March & April Goals and Progress

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Chisamba
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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby Chisamba » Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:59 pm

Blob, it is my opinion that most of the time when a horse shuts off when leg is added, that the door that is closed, metaphorically, is the jaw. Getting the mouth and jaw relaxed opens the door for the hind leg to step through.

I didn't invent that description, I just dont know who to attribute it to.

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby blob » Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:51 am

Chisamba wrote:Blob, it is my opinion that most of the time when a horse shuts off when leg is added, that the door that is closed, metaphorically, is the jaw. Getting the mouth and jaw relaxed opens the door for the hind leg to step through.

I didn't invent that description, I just dont know who to attribute it to.



I agree, just curious which horse this is in response to?

RP is far from shutting off to the leg-- he's hot and reactive in general. And is more likely to run from leg than shut down. He's been funny in the left rein lately and at first I thought it was general left leg stiffness-- not coming through, as your description states. But he's flinching when the left rein is mobilized.

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby Chisamba » Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:33 am

blob wrote:
Chisamba wrote:Blob, it is my opinion that most of the time when a horse shuts off when leg is added, that the door that is closed, metaphorically, is the jaw. Getting the mouth and jaw relaxed opens the door for the hind leg to step through.

I didn't invent that description, I just dont know who to attribute it to.



I agree, just curious which horse this is in response to?

RP is far from shutting off to the leg-- he's hot and reactive in general. And is more likely to run from leg than shut down. He's been funny in the left rein lately and at first I thought it was general left leg stiffness-- not coming through, as your description states. But he's flinching when the left rein is mobilized.


Perhaps I misunderstood. I thought your pony, got stiff behind when taking the left rein.

Another old adage, the rushing horse needs more leg, the lazy horse, less.

Sorry if I misread you pony post

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby blob » Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:07 pm

No, worries, my own mistake, likely.

Pony gets lots of leg!

In general though the current issue is neither rushing nor stiffness behind. I just meant he was more likely to rush than get stuck behind, but he's doing neither.

The issue isover-reactivity to the left rein. It's both on the lunge and under saddle. He'll throw his head up and sort of panic for a couple strides. That's why I want to rule out dental. It could have nothing to do with teeth, but I don't want to create pain for him if it us, especially when I know his teeth are still not where they need to be.

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby Chisamba » Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:43 pm

Try and teach him that the sensitivity is released more easily when yielding than it is when tossing his head. Do it standing or at the walk first. Just a suggestion

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby blob » Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:55 pm

Chisamba wrote:Try and teach him that the sensitivity is released more easily when yielding than it is when tossing his head. Do it standing or at the walk first. Just a suggestion


Thanks, Chisamba, am working on this, will continue to do so.

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby exvet » Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:54 pm

Interesting that the topic of teeth has been brought up because I think that is what I need to address next. We went to our show yesterday and didn't do great but didn't bomb it either. Junior was simply not signing up to the idea of being relaxed and swinging. He wasn't bad or misbehaving. In fact he was so well behaved that it's hard to really be disappointed in a 64 and 61 at our first level debut; but, I know he can do so much better than that. We just need more time to finesse everything. He needs better strength and balance which I knew so we'll be making that our goal so that we can do well at first 3 this fall. Getting back to the teeth, however, I did his teeth about 6-9 months ago but we've been noticing that he drops a lot of his treats/carrots and I've been having a lot of 'jaw' issues lately. He is still going slightly above the bit in the upward canter transitions and I'm beginning to think that it's not just strength but possibly teeth as well. I have to suck it up and commit to getting it done again. My challenge is having someone available to help. I have the tools and the drugs but few who are willing to stand and hold while I file the teeth down. The other hesitation on my part is that if I do one, I might as well do the herd and each time I do it(them), the toll it takes on my body starts to add up. Perhaps I can pay my son to help.

I hope to also really begin to focus on in hand work with my riding instructor to see if we can teach Junior to sit and raise his thoracic sling which I can do in the saddle to rock him back but he has trouble maintaining the concept going forward. Focusing on the in hand portion will hopefully allow us to eliminate some tension from the equation.

