A Balancing Act - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 32 Old 07-27-2019, 01:30 AM Thread Starter
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A Balancing Act

Abandoned my other thread because of some stuff happening at Pony Club. But, when I was updating it I found it really helpful in being more regular with what I did with Ninja. Thatís why Iím making this!

Iím not sure if itís come across in my posts yet, but I am terrible at time management. Seriously, itís a problem ;^; As I mentioned earlier, it improved when I was tracking everything (wellÖit helped with the horse stuff. Letís forget about school for now xD)

I suppose Iíll start this off with some goals of mine. Some of the short-term ones first:

1) I want to introduce clicker training. I wasnít really planning on, because I feel like it would make him very grabby. But I watched a video where the lady had tought her horse to move his head away, and in general the horse looked really respectful towards her, so I thought Iíd give it a go. In addition, it usually doesnít take very long Ė I believe youíre supposed to start with around 10-15 minutes per session? So I can just do it after heís done with dinner.
I will just use it for tricks though, because I prefer the natural horsemanship methods for the more Ďseriousí stuff
2) More regular riding & work. Iíve been slacking off these past few weeks, what with how rainy and terrible it was, but the days have been getting longer so itís the perfect time to do some more work.
3) Learn to vault. Just cosí, really.
4) Clean up our presentation. We look kind of scruffy. Nothing too extreme, I donít think. Just clipping the long hairs off his legs and jaw/neck, keeping his mane out of the way, plus whatever I have to do for my uniform and all that.
And for the long-term goals:
1) Tackless ridingÖbut who doesnít lol. I have a lot to work on before I can even think about it but, itís one of my biggest goals.
2) All of those fancy tricks! I follow this guy on Insta who does shows and his horse is so cool. He does vaulting (like the flippy stuff and all that, not just getting on) and bowing and rearing and lying down and itís SO cool.

Iím really excited to start working on that clicker stuff now. I donít know if Iíll be any good at it, but it looks really fun!

Also, here are some photos that Iíve been ITCHING to show off. A fancy show person came and helped pretty him up and he looked so good.
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post #2 of 32 Old 07-27-2019, 08:51 AM
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Good luck! I don't think you look scruffy at all.

Clicker is a blast, and horses usually learn it very quickly. Make sure you have a list of things to teach -- my horse ran through my whole lesson plan and then was like, okay what next? I could only say, um, I'll go do some more reading ...

But please don't get overly wedded to Natural Horsemanship. In many cases it causes behavior problems that cannot be solved within its philosophy. At least, 90% of the threads about NH are about problems that only seem to occur with it, and then the posters won't do anything to solve the problems because they don't want to go outside the NH guidelines. Frustrating to read. A big training toolbox is the sign of a good trainer.

Tackless riding is a romantic dream of a lot of younger and/or inexperienced people. What they do not understand is that firstly, it is not something that anyone does as a regular thing, but more of a demonstration of how their horse is trained to understand leg and weight-shift cues instead of bridle cues. Off camera the horses are usually ridden in regular tack. There really are good reasons why tack has been a standard part of the very highest quality horsemanship for thousands of years.

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post #3 of 32 Old 07-28-2019, 03:14 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avna View Post
Good luck! I don't think you look scruffy at all.
Haha, you should see us compared to the other girls in my group! One of them is the showy type, and she always looks immaculate. Plus her horse is just gorgeous...he has that massive trot you see in the dressage horses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avna View Post
Clicker is a blast, and horses usually learn it very quickly. Make sure you have a list of things to teach -- my horse ran through my whole lesson plan and then was like, okay what next? I could only say, um, I'll go do some more reading ...
I actually have like, a whole page in Word of tricks I want to teach. But I have to say, I won't be mad if he learns them quickly!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avna View Post
But please don't get overly wedded to Natural Horsemanship. In many cases it causes behavior problems that cannot be solved within its philosophy. At least, 90% of the threads about NH are about problems that only seem to occur with it, and then the posters won't do anything to solve the problems because they don't want to go outside the NH guidelines. Frustrating to read. A big training toolbox is the sign of a good trainer.
Oh, I'd never heard of those sorts of issues. I'll look up some natural horsemanship threads on here and see what they say. I do work with a trainer though, and he's worked with a lot of different types of horses. And from what I've seen so far, it doesn't seem like he just does the same cookie cutter stuff for every horse.
Edit: Maybe we're not doing NH??? I'm really confused as to what it actually is now. I always thought it was using your body language in a way the horse understands, but in a couple of these threads they're saying that NH is all about positive reinforcement, which I don't do any of. I guess it doesn't really matter, it's just confusing lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avna View Post
Tackless riding is a romantic dream of a lot of younger and/or inexperienced people. What they do not understand is that firstly, it is not something that anyone does as a regular thing, but more of a demonstration of how their horse is trained to understand leg and weight-shift cues instead of bridle cues. Off camera the horses are usually ridden in regular tack. There really are good reasons why tack has been a standard part of the very highest quality horsemanship for thousands of years.
Aww, spoil my dreams >.< Joking, joking, but yeah. I know that it's not an everyday thing, but just as a goal, I think it's okay? Just like, one day I want to be able to jump a metre, or do grade 1 dressage, but I wouldn't expect to ride iike that every day.
Dunno if that makes sense...but thanks for your feedback! I'm actually surprised someone made it all the way through haha.
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Last edited by duskexx; 07-28-2019 at 03:26 AM.
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post #4 of 32 Old 08-04-2019, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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28/7/19
Whoops! It's been a while. I'll update with everything that happened this week quickly, lol! >.<

