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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A friend is having me start her two yr old for her. This is my first paying job for horse training. This is a journal to document our progress on her training. (Please no comments regarding her age.)


Here are her stats:​


Jade
2 yr old paint filly
At least 14 hands maybe even 14.1​


I probably jumped the gun when it comes to working Jade today. I am without my round pen panels and am making "use" of another pen of ours..more like an oval pen. But it works for my girls, so I figured, it should work for Jade. I did have a nagging suspision that she might try to jump out at a low spot in the oval pen. I should have listened to myself.

Jade is very different in personality than my two yr old or even my yearling. You can tell she hasn't been handled too much. As I brought her into the round pen, I decided the first course of action was to see what I could do. She flinched as I tried to pat her neck, and would lift her legs and lean over like she was going to lay down if I touched her legs.

She was full of **** and vinegar and she was loping around the pen pretty much on her own. All I did from time to time was demand a direction change. For a while, I could get her to change direction pretty easy but that didn't last long. She tried to charge through the direction change...when that didn't work for her, she tried what I thought she would, she tried to jump. She just wasn't the brightest bulb because she went for the tallest panel. After a couple of unsuccessful tries, we were able to get back down to business.

I got a plastic bag on the end of my lunge whip and used it to sack her out until she would stand still for me rubbing her whole body, then I changed over for a thin blanket. Once I could flap that around her body/legs, I changed to my saddle blanket and then the saddle.

Saddling her went well. Honestly alot better than I had imagined. After getting the saddle on, I quickly tied her head lightly to the left and left her to figure it out on her own. After 10 minutes to the left, I cinched up the saddle a bit more and tied her to the right for about 10 minutes.

I did some sacking out with the stirrups. I flapped them, threw them up into the saddle, and dropped them. With only a slight issue with flapping on the left side, she stood completely still.

I clipped on the lunge line and asked her to lunge...I wanted to see her move her feet and see how she would respond to the saddle on her back. I also wanted her to understand that when I "kissed" I wanted her to move her feet. She was very light and responsive going to my left, but had a harder time moving her head and starting the circle my right. She moved pretty good and didn't seem to have issues with the saddle on her back. I cinched up the saddle some more.

I put some pressure into each stirrup, then put my foot into the stirrups, until I was able to lift myself in the stirrup and rub her along her back, her neck and her rear as I was leaning over the saddle. She even took a couple of small steps while I was up there. She's still a little goosey around the back cinch area, and once when my toe hit her elbow when she moved, she jumped just a bit, but otherwise took this is great stride.

Did some more giving to the left and right and moving her feet to the kissing sound, and then because rain was imminent, we called it a day. All in all, I think we had a great first session.

Here's the only picture I got from today. (taken with my cell phone) It's hard to get pictures when your working alone. Will try for more pictures and video next session.

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
4-15-10

Day 2 of training

The wind has been blowing horribly the last few days so that's held off any training. I was actually afraid it would actually relocate the farm, but happily enough, only a few things were blown out of place with all the 40+ mph winds we had.

Today I had cabin fever and wanted to be outside.

I grabbed my bit and decided that Jade needed an introduction to the bit and another round of sacking out. She wasn't very comfortable taking the bit. Not sure if it was the fact I had my hands around her face or the actual leather. But I held it there until she lowered her head and she accepted the bit pretty easy after that.

She chomped away at the bit as I sacked her out with a plastic bag on the end of my lunge whip. She must of remembered our first session because she accepted it no problem so I moved on to the blanket. I threw that blanket around. Her body, her legs, her neck and ever pulled it a few times over her head. She did wonderful.

I took her outside. (we'd been in the barn before) I wanted to how she would do lunging again. She moved off my pressure lunging to my left really well. Nice and soft responding. Got her to respond pretty quick to "whoa" to the point I wouldn't have to pull on the rope when I said it. She's definately a quick learner. She still had issues with moving off to my right. But after each direction change she was responding better and better.

