Your leaps and bounds
What little leaps and bounds have you had in your training recently?
Something you clicked with? Something the horse clicked with?
Share your happy stories :D
With Ella I passed my confidence stumbling block. I backed off a bit riding in the open on a green horse with 3 horses loose ( not in the immediate vicinity ). I was very aware it was not an ideal situation but had little choice. We'd had one incident where she reared and that shook me a bit.
Now that I've built my arena I'm much happier. Just mostly sticking to walk at the moment until she gives up any argument. Our aim yesterday was to get the hq yeild down pat and walk laps of the arena learning how to follow a fence. There was no one on the property so kept it low key.
Some minor tantrums but I felt good. Also have rediscovered the power of using my voice not so much for her but for me.
There were a few moments she tried to break into trot so into emergency stopp turn it into hq yield and keep walking as we were.
I feel good. Pumped for tomorrow will go well :)
Prin- I've cracked the issue with developing collection and keeping her off the forehand. My elbows stay back by the body and I look at the top of the trees. AHAH. Her norm has gone from emu who the bit is going to kill to leaning on the bit on the forhand. Definately an improvement :) she's not tossing her head the second I pick up a contact so that's a good sign.
So I kicked green black pony arse and red ponds accepting a contact. Alls good in pony land!
Well the big leap is that within this year Selena and I have actually become a team instead of a kick-and-screaming ball of unbridled freight train hurtling stabs at each other in the warm up pen. We've finaly reached an understanding lol
But most recently what has finally clicked with me if riding Ruger like a finished horse. He is inexperienced but he has just as many buttons as any other show horse. I've ridden him sicne he was started a year ago so I tend to still ride him like he's a baby but he isn't. I took a lesson and my trainer pushed me to push him into what he is really capable of.
Hmm...as if had my guy for only about a year we've had many little "aha!" moments. However, I think the largest one was at our first HJ show, which was our fourth show in total. The previous three had been kicking , pawing, bucking, screaming fits. October 13, the morning of the show, we unloaded Xander from the trailer after an hour drive and....viola! He was like a different horse! Calm, cool, collected and paying attention. He didn't spook at anything, there were no screams to buddies, no bucks. It was probably, horsey or non horsey, best day I've had all year. :)
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Mine was a huge step. I'd bo't a fearful horse as it whites of his eyes and bolting to the far corner. Progress was at his rate, not mine. It started with just spending daily time for a month near where he and his buddy were grazing. I'd read or soak up some sun. I then began following him, moving him off his spot until he'd watch me with both eyes. I began approach and retreat and finally he approached and touched my hand and I'd leave. Did this daily for another few weeks, switching it up. One evening I offered a scratch on his neck. He looked at me with suspicion then a hint of pleasure. Then by the the cinch area. He cautiously enjoyed that. I moved around the front to rub his cheeks when he started head bobbing, licking and chewing and blinking his eyes. I had to step back. I am positive I witnessed all the tension leave his body like negative energy. When all of this stopped I burst out laughing with joy and without thinking stepped forward and threw my arms around his neck and he was ok with that. I offered another scratch then left him alone. He was loose in the pasture so could have left me at any time. The next morning he was at the gate hollering for me as soon as he heard the door close. I did not know this horse, he was completely different. As Carolyn Resnick said "there will be a new horse in your pasture" and she was right as I had followed her techniques.
My 'big step' came with introducing Sour, my 4 year old miniature horse, to the cart. I was really just very unsure whether or not she would ever be useful because of her terrible personality and over-all crankiness, but my trainer encouranged me to try anyways. I've had problems even getting her to the point of being 'half civilized' over the past two years, so I thought that it would take years to get her going well in a cart, if it could be done at all. But, I tried it.
She loves it. Giving her a job is the best thing that I could have possibly done for her. Turns out, she's a very happy, easy to get along with horse when she has a purpose. I've just had to accept the fact that she isnt a lovey dovey, affectionate type. So instead of spending our 'down' time grooming, we spend it harnessed up. She's become a completely different horse! I've only had her under cart for about 4 months now (3 months on, 2 months off due to foaling, 1 month back on) and doing wonderful. I'm even considering taking her to our local parade in February, she's doing so well.
