Well I've never done anything like this before but I thought I would try keeping a kind of journal on here to watch my progress with my two boys. Not that I'm not motivated but I often don't have much time so in a way this is to give me motivation to find more time so I can keep this going. So anyway I have Apache (chestnut) who I can't ride but I am working on his groundwork and I'm going to work on his muscles from the ground (if that makes sense). Then I have Sammy (palomino) he is my new boy who has apparently been out of work for 9 months when I got him. I am bringing him back into work now and also working on his general ground manners.
Today I didn't get home with time to ride but I first worked with Apache. He was in one of his rare kind of hypo moods but he listened pretty well. I brushed him a little. Then I got him to flex his head in both directions which he is getting softer with. I then lunged him which was semi successful because I haven't worked with him for awhile and he wasn't the best at lungung to begin with. I managed to get him to walk and trot in both directions for a few circles (even though he was fighting me the whole way) but we ended on a positive note.
I then caught sam and brushed him (though it was to breezy to hose the dried sweat off either of them). I then flexed him both ways which he is awesome at next I worked on him yielding from pressure. I have had to teach him to move off pressure on his hindquarters, forehand which he is still improving on. (All he did before was forward, backward & stop). I am now working on him moving sideways to later move under saddle to use for circle work. I then mucked around a bit and tried to lay across his back by jumping up from the ground (which I suck at) and all I can say is he's quite a forgiving boy.
I know this isn't the critiquing section but I'm open to any tips or comments throughout this as I don't have anyone horse savvy to help me at home at the moment. Sorry for it being so long I'll keep future ones shorter.
Here are some pics, one of Apache wet a couple of weeks ago, one of sam when I first got him and two of each of them from today. By the way I'm not sure what's with Apache in one pic he has no muscle but he isn't that skinny he must have been standing funny. Anyway enjoy :-)
Ok so my plan was to ride sam and lunge apache this afternoon but that didn't quite happen. I caught Sam and had him tied up then I went to catch Pepper for my mum who was riding with me but she decided she didnt want to be caught today. This meant her and apache were running like mad and this was upsetting Sam so I was bit surprised that he was as calm as he was this afternoon. Once I finally had her caught, we had them both saddled and went into one of the smaller paddocks to do some walking and trotting. We walked a couple of laps in both directions of (big rectangle paddock) then we trotted. Sam did quite well though as usual he wasn't soft with his mouth whenever I trotted he would brace against my hands and he ends up ignoring me when I asked him to slow. He wasn't going very straight most of the time but I was more worried about him keeping a nice pace going which he did ok most of the time. He started to back up a couple of times without being asked this seems to be something he's decided to start doing the last couple of times I have ridden him. Otherwise he did quite since I haven't ridden him for about two weeks. I rode for about half an hour, he was quite sweaty by the time we finished. This meant I didn't have time to do Apache unless I wanted to feed the horses in the dark during a storm.
So I tried what I was taught to do which was to wriggle my fingers to get him to drop his head (if that makes sense) so he wasn't running around like a giraffe but he just ignored that. I have to have quite a bit of contact with him otherwise he slowly build speed until he's going all out though it is partly the way he holds his head that makes the contact seem so much harder. Anyway I'll see how we go next time.
Three days in row is quite good for me since its been either really hot or raining lately yay. I rode sam bare back today for about half an hour at only a walk. He was quite good I worked on his stopping today and moving out to the edge of the yard by the fence which he is starting to get the hang of. He doesn't have the worst brakes ever but they need quite a bit of work I end up relying on my reins a lot more then I would like. Today I really concentrated on how well I was giving my cues to him and I said woah then stopped riding (if that makes sense) then used my reins if I had too at first he wasn't listening to my first two cues at all. By the end I got him almost coming to a stop before even the second cue he caught on quite quickly. The challange will be when I try at the faster gaits.
I didn't get a chance to work with Apache as it started raining half way through my ride with Sam.
I think I personally have to work on getting on a horse bareback its embarrassing how bad I am. I also didn't realize I relyed on my saddle I haven't ridden bareback in a long time and I almost lost my balance a number of times and I was only walking I'll have to work on my balance a bit more.
See what happens next time.
Hope I'll be able to update soon. I have been sick for the last four days. Fingers crossed I can work with my horses in the next day or two.
So I did the same thing I did last time with Sammy again today. He was much better with his brakes from the get go. He was quite excited and wanted to go and so did I but I didn't have enough balance to go anything faster then a walk on him. I think if I had of gone any faster I would have just slid off and his big belly swinging from side to side wasn't helping me balance. I was then going to work with Apache but he was far down the paddock and I felt I hadn't done anything with Pepper in awhile so I thought I would have ago at riding her bareback too. I brushed her then got on (which felt really easy after getting on Sam). We walked around for awhile for her to warm up and then we trotted a bit which was good when she wasn't weaving because that took extra muscle that I forgot I had to stay on. I trotted on Pepper for about 15 minutes then walked around to cool her down. I then discovered she is loosing her summer coat because my jeans were covered in white hair when I got off. I think my legs are going to hurt A LOT tomorrow ... oh well. The farrier is also coming tomorrow for Sam and Pepper I hope I have time afterwards to ride Sam and work with Apache.