I had taken my saddle out, but hadn't planned on trying to ride today because the winds are so crazy. (winds are gusting at 31 mph) I also didn't really have the correct blanket out with me to saddle her but I figured it would do for a short session. So I saddled her up and immediately tied her head to the left for a few minutes and to the right. She barely walked in either direction. For having the bridle on the first time she was giving to the bit almost immediately. She did have one moment tied to the right when she couldn't figure out why she couldn't turn her head to the left, but she quickly figured it out.

Did some more flapping of the stirrups, throwing them into the saddle, and dropping them. She decide to move quite a bit when doing them on the left side, so we circled and circled with me flapping until her feet quit moving. The right side went extremely well.

Things were going so great..I figured..hey..why not? I had my fiance here just in case I fell off. No time like the present. So up I went.

We had an issue of where she wanted to be frozen, and not move her feet. She would flex her head to the left and not move..but had no problem moving her feet when asked to the right. After about 5 minutes, I finally got her to move off in a straight line.

The ride was short and sweet. Not only did I have the wrong blanket for riding on her, I also only had my leadrope with me, and I was pressed for time because I had to be to work.

Here is a photo of our first ride.



Ps..the bit is new..and has not gotten it's shape yet.

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v486/Dakotarose/?action=view&current=jadefirstride4-15-10.flv
 

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Congratulations on the first paying horse :D. Sounds like you are doing pretty well so far. I love those horses that pick things up almost as fast as you can show them. I understand completely about the wind, it has been doing the same thing here and screwing up my plans as well LOL. It was a bit hard watching the video with my head cocked to the side but from what I could see, she looks pretty darn calm and responsive. Keep up the good work and I will be following your progress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks Smrobs! High praise indeed coming from you. Please...if you see anything that I can fix/change to do better..please don't hesitate to let me know. Sorry about the video being sideways. My fiance was the one using my cell phone. (is there a way to flip it in photobucket?)

I think the only real issue that I had with her today that I forgot to mention was when I was ready to dismount, and I asked her to "whoa" and pulled back on the bit some, she didn't like that at all and threw her head around alot. I finally got the stop by getting her to "give" to a left rein til her feet quit moving. Disappointing a bit after she lunged and whoa'd just fine earlier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
4-16-2010

3rd day of training

After a brief lunge left and right..we went straight to tacking up. She took the saddle very easily. The bit was a "bit" more work. Just waiting until she settled down and opened her mouth for the bit. Lunged her again briefly to the left and right. She offered no buck and so I climbed on. Today she offered to move off real good. We went for our first trail ride with two other horses. She did extremely well. She didn't spook at the water, the ducks, or the mud...We rode for about 1/2 hr around the perimeter of a large pasture. She did extremely well in the presence of the other horses. We worked on our starts and stops while we were out there. Once again, the ride was cut short due to work and the fact the sun set. :( All in all, I'm very happy on how she's such a quick learner.

Sorry..no pictures. I left my phone in the house.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
4-17-2010

Day 4 of training

After a brief lunge both ways, I saddled up Jade and decided to take our first lone ride out on 60 acres. I walked her out of the gates to that area and she was very jumpy going through both of them. Not sure if it's the weather or what. (pretty windy here today).

Got out to where I wanted to mount up, she was still pretty spookish, so I lunged her for a couple of minutes both ways. Mounting up went really well.

We took off for our ride. Yesterday if you had seen here you would have thought she was a seasoned trail horse. Head down and just plodding alone really well on our ride. That was not the case today. Today she was pretty quick to offer me a trot. Spent time working on our turns. Not just circles...but a ride across the field, then a turn..another ride in a different direction, then another turn. She was getting really soft and supple on the turns to the right, but fought it at first to the left.

She did alot of head tossing today. Especially when I would ask for a stop. That's going to need quite a bit of work.