Hoping the rest of the crowd is fairing better with the horse and human health issues and the weather.

This is blurry (lost my phone and had to replace it with a less expensive one) but here is junior's beginning to lengthenings. Hopefully by fall we can show the same balance at the end of the diagonal ;) I just realized I've repeated the sentiment 'hope' many times in this posting.....well at least we still have 'that' - HOPE or shall I say Dare to Dream 8-)

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby Chisamba » Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:28 am

Hope is a good emotion to have when riding

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby Sue B » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:31 pm

Blob, totally understand discouragement and feeling stuck at 2nd level. Giving yourself a break (mentally) is my advice. Get out and play with her more and suddenly you may find that 3rd level is actually right there and ready for show. ;) For myself, I know that if I focus too much on my negatives I get stuck (like I am right now), so play is key to enjoying my Rudy and advancing.

Beautiful picture Rosie, jingling that the snow melts away and you can ride more.

Chisamba, my horse Tio gets stuck behind the leg and will even slow to a near stop sometimes when I bump with leg or tap with whip. I do believe you are right, however, in that it starts with tension in the jaw and that the better he gets "up front", the less he does the balking thing.

So, my saga now...
In preparation for the Cindy Cancace clinic, I rode briefly Friday evening in-between rain showers and had a lovely, easy TL/1st level ride in the cold and the wind. Saturday morning, I bundled Rudy up in all his finery and headed off to Pocatello. There was nowhere to warm him up before my ride, and so I hopped on my super nervy pony (it was cloudy and 38F) and walked around while the other lesson finished up. Just as I was starting to get him settled, she started in on us and would not allow me to loosen him up my way; insisting instead on us trotting around on a loose rein with his head in the air and his belly on the ground. Then she decided our girth was too loose and freaked him out when she went to tighten it. Rudy had enough and mentally uncorked, causing her to rant about how ill-mannered he is (meanwhile, I was just trying to keep him from completely losing his ta.) Then she wanted him to canter to loosen his back and I politely declined, as Rudy is one of the very few TB's I know who does not settle with cantering. (I did suggest t-c-t later, when he was mentally and physically ready.) Finally, we sort of got down to work, but by now, Rudy was so upset by her that he was having a hard time relaxing and stretching into the bit. Ultimately, we ended being satisfied with a TL trot on a 20m circled. Phew! At which point, she lectured my on how the was NO SUCH THING as a ewe-necked horse and it was simply my poor riding that caused his under neck. I responded it was my good riding and training that made it possible for him to stretch and look lovely now and that having a ewe-neck is a well-established conformational defect--one Rudy was born with. She told me to "read a book and learn a little"...I responded with "Yeah, my 30+ years of being a veterinarian d means I know nothing about the anatomy of horses." And then I said "we will simply have to agree to disagree" and I left. The next rider, she ridiculed for being concerned that her young, still relatively green 17.3hh draft cross might come uncorked if they canter before settling her better in the trot. I did not make the drive through wind and snow/rain on Sunday to be harangued again. Rudy and I don't need that. The only positive I got from this experience, is that I was able to speak up for myself and advocate for my horse. I did not allow her to bully me into doing something that would damage his trust in me. End of rant.

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby khall » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:39 pm

Oh geeze SueB! Good for you for standing up for yourself and for Rudy. Wow definitely a clinician to avoid!!

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby Dresseur » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:51 pm

Oh yes. Cindy Canace - she's lovely at shows. (I am DRIPPING with sarcasm here.) If I had seen your post earlier, I would have told you to avoid her at all costs. She's absolutely miserable. My latest experience with her was at the show we just went to - she was having a fit that the show had scheduled a break for her toward the end of the day, and then was openly discussing how upset she was that people weren't showing up early to ride their Freestyles (over an hour early, mind you). Scores were incredibly low for everyone after the break and I suspect that she was taking her frustrations out on the riders based on her comments.

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby piedmontfields » Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:19 pm

Sue, what a lousy experience! I thank you for sharing if only to prevent others from falling into the same unhelpful situation. You did good taking care of your horse and walking away. Very disappointing, though, as I know it is a lot of effort to get to clinics---especially when weather is less than kind.

