Bandit, Cowboy & bsms...muddling through together - Page 169 - The Horse Forum
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post #1681 of 1969 Old 10-18-2018, 01:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms View Post
General Horace Porter described Grant's technique in mounting Egypt. When the horse was brought up, the general mounted as usual in a manner peculiar to himself. He made no perceptible effort, and used his hands but little to aid him; he put his left foot in the stirrup, grasped the horse's mane near the withers with his left hand, and rose without making a spring by simply straightening the left leg til his body was high enough to enable him to throw the right leg over the saddle. There was no 'climbing' up the animal's side, and no jerky movements. The mounting was always done in an instant and with the greatest possible ease.
It was fun to read about Grant and his horses.
Grant must have had very strong quads and good knees!
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post #1682 of 1969 Old 10-18-2018, 09:31 AM
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@SueC I understand your avoidance of the thread. I think I will actually stop even looking at it. I get frustrated with exactly what you explained, that selfish thought that only oneís opinions are relevant. I want to believe that it is only in good intentions. I wonder where my own values would lie if I didnít know what I do know... I love animals, could I have been so misinformed? Maybe I could have.

Itís just the lack of ability for people to see the other side that eats at me. Then some part of that condescending attitude makes me start to want to argue with people who are incapable of hearing another dialogue. It is better that I avoid it, although the original conversation started well enough. Somehow it turned into an argument of for vs against cattlemen, which of course is where I naturally take a bit of offense.

Part of me does empathize with that view. As I said, Iím afraid I would have fallen into it. Oh well I guess. Different opinions are what makes life interesting.
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Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you? - Balaamís Donkey
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post #1683 of 1969 Old 10-18-2018, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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I'm not in any way a rancher. I had a college room mate who tried to build a ranch, starting with some land he inherited from his grandfather and IIRC maybe 60 sheep. No one in his family had EVER tried to raise sheep. He's the only friend from college I've stayed in regular contact with for 40 years. Some of the old guys in the church I go to did some ranching. I studied biology in college, worked a little for the USFS and Utah's Division of Wildlife and seriously considered getting a masters in range management.

Ranchers aren't totally pure, noble people. Some ranchers are jerks. When I worked for the USFS, the district had a guy running 200% of his allotment & got a court order to seize his cattle - which they did without violence, and it was needed. But most ranchers are pretty law abiding. Cut corners sometimes as most of us do. Don't ask me what speed I drive on an empty road! But most live in open spaces because they LOVE those open spaces and cannot imagine living in a city.

There is a huge disconnect between what is fed to people thru the media and Internet and reality. There is talk now about Google and others trying to remove 'fake news' (political) from the Internet. I think the Internet's value depends on unrestricted information! It is OUR responsibility to seek out multiple sides and evaluate. When I was young, one had a couple of TV stations & the local newspaper for information. A huge part of it was...well, if not fake, certainly inaccurate! And sometimes deliberate lies. During my time overseas, I saw new reports in places like the NY Times that could only be described as deliberately wrong - and I was in a place to see what really happened, and knew the reporters had access to the real story. I do NOT want some software engineer in California trying to block me from reading sources based on the engineer's idea of truth, particularly since the engineer may be heavily biased.

I'm certainly not perfect at forming opinions either. I used to say I'd be very happy if I hit 50%. But many issues have 3 or 4 or 5 sides, and the older I get, the lower percentage of clear thinking I'll accept. I tend to think 25% right may be a challenging goal!

What bothers me is the unquestioned acceptance of obvious cartoon propaganda. To use an example from horses, there are people pushing the idea that any riding is harmful to horses, or that a rider's weight causes serious harm if it exceeds 10, 15, or 20% of the horse's weight. I don't think it is too much to ask for people to notice how many horses have been ridden at higher weights and remained healthy for long lives, or lower weights and harmed, and conclude the issue is more complex than % of horse weight! How can anyone claim 15% is a valid limit? There are vets now who argue 15% is the maximum - so don't they ever open their eyes and see people successful at having healthy and happy horses well above that?

