Bandit, Cowboy & bsms...muddling through together - Page 136 - The Horse Forum
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post #1351 of 1970 Old 05-23-2018, 11:32 AM
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In my area I also see lots of these looking for a forever home for my unridable horse ads. In my opinion it is part of the problem with people wanting animals without the hassle of really learning how to properly manage them.
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post #1352 of 1970 Old 05-23-2018, 11:41 AM
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And here I've been for the past month looking for a companion-suitable mare needing a retirement home and there are virtually NO ads like that in my area- I guess it's just the time of year, as pasture is finally in here so people are a little less pressed. In November those ads will start popping up again.


(PS- I did end up finding a semi-retired mare looking for a good home, thanks to @phantomhorse13 overhearing a conversation while she was doing a ride in my neck of the woods!)
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post #1353 of 1970 Old 05-23-2018, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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It is a tough problem. My horses have been young enough and healthy enough that I haven't needed to think about it - AND they already have "light riding" duties. But Cowboy is 20 and Trooper is 19. I may need to face those issues in a few years.

Like @carshon , I have the option of keeping them while they are healthy, even if not very rideable. The farrier was here yesterday. I thought he didn't own any horses any longer, but he said he had two lawn ornaments who hadn't been ridden in ages. He has no problem with keeping them until they show signs of pain. But he & I don't need to pay $500+ /month / horse to keep them, either!

I guess if my friend said he shot his horses when they were no longer useable, I'd have no real problem. It IS a ranch and making a profit is an annual problem. If he could haul them to town and have them slaughtered, I wouldn't object. But selling them at auction, knowing they will be hauled to Mexico for slaughter?

That bothers me. And I know he could see it in my face. But it is no more my place to tell him what to do than it was to lecture Koreans in Korea about dogs. And as @phantomhorse13 pointed out, my fondness for bacon is in part because I refuse to think about how pigs are kept, treated, and slaughtered. Pigs are quite intelligent, and apparently even cows can be quite the individuals.

Many years ago, I dealt with tame deer and tame elk owned by Utah's Division of Wildlife Resources. Since then...I've had no problem eating deer. I haven't had a bite of elk, though. I found them too much like horses - friendly, inquisitive, curious, and rather playful.

I don't know how I would handle it if I was a rancher with a few thousand animals and 30-50 horses. Maybe the same as my friend. Modern American life allows me to hide from reality. My bacon is bought already wrapped...as Doc Holliday says in Tombstone, "It appears my hypocrisy knows no bounds." Socrates supposedly said at his trial that "The unexamined life is not worth living." I'm not too sure any human life can stand too much examination.

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"

Last edited by bsms; 05-23-2018 at 12:03 PM.
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post #1354 of 1970 Old 05-23-2018, 02:31 PM
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I have had chickens for ~6 years now and haven't eaten chicken since. Even my husband can't eat chicken wings anymore. I'm mostly vegetarian, but will occasionally have a turkey sandwich. Can't begin to explain why I can do that but not chicken. And cognitive dissonance bugs the hell out of me!
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post #1355 of 1970 Old 05-24-2018, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Bandit before the ride.


It is how he rode today, too. No idea what it was about, but he was on pins and needles. I dismounted part way and dropped the stirrups a hole. As it turned out, he never spun or balked and only went sideways once. But until we got within 300 yards of home, he felt like he was going to spin within the next few strides.

My daughter was on Trooper. He was nervous too. She said it wasn't Bandit...just Trooper not being happy about something. After 10 years together, I trust her analysis of Trooper. So we turned coward, returned home earlier than planned, and I let Bandit canter a few laps at the end. He & Trooper are still Looky-Loo in the corral, so it wasn't me, wasn't the neighborhood and wasn't the desert. No idea what it was, but I ride for fun. And I don't think it was much fun for any of the four of us today.

Tried the smaller pad with the Abetta today. The sweat marks - and Bandit worked up a tension sweat on a 30 minute ride in beautiful weather - seemed fine. I'll try it some more. It looks better with the small Abetta.

Some days are diamonds. Some days are coal. Today was a coal day. Oh well.

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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post #1356 of 1970 Old 05-24-2018, 02:08 PM
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Best to trust your gut. Obviously something was in the air - and as long as its not the flying body of a rider then best to let the horses figure it out from home.
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post #1357 of 1970 Old 05-24-2018, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carshon View Post
...something was in the air - and as long as its not the flying body of a rider....
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Indeed. I've got about 2500 hours in military jets. Unless the Air Force wants an old fart to come back to fly...I'll be content if my flying days are done!

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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post #1358 of 1970 Old 05-24-2018, 05:00 PM
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Bandit looks terrific. I know he is "up" in this photo, but he is a beautiful horse. And I like the saddle.
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post #1359 of 1970 Old 05-27-2018, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Bandit & I did our first solo trip out in at least 7 months. I was planning on some arena work, but there was no wind, a blue sky, no one who wanted to ride with me...and what the heck! I walked him on the paved road past the houses with barking dogs and strange horses. One of the horses kept calling out. Bandit didn't approve. I think both of us were glad I was on solid ground, leading.

On the dirt road, I mounted up. I've decided my stirrup length will depend on where I'm riding. One hole up in the arena, where we do a lot of trotting. One hole down in the desert, where I like my legs to hang loose.

I just edited a short clip from the trailer for the movie Hondo. John Wayne was in high school in the early 20s. He was doing westerns in the 30s, where many of the extras would have learned their riding in 1900. Or earlier. So this may be a pretty good example of how that older style did a gallop:


I mention it because I'm probably one of the few who have ever tried that approach in the last 20 years. Not for galloping. That would feel freaky. But I find it is a very STABLE position. STABLE is good in a cargo plane. Bad in a fighter. If you want your horse to perform his best, ride him like a fighter. But if stable seems good...use him like a cargo plane.

Since he hadn't been solo in ages, my position today was much like Wayne's - feet forward and out, with 3 points of the triangle for stability. Bandit was tense. He'd initiate a trot. I'd stay STABLE and give a big, loud sigh. He'd slow to a walk, until he felt tense again. Then he'd trot, I'd stay stable, give a big sigh, and he'd slow. By our 4th trip on the dirt road near us, he was...well, blowing snot. Not HAPPY to be there, but less tense.

So we called it a day. I'm having problems finding anyone to ride with me, so Bandit & I may make a project of learning to go out alone. I think I'll plan on short rides, several times a week, and try to slowly stretch him into 60-90 minutes rides in the local area he knows so well. He may come to enjoy it as a chance to go stretch his legs and burn some energy.

He didn't enjoy it today, but he stayed willing. If he acts like he's miserable, we'll stop. If I see improvement, we'll keep it up. Maybe even get to riding him in a normal position while solo...

Well, I can dream, can't I?

Of course, one never knows when one may need to draw a gun and shoot someone behind you...

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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post #1360 of 1970 Old 05-28-2018, 06:12 AM
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I'm impressed with how well John Wayne gives his reins forward at that speed. He really follows the movement of the horse's neck. Doesn't look tense at all either.

Solo rides are difficult on many horses. I'm hoping to get Hero well versed in going out alone too.
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