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Discussion Starter · #61 ·
I'm not going to say it is wrong as people have different ways of teaching like you said. But it also depends on what kind of turn around you want. A reining horse, cow horse dry work turn around/spin or a cutting horse turn. There are slight differences between the reining and RCH dry work but the big fundamental difference is between the cutting horse turn on a cow and a reining pattern spin. Many say the most difficult thing to teach a reined cow horse is both because of that difference. Or teaching a horse who was originally a cutter to spin because of that draw.
The cutting horse pivots on the outside hind and uses that draw your mares have. The front end backs around the hind end. The turnaround spin is a forward movement, pivoting on the inside hind. A really small circle where the front end moves faster than the hind.
I ride with a trainer who has a very weird way of training the turnaround/ spin, but it works for him and the trainer he rode under. He uses no inside leg to move the rib. I probably use my inside leg more than anything, especially when initiating the spin to create bend, get the rib out of the way so the shoulder hence front inside foot can back for the outside front to sweep across for the step over. Learninf to ride the filly I sent him has been tough. Either turn for the cutter or reiner I get the rib out of the way. (However you can get them overbent causing them to fall on the front end and the outside hip flips out). It really is a balancing act!



I think you're on the right track! You'll be able to use that draw to your advantage just as long as she doesn't dive into it and if she only makes one or two correct steps in that turn you can choose to just stop and pet on her or ride her out. If you let her walk down into the turnaround/spin and she gets hung up and is swapping ends drive you can drive her back out to the small correct trot circle to show her where you want her, when she gives you can it let her walk down into it again.



My advice is find what motivates her. It is so frustrating to ride a ride a horse that is talented but feels like a puke doing dry work trying to make them handier for the fun stuff! Horses that need something like an old cow or even tracking the dogs(be careful that doesn't become a habit but I've used it) or barn cats?

Hooey was horrible at dry work but come to life if he had something to work. That horse, rather than leaning towards the gate to the saddle barn would lean or try to stop at the gate to let the cattle in the arena. And no joke, my Chihuahua helped teach him how to spin after I don't know how long of me trying to teach it. (The hackamore helped a bunch too, he didn't like the snaffle)
He would torture dogs or cats, the Chihuahua was always in the arena and Hooey would seek him out to paw him into the ground, Chihuahua would always dart to the side and slightly back and it put Hooey in a good position to turn. I killed two birds with one stone, all of a sudden Hooey understood the turnaround and the Chihuahua stayed out of the arena..LOL

Very frustrating. She has a lot of jam when it comes to working cows, roping, and riding out but the moment I ask for a little dry work I have to really work for everything. Even sorting on gravel and mud the other day she was way lighter and more sat back on her hocks than I could probably every convince her to be without cow critters.

We have a bunch of yearlings, and three big goofy highland steers that would be fun to work. The only problem right now is that it's still icy in a lot of places where it would be nice to hold critters up to work them. I need to be better friends with someone who has an arena and a mechanical cow!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #62 ·
What do y'all mean by "draw"?
Hard to explain for me 馃槵 Cowchick can correct if I get it wrong or if she can describe it better.

When talking about it in regards if Martha, it's the horse wanting to "draw" her weight back onto the hocks and bring the front end around. Which, if Martha wants to do this when working in a small circle, I could use it to my advantage when working on getting a prettier spin from her.

Larry mentions draw for just a second at the beginning of this video.
 

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What do y'all mean by "draw"?
Like QHriderKE said, it's a horse's natural inclination to stay sucked back. You can see it when she stops Martha.(The video in post #48, about the 2:35 mark) As soon as she stops riding her she stops and the weight shifts back loading the hocks. They are more of the horse you have to ask for every step forward rather than ask for the stop. Draw gives them the advantage when working a cow. You can teach draw but I think it's hard because I'm not handy enough to make it instant, there is also a half second of hesitation between the stop and the draw and its enough time to make me late.
 

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Very frustrating. She has a lot of jam when it comes to working cows, roping, and riding out but the moment I ask for a little dry work I have to really work for everything
Do you have to pedal her constantly?
 

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Discussion Starter · #65 ·
Do you have to pedal her constantly?
I really try not to.
Out and about actually doing stuff she usually has significantly more go than whoa, but doing dry work she gets bored and I find I have to go for a big trot to get some energy up and then work off of that. Or even just some pestering with my romal, tail of my mecate or quirt will pick her up. Also, I often try to take advantage of the totally different animal she is out checking cows or what not and do a little work out there, with a lot more success than elsewhere.

..... can you tell she's hardly ever been in an arena? 馃槅
 

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I should of worded my question differently, do you feel like you need to pedal her, sorry. I can see in the videos you aren't constantly nagging at her with your legs to keep her going.

So going back to the motivation somewhat, I'll offer something that helped me then I'll sit on my hands! I just get excited about this stuff. LOL.