When it comes to mustangs, if truth be told, I'd rather see antelope or deer or elk roaming the land. I love watching horses in pastures. I like deer and antelope in the wild.
Quote:
"In Australia, we have no such niche, and the native herbivores are small (generally way under 100kg) and have softly padded feet - as was necessary for living in the Australian environment without causing unsustainable damage. The biota evolved to fit the place. People forget this. You can take beautiful photos of brumbies, and of course I love horses and they are majestic and wonderful and all that. But this is not a good argument for their continued destruction of the fragile environment here." - @SueC
Exactly. There is a time and place, but I'm not convinced the new west is the time and place for wild horses roaming freely. The big herds of wild horses in the old west roamed the plains, not Nevada. And the mustangs are in issue in the Intermountain West, not California or Texas. With open range as restricted in size and travel even as much as it is in Arizona or Utah, I'm just not convinced mustangs have a viable home. Keeping some on the range isn't too harmful, but it seems obvious that management is needed. The artificial, human-dominated world - and MY house affects wildlife, so I'm a part of it - is an artificial constraint on an ecosystem. It can be done but only with active management.

Off of my soapbox for today. It is still very windy, but warmer. Hope to get a ride in on Bandit. He needs to get out. Have all three horses back in one corral. We're supposed to have a week without rain and Cowboy is simply healthier when he is with the other horses. We need to redo our shelters!

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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post #1684 of 1969 Old 10-25-2018, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Looks like it has only been two weeks since I last rode. Felt longer. The little arena is still a little muddy in spots, but not bad & most was good to go. Lots of grass growing after all the rain - think this is around the 3rd or 4th wettest Oct on record here. Bandit was doing good for about 10 minutes, but then his excess energy came to the surface. The remaining 20 minutes were pretty energetic. Trots were fast and very stiff, although he started to flow a little by the end. Using the "Poppa Bear" stirrup setting was fine by Bandit for fast trotting today, and I think it will be my full time setting.

The first canter was rough, then his canters were mostly good although he was turning tighter on his own than he normally does. Tried one canter straight up the middle. When I told him to ease off, he planted his front feet and let his hind end spin around, coming to a full planting stop with a 180 degree turn. My inner left thigh is still a bit sore from holding on thru that. He often does a 180 turn when slowing from a canter, kind of like a signature flourish, channeling his inner John Hancock - but not while planting his front feet!




A neighbor walked two Dachshunds by on the road. PREDATORS! FIERCE KILLERS! HORSE EATERS! I had him stop and look. Then turned and expected to walk away, but Bandit felt leaping into a canter away was called for - so I kept him cantering for 3-4 laps. I think the neighbor thought I was showing off, but...no. Just a horse who hadn't been ridden for two weeks, although I think we both REALLY believed it was a lot longer.

After 30 minutes, he was starting to settle and my left thigh was feeling the burn, so I called it quits. Felt good to be riding again, but sure glad I didn't get ambitious and try taking him out for a solo ride. I suspect it would have been more than I want to deal with. Can't complain, though. He has been cooped up in a wet, muddy corral for two weeks. At the end, he decided to rub his face against my shoulder, which he only does when he is feeling good about life. He's a good horse. Sure wish my "arena" was 4-6 times larger! With more room, we would have hauled butt today! And part of me - not my thighs, but part of me - was pleased at his agility in doing tight turns at a fast trot or canter. There was a time he couldn't perform them under saddle, and now...he has NO problem with whipping around. My philosophy of riding says it is up to me to deal with his energy. But I'll admit, 30 minutes was enough to wear me out.


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post #1685 of 1969 Old 10-25-2018, 09:15 PM
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Ha, what a flourish to have! You two will have to audition for the movies, that sounds very cinematic!