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby Ryeissa » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:59 pm

Wow ....

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby kande50 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:19 pm

Sue B wrote:Rudy and I don't need that. The only positive I got from this experience, is that I was able to speak up for myself and advocate for my horse. I did not allow her to bully me into doing something that would damage his trust in me.


Good for you!

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby Moutaineer » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:09 pm

She gave us all a miserable experience at a show last year, too, Dresseur--show management was mortified. Sorry Sue. I didn't say anything because I thought you'd ridden with her before, and some people seem to enjoy her abrasive approach. Oddly enough I met her and rode in front of her a few years ago at training level and she was as nice as pie with very helpful comments, but I do remember the third level riders feeling decidedly sore about her even then. Rumor has it that she's trying for FEI judgedom, so I guess she doesn't have the patience for us little people any more.

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby Dresseur » Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:37 am

For some reason, she keeps getting hired in our area. I find her behavior to be consistently miserable with not very constructive feedback that shows a fair amount of bias. She definitely has a "type".

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby Chisamba » Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:35 am

Duplicate
Last edited by Chisamba on Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby Chisamba » Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:39 am

I have ridden for her several times, at shows and at a fix a test. I was not helped by her advice.

I did see her ride and realized why her suggestions did not improve my particular set of skills.

She is local so I get to ride for her fairly often. One cannot choose ones judges but one can choose ones clinicians

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby Flight » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:59 am

Bummer about not having a good clinic experience Sue B. It can be quite awkward when you know what they are asking wont work for you/your horse. Good that you spoke up.

I'm back from my Japan holiday. Horses are looking woolly and Ding a bit fat and Norsey a bit thin. I suspect Ding has been hogging the round bale!

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby exvet » Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:14 pm

I can commiserate Sue B in more ways than one I'm afraid. I have an albeit short list of clinicians/judges I will not ride under in a clinic setting based on similar experiences. One insisted I use draw reins on a half draft I was riding at the time in order to get her to submit to the bit and roll back on her hind end. She was livid and very demeaning in her comments on how 'weak' I was. I simply told her I would not ride the horse with draw reins and asked for exercises instead that would help the horse use her hind end more. She simply could not come up with any. She is highly popular on the west coast where she is from but is well known for her abrasive 'frank' approach as well. She is supposedly 'grand' with training difficult horses and a reason as to why she gets requested. Her parting comment to me was that she could not understand how I had acquired multiple scores in the 70s on said horse even if it was just training level............LOL............Another very popular clinician and judge, also from the west coast, I've ridden with actually 3 times. The first time I was riding a young stallion and the lesson seemed to go quite well. She helped me with my position and the canter departs. The next two clinics I rode with her though were quite different and at those I rode 3 horses each day. She can get to be very insistent on asking for too much too soon and drilling until the horse either 'does it' or an explosion occurs at which time she excuses you from her clinic. Unfortunately what became very clear and she even admitted it was that she simply is not that experienced with developing young horses. She has her 'young' horses trained by someone else and she climbs on when they're close to second level, not before..........live and learn. She has a very loyal and avid following which I do understand because she's good at rider equitation and rider biomechanics. With both clinicians I was riding at the bequest of friends who were hosting the clinics and they needed rides to help fill them up. I will no longer help in such a way.

I try very hard not to let anyone know that I'm a veterinarian when I'm riding; so, I have had the 'pleasure' of all sort of enlightening, educational moments at the insistence of others sharing their knowledge. I typically just smile or nod and 'bless their hearts' for being so helpful. Your horses are lucky to have you.

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby Sue B » Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:13 pm

Aw gee you guys, you're making me teary-eyed. Thank you for your support in all this; it means a lot to me. I have taken from her before, and I'll put up with a certain level of snarkiness so long as it does not affect my horse. This was over the top and it won't happen again, nor will I bother to go to the show she's judging in August. Her face was priceless though, when I told her that I'm a vet--that shut her down. Normally, like exvet, I keep my animal doctor side hidden.