Ok, so Sunday was a Pony Club rally at my Pony Club's partner. First, we had groundwork, which was pretty cool.
We did 3 exercises. The first was getting the horse to move 90 degrees around you, with its head facing you. I was a bit wishy-washy with the whip (I apologized out loud when the instructor got me to hit him a bit harder, which was embarrassing, to say the least). The next was similar, except to have them continue walking around you with their body parallel instead of facing you. That was a bit harder, my whip was too long so I had to have it facing upwards, and I wasn't coordinated enough. The third was lunging, and I didn't think his method really worked for us, but I gave it a go anyway.

The next session was dressage, and Ninja was the only one who kept getting the wrong lead, even when the instructor pulled us aside and worked with us. But, he did really well after that. Super relaxed.

The third was jumping. We started out in the jumping lane, and that was really fun! We were working towards doing it with no reins, and I got that in trot, and I had the reins loose in canter. I couldn't drop them completely though, because he was starting to run at the people at the end of the lane and I was worried he'd turn quickly and throw me.
After that we switched to a jump course, which went well as well. We did a dazzle (is that what it's called? The wiggly thing) and he had a bit of a look but went over it eventually.

I'll put some photos here. And I think I'll update the rest of what I did in a separate post. There was the cutest little white pony called Midnight, she was the FLUFFIEST little puffball ever
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post #5 of 32 Old 08-05-2019, 08:39 PM
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If you have a good rapport with your horse and an enclosed arena, you can start doing tackless riding right away.

When I was 14, I was working as a chore girl at a snooty riding camp. The campers looked down on me because I wasn't rich and my horse was a Wyoming cowpony unlike their elegant thoroughbreds. One day, the kids were talking about riding without tack, and I said I did it regularly with my horse. I didn't have an arena but I rode him in our pasture like that, and I knew he'd be good. Their mouths dropped open when I did a figure 8 course of jumps on him without a saddle or bridle. After that, the kids and instructors had a lot more respect for me and were much nicer to me. They asked me to teach some of the older girls to ride tackless, and we did a demonstration at their end of the year horseshow.

Just last year I got to spend a weekend with Alycia Burton, who does amazing things tackless, and she did a tackless clinic for 2 evenings. One cool thing she does which I did not think to do, was she touches her horse on different places on his neck and shoulders depending on what she wants him to do. Also, she said that her horse Goldrush is actually not a good candidate for free riding. He's very forward and hard to control. But he's what she had, so she trained him to ride tackless because she loves it. Besides being an incredibly talented rider, I discovered she is a truly caring and charismatic person. She takes the time to listen and talk to every single person who wanted to be near her. She makes each person feel like they really matter. If you get to see her, or even watch a lot of her videos, you will be quite inspired.
https://www.littlethings.com/alycia-...horse-trainer/
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post #6 of 32 Old 08-05-2019, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knightrider View Post
If you have a good rapport with your horse and an enclosed arena, you can start doing tackless riding right away.

When I was 14, I was working as a chore girl at a snooty riding camp. The campers looked down on me because I wasn't rich and my horse was a Wyoming cowpony unlike their elegant thoroughbreds. One day, the kids were talking about riding without tack, and I said I did it regularly with my horse. I didn't have an arena but I rode him in our pasture like that, and I knew he'd be good. Their mouths dropped open when I did a figure 8 course of jumps on him without a saddle or bridle. After that, the kids and instructors had a lot more respect for me and were much nicer to me. They asked me to teach some of the older girls to ride tackless, and we did a demonstration at their end of the year horseshow.

Just last year I got to spend a weekend with Alycia Burton, who does amazing things tackless, and she did a tackless clinic for 2 evenings. One cool thing she does which I did not think to do, was she touches her horse on different places on his neck and shoulders depending on what she wants him to do. Also, she said that her horse Goldrush is actually not a good candidate for free riding. He's very forward and hard to control. But he's what she had, so she trained him to ride tackless because she loves it. Besides being an incredibly talented rider, I discovered she is a truly caring and charismatic person. She takes the time to listen and talk to every single person who wanted to be near her. She makes each person feel like they really matter. If you get to see her, or even watch a lot of her videos, you will be quite inspired.
https://www.littlethings.com/alycia-...horse-trainer/
I love Alycia Burton! She's actually why I got into tackless riding (well, watching other people do it).

I think I'll teach him to neckrein in the arena first, and then do bareback, then start just using a neckstrap with a bridle there just in case. He's only 5, so he doesn't know a lot yet. I did try getting on bareback right off the bat once, with no tack warmup, and he bolted when I was getting on >.<
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post #7 of 32 Old 08-07-2019, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
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29/7/19

Had the first private lesson in a while (my brother got a detention, the loser) - godDAMN was it hard!! He was using his hindend and really pushing, especially in the trot. We covered so much ground, it felt like 3 strides for the entire longside! We were struggling in the canter though...he was still picking up the wrong lead on the left rein consistantly, and he wouldn't turn! Had to run him into the fence, and I got my leg crushed against it :((( But all in all, we learnt a lot! I definitely want to do more private lessons - just maybe in a couple more weeks lol.

4/8/19

It was the camp! We went to a different place (forgot the name, lol). I didn't actually get to camp, but I went to the rally on the second day. First we had dressage in the indoor arena, and he was great. He picked up the right lead after only one or two tries, and he turned really well! I think it was because I was anticipating the turn, plus there was other people down the end, so I was more insistant. Wouldn't want to run anyone over!!

After that we had cross country, aaaaand that's not really my thing. If I'm being honest, it scared me crapless and he definitely picks up on that. It's weird, because cross country is the only place he'll actually misbehave. Like, he gets nervous other places, but never like he does on cross country. I think he picks up on the fact that I'm scared of it, and I don't get scared about other stuff, like trail rides or whatever. He was pretty funny though. He picked up a branch and was munching on the leaves. He also did this weird thing, where we were walking to the next jump all relaxed, loose reins, no stirrups, and out of no where he just LEAPS forward. And then he just stops and keeps walking...like yeah, I'm good now, just had to get that outta my system.
I want to do cross country on my little brother's pony, who is really chill about it, to gain confidence, but my parents say I have to work through it on Ninja first so...I dunno.

And last we had show jumping, and Ninja was an absolute STAR There were poles set out on a twenty metre circle, but only on one side. And a jump, so you'd go over the poles and then turn to the jump. He did so well!!!! The instructor kept going 'wow!!' and stuff. He was tucking his legs in like a fancy show jumper!! (apparantley, my dad didn't get any photos so I couldn't see). We jumped the highest we've done so far - around 75cm. And we did an A-frame! He turns into some kind of seasoned veteran in the show jumping ring, I swear. He's just like, hang in there, I've got this.

5/8/19

Mum said I should give Ninja a break, so I rode someone else for the lesson. I started out on Paris, who's a little Australian pony we're bringing back into work after a 6month break - she tore a muscle. She's SO fun to ride!! And after that I moved onto Splash, who has ringbone and is on-and-off lame. She's really sensitive! And she's got the best trot to sit to, it's so smooth. I think if she was easier to stop and not lame, she'd be great to trail ride. You can trot all day on her, it's great.
I really enjoyed riding different horses - it's nice to see how the skills I'm learning on Ninja apply to everyone else.

I probably won't ride til' Saturday, cos ah...I may have procrastinated on some schoolwork a bit too much. But, on Sunday Riders Without Horses are doing some horse soccer, and I want to do that on Ninja, so I'm gonna try and bring him along. We'll see how it goes.

And some more photos!!
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post #8 of 32 Old 08-07-2019, 06:23 AM
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He's so lovely. You're really lucky. I don't do pony club, though I would love to. We don't have our own transport nor the money to get a trailer/box. Neither do we have the money to actually sign up to it. Who knows what they'd think of my home trained, spoilt, scruffy little pony! Maybe one day I'll get to do it. My mums gotten a new job recently, it's a lot better pay so maybe next year! You're doing great with him. Keep it up! &#x1f642;
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post #9 of 32 Old 08-07-2019, 06:58 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedartmoorlover View Post
He's so lovely. You're really lucky. I don't do pony club, though I would love to. We don't have our own transport nor the money to get a trailer/box. Neither do we have the money to actually sign up to it. Who knows what they'd think of my home trained, spoilt, scruffy little pony! Maybe one day I'll get to do it. My mums gotten a new job recently, it's a lot better pay so maybe next year! You're doing great with him. Keep it up! &#x1f642;
I know, I love him

You definitely should! I don't know how it is where you are, but here it's loads of fun! Not competitive, and super supportive At my pony club, we've got everything from mounted games people, to Grade 1 eventers, to showies, to open dressage, to pleasure riders. So everyone fits in!

And thank you very much! (^○^)

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post #10 of 32 Old 08-07-2019, 08:49 AM
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The two of you look good together :) I wanted to chime in after I read your first post...

If you are having trouble with time-management, look up "calendar blocking"!

It's all about visually planning your week out and putting it down somewhere, preferably in literal colored-in blocks. You can do it in a paper planner, a bullet journal, or a digital calendar like Google Calendar (I tend to do mine this way now since I sit in front of a computer most of the day for work, but I did it in an hourly paper planer before I started this job.)

If you want to try it and go the paper planner rout, I highly recommend the "Passion Planner", it has additional space for recording your monthly and weekly goals. But, any daily planner that sections out days by the hour will work. I never liked regular journaling but I LOVE visually taking my life-schedule into my own hands. I think since you've already lined out specific goals for yourself, and you mention that your journaling here helps you keep track of horse-related things but not school, it would help you keep track of things, balance your time, and I think you'd enjoy it too!

"She could be a witch, and he would never build a pyre upon which to burn her thoughts, desires and dreams."
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