Isn't that beautiful handwriting? So rare now with all that technology, although there are some nice fonts like that, sadly not available on a forum. But nothing beats pen and ink for that, I think.

Those Dachshounds are very dangerous! Bandit is trying to tell you something!

The first two pictures probably won't show because they are from http, not https URLs - so I put in the direct links, since they are really worth viewing.


http://www.weenersleap.com/images/fetch_lg.jpg



http://www.debucher.com/kipkiller.jpg








Nice to see you two riding again. Glad the weather seems to be improving!
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post #1686 of 1969 Old 10-25-2018, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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My cursive is horrible, @SueC . I've thought of trying it again, just so I can write checks instead of using my credit card and drive merchants nuts. I haven't used it much since junior high so it would be like learning from scratch.

I would SOOOO love to have a quarter mile track I could run Bandit on. I think he would like it too. I jogged today up the ATV trail/road we usually use for cantering. The rains have left gullies crisscrossing it and exposed more rocks. I can't blame him for lacking enthusiasm when one step will be leaning right and the next leaning left, and the third will have a rock for him to step on. Heck, he can experience all three in just one stride! The washes may look like smooth sand in spots, and may BE smooth sand in spots, but I jog on it enough to know there are rocks just under the sand that can throw my TWO feet off balance. Not fair for my four legged friend. Gotta get me a shirt like this:


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post #1687 of 1969 Old 10-25-2018, 10:10 PM
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Speaking of cursive, I used to work for a historical (and yet current) district court. All of the records from the 1800s had been perfectly maintained, and many of the original practices were never changed. Anyways, we had these large books. They were beautiful, and inside of them I had to write the cases in cursive just as they had always been. I felt pitiful in comparison. The writing was beautiful, and the books beautiful, and I tried my best to not ruin them with poorly written words. I really think it is a lost art, and no matter my effort it was always lacking.

On a different note: I am glad you are getting to ride again!
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Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you? - Balaamís Donkey
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post #1688 of 1969 Old 11-03-2018, 08:48 AM
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Speaking of cursive, when I was teaching school, I always stressed cursive handwriting in my classes. Someone once donated about 40 old trophies to me. Every few months, I would have a cursive writing contest and award a trophy for the best cursive writing. I taught special ed and some of the kids had beautiful writing. I wanted them to get some recognition for something well done, they got it so infrequently. Cursive writing was really a big deal in my classroom.

My second year of teaching, I had a terrifying 5th grader. He was big and tough and hated school, couldn't learn, and really disruptive in class. I was a new young teacher, and he spoiled everything fun I tried to do with the kids. One evening, I had him after school (as I often regularly did) trying to make him get his work done. He wouldn't do anything, and began to sass and argue with me and get really tough. We were ready to come to blows. I could tell he was going to hit me and I was ready to give it right back. The school janitor came into the room, sensing something really bad was going to happen. He picked up the boy's paper, which had only a few words written on it.

He said in his soft elderly drawl, "Tha's the most beautiful handwritin' I have eva seen. Man, if Ah could write like tha', I wud be happay for the rest of mah life. Ah wud give anythin' to be able to write lak tha." And he quietly set the paper down and went back to sweeping the hall.

The spell was broken. The boy finished his work. I can't say I never had a problem with that boy for the rest of the year, but things were different with him and me from then on. I learned a HUGE HUGE lesson from that elderly humble gentleman.
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post #1689 of 1969 Old 11-03-2018, 10:17 AM
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Wow @knightrider ; I love that story. What a kind and wonderful old man. Such a good lesson for us all.

I substitute taught for a while (only as an emergency, so I had lots of days but only three years). The first day I taught I was in high school and I had a terrible trouble maker in probably my third class. A big boy too. It was chemistry, and I had an experiment, so I was almost distracted when he ran into my classroom and grabbed a bottle rocket and was getting ready to set it off. I reacted instead of responded, and I hit him in the stomach and grabbed the bottle rocket.

