Monday, April 27, 2015

four horse gate

One of my favorite things, on the mornings when I am there by myself, is getting two horses at a time in from the four horse PM turnout field.  The second two are obviously no problem, but the first two have to be gotten out of the field without the other two getting out, opening and shutting the gate, everyone calm.  I love doing this with a sense of quality, softness, ease.  When Ray Hunt or Buck Brannaman say, "I don't train horses, I just ride them with quality," well, I know I'm not up to that.  I try.  I aspire.  I try some more.  But on this one thing, probably also because there is no one ever looking and no one to compare myself to, I have some quality.  Just me and the horses.

There are so many things.  Hey guys, I'm coming.  Do the two I need first know it.  If ONLY they know it, it is easier.  That almost never happens, but sometimes.  The big marmaduke cannot come first but has to be told daily that he doesn't own the gate, or anything else in this field either.  The big old one-eyed man owns the gate, gets his halter first.   Then the red gelding, who really doesn't appreciate the big marmaduke but mostly because marmaduke is the only horse he can push around any at all.

It doesn't matter if it is raining or freezing or anything else, get the halters, open the gate in, shut the gate, latch the gate.  Ideally they put their own halters on.  Wait until they do that.  Without anyone getting in any trouble.  Wait.  Back off any troublemakers, often with just a mare look.  Acknowledge I'm the leader here, push your own nose into your own halter, get your pet and smile from me.  There can never ever ever be any hurry, any rush.   Wait.  Back off any trouble makers, arrange leads.  Open the gate in.  First horse walks out, walks out far enough, I ask for hindquarter yield with lead timed up with the stepping under hind leg.  I go out.  Second horse comes out, ask for hq yield timed up with reaching under hind foot as soon as haunches clear the gate.  Shut and latch gate.  Turn pair however required to get on one eyed horse's eyed side.  Walk in.

Seems simple. I love it easy and quiet.  Sure, there are times when one must get effective, but I love easy and quiet.

No comments: