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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok, so i'm working towards my K certificate in PC - And to get it one component is keeping a journal of breaking in a horse/pony. I'm horrible at keeping journals/diaries so I figured keeping it on here where I can get feedback and discussion and people yelling at me when I don't post might help! (So please yell at me when I don't post for ages :])

K Certificate Journal – Breaking in a Horse

The Horse:



Name: Latté
Sex: Mare

Age: Rising 5yo

Breed: Arabian

Height: Between 13 – 14h

Colour: Born chestnut, greying out – Currently dapple grey

Markings: Snip

Brands:

About:

Latte is a rising 5yo mare. She is heavily endurance bred – her dam is a full sister to a two-time Quilty winner and her grand-dam is also a noted endurance horse. Her sire, Barabas, is a successful show horse.

Latte hasn’t had much handling – She was born down the coast and trucked down when she was two. She has been floated twice since then with no issues. She picks up her feet and has been brushed, but is quite jumpy around people. She has had a bridle on once.

I have her on an agreement that when broken I can either buy her for $1,000 or sell her on and give the owner $1,000 and keep the profit. If she seems like a good MG/Pony Club horse, then I will keep her for my cousin to ride and me to ride games on.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
9/12/2009

We went and picked latte up from her paddocks. Apparently she was locked in a yard for convenience – She decided she wanted to be in the laneway so jumped the fence! Luckily she didn’t hurt herself on the barbed wire. Lucky us – she is in heat so really didn’t want to leave the boy she was flirting with! We caught her and put her new halter on. Loading went ok – She ran back once because a car drove in, but we brought her back and one step at a time she went in. She spent the whole trip with her head down near the floor – Will need a lot more floating to get used to it, she sweated as well.

Unloaded ok – Ran forward a bit once she got off the ramp. Introduced her to Rummy with minimal fuss, though it got Rummy very excited! Introduced her to Brooke’s new mare with a bit of squealing. We took the two mares over to the little paddock from the yards – She led well, didn’t crowd me. Just fiddling after we unloaded – She moved sideways off pressure and walked a circle around me when asked. We showed the mares where the water was and let them go – Very calm! Mostly they were worried about eating. She seemed inclined to run off as soon as I let her go so I looped the lead rope around her neck and didn’t let her. I gave her a bit of a scratch and then let her go.

She seems fairly sensible – We unloaded next to the shearing shed in the wind, with 3 cars and a stock truck parked outside, 5 other horses and a dog in his kennel. She didn’t spook at any of it, she only looked and had that typical Arab thing going – Eyes on stalks! She is incredibly fat so will try to do some long rides ponying her off Bundy before riding – Needs to lose some weight so we can fit a saddle to her! I am already busy scouting out pretty aqua gear to buy her so she can be all matching :]
 

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YAY!!!! How exciting! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Date for the first post should have been 8/12/2009.

9/12/2009

Had to ride Wildey and Buddy up to PC tonight so did some work with Latte before I went. She was a little funny to catch - Walked away but I blocked her and walked straight up and she was ok. I tied her up to the tree while I brushed Wildey - She was a bit fidgety but ok. Gave her a brush and had a go at picking up her feet - Much better than I expected, up straight away and no kicking out. Good sign!

Took her out in the open and tested a few different things. She moves off pressure really well once she figures it out - And I can move her hind over and also her shoulders/ribcage. Needs a bit more refining but is good. Backing up really well off light chest pressure. I sent her out on a circle on the end of the lead - She is super at this! Fairly reliable whoah. Took a while to get her to trot the first time but after that it was easy - Quick learner.

Figured i'd throw a few things at her and see how she went - Got out an elastic surcingle and put it around her girth. She was a bit fidgety but otherwise no reaction - Walk and trot around in a circle. Got out a saddle cloth and let her have a sniff - Didn't like me throwing it up on her but once on was fine - Did the surcigle up around the blanket and did more circles at a walk/trot. One little cow-kick at trt but no other reaction. Worked a bit on trhowing it up on her and rubbing her with it - Also chucked it on the ground and got her to walk over it without much fuss.

