Powder Gets Refreshed – Training Day 4

Training Day 4 – 50 Minutes

This is actually from two days ago, August 25th. By now my memory is shot and this will be a short and incomplete post, I’m sad to say.

I pulled Powder out of her stall today and I used the approach and retreat method until she would let me grab her halter. Since kicking me that day I’ve noticed when I get in she will head back to that same corner and give me her butt. Although, since I’ve been going back in only to groom and pet her, she has been waiting for me at the gate again. Progress is being made!

When I took her into the ground pen I didn’t try to do too many different things, but instead focused on 1 or 2. I tried to use the triangle method to get her lunging correctly and when she would walk instead of just moving her back feet I’d let her stop. We’d do it 1-2 more times correctly and I’d change sides. Same thing.

Training Powder to Accept Rubs From The Lunge Whip

I also got her super used to swinging the lunge whip around and used it a lot on her body, even down her legs, and around her butt. She did great. I walked her behind me and swung the whip around the pen until she stopped reacting to it and then some. Each way was a success.

IMG_2756

I bought Clinton Anderson’s book, Downunder Horsemanship and I started reading it last night. When I’m finished here I will go head out to take notes so I can get back to it on Thursday.

I also bought Arizona a new saddle pad and I love it! It’s purple and black and seems to be a nice fit. Gotta love that Mustang brand.

IMG_2806

Orlando also came out and rode for the first time since I got her. I haven’t seen him ride but one other time and that was on Magic, the pony I leased back in WA, and it was over a year ago. It should be fun teaching him to ride!

IMG_2796

Oh and the kids also hopped on for a go-round. I only have a picture of Shia handy however.

IMG_2797

Looking forward to Thursday with both my girls 🙂

Advertisements

Arizona Rides the Open Highway

Today was a GREAT day! I took Arizona out for another long evening ride and it was beautiful and fun. Very relaxing and it took my mind off some things to boot. I met up with Krista, from my old barn (where I got Arizona) down by the bamboo that Alberto was telling me about. I’m glad to know where that short-cut is now so I can bypass the pitbull around the dump. Although, Krista says that dog is a wimp.

Arizona and I faced our fears this evening and RODE ON THE HIGHWAY! I’m very excited for us, we did wonderfully. She only spooked one single time and of all times it was right by our barn… by the neighbor dog… that she sees every day… Jeez, horses. We also trotted more than we usually do and it was okay. I’ll keep working on her collection because she’s still bumpy as hell, even though I know that slow beautiful trot is in there!

Now when I enter Powder’s stall she retreats to the corner and gives me her butt. This is UNACCEPTABLE. Instead of pissing her off though I have been doing the approach and retreat method and I’ve been able to get close up to rub her in the end. I didn’t pull her out and do anything today because Krista was ready to ride but next time I will put her back to work. I didn’t want to start anything I couldn’t finish. She’s not going to get away with testing me anymore though so I hope she realizes her kicking days are done!

I love this girl though. She’s an awesome mare and will make a great rider someday. We’ll get her there 😉

Arizona and I out on the county highway road, doing wonderful together!

My gorgeous view from atop my amazing horse. It was a great first time out on the busy and loud country highway road!

The bruise I got after being kicked by my Quarter Horse mare Powder.

The bruise I got after being kicked by my Quarter Horse mare Powder.

Powder Gets A Trim

Today I had Jessica out to trim Powder’s feet and I was looking forward to seeing how she did. She’s BTDT with trims but I had yet to see it. Well, the minute I got into her stall she had ears pinned and had me backed into the stall wall and kicked out at me. Luckily for me she didn’t do it with intent to damage, because she could have. I’m a little bummed that for my first kick (I hate breaking my track record) I don’t even get a nice bruise.

ETA: I did bruise a day or so later!

The bruise I got after being kicked by my Quarter Horse mare Powder.

Wait. What?? Are we talking about sweet little Powder?!

I was stunned but it goes to show you how an animal is an animal, bottom line. She’s the sweetest horse I’ve damn near ever interacted with but she turned a dime and essentially flipped me the bird. I wonder what was up her ass though.

Jessica drove her around her stall after that. She turned her attitude around well enough and gave no trouble for her trim. I even put on her new, radical halter and rope and stood her for some pics. Next time I’ll get better ones.

