill out and not worry about every move the horse makes. Ive already seen a lot of progress with his attitude these last two days he's been here and im soo excited to see the horse he's going to become!
Day 2 at home.
Cant believe he's been home for four days now! Three rides with me. I FINALLY have his tail and mane braided and it is currently being trained to the right side. I also decided that he needs to work with boots on as i would any of my other horses. And i hoof picked his feet with absolutely no problems! (He's well known for trying to lay down on top of farriers) His trotting is going great and i got three steps back up from him today and they were fast (for him!) The most exciting part is we did quite a bit of loping today! When i work with horses i basically go by feel. If it pops in my head and im not afraid in the least then i assume my horse is ready and ill try it. So we did! He always catches the left lead and never the right and he's decided that while loping he can cut corners so looks like we will be trying to find a bit for him tomorrow. I MIGHT use a saddle as well. Who knows. He also thought about putting his head down farther than i was comfortable with a few times so i made him pick it back up. We did some more loping, some more trotting and spent a little while trying to get him to guide because for some reason today he's decided that he doesnt want to give to the reins. In time!! I have to remind myself to take things one step at a time. After i got done riding i tied him back up and considered spraying him off like ive been doing every day but i decided to let him stay tied with his boots on instead.
DSCF6907.mp4 video by ImaPaintedMombo - Photobucket
Is it just me or does his neck look less fat? Also who loves his hair genes??
Wow! Today has been amazing! I got fatboy out and started off the working period with worming him since he hasnt been wormed in six months. My brother (whom he used to live with) turns worming into a big production and it usually takes him two hours to worm his four because he nags at them to get it done. I made sure not to turn it into a big deal and it was no problem at all to worm him. I wasnt sure if i wanted to give him 1000 or 1500 worth. Using the 1500 finished off the tube so i figured why not! I measured him today. He's officially 16.1 hands. I coulda sworn he wouldve been bigger than that! Soo i went ahead and saddle him up with MY saddle and put the boots on him. It took forever! His withers are soo blubbery that it took me forever to get the saddle where i wanted it! And i had to move EVERY SINGLE clip to its loosest point so it would fit him! Now, my saddle has a back girth and a breast collar, both of which its been nearly two years since he's worn so i decided for my own safety i would lunge him before i got on. He did fine both directions so i went in search of a headstall to make a bridle for him. I planned on putting him in an o ring however my brother apparently has decided that since he moved down that all the horse stuff i dont use is officially his. Including my headstall that matches my saddle, BLAZES bridle... my extra headstall, one of my blankets, my cousins 150$ blanket, some of my horse boots, All the latigos and cinches besides the one on my personal saddle and almost all of my brushes deserve to be at his house..... which makes me EXTREMELY mad. I ended up having to use Rosie's bridle to ride him! Her bridle is a gentle curb and i hate sharing something that goes in their mouths! Urgh! Anyways. I got on the big boy in the arena and started off moving him on and off the rail with leg pressure at a walk. He was doing it but it started frustrating him after a few minutes so i let him trot for a while working on making him listen to my reins and not cutting into my circles. He tried to shoulder out a few times but when i corrected him those few times he gave up. I then asked him to pick up the lope and he kept his head up and did the prettiest lope (wrong lead though! But im not worried about that yet) and he didnt pull his head down or try to stop. We did three or four laps and i got a REALLY good stop out of him and we switched directions and did everything again. Worked on moving with the legs, moving the shoulders, guiding at the trot, and then loped (this time on the correct lead... he always picks up the left.) for three or four laps. I decided i REALLY liked how he was acting today so i jumped off him and opened the gate and we went on our first mini trail ride since he came home. We walked by some things that made lots of noise and some things that moved and he didnt no anything. When we got to the trail head we had to go up a huge hill to get to the trail which was no problem. I was COMPLETELY shocked by his lack of concern for him pasture mate not being with him. He never once even seemed to THINK about her! Even when she was calling for us on the way home he didnt even LOOK IN HER DIRECTION! Anyways! On the trail, its a clearing in the woods. Straight cut but wooded on both sides and lots of brush to tromp through in the middle. We had a rabbit jump two feet away and I was the one who freaked out over that one. Blazey didnt even look at it! Even when weeds got caught between the stirrups and his side and brushed against him he didnt seem phased by it. I am absolutely THRILLED with this!! So i kept him going for a while and he was starting to sweat pretty badly so i decided it was time to go back and we didnt have any problems all the way home. When i got him back i got him unsaddled and sprayed him off for the first time while tied and he moved a way a BIT but he would stop and let me finish after that first movement. He's never stood still while being sprayed EVER! Im so thrilled with how far he's come being that he's been here less than a week!
Sorry! No pictures today! My camera is refusing to be found.