The farrier came today and did Sam and Pepper's feet. On one of his back feet Sam decided about half way through he simply couldn't hold it up any longer and wanted it back. It was actually quite funny and we were both laughing. I then went for another bareback ride on Sam and he was very good walking and stoppng very well. He calmly walked down the other end of the paddock and didn't try to run back to where I had brushed him on a loose rein. I then worked on some circles and figure eights at a walk and he did very well. They weren't overly big but he was very soft most of the time and only became stiff a few times. The ground work has really paid off, he is still learning to move off my leg but is doing much better then when we started. I was very balanced and found myself sitting much better then the last ride at a walk so I decided we might try to trot. This was an interesting experience. He usually seems to have a very smooth trot but without my saddle I realised it was bouncier (not in a bad way though). We only did a few strides the first time and I bounced around a bit. The second time he wanted to go with more speed so it was good but I lost my balance and probably would have fallen off if he had not of stopped at the fence because I didn't turn him. It was a lot of fun though I didn't get to do anything with Apache again so I will have to make sure I do tomorrow.
I worked Apache today just left Sam my legs were to sore to go for a ride. I worked with mucking around with Apache's feet (because of his bad behaviour with the farrier). He did very well and let me do anything other then an initial kick out with his back feet. I then did some flexing and ground work with him which he was very soft with. I then tried to lunge him. I'm hoping it was just because I haven't worked with him for awhile. He reared once when he tried to turn away from me and I wouldn't let him. I got him to trot a couple of circles with him playing up the whole way. I then had a go at ground driving him which I haven't done in a long time with him. I got him to walk around for awhile (didn't have ago at trotting) he kept trying to turn to the fence and stop but would otherwise work quite well. I was using a rope halter instead of a bridle and he was doing quite well with it except when he attempted to speed up or turn further then asked. The halter would bring his nose to his chest so he had to do what I asked or have a lot of pressure on his nose which he was not liking. So we have a lot of work to do. If I'm not busy I will go for a ride tomorrow and hopefully work with Apache some more.
Well I didn't get to work with either of the boys the last couple of days as planned. Today though I went for a ride on Sam with a saddle and it felt kind of weird after the bareback riding. We did a couple of laps around the paddock at a walk and just doing stopping and turns to get him listening. He then seemed to be focused so I asked for a trot and he got a bit excited and kept rushing it so I would bring him back and ask again until he settled down. I only did this on the straight so I could get him to do the pace I wanted without having to worry abut turning. He also had a bit of a hypo moment down the far end of the paddock I'm not quite sure what he did. It felt like he either did like a little rear before trying to bolt or did a little leap in the air whatever it was it took me by surprise. Luckily I didn't really loose control otherwise we would have been off down the paddock at top speed. I asked him to walk for awhile after that until he settled down again. I then tried doing some circles and bending with him at a walk and he was a bit better but he is still learning to move off the leg. I then did some more trotting which wasn't so rushed anymore. I tried encouraging him to do some long and low and he caught on pretty quick and was working very nicely. I was happy with this and had to stop so see what happens tomorrow. I have some photos with tack on. Its not my saddle but my stirrups need a bit of fixing so im using this one for the time being.
Ok today I had a go at ground driving both Apache and Sam. I did Apache first. I walked and trotted him around the paddock and he did quite well. At one staged he went to rear because I wasn't letting him stop but he got over it quickly. He also tried to turn the opposite way to what I asked once but he eventually did as I asked. I then did some basic ground work like backing, moving off pressure, etc he was very responsive with this.
I then had a go at ground driving with Sam. Its the first time I have tried this with him, I wasn't sure how he was going to react with the ropes down his side (he doesn't always like that sort of thing). He seemed a bit confused at first and kept trying to turn around and come back to me because I wasn't walking beside him. He soon got it though and I walked him around for a bit. He was quite responsive by the end. I don't think I'm going to be able to do anything tomorrow.
In the pictures Apache had dried sweat from the hot day that I couldn't get off and I couldn't hose him off because it had cooled down when I got home.
Well I haven't been able to do much riding lately. I got a chance to ride this afternoon with my friend who is over. We took Sam and Pepper out just for casual riding. She wanted to ride Sam and I didn't mind because even though he plays up she is the sort to stay calm and level-headed to sort it out. After about 10 or 15 minutes and he just kept taking off on her and not stopping and just generally getting all hypo and worked up. So we swapped horses so she could be on a bit more reliable horse and have more fun. When I got on him I was expecting him to be all hypo but them moment i got on he was pretty much good if anything he was being lazy. I just got him to walk and trot and he didn't offer to canter once. He had a few moments where he didn't want to completely stop. I was very happy at one point too because all I was worrying about was making sure he maitained the same gait I wasn't worrying about his head set or anything. Then of his own accord he just dropped his head vertical and was working in a very good outline for about two strides then he went back to his usual self. I was very happy though because he had never done that before I feel like we may really be getting somewhere yay!!
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