I tried Wildey's bridle on her just to see what size bit she will take - She accepted it really well, and once on didn't toss her head, just mouthed it furiously. I did a few more circles with the bridle on and then took it off - Came off with minimum fuss. Gave her a scratch and tied her up to twine on the side of the shed while I saddled up Buddy - She pulled back when I came out of the shed with a saddle blanket and broke the twine. dad got a stronger bit of twine and re-tied - However she pulled back again and broke it. So I tied her solid to the tree, and a few minutes later she pulled back and had a bit of a fight - Slipped the noseband of the halter off her nose but the poll piece held and she eventually stepped forward and released the pressure. Lesson 1 learnt! I'm thinking of getting a bicycle inner tube to tie her to just until I'm sure she won't pull back again. Not a habit I want to encourage.
 

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:D Thanks heaps for taking buddy for me! If u do need the bicycle inner tube i can get one for you. Anthony has heaps :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
10/12/2009

I went and bought a bit and lip strap for latte today. I got her a fairly thin loose ring lozenge snaffle. I was planning on putting her bridle on with the halter over the top and ponying her off Bundy – but the weather foiled me! We decided not to ride, so I was just going to do some work with latte. It was really windy. Dad’s boss had put two TB mares/fillies in with Latte and Abbi – How considerate of him. They were absolutely bonkers – Running around like chickens with their heads cut off, and scaring the crap out of our two mares. Latte has a small nick on her fetlock I assume from running around. Catching her was a bit interesting – I think Abbi is the boss and both Abbi and the TB mares kept crowding her which was really freaking her out – I nearly got squashed a few times between catching her and the gate. She really was terrified of the TB’s – They only had to get within about 2 metres of her for her to freak out and try to run. I gave her a good rub to calm her down after we got out the gate – The wind wasn’t helping.

After her pulling back yesterday I decided to try a neck rope – but with something thicker than a rope. I had an offer to borrow a similar system using a hessian bag off a friend, but in the meantime I made do. I found an old string girth that was quite short – Turned out it was just the right length to fit around her neck. So I clipped the lead rope to the buckles on the girth and then threaded it through the ring on the halter and tied her to the tree while I fiddled in the shed and gave her a brush. I think she may have learnt a lesson yesterday as she didn’t pull back – however she was very fidgety and looked like she might try to jump the tree at one point. She did calm down when I was grooming her and rubbing her neck/shoulder. She is just so jumpy/touchy – She needs so much handling.

The weather was getting worse so I scrapped the idea of putting the bridle on her – I just did some basic giving to pressure exercises and circling. She is VERY sensitive to pressure – She is fairly good with moving off a poke on the rump, but on the shoulder she flinches her skin and sometimes offers to rear – She hasn’t yet but the thought is there. She just has to get used to being poked and prodded all over – She does eventually understand stepping over, it just takes a little while. Back-up from pressure on the chest is good. She wasn’t as good at the circling today, but I think that was more the influence of the weather than her being naughty. She kept turning in to me and resisting when I sent her back out – I got a few good circles at trot either way and then just let her stand. By now the weather was atrocious – Blowing a gale and flapping the corrugated iron on the silo’s – She was bug-eyed and very nervous, running around and I was just focussing on not being run over and calming her a bit. She did calm when I rubbed her – She still needs to learn not to run me over even if it is scary. I settled her, did some backing up out of my space and let it end on that note.

I was really frustrated with the weather as I had been looking forward to a good session. I have the hessian neck rope now so will use that tomorrow. If the weather is better tomorrow then I’ll put the bridle on her and have a go at ponying… Wish us luck! Thankfully the mares will be gone tomorrow morning – I just hope both our mares will still be in one piece L
 

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Gee.... :S Whats the go with that?? im going out this afternoon, so i'll see you then.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Gah I know - I really dislike that man. They were really going bonkers - I thought they were going to try to jump the fence at one point. He's the one who told us to put them in there - And now he is complaining about it!
 

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Sh**... what are we going to do about that??? Are ours ok??
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The other mares should have been picked up this morning. It's just frustrating - I would have rathered put our horses in the yard while they were in there but he didn't tell dad - Just put his in. They were ok last night - latte had a little cut on her fetlock but nothing major.
 

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Yeah.. that's what I was thinking as well. :S oh well, nothing we can do about it now.
 

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Sounds like ya'll are making wonderful progress. She sounds like such a sweetie and a fast learner in spite of her sensitivity. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #14
^ Yup, she seems to catch on to things pretty quickly. I think she is going to be a super smart and super cheeky pony - Which is both a good thing and a bad thing! Looking forward to heading out this afternoon, i'm very curious to see how she will pony.
 

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aww shes cute !
 