Same horse Hooey, felt like I was doing all the work to maintain the lope or an energetic trot. He started squirting forward and raising his head if I went to use the end of a rein or the tail of my rope to keep him going because I didn't want to nag with my legs but he'd just die out again. Trainer says instead of using your rein or rope pop him with both your calves(not spurs and you're not really kicking but a big flap of the legs where your calves land on their sides) when he dies out. Make him responsible for the speed you choose. Don't make it a big deal. Pop him, he'll speed up, don't pull him to slow down if it's too fast keep riding, if he gets lazy, pop him again. To me it sounded scary because I've been bucked down by popping a horse with both legs. But within a few rides he became more forward without ruining the draw or want to stop which I was afraid of taking out of him.

I use it on the horses where I work too. They've become show smart and as soon as you put them in the lope circle they fall asleep the kids peddle them to get them loped. I don't want to work that hard so I use the same method. I pop them and leave them alone. Now they know who's on them and what it means.
 

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Discussion Starter · #67 ·
@COWCHICK77 I appreciate any and all thoughts you have on the matter! I've always just had a good enough handle on my horses to be able to enjoy using them to work, but now I'm finding that I'd like to have a little bit of a fancy handle on them to make them even more fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #68 ·

This is something I've never been able to do with her before today - touch her while she is comfortable in her own space. They always hang out at the fence and snoop while I'm busy around the yard so I often go over and hang out with them. Willa would stay just out of arms reach and doze.

Proof that all of the horrible things I've been doing to her (she doesn't even know what a treat is!) aren't actually that bad!
 

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Discussion Starter · #69 ·
Yesterday was my 1 year anniversary of getting my face kicked in.
We had to drive 2 hours to emerg in the city (emergency in town just stuck an IV in me, gave me some T3's and gave me a pack of gauze). In the city, Covid was just becoming a serious thing so I had to sit in emergency for almost an hour bleeding all over a mask. Once in emergency, I waited 2 or 3 hours for a CT scan and then another hour at least to see a doctor who sent me home with a bottle of pain drugs and referred me to a surgeon. The next day, we went to see the surgeon who took x-rays of my face and sent me home for 3 days to let the swelling go down before he would do surgery.
The notes on my CT scan results stated "multiple facial fractures" with the fracture of my orbital floor being displaced 7mm. There was also an extensive list of fractures in my nose.

Recovery from the physical part wasn't terrible, aside from my nose, and the splints inside of it.

I am still coping with some confidence issues as a result.
 

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Discussion Starter · #70 ·
Supposed to get a snow storm this afternoon so I hustled and got two horses worked at once this morning.

Penny and Lola don't live together, so this was their first introduction other than a few times over a fence.


I'm uploading the videos so will post links when they are done, but I'll share a few screenshots and other pictures for now!!

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Video starts off with me fumbling around with a saddle and getting Lola saddled. My phone got bumped by another horse so I didn't get quite the whole process on video unfortunately.
Once saddled, I just walked her around a bit before asking for more.

She has a habit of blasting through what im asking, and I addressed it both on the ground and while I was working her off of Penny. Penny has never worked a horse like this before, so it was all new. The flag was new to her 20 minutes before these videos! My goal was to be able to get Lola to not think about pushing back on Penny. Its like riding 2 horses at once.

You can see that Lola always wants to stop and turn back on us at the same spot in the roundpen. The last time she did it, she stopped and I gave her the chance to make the right choice (not turn back and go the other way), which she did so I left that topic there.

Then she got her second ponying lesson of life, so I just wanted her to lead up nicely in both directions. I wanted to avoid just dallying on and saying "We're walking kid, whether you want to or not!", so I just worked on getting her to lead up nicely. At the end of the video, there was a big change in her expression in a good way, her eyes and face relaxed and she looked almost sleepy so I found a good place to end things for the day!
 

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Discussion Starter · #71 ·
Here is part 1, saddling and working her on the ground. After the video of saddling her cut off, I finished getting the cinch tight while moving her in a circle and did up the back cinch. Horses that don't know they can move their feet when the cinch gets tight are more likely to blow up and be cinchy. You can see she wants to buck a little bit but it's very short lived and half-hearted.

To some people it might seem like Im pretty aggressive with the flag but she's been worked with a flag enough that she's not scared of it, it's just a loud and clear signal to her.

 

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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
After false Spring, we have entered 4th winter. A blanket of snow two days ago, and it mostly melted thr same day. Woke up this morning to everything covered in white again.

Haven't done anything with horses the last few days as a result... just avoiding the mud! I've just been a busy lil bee in the leather shop.

I had sent my mom some pictures of Penny ponying Lola and made a remark about how Lola is almost as tall as Penny but Penny is nearly twice as wide.

She then sent me this picture of Penny late in the summer of her 3yo year after I got her back from 30 days with a friend who was in a financial hard spot.

Apparently that tree was tasty 馃し鈥嶁檧锔
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Discussion Starter · #74 ·
We are officially started with calving! 2 highland X babies are on the ground and running 馃槀

Some of the first calf heifers are looking awfully close as well.