To make things a bit more exciting while I was riding, I lost a gromit out of one of my reins that attach my right rein to the bit. Luckily this time her stop was perfect and I was able to get down and switch out to using my lead rope that I just happened to have taken with me today.

We rode for about 40 minutes with some trotting here and there. (have no plans to ask for a lope any time soon with her being a 2 yr old.) About that time, she decided it was time to go back to the barn. So I had a bit of a fight on my hands. If I headed her out to pasture, she would stop. If I turned her parallel she'd walk but trying to lean towards home. So I took her back towards home, got off and lunged the crap out of her at a lope. Then I immediately got on, headed back out to pasture and once we were half way through the pasture, I asked for a stop which she was happy to give and I allowed her to rest.

After that, we headed back up to the house. I rode her this time through both gates. She was still quite skittish so I let her have her head and she managed to walk through them just fine.

My goals for my next ride is to get consistant trots when I ask for them. I don't ride with spurs so I'm going to have to find something with a bit of incentive to get her to move her feet. But all in all, we had a GREAT 3rd ride (only 2nd one alone),
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Day 5 of Training (rides 5 and 6)

Jade saddled up easily enough this morning. Headed straight out to the pasture. There we worked on walking, trotting, and stopping when asked. She hasn't figured out how to regulate her trot yet and we got an accidental lope for about 3 strides. She wasn't tossing her head around as much as she did the ride before. Her stops were better, but not as good as they could be. Worked her for about 45 minutes, brought her back up to the house and left her tied during lunch.

After lunch, I had an offer for a trail ride (through our pastures), so Jade and I headed out again. Once again, with another horse along, she acting like a season trail horse. Head down, lose reins. Still hard to get her to give me a trot when asked for, specially further away from the farm. During our ride, we ran into a cow that was out of it's pasture, and Jade got her to herd her first cow back through the fence. She did really well. She didn't spook at the cow or the sound that the fence made when the cow crawled back through. We rode for about an hour. After we were back to the farm, she got her first initiation to a water bath. It was an impromptu thing so it was more like a sponge bath. She didn't flinch or throw a fit. She mainly stood there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
4-21-2010

Day 6 of Training (rides 6 and 7)

Took Jade out today to the fields to work on trotting in circles. Working on trying to get consistant forward movement at the walk and trot when asked. This was her first time working in circles at a trot. She was doing a bit better at following her nose. Not as well as I'd like, but not bad for being day 6. Here is a video to our morning session.

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v486/Dakotarose/?action=view¤t=001-8.flv

This afternoon I once again took her on a trail ride with another horse. I noticed something on this ride. She is very co-dependant on another horse if one is around. She didn't want to trot unless the other horse was trotting. She was also very happy to be a follower instead of taking the lead. This is going to mean alot more solo rides from now on. I need her to be more independent. I'd like to see her act the same way when she's with another horse when we're out on our own. I like to see her head down, very nice and relaxed. Hopefully that will come as time goes on. Noticed alot less shaking of the head. Today we got 3 steps when asked to back up a couple of times.


She also had her first bath today. She was fantastic while I sprayed her down with the hose. Think she's going to make someone a great horse.

4-25-2010

No of Days Jade's been here: 17 days
Day 7 of Training
Rides 8 and 9

I realized Jade is still a little too attached to the other horses...so no more trail rides with other horses for a week or so. We're going to be working one on one. Today I worked on getting her to keep a consistant trot, we worked on her neck reining, and backing. She also gave me her first lope today. No buck or anything. She has a horribly fast trot that I'm trying to get her to relax and slow down in, but her lope is BEAUTIFUL and extremely pleasant to sit. We loped a few times around the field. She did really good.