Today I learned that my horse isnt just a blind mess of just listening to what I tell her, when I tell her, regardless of if it's dangerous or not. I also know that we have a real bond now, on the ground and in the saddle..and it all happened today within 3 hours or so.
She came up to me in the field today..not just a few steps, she walked away from the hay and through the mud to me. She trusted me enough to not have a fit while we walked down the road solo for the first time. She stopped and stared at the cows and two fields that she's seen deer in before, but never did she fly backwards, spin around, or leap to the side; all of which she's known to do. She backed a good 50ft back up the trail and refused to go forward when I contemplated risking slipping to continue our trail ride. Thinking back on it, if I wouldve forced her to go on where I wanted to, we probably wouldve ended up at the bottom of the valley, broken and near death. She was an angel on the way home as well, no stares, spooks, or random trotting down the pavement; head level, ears focused on me with one perked, and a relaxed, forward walk.
Sure, I trusted her enough to toss a kid on her and send them off to the trails behind another horse, but now I can trust her to keep us safe when I go out alone and want to unwind and relax.
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Yup my aha moment stuck. We were comfortably trotting laps yesterday! So much for the walk.
It's great reading these keep me coming
I'm glad someone started a thread about this, because I've been teaching Lakota some new stuff, and she's been doing so awesome! I'm a big fan of groundwork, and when I brought her home, she had no idea what I wanted from her when I tried to lunge her. Didn't know why I bent over while she was doing circles around me. The past few times I've seen her I've been teaching her basic groundwork stuff. First I taught her how to disengage her hindquarters by me bending over and looking at them. She had it down within 15 minutes. The next day I taught her how to back up by shaking my hands in the air. At first she had absolutely no idea what I wanted from her, but after a gentle tap of the carrot stick to the chest, she got it. I wasn't able to see her for 2 days, and then when I went out today, she remember how to disengage her hindquarters, and how to back up with my hands waving. Then I taught her how to lunge, and to stop and turn in towards me when I bend down. I'm so proud of her!
For me, it's actually coming back into the horse world. I started riding when I was 9, stopped when I was 15, and then restarted this June, age 19. I am actually training to become an instructor.
For me, it was this entire past year.
On Jan 7th, 2012 I bought a Percheron mare so that I could trail ride with my wife. She is a magnificent creature and I was just just getting to know her, I think I rode her twice; on March 29th, she threw an unexpected colt. I have since been learning all kinds of new things that I never anticipated learning. Also, her throwing the colt seems to have greatly enhanced our relationship.
Before she had Ricky Bobby, we were really just getting to know each other. She was a little unsure with me and I was certainly unsure with her (being my very first horse ever and all). Before Ricky, I was apprehensive about doing things like picking her feet up or working around her hind side. For example, I would clip her blanket leg straps around each leg instead of crossing them between the legs. I was just unsure about things... After Ricky was born and increasingly so since, I have NO issues doing ANYTHING with her. I've been all over her doing everything I need to do, and she in turn is used to me and is like a huge baby now. I obviously earned her trust or something... I remember when I first saw Ricky standing next to her in the stall. She really did look scared, almost like she was uncertain about what I would do or if I would take him or something.
Both times I rode her before she had Ricky, she was stubborn and didn't want to move, etc. I didn't ride her again for a few months, but when I did mount back up again, she was still stubborn and difficult in general. I had our trainer assess her and we all thought perhaps she was greener than we thought.
Then.......... One day after we weaned her, I readjusted my stirrups and found my seat! It's been game on since.... Turns out she's not green at all, she just knew that I was green. Since I've found my seat, I don't get discouraged if she side steps or tries to refuse. I ride through anything she gives me and persist. Since I took the right mindset with her, she has completely turned around and is an absolute pleasure to ride.
Anyway, long story short, this entire year with a new horse and a new foal and new to the whole horse thing myself has been a major accomplishment for me...
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