Saturday, May 23, 2015

the thinking today

I was thinking today, as I was riding Whiskers who is a horse who is "broke" to ride but he isn't "broke" to much ground work beyond being polite and to nothing like flexions although he is pretty responsive to leg:  I was thinking today as I was asking him to trot and asking him to not stick his nose out and asking him to bend just a touch; I was thinking today as I was asking him that stuff after asking him to track up walking a circle, then to drift his HQ, then to step under with his HQ:  I was thinking as I asked him to feel back for me even as I made my communication more effective:  I was thinking how very different it is to attempt to teach a horse to move correctly than it is to hold a horse in form with hands and legs.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

no skin off my nose

One of the horses I care for is an old stud.  Like nearing 30.  He is a great and a polite stallion, needs no stud chain.  Doesn't do anything but look pretty.

But he IS a stallion.  Which does mean testosterone.

So I was having a little issue with him taking him out of the gate at one lot to go to the turn-out.  Nothing too big, just him playing, but enough that you don't want just anyone handling that.  He would rush, pretend rear, dive for grass.  He'd try it sometimes other places but mostly just there, just then.

And then I opened the gate so that tall grass was on his side of it and encouraged him to eat some of it even before he came up to me to put his halter on.  I do NOT put his halter on but wait for him to say, ok, I'm ready to put my halter on now.  I've learned to do this no matter who I'm haltering, or when or why (pretty much -- I AM human and do sometimes have a time limit), but especially with him because he loves to make you come and get him.  I guess it is him moving your feet, essentially.  So I don't.  You want breakfast?  You want to go out?  You prefer to stand there?  Fine.  He very quickly gets over it.

So I open the gate so the tall grass gets to his side, wait for him to chomp chomp chomp then look to me for his halter, and then, waaalaaa, we walk calmly out the gate and to the other field with zero heroics.

How cool.