Jade is a very mellow horse. She's got some spirit and some get up and go..but she's not eager to tap into it. Like today. She got scared of a drinker in our field that she never saw before. Except for moving sideways 3-4 feet, she just stops and looks. She's not a bolter. She did the same thing to a dove that flew out of the grass. She ABSOLUTELY loves nothing better than trail riding with other horses. Her whole attitude changes when she's in the company of other horses, but I'm not having any more trouble getting her to go out on her own now either. About the only thing she does when we're ways away from the farm is she will call out to trying to find the other horses.
 

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Sounds great. :D. Yes, the whole co-dependant thing will improve with more time under saddle by herself and after she is pretty consistent with following your cues, it might also help to maybe have another rider just kinda fiddle around the pasture while you trot circles. All it takes is a little bit of time and a lot of riding and you have got a really good start on her. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Smrobs. I think she's a pretty good horse. I've been pretty happy with her progress. Now if the weather would just cooperate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've been very naughty about not updating. But Jade's visit here is almost done. She goes home this coming weekend. I'm so excited about how far she's come in such a short time. I will be a bit sad to see her go, but know her family is going to love riding her as much as I have been.
 

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Aww, it will be sad to see her go! But what a great job you've done with her! Big congrats are in order - how do you feel?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Jade's owners came and picked her up today. They were thrilled with her training. I had kept them posted on what I was doing each session, but I guess nothing is quite like seeing it in person! They said they felt that they'd definately gotten their money's worth! Nothing like seeing a horse that had to be run onto my trailer almost 2 months ago, walk comely into theirs today when it was time to load. Its amazing the transformation that 30 days can make. Their biggest praise was telling me that I should advertise that I train and they'd be willing to give me a reference. I'm glad they are happy with their horse. I was sort of sad to see Jade go, but extremely proud to have their check in my pocket for a job well done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, out of nowhere, I received my next 2 horses to train. They arrived yesterday. Two GORGEOUS buckskin 2 yr old fillies. They are slightly related to my horses. Their sire is my horses sire too.





Here was my 2 yr old that I sold who has the same sire. Notice the huge difference.

 

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Wow, that one IS huge compared to Lilly! I think Lilly's prettier though :) Will be fun to watch your progress with them!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
7-8-2010

Flicka
Started Flicka today. Got her moving in the round pen pretty good at first. Then added the saddle and bridle and worked on giving her head to the left and right. She took the saddling fine. She did fight the bit some both ways but it wasn't bad. Wanted to get her to move again with the saddle on after that and that's where she decided she was tired and didn't want to work anymore. She was pretty stubborn and it took some doing to get her to move. Did some desensitizing and decided to try my luck in the saddle. She took mounting on the left and right just fine so I decided to go ahead and give it a go. I was able to ride her at a walk and a trot both ways. Basically trying to get her to "move out" when I make the kissing noise. All in all I thought it was a good session.


Sharpy
Got her use to moving her feet to the sound of a kiss and just moving out in general. Then saddled and bridled her and got her giving to the left and right. Then lunged a bit more to make sure there wasn't any buck in her. Then after a bit of sacking out with the stirrups, I climbed on. She moved out with only a bit of encouragement for the walk and trot. Even got a sustained trot. We did some walk, trot and stop transitions and some turning, and some stopping and starts to kissing sounds so she understands what I want. Did try for backing up. Got one step. I can imagine I can have her out of the round pen and on a trail ride by the third or 4th ride.
 

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I don't know how I missed this thread! Argh, i'm so jealous of you girls (You and Smrobs) who get to do this for a living - Or at least have soem time to do it right!

Those buckskin girls are stunning. I bet you will turn them out into lovely little things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Here is my first ride on Sharpy. Lost my camera man earlier in the day so I didn't get vid/pic of Flicka's first ride.




Just for reference...my camera man (my 14 yr old son)

 

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Looks and sounds like you have a wonderful start. Congratulations.

W_S, if you ever decide that you want to train, you are more than welcome to come to TX and work with me. We would make a heck of a partnership. :D
 

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Congrats with the progress you are making with your training. It is great that you are getting horses in. Sounds like you are doing a excellent job!
 
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