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Discussion Starter #16
11/12/2009

Good afternoon with Latte today! She was good to catch - Still a little jumpy but getting better. I tied her using the hessian sack neck rope - As so:



She didn't try anything for the first while - I gave her a brush and picked up all her feet. A bit of kicking with the near hind but got over it quick. Went and caught the other two while Brooke watched her - She introduced to Bundy no problems. She watched while I saddled Bundy and Bam! Something triggered her and she had a go at pulling back. The neck band worked a treat - She didn't get free and stepped forward looking mildly sheepish!

I put her bridle on and adjusted it to fit. Bridle fit OK which was good - She was chewing it furiously again and I had to have it a bit tighter than I usually would so she couldn't get her tongue over it. I left her tied with the halter over the bridle while I fiddled and bridled Bundy. I then did some walk/trot circling and she was great again - Really good whoah.

I jumped on Bundy, warmed him up a bit and then Grabbed Latte off dad - Uh oh, apparently she has never ponied before! She planted those little feet and only followed with dad behind her. Dad went and got a lunge whip to help encourage from a safe distance - We circled for a while as it was easier to get her moving laterally rather than dragging her forward - She wasn't scared of the whip at all which was good. After about five minutes with dad's encouragement she was all good to go. Quick learner!

We headed off through the hayshed paddock, through the gate and into curse. She followed very well - And whoah was good also. Our first try at a trot saw her running in front and then spinning around - But after that she was an angelm trotting with Bund with no urging, keeping up at a good distance, and then stopping with Bund again with no urging. Very happy with her.

Ponying:





After we got back I tied Bundy up and did a little more moving off pressure, and had a go at bending. She is going super at moving off pressure - Much less twitchiness and no thoughts of rearing. The bending was ok - She kept trying to back up but we got a little so I left it at that.

Ground work and Bending:





She relaxed with the bit a lot by the time we got back. Was very hapy with this session - She was very relaxed when we finished and I gave her a good long scratch.

A cute one to finish:

 

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ohhhh so cute!!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
12/12/2009

A shorter session with Latte this afternoon. I went and caught her - Abbi came up and then Latte came up, which is good. I had heard she can be hard to catch, so i'm taking treats for a while. She's getting better with things going over her ears - She was throwing her head up a bit but improving.

Tied her to the tree with the hessian bag again - And yep she tested it again. She pulled a bit longer this time as if to see what happened - But it held and she stepped forward and chewed for a bit. Brushed her and picked up all her feet, no problems.

I bought her a new saddle blanket yesterday - Bright aqua :] I put that on her without much fuss and put the elastic surcingle on with a minimum of fidgeting. I put her bridle on - She is actually taking it very well, opening her mouth to take it after a second or two. I gave her some apple to chew on once I put it on - She still hasn't figured it out, she just moved it around her mouth for about 5 minutes then dropped it!

I did some circling, good again, then took her for a walk past the shearing shed and over to one of the house, past numerous cars and a bus with a tarp over it. She was suprisingly good - Jumpy, but didn't freak at the tarp. The lady who lives there came to say Hi and her daughter (5yo) came running up and gave her a pat on the nose. We walked up closer to the house and watched **** have a jump on her trampoline.

We then walked back and I had a go at putting a little pressure on the bit - She started gaping a bit but did yeild downard well, sideways not so well, and eventually got a step of backward. I might leave that for a few days so she is more used to it being in her mouth.

Tued her up again to un-tack and brush down - She was good and nice and relaxed. I let her go and she went to walk away - I grabbed her mane and mader her stand while I gave her a scratch - SHe then followed me as I walked to the gate.

She will be coming to Pony Club tomorrow - We will see how she goes!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
13/12/2009

Rally Day!

So today Latte came to her first rally day, which was also our clubs last rally day so christmas themed and just a fun day. She went well!

I went and caught her with no problems. I tied her up with the hessian bag and halter and gave her a quick brush - Put her saddle blanket and surcingle on and bridled her, then left her tied while I saddled Bundy up. The little ****** pulled back AGAIN! She still hasn't learnt. However, she pulled back around the tree and managed to slip the hessian bag AND the bridle off and get free, as well as losing a little hair off the side of her face. So then dad and I had to try and catch her - We eventually cornered her and I tied her back up.