You guys made me feel so much better that I can't wait for the weather to break so I go riding! :D :D :D

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby greenholmeshandy » Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:22 am

I hope I'm allowed a longish update here as officially no longer a dressage wanabe. I decided to have one last shot with Shandy at long distance riding which is my real passion. She vetted out on pulse rate when I tried it 5 years ago, acted like a lunatic on ride and trampled over husband at venue so have up. That set me off doing trec, then dressage. With her hayfever I have up on the idea of long distance.

Did a 19km pleasure ride last month starting alone, then with fast company along a busy road, slow company with a group of lovely ladies then off on my own. Lovely ladies were a hoot. Ride theme was wear yellow as raising funds for cancer. their horses had yellow ribbons and flowers in their manes and tails and they were accompanied on foot by a chap who randomly would stop, progress down the group of horses who all stopped in a neat line whilst he handed out sweeties to mounts and riders! Not quite endurance but quite comical. Left them behind once Randy Shandy realized lead fresian horse was a gelding.Met up with and raced another rider on a Fell mare who turned out to be the Fell pony society long distance award coordinator who was very encouraging. Got back to venue, pulse dropped below 50 bpm within minutes. Met an international rider who came over to admire trailer and found out her top horse always has near 60 bpm finishing heart rate. So we have hope.

Did another rides fortnight ago and Shandy was fab. Chilled but interested at the venue, foot perfect on ride despite it involving our mainly riding alone but with myriad dog walkers and mountain bikers and other riders going past us on their return homeward.nice route as very flat on a disused railway line with grass edges to ride on whereas as at home it's hills and rocks and Sandy is barefoot. Courtesy of several years orienteering on trec I managed to pick my own route on this very well marked ride...oops! Again back at venue bpm dropped this time down to 40s within 10 mins.

Husband and son accompanied me each ride and are open to coming camping at venues which opens it up to further from home rides as have co driver.

Im not kidding myself that my little, robust mare will became an endurance racehorse,and I do find it hard to find time for fitting work, but I like the idea of aiming for cumulative distance awards in set speed rides. Having said that there is a Fell pony who is on the young riders squad, one doing 80km race rides and another was the only finished in a 100 mile race ride up in the Scottish boarders. I have been told to look for tough rides and cold wet weather!

I'm not giving up schooling or dressage entirely as it's great to have a well trained supple pony who will leg yield across a track to avoid oncoming cyclists, then on turn the forehand to do gates ect. In fact we did a prelim test and came fourth on 68% a few weeks back in a big test. I can now remember tests and find it much less stressful than when I really cared about it. I am also doing some breed classes in hand and ridden mainly so Shandy doesn't think we are doing a ride each time she loads up and for variety. The end of the month we also have a trec camp as doing more competitive trec this year.

Not sure if I'm allowed to continue posting here, but I feel like some of you have been online friends for years way back to the UDBB days.I love following your updates Sue B can't believe that clinician ! It's funny how it's come full circle, I did dressage with my old boy Brychen after stopping long distance due to being hit by a van, didn't really get anywhere with it, did dressage with Shandy as thought we couldn't do long distance and yet maybe we can, I hope.

Only negative is I'm really struggling with my weight since being ill. Had lost a stone but out back on. Failed with slimming world and vlc sachet diets. Seems incredibly difficult post menopause so any tips welcome.
formerly UDBB user known as Brychensmum

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby piedmontfields » Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:30 pm

Sue, I'm glad you feel the support. This really is a very earnest, kind group of riders/trainers here, so I think you are in very good company with being an advocate for Rudy.

Love the updates, GHH and Demi! And GHH, I do hope you will continue to post :-)

I watched a working equitation show for the first time last weekend. It was not loaded with high level participants, and it did not look like Flight's beautiful photos! (that is a compliment, Flight). Really, it made me think about how important the basics are---and there really is no skipping them in training, even if you want to do WE.... although many WE participants I saw had skipped the basics, just like many do in the dressage ring.

That said, the ease of handling course gave me some fun ideas for set-ups in the arena. I can see that it is a nice way to liven up training, especially in winter or in an indoor.

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby demi » Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:16 pm

I agree with the sentiments already posted about your recent clinic experience, SueB. I am sorry you had to go through it. I had a clinic close to 20 yrs ago with an R judge from the east. I had a paint gelding with a very good mind that I had gotten just a few months earlier. He was 7 and had had 6 previous owners, so probably had some “baggage”. The lady I bought him from said he wouldn’t take his left lead. I relayed this info to the clinician and explained that I hadn’t worked on canter yet, and that left was my better side so I wasn’t worried. I just wanted to get him out and develop our partnership. The first half of the first lesson was very good. But then she went to work on the left canter and when we couldn’t get it, she spent thirty minutes drilling relentlessly. It was miserable and I wish I had taken Sue’s approach and been an advocate for my horse. We never got the left lead that day, but at least I didnt go back for the second day even tho I had paid for it. I ended up quitting dressage with him and just trail riding. Within a year he had both his leads easily and consistently. A couple of years later I tried dressage with him again, this time with a local L judge/trainer. She loved him (or so she said!). On the first lesson, (I had only been trail riding him up to this point) she wanted me to do a trot lengthening across the long diagonal. I stopped and explained I had never even tried this with him. She said to just try. It didnt seem that for the first attempt that I should try for the whole long diagonal and of course he didnt understand. Trainer berated me and said he should easily be able to do it, and that I just wasn’t asking correctly and that I was babying him and I obviously had a very good horse but didnt know how to ride, and blah blah blah. I never went back to her and that was my last “dressage” lesson until I found my current trainer.

I think there are loads of incompetent trainers out there compared to the few excellent ones. The good ones are becoming more available, but it can still take a search to find one, especially if one lives in a remote area.

The paint gelding was the best “family” horse we ever had and a lovely mover, too. I used him to pony Rocky from when she was 3. He taught her to be a good trail horse. We lost him to colic a few years ago.

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby Ponichiwa » Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:52 pm

Good for you, Sue B. One of the traits I really appreciate in a trainer or clinician is the quick assessment of the horse's capacity for increased expectations. The best I've ever seen at that is Ann Gribbons. I only rode with her 1 weekend 3 years ago and I still remember just how quick and accurately she sized up each of the pairs in front of her and tailored the work to expand the horse's comfort range without undue stress. It was really impressive. Wish she was a) local to me, and b) I had unlimited $$, because I'd love to take lessons from that kind of trainer all the time.

That said, she wasn't as careful about preserving the rider's feelings.

Dresseur-- that's such tough news about Miro. I agree with the chorus here; let him be a horse for a bit and see if he comes back sound in 6-12 months. Wishing the best for both of you.

My two have been on a good trend lately. By introducing multiple changes on Kiwi, the singles are no longer nearly as dramatic. And our 10m counter-canter circles are getting pretty darn fluent. These are exciting times.

Queso is braving bridges, creeks, ditches, and cross-rails without blinking an eye. I thought the cavaletti and cross rails would be tough but he just aims right for the center of them and trucks on over. I'm trying to keep the training light so that he doesn't get burnt out, but he's been cheerful and game for anything that we've tried. No bottom to this horse (unless it's dinner time...).

Here he is, being a cowhorse:
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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby piedmontfields » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:28 pm

"These are exciting times." That is an understatement, Ponichiwa! Great to hear your two very different partners are both doing so well.

p.s. Although we LOVE Queso photos, we miss Kiwi photos....

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby khall » Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:29 pm

Not exciting times here right now. Dealing with my dad's fragile health (diagnosed with pneumonia today) the building project, the wrecked hay barn, normal spring chores inside and out (trying to get hay fields set up for the growing season and pastures) gearing up for hosting Jillian Kreinbring biomechanics lecture. Lots on my plate which means the horses are more miss than hit.

I did pull Rip's double back out last weekend and had a ride in it, he went very well and I was happy. Also worked him on line as well as Joplin yesterday. He is started to get that swung that is not natural to his normal movement. I was also stoked working in hand I got HP at the trot in the draw!!! I've tried in the past and it had been difficult to do, this time both directions were easy, I was kind of shocked.