A couple days ago, we sorted the yearlings, highlands and first calf heifers and turned the yearlings out to a new pasture. Overnight something must have spooked them something terrible because they absolutely decimated 30-40 feet of fence and were missing for half the day while we were bringing cows back from the neighbors (fence was down there too 馃檮). It was a nice day to take horses and dogs for a good trot. It's at least 2 miles to where the cows were supposed to be, and none of us like to just walk along like it's a trail ride. Horses that long trot a lot to cover country learn to just settle into it and it's far nicer to ride than a walk.

By the time we got back from moving the cows and headed up to where the yearlings escaped, we saw them peeking out of the trees and they mostly came back on their own, just had to guide them a little with the dogs. Also, this was all in 70k wind!

Yesterday, we just shuffled heifers and highlands around into where they will be to calve. But first we had to move the bulls back one field so they wouldn't be across the fence from cows and that want I had to catch my 3 big girls. They had thoughts on the matter, thoughts that meant they should just zoom for a half hour before letting me anywhere close to them:


Here's Martha looking like an absolute donkey, sporting my new saddle pad. I only have 2 that I use and I can't find one under $350-$400 that is just wool and decent. Seems like all the brands are adding gel and foam lately. So I picked up a couple pretty woven blankets and a couple 1/2" wool liners and we are going to give that a try.
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Discussion Starter · #75 ·
Had a productive day so far!

I took Penny for a little ride through the yearlings. Rode her in the bridle and really focused on getting soft responses from her. Went for a long trot and let her stretch (she likes to stretch down "long and low" in a long trot) and then added some leg and picked up on my reins a little. She knows what this means in a bosal but has some moments where she doesn't quite have a grasp on it when the slack comes out of the bridle rein. Today, she tried really hard and bridled up nicely. She kind of wanted to speed up sand bulge her shoulder out towards the yard when I asked her to circle so did some walk/trot transitions and chsnge of direction until she felt soft and like she was on board with what I was doing. After all that I asked for a nice soft lope transition out of a walk and she was beautiful to the left, but hurried a little to the right, which doesn't bother me much, just need to work on it.

Both young kids got worked today too. I caught Willa and right off the bat she was unsure and wanted to pull away, so we worked on not pulling back and following the lead, as well as not panicking and just thinking it through when I raise my hand to give her direction. After she thought it through and relaxed, I gave her a good once over with a shedding blade and brushed her mane and tail out (first time getting her tail brushed, which was a big ol non issue for her. I also led her out of the roundpen and around the adjacent corral a bunch and we just hung out. I'm trying to get her to want to be my friend 馃ぃ

I saddled Lola again, wasn't a big deal. I pushed her to lope almost right away to see what she would do and she bucked a little bit, but it was pretty half hearted. I then just did some saddle desensitizing, put my foot in a stirrup and bounced around, reached my arms over the top and made the saddle skirts slap and make noise, shook the stirrup etc.
She's just a nice quiet kid.
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Discussion Starter · #79 ·
Before we got too busy with calving, I decided to go visit my folks for a few days and give them a hand.
Of course the day before I planned to go, we had a heifer calve and she gave up so we had to help her out and pull the calf... which turned out to be two calves! We left her in the barn with both calves over night, in hopes that they both would be able to get some colostrum from mom before we pulled one off of her. It seemed to work so when I get back there, I have a bottle baby to raise!
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I took my dog with me, here she is showing a butcher steer who's boss:
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Discussion Starter · #80 ·
I've been far too busy for pictures lately, I'm raising 2 bottle calves (a twin and one who's mom must have had bad milk and he was nearly blind and not doing well), and we are calving heifers and cows now, with approx. 10 babies in each group. We've had very nice weather until today (it's snowing again 馃檭), so I've finally got some time to check in here between checks on cow critters.

I've been taking Martha on big trots later in the afternoons to check the main cow herd, going out alone has been very good for her. The first little while she has the wiggles but then settles into a nice trot.

Had the opportunity to rope a few calves in the heifer herd to tag them. I havent thrown a rope at an animal since June or July of last year so it was nice to get back at it. I used Penny for this, but hope to get Martha some more experience before branding time. Penny has been a saint lately, she didn't put up with any sass from a nasty momma cow we had to bring in to milk as her teats were too full for her newborn calf to get a hold of. With cows like this, Penny used to want to tuck tail and get the heck out of dodge, lately her attitude has changed and she pins her ears and wants to take a jump at the nasty bovine in question. I even have to back her off at times. She also got hobble broke yesterday, and didn't really care too much about it. She leads by a front foot pretty well so the hobbles didn't scare her, she was just kind of grumpy that she was being tortured. She can be pretty evil towards other horses, so I worry about taking her places like branding and not having a place away from other horses where I could tie her safely. Being able to walk her out to a patch of grass and hobble her there is going to be a relief.
We also ponied Lola again, this time everything went smoothly and she lead up without resistance both sides and all directions so we went for a little bit of a ride down to the creek and through some trees with a saddled Lola in tow. Hoping to be able to take both Lola and Willa along on cow checking travels sooner than later!
 
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