Ponied her up to PC -We had to get over the bridge - Which is horrible, wooden slats that are loose and move underfoot and gaps and just not a good thing. I led her over and she was actually pretty good considering - A bit of jumping around but didn't run me over. She was good the rest of the way up to PC.

Once we got there I turned her out in the round yard with her bridle on with Pepper while I rode Bundy in the stockmans challenge. Once i'd finished, I got Latte out and decided to put a saddle on her for the first time. She was fine to sit it on - But the girth on it was too short. I borrowed a longer girth and dad held her whiel I did it up loosely. I walked and trotted her on the circle and she really didn't mind it much - A little head screwing and back humping on one rein but no actual bucking or crow hopping. I gradually tightened the girth throughout the morning until it was pretty tight.

I took her around the challenge course on foot - Opening a gate, figure 8 through barrels, sidepassing along a pole, a bridge - We got a foot on so I left it at that - Walking through a chute made of poles - Stopping next to a stop sign - checking out a tractor tyre - Over a small jump - and finished. She was really good and nothing really stressed her out. I took her for a trot ponied off Bundy and then stood watching with her for a bit longer - Then put her away for lunch.

After lunch I saddled her up again - She was better this time and didn't fidget as much. We were playing fun games in the arvo so I did them on foot with her. We did a few games - One carrying a bucket of water - One carrying a polox racquet and ball - And then played a one on one game of pillow polo with one of the led kids. She was really good - Trotting along behind me and walking over the jump.

We sticked her in the wash bay afterwards - She comes to 13.3h, about what I guessed. I took her up for a drink and decided to have a go at hosing her as she was a bit sweaty... Not a fan! After a few circles she stood with her back humped and let me run it over her back, and then tried to roll for the next ten minutes :] I ponied her home off Bundy - She was pretty good. Bridge was a bit iffy again but I don't blame her! She tied up ok and I brushed her down and let her go.

So, first rally day was a pretty good success!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
15/12/2009

Brooke was saddling Abbi up when I got out there this afternoon. I went and caught Latte – She has been really good to catch so far, of course I’ve been bringing treats, but I make sure she comes up to me and I give her a rub before I let her have a treat. Brooke had left the shed by the time I got there. I decided not to tie her up today because it was really hot and I couldn’t be bothered putting the hessian neck rope on her, too fiddly! So I held her while I went in and out of the shed, and she was very good. I gave her a quick brush and then saddled her up – She hardly fidgeted and wasn’t annoyed by the saddle pad, saddle or girth today. She is starting to learn to stand still while I fiddle around her. The saddle had stirrups on for the first time today, and I put reins on the bridle but kept the rope halter and lead as well.

I took her over to the sheep yards where Brooke was riding Abbi – I wanted to use the fences to help restrict her movement while I had a go at teaching her to yield to the bit. I walked her into a corner and stood on her only free side and opened the rein to try and get her to yield to the side – She fought a lot but I kept the pressure consistent no matter how she fought and eventually she gave a tiny yield – So she got a rub. I did this once or twice on both sides – She started getting agitated so I did some circling – Brooke had left the yard by now. With Abbi gone and the other horses standing at the gate she was very unfocussed – Rushing half her circle and stopping on the other. I got a few decent circles with persistence and then took her back near the shed where she is comfortable.

I had another go at yielding to the bit using a different method – Instead of asking her to yield toward me, I stood on her left side and with my arm over her back, picked up the right rein and asked her to yield right. She still fought a lot – But having me on one side and the rein on the other worked better than the fence – She eventually gave all the way around to her shoulder – BIG rubs! I did this maybe three times on each side with lots of praise and rubbing in between – She was getting it quicker by the last goes, but still fighting the initial pressure. She’ll get there.

Today I also tried a few other new things – I let the stirrups down for a while so they banged against her sides – She didn’t react, which is good. I also climbed on the gate and put some weight in the saddle – Again she just stood. Back near the shed I put my foot in each stirrup and jumped up and down putting some weight on the saddle – Once again she just stood, flickering her ears. Here’s hoping that getting on won’t be a big deal! I think that for the first few rides I’ll keep the rope halter on over the bridle – And use the halter to cue stops and turns. She understands the halter a lot better and without fight – I’ll start using the bit once she is used to me on her back.

I have our PC Zone AGM tomorrow night – So it will be the first day since I got her I won’t be able to handle her. If I have time I might go out quickly and just bring her in and groom her.

Some photos to finish - I finally put her new browband on the bridle. She looks so cute!





 
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