Worked Joplin and her movement is really coming out. She is showing that natural swung in her trot work that Rip is just now developing. She is just beautiful to watch. LOVE LOVE her canter work as well! Her work in hand is coming along in the bit and bridle. While she has carried the bit quietly for some time, any time I would pick up the reins to establish a contact she would get very fussy in her mouth so I have gone back to some of the stuff I learned from Mark in dealing with a fussy mouth and she is getting better and better each time I work her. She already knew so much of the lateral work in hand with the caveson, so just adding in the bit is another element. I also have thrown in a little shallow HP in the draw position walk only and she picked it up no problem! Can I reiterate how much I love working with this filly, how much easier she is all the way around and what joy she brings to me.

Happy Spring and Happy Riding all, hope those horses (Miro Walker) who are on the disabled list heal fully soon. Those humans on the DL (Kyra's mom and Abby) I hope all is well and you are back to riding and horses ASAP

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby Hot4Spots » Sun Apr 21, 2019 2:29 am

Baby steps: beastie has been at his new barn for seven weeks. After the week and a half of hysterics when led or under saddle, he has settled, and seems to be adjusting. We actually herded stray turkeys out of the arena on a few occasions. He still gives them, and the deer, a wary eye, but there have been no explosions. And so....last weekend we walked up the path to the driveway, down the driveway, and about two blocks down the road, un-ACEd. He was a bit tense, but remained in a flat-footed walk on a looped, but not loose rein. I told him he was a star, gave him some pats and walked back. Every time I ride him now, he offers, quietly, to leave the "safety" of the arena and head up the driveway. He was good about slowly passing bikes. I'm asking him to go a little further each time, and so far he hasn't started to rush the return as he used to before (at the barn where he had previously lived since he was three.). I am guardedly optimistic. Now, however, he's going to have a two week vacation while I have MY vacation - which includes Landrover Kentucky 3 day!! Even though he's walk only, he's too touchy to ask just anyone to ride, and my usual exercise rider is unavailable, so the BOs and other boarders will keep an eye on him. I've bagged up his feed and supplements, and they have promised to pet and talk to him so he doesn't feel abandoned. :D (Anyone else going to Lexington?)

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby piedmontfields » Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:22 am

That is a really fantastic update, Hots4! Have a great time in KY. I wish I could make the time to go (must do, as it is so close to me).

Just a random note: If you have not read a lot of Mark Rashid's work, it might be interesting to you for ideas on continuing to develop Mark's adjustment and confidence about environments. I was just re-reading some books this weekend and reminded of some very good basics for horse communication.

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby Hot4Spots » Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:17 am

Yes, I will have to re-read Mark Rashid. I do have most of his books.

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby StraightForward » Mon Apr 22, 2019 3:55 am

That sounds like good progress, H4S. Hope you have a great time in Kentucky! I'm sure he'll be fine while you're gone.

Ponichiwa and Khall, I hope my kiddo proves to be half as good as your two when she's ready to go. Our victory today was that she allowed her front feet up on the hoof jack for about 30 second each, so I could finally back her toes up properly. For most things she's pretty good, but it's taking a long time to get her foot manners. She was still aiming to cow-kick me with her left hind when I picked it up. Just about three months until it will be time to start expecting a little more adulting from her.

Today was Annabelle's first official day of being allowed to canter. I allowed a little canter the past week, since she was keeping it at an easy lope, and less than one circle. Her trot is looking pretty good and sound. Any unevenness seems to be more body stiffness/imbalance from being out of work, but she seems to be sound on her foot (at least in the bar/clip shoe). Next week she'll go into a bar shoe for one cycle, and then I'm hoping we can go back to barefoot. I tried her last night without Ace, and she was still a little too crazy, but if the weather warms up again, I think she might be OK. Even though she stays pretty nimble with 1cc of Ace, I'm not planning on climbing aboard until she can be reasonable without it (she is still on Reserpine).
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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby Moutaineer » Mon Apr 22, 2019 4:27 am

Chugging along here, making incremental progress, I think. Trainer is happy, at any rate. She had me working in my last lesson on refining and gaining complete control (hah!) of each footfall of the shoulder-in at the walk. Very interesting as it spills over into so much else--particularly the control of each step of the canter, which of course leads to better control for the changes... She's going to get me there soon, I think.