IMG_2651 IMG_2662

Cremello Quarter Horse

I also learned that Cheri from the feed store is friends with Alberto and actually was the one to convince him to buy Powder! I told her I was buying the rainbow tack for my new cremello mare and she said “Where’d you get her? Because I only know of one around the city and my friends got her.” I told her I got her from a private breeder named Vega and she gives me that look… “Albert? You got her from Albert?” Small world, Corpus.

She confirmed she’s had no training and supported my ground-zero breaking methods for her. She said she’s a great mother and she knows of at least two foals so far. It’s all pretty interesting to me.

I do love my girl Powder. A little at a time, a little at a time.

Powder Gets Ground Worked – Training Day 3

Training Day 3 – 50 Minutes

Today I tried to lunge Powder again but it’s increasingly clear she does not get how and I’ll have to take baby steps to get her there. I worked on directing her to walk out and forward instead of just moving her butt around me and keeping me at her forefront. I quit making her move and made her face up when I was satisfied she was really walking and not just making circles. We did this on each side and ended on a positive.

I need to get advice on the video I took while trying to free lunge her. Maybe the problem is that I’m trying to free lunge her at all but I’m really just trying to drive her so she’ll hook on to me, but it’s not happening. She stays distracted and slightly lazy, as even at my most large and dominant she does not take the correct action. She will take action and even pick up speed but she cuts across the pen, does not turn to the inside, and does not keep up her pace. Basically I’m not able to direct her well enough yet. Someone on my forums will be able to tell me what I’m missing.

Between that I desensitized her with the lead rope. I stood in front of her with my hand up to steady her and keep her out of my bubble, and I swung the end of the rope around with my other hand. Small circles at first, then when she settled I did larger circles, and then louder, harsher circles, and then at last I did huge, noisy circles. Again, this was done on both sides with success.

Additionally I threw the rope around her body and legs at a stand still until she tolerated and then accepted it willingly. She did great and this went by fast. After that was done I wrapped the lead around her back legs and pulled the other end, forcing her to follow her nose toward the pressure to release it and thereby spinning on the haunches. She was slightly reactive turning toward the left but I did this 2-4 times on each side and she was great when we stopped.

Lastly I used the lead rope to squeeze around her belly to introduce her to the feel of a girth and rubbed my bright pink bareback pad on her. She gave it a good sniff and I rubbed her all over with it. When I eventually put the pad on her she stood still for it but when I began to walk her out she turned into a little hopping bronco and did a lil jig for about 10 seconds before she quieted. I did not ask her to continue walking, but I let her rest for a minute before I rubbed her and took it off. Next time I will do each step a little longer and make her move around more with it on.

Overall this was a productive day!

Today was also a good day for miss Arizona! We all had a little ride around the round pen with her bareback pad on and she was wonderful. We are all strengthening our leg cues and not having the saddle junk in the way is excellent. Plus I like to keep her working even if it’s just a little bit, to mix up our routine. She wasn’t worked much and hardly had sweat on her when we left, but it was a no-big-deal kind of day and she needs those to. I don’t want her thinking I either expect too much or nothing from her. She’s such a good gal.

One of the best feelings in the world is to dismount your horse at the end of a work out and feel stiff, sore, satisfaction 🙂Riding BarebackRiding bareback Learning to rideKids on horseback

Perfect Evening For A Ride

Krissy and I went riding tonight and she introduced me to a new riding buddy named Erica. She has an adorable mare named Whiskey. We took the horses up and down the lovely county road. The breeze was amazing so our ride was nice and cool. The horses did some light spooking but nothing terrible. I was rather impressed with Arizona! She handled the neighbor dogs almost perfectly and didn’t spook at any of the traffic. I’d like to build her (and myself) up enough to get out on the main roads. I see cowboys up and down them all the time but we just aren’t there yet. From the experience we had today I’m thinking I may be best off doing it by myself too and not trying to go with a group, because the group spooked more than she did! She ‘herd-spooked’ once or twice off of Sable (Krissy’s pinto Arabian) and Whiskey (Erica’s bay mare) but I know she wouldn’t have otherwise. It’s interesting to observe this.

10462416_10204763577513984_1536906638012685834_n 10609516_10204763621075073_1012163607962465766_nphoto 1-2photo 2-2

Yes, I was very happy with her performance today. We did a little trotting and she gave me her sweet western trot for a while but then decided it was time to stop. When I asked again she gave me her bumpy Ichabod Crane maneuver. (Am I the only one who uses this as a reference? I tried finding a YouTube video with no success. Gunpowder is one bumpy ride!)