It only took a moment for the thought ďI am so fired, and on my first day!,Ē to run through my mind. I tell you what, that kid, notorious for mommy coming and rescuing him if anyone ever considered disipline (obviously more in the detention style) never tattled. Maybe he was embarrassed because I was quite a dainty thing, or maybe he was just as shocked as I was.... After that he was a pleasure to teach. I never did have another problem with him in my time there, and he would always say hello when we passed.

I definitely learned a lesson about my own behavior that day though. I guessed administrators would much rather you allow a bottle rocket set off in a classroom than touch a child. I deserve no excuse, but I was also very young, 22 probably, and I didnít feel so far away from the students. Instead of treating him as a child my reaction was that of a peer. I watched my behavior much better after that.
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Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you? - Balaamís Donkey
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post #1690 of 1969 Old 11-03-2018, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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The sheep rancher I know tried his hand at teaching history. Part way thru his first year, a kid (bigger than him) ran up to him in the hallway, called him some obscenities, and spit in his face. Without thinking, my friend decked him with an uppercut. There were a lot of witnesses and no one got upset, but that was when he decided his part-time ranch was going to need to become the real thing!

Finally had the chance to do some stuff with Bandit. Walked him once through the desert while my daughter led Trooper. Didn't ride because my daughter didn't want to. Has a short and bouncy arena ride with him. Then had a very mellow arena...ride? We spent more time that afternoon with me sitting on his back while he ate grass the heavy rains have brought. But he trotted when asked. Cantered when asked. Behaved beautifully. But neither of us felt like working, so we did lots of short stops for grazing. He can eat a LOT of grass with a snaffle in his mouth, and no complaints!

Rode him solo in the desert a couple of days ago. He did fine, but I guess I had flashbacks to being solo on Mia. My stomach started tying into knots. So I turned around before my tension carried over into Bandit.

I expected to ride Bandit yesterday while my DIL rode Cowboy. Cowboy hadn't been ridden in a month. He was acting up with her and I thought it was just that he didn't want to leave the grass growing in the arena and go on a dusty trail. We walked them to where the desert began. When she mounted up, he bucked a little and she nearly came off. So we swapped horses. She led Bandit. I got on Cowboy. He got pissy. I insisted. He did some bucking - which is hard work for him since he is 13 hands and I weigh 170 lbs. Did a little spinning, scooting us sideways across some rocks and cactus, then gave up. Behaved fine after that, but I kept it short because he wasn't happy and I couldn't figure it out.

Got back, unsaddled him...and my DIL had saddled him up with two large bite marks on his back! As in two palm-sized patches of bare, crusty skin! They weren't bleeding, but they had to be sore! It never, EVER occurred to me someone would toss a saddle on a back that looked like that. I spent the rest of the afternoon sneaking tidbits out to Cowboy to apologize. I will say once he committed to being ridden like that, he behaved well and didn't hold a grudge over it.

I posted a comment relating to it here: https://www.horseforum.com/new-horses/i-thought-i-rider-797451/page2/#post1970625941

It really drove home to me how little some notice their horses. My wife has complained that I rode Bandit with some mud on his legs. I don't think Bandit minds. But fresh bite marks directly under the saddle? Are you kidding me?!

PS: Bandit has very thin soles after all the rain. He's been wearing his boots every ride, including when I just walk him on a lead rope. I think he's getting used to them now. It is starting to become just what the well-dressed horse wears. I may try a size larger. These are pretty tight on his feet. Have to keep filing his hooves to get them on. Thin soles have been an issue for him as long as I've owned him. I think the hoof boots are the solution. I won't ride without my cowboy boots. He doesn't need to be ridden without his stylish orange boots. On our solo trip, he was walking confidently across the rocks.

PSS: Bandit takes no offense at being tacked up and then LED through the desert. He wouldn't mind if our "riding" consisted of me leading him on strolls...

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