I tweaked Laddie's diet a bit and he's starting to pack on a bit more muscle and heft. We felt a bit spindly surrounded by the other big horses at the clinic last month. He's feeling pretty darned good and it quite proud of his good self, I have to say.

Walker is making progress on the butt-healing front. So far, he's being a really good boy about the whole performance, though we did draw the line when my vet said I could be scrubbing the wound off with a brush every five days--umm, no, John. I'd like to live a bit longer! His scraped-up legs have healed pretty well, with just a couple of areas still to close up, but with luck, it'll be dry enough that he can go out in his paddock within the next couple of weeks, which will make him a much happier boy. The snow has destroyed a huge amount of fencing though, so that's this week's project, if it stops raining.

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby Sue B » Mon Apr 22, 2019 3:29 pm

Between rain, sunrise Easter service and ds coming home at midnight from the prom, I skipped riding yesterday and napped on the couch instead. :P

I did, however, ride Friday and Saturday, playing around with 1) ground work and 2) different neck positions, on Rudy. He was high as a kite, absolutely goofy with the spring sillies but also well-behaved and capable of incredible focus! DH and I watched both boys tearing around their lock-off area (about 1/2 acre) bucking their fool heads off right before I set out to ride--he suggested lunging before getting on. :lol: That's why I did some ground work with a focus on him staying soft in the base of his neck. Turned out to be surprisingly easy to do, given that I hadn't done any of that since last year. If I'd had my whip with me, i think I could've got half steps too! Same with riding. Started my usual way, with lots of walking curvy lines, then ly, then TOH, until he could do it all while stretching down and out, then up and in a 2nd level frame. Did the same with trot and canter, except did si and hp eventually instead of ly and toh. Both days, no matter how goofy he was feeling, he placed his neck where ever I asked and stayed in front of my legs--Saturday better than Friday. Actually, Saturday he felt so good that I asked for a fc and got it.

20190420_172603  Rudy Easter 2019.jpg
After riding, still has Spring goofies.
20190420_172603 Rudy Easter 2019.jpg (48.56 KiB) Viewed 1151 times

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby khall » Wed Apr 24, 2019 5:37 pm

Way cool SueB!

SF you are so due for an easy sound young horse to work with! I hope too that your youngster turns out to be an easy safe fun filly to play with.

Moutaineer nice update all the way around except for the fencing!

Here doing some work when I can, Joplin is coming right along with her bridle education. Did a few steps of trot in hand with the bit and bridle no issue. I am just taking this time when I don't have help to get her understanding strength and education moving forward. I just adore her!
Rip is himself. He definitely is advancing, he is just way more challenging when it comes to the work. sigh

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby Ryeissa » Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:22 pm

I'm trucking along well with Riot. we are doing weekly lessons and clinics (well, we will be soon! The season finally starts!)
Half pass is getting much better....might not look different to the observer but i have less "hope and pray" it works and more true response and bend. Not a ton new, just the normal stuff- mainly dressage
Last edited by Ryeissa on Mon Apr 29, 2019 4:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby demi » Thu Apr 25, 2019 12:57 am

Things are going well with Rocky although I dont have anything especially interesting to report. I missed the last two weeks of lessons because of weather and company but the break was a relief because of other stuff going on. Ryeissa, my dog just had her eye out two weeks ago. She’s around 10 yrs old, too. She is doing great. We didnt have a prosthetic eye put in, the doc just took it out and sewed it shut. I took her to an ophthalmologist and he was just super.

Anyway, I may try to set some goals for the May and April goals progress thread. I need to get out the soloshot but it seems like we havent had more than three days in a row without rain, and then when we have a few dry days I have to mow because of all the rain. If i don’t keep everything mowed down, the weeds take over quickly. The pastures are really nice now, though, so I am not complaining. I also mow my trail paths which is time consuming, but I won’t ride in long grass because of the rattlers.

I will aim to get some video.

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby blob » Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:57 pm

After many months of careful work, physical diagnostics/help, and lots of progress, RP had a freak out after mounting yesterday. It was very similar to the incident back in November that launched me. And I'm feeling very disheartened. I was really starting to believe that was behind us and just an odd one-off incident.