Anyways… I’m looking forward to seeing how Powder does with her feet. We have an appointment with my friend and farrier Jessica, on Tuesday before work. She’s in serious need of a trim! And still a new name… I think once I make a payment or two on her I’ll feel more confident about name changes. I am also watching every Clinton Anderson video I can get my hands on and taking notes to carry with me when I take her out next. I need to work in working her out into my barn schedule. Currently I’m riding Arizona every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Time to go watch more videos. I’m re-watching 2007’s Road to the Horse competition DVD! Side note about that year: It’s awful watching someone as amazing as Stacy Westfall tank so badly >.<

Powder Gets Lunged – Training Day 2

Training Day 2 – 45 Minutes

Today I met with my horsey pal Krissy at the barn and she helped me do a quick evaluation of Powder and even she’s concluded she’s one hell of a mare. I have lead her, bathed her and tied her up until today, and now that I’ve taken her into the round pen and worked her a bit I have more confidence that she will be a breeze to train. (I’m taking my own comment with a grain of salt.)

To my knowledge she’s never been lunged and when we got her out there she in fact did not know what to do. She was also not afraid or threatening. I sent her around me and tried to keep her out of my space – this is one thing we’ll need to work on going forward. She does not make circles around me yet and will often just disengage and face me then walk forward instead. The lunge whip does not bother her even when it touches her rear and this is a great thing.

I also gave her another rinse bath. She moved a bit more this time but I made sure to stop at the right time. After she’s able to lunge properly I’ll introduce more specialized desensitizing techniques like the plastic bags.

In other news, I’m going to rename Powder as soon as the right name sticks! All I can think about is that horrible movie about the albino boy and it doesn’t inspire good memories. Right now I’m thinking about Gypsy or Opal or Sequoia. Hmm.. I’ll be thinking on it.

Powder Gets a Bath – Training Day 1

Training Day 1 – 35 minutes.
This event marks day 1 of her training as I’m calling it. The first day of me really getting nitty gritty with her and instilling confidence and my leadership with her.

The other day bode well for Powder’s second bath since I’ve known her. Who knows what number it was in her whole 10 years though, but we know she hasn’t had much training. You can tell by the way she reacts to certain loud noises close to her and the way she is curious yet cautious of the new. This is all fine, she will come along.

So this bath I gave her, it went well! She did not react as much as she did when Alberto gave her one after our ride that Sunday last month. I remember she was doing circles around him. This time I was careful to watch the water pressure and start her gently, and low. Started with the feet and worked my way up to her chest, then down the side of her body. She had a bit of busy feet but I kept with her and talked her down as I went. When I saw her start to stand with acceptance or even boredom I would move the water to another part of her body and eventually the other side. I switched back and forth a couple times and waited for that golden reaction each time. I was even able to jerk the hose over when I needed more slack without any spookage. It was a success.

I also tied her up for a while at the hitching tree to see how she would do during a short dry-off. She was able to stand quiet from the get-go. No issues whatsoever giving to pressure on the halter I’ve noticed, but she does need work on giving from the ground off her body. When I push her back from the chest she usually does fine, I’ve only seen her act even somewhat pissy about it once. However when I’ve asked her to move her hindquarters from the ground she may have offered to kick out. I’m not sure as I was in the stall with her and not keen on testing it like that but I will be paying close attention to her attitude toward that when I get her into the round pen this weekend.

On Sunday Sabrina and I are going to the barn for a ride and afterward I really want to work with Powder. I need to get more of a taste for what kind of effort she’s going to require from me as her boss-mare.

Introductions

Heather

375513_10200342085899457_2127876477_n

10568893_10204669340918128_2411239374456631941_n

  • Twenty-something
  • Mother of two
  • Married to one
  • Employed
  • Two dogs
  • One cat
  • Loves to sing & watch shows and movies
  • Can sorta draw
  • Writer and photographer on the side

Arizona

Arizona7-21-14-11

Arizona7-21-14-7

  • 9 year old mare
  • Quarter Horse
  • 15.1hh
  • Never bred
  • Coming back from being barn sour
  • Dominant
  • Sorrel w/ star
  • Brown eyes
  • Barefoot
  • Ridden western

Powder

DSC_1688e

DSC_1704e

  • 10 year old mare
  • Registered QH
  • 15.2hh
  • Broodmare – currently in foal
  • Green broke
  • Cremello with stripe
  • Blue eyes
  • Submissive
  • Barefoot
  • Incredibly sweet and loves attention