Seven days! A full week since the boy has been back home! Im seeing QUITE am improvement! His muscles are starting to poke out a little. He's still got quite a bit of blubber but i can see his shoulder now!! And im starting to see a muscle line in his butt that ive never seen before!! But an even bigger improvement is his overall attitude and riding ability! Today i worked on moving to leg pressure at a trot (never done trot before but he caught on quick) and did so both directions then went right into loping once he was warmed up. He's pretty much got the hang of my cues so we just let him run until he started puffing... usually three laps LOL! He keeps wanting to stop when he thinks he can but i push him on at LEAST half a lap without trying it and then ill stop him on MY watch. NOT his. And let me tell you... i said whoa and sat back and he nearly knocked me outta my seat! The fat boy who usually takes four or five strides to stop did a DAD GUM SLIDE STOP!!! My jaw LITERALLY dropped! So now that he had my attention it was my turn to get his. I had been wondering how i was gonna get him into that right lead because he always picks up his left. I know some tricks to do it but ive never had one work... well i was thinking about that right lead last night, and you know how people seem to get these AMAZING ideas right before they go to sleep and never remember them in the morning? Well i get these when im working on new horses and i have a dilemma except i tend to remember them. Believe it or not i kind of... go on a fake ride in my head when im dozing off and i can feel what im doing and generally the things that dont work with the fake horse rides dont work in real horse rides and the things that work with real horse rides really do work! And my mind's Rosie horse and Blaze horse dont work with the same techniques! Anyways! I got this idea last night to try trotting Blazey up the middle of the arena and turning him to the right and cueing for a lope thus forcing him into the right lead. And it worked!! We got two out of four leads that way and he even picked up a right lead on the straight away! I was attempting a flying lead change (getting brave) but before we got too it the boy tripped and stumbled pretty badly. I decided since my parents werent home and since he has been doing SOOO amazing this week that it was about time to give him a break. I took everything off him and sprayed him off and he didnt even lift up his back feet when they got wet like he usually does! I have yet to have a bad ride since he's been back. All i can think now is... "I let this horse sit in the pasture for nine years while i searched for a good horse?!"
I have pictures. Will get them up soon
1 Week 1 Day
There are things to be said about the longevity of a mustang. I decided today that because my mother took my morning riding time this morning that i was going to ride Blaze today at mid day. I thought... well its not even 100 degrees outside! And its a cloudy day! He can handle it! I got him out and saddled him (The holds are fitting looser!!) and got him ready to ride. Ive been in a bad mood today because i was forced to go shopping with my mother (its terrible!) and i knew he was going to be a little edgier because he's VERY sensitive to emotions. Luckily i am able to hide it better now than i used too. He did try to get his head once but i held firm to him. He's quit trying to constantly pull the reins from my hand which is a HUGE plus! We caught lots of right leads and the greatest part... WE CAUGHT A FLYING LEAD CHANGE! and a crossfire but never mind that! Haha! We were out there for 15 minutes in 99 degree weather doing practically all loping and i was getting dizzy and had to get off and cool off. The fat man isnt even SWEATING! And he was the one doing all the hard work and wearing a fur coat and six layers of fat! When he gets less blubbery and more muscle he's gonna be able to work non stop! So i plan on going back out later and riding some more but its too hot for me right now. While writing this ive already drank a bottle of water and once i finish this sentence im going back for another!
1 Week 1 Day
Whew! It was about 5 degrees cooler when i got on him 3 hours later. Much better for both of us. Nothing much more to report. He's still working on catching that right lead and we have to work a bit to get it on the straightaways but that comes with time and practice. Im starting to realize how much he really needs to watch his feet. He kept tripping to try to get me to back off of him. Needless to say that DID NOT happen. He's able to go longer and longer at a lope and doesnt try to stop quite so much. Ive noticed that he seems to have quite the natural headset going on which i LOVE since my mare tends to like to run around like a giraffe with a hollow back. Its odd to go from one horse to the other, when im pushing Blaze to keep him moving then im trying to HOLD Rosie back with all my strength. He makes me realize how much i truely need to work with Rosie. With Rosie i always seem to keep her on the rail in my comfort zone because she stays slower that way. When i first got Rosie she would get faster and faster until she was in a full out gallop and when she's out of her comfort zone she starts to do it again. However she's much easier to get back to calm now. With Blaze im seeing how much i skimped out on with her simply because i didnt want to deal with reverting back to the running, or because i had a time limit to get her presentable with a pattern. She's been super jealous of how much time ive been spending with Blaze lately and she wants to be ridden too so she's gonna get her wish. I want to school some flying lead changes anyways.
1 Week 2 Days
Today i wasnt really in the mood to ride. I have spent the WHOLE day cleaning, scraping, disinfecting, scrubbing, and overall fixing up my rabbit house for the new breeding season and i was POOPED! However Blazey wasnt getting a day off! I grabbed him out of the pasture and got him saddled really quickly and gave him a thirty minute ride just working on things we already knew. More asking for leads and moving off leg pressure. He's been doing sooo much better moving away from my pressure! He's finally starting to click with lateral movements. So we began picking up leads. He gets them sooner and sooner with less fight every day. Today i asked him for a left lead and he picked up three rights in a row! Which of course i wasnt asking for but maybe he will figure out leads soon haha! While i wasnt thinking i started riding him by neck reining and i suddenly realized... oh my god... he's neckreining! He's never done that before! He was moving completely off my seat! Oh my this boy is killing me! Im thinking in a few months i might consider him fully trained if he keeps going this way! After i got off i sprayed him down and left him there for a while. We have a farriers appointment in a few days so we will think what the farrier thinks of him feet. I think theyre wonderful though! Mustangs have great feet. Blazey definitally isnt exempt!!
He's super cute! I love his conformation!
Thank you! Believe it or not he's sat in the pasture for nine years because i wasnt able to handle him! Also thank you for commenting! I was starting to think nobody was reading my adventure!!
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