This time, I luckily did not come off--heaving learned more about him, I reacted differently and that's probably what saved his panicked hopping from going into full on broncing. This time, I did nothing-- I didn't touch his mouth, i made sure my legs were off, and I only used my voice. It's a horrible feeling knowing that if you try to do anything the horse will flip out. But I knew in the moments he panicked around that if I'd tried to do the things I'd do on most horses I would be on the ground.

It also happened without warning like last time and he seemed totally normal leading up to it. He let me mount him with no problem, stood calmly. But just like last time when we took that first step suddenly he came unhinged--back humped, head up, hopping, spinning. And then once he was fine, he was fine.

Knowing/feeling like that is something that might occur on any given day with no warning and there is no real way for me to diffuse it is terrible discouraging. We'd made so much progress and now even getting on him to walk sounds unappealing. And I'm honestly not sure what next steps are.

In other news, MM and I are going to a show this weekend.

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby musical comedy » Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:15 pm

blob wrote: I was really starting to believe that was behind us and just an odd one-off incident.
While one-off incidents can happen with anything, my experience with horses is that once they have done something undesirable, it will happen again. I've owned quite a few horses, and each has had their 'thing'. I might go 2 years without it happening, and then under the right circumstances it does. This is what has made me a more fearful rider (yes, hard to admit to myself). I know what they are capable of doing, and I am always a bit anxious it might. Issues at mounting are especially dangerous. I think that is how Khall's trainer was killed? You are going to do what you want, which is fine. However, is this horse worth it?

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby exvet » Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:31 pm

I have to agree with MC on this one Blob. The stinker pony is a classic example. I am preparing to get back on him and just use him for trail but even so I know his launch to unseat me mode (he does this during mounting) is well entrenched and even at 17 will revisit me. She is absolutely right in that you have to ask yourself if it's worth it. I know this pony inside and out and can usually predict when he is 'in the mood' or not. Still at closing in on 56 I'm not sure I want to toast the ground again. Even at 13 hands he has a pretty powerful launch and over the 10 years I've owned him all the while getting to PSG and working on I1, he's still surprised me - 6 times being thrown, 4 times hitting the dirt (landed on my feet the other two). I'm going to take it one step at a time. If he lets me ride him again I'll probably decide that going forward as planned is worth it knowing that at any time he could unravel. If he doesn't let me from the get go, I'll probably just keep him as a ornament/pet. Despite backing this latest one (Junior) on my own without issue, I am more aware of my battle scars than I ever have been. It's odd because when my kids were young I really never thought of the possibility of being hurt and unable to care for them but with a geriatric mother who is has become so dependent on me, I realize that I can't afford to get hurt. Killed I'm worth more (arrangements made to care for her) but as an invalid the future takes on a financial horror I don't want to face.

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby blob » Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:47 pm

musical comedy wrote: However, is this horse worth it?


This is exactly the question I am asking myself and that I need to decide. This is not the same as a horse I've known for years suddenly having a moment. This is a horse that hasn't ever really been stable in the time I've had him, but also has not had much stability in his life.

And I agree that mounting is one of the worst times for bad behavior. for many years I started young horses, took on problem horses, etc and I was braver than I am now. But I had a bad accident with someone else's problem horse that made me entirely rethink some of what i'd believed before about any person's ability to manage certain situations.

The vet/dentist is coming on Wednesday for other reasons, I will talk to her.

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby StraightForward » Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:59 pm

Shoot Blob, I'm sorry RP acted up on you again. Tough to decide what to do in that situation. :(
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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby piedmontfields » Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:47 pm

"This is not the same as a horse I've known for years suddenly having a moment. This is a horse that hasn't ever really been stable in the time I've had him, but also has not had much stability in his life. "

Very wise words. Be deliberate and see what you learn from the dentist or other practitioners. I know it is hard not to give all horses time to improve---but we are not always in the position or lifestyle where we have all the time that it could take for modest improvement.

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby khall » Fri Apr 26, 2019 4:05 am

Blob there is no shame in not pursuing this horse. I have done this twice with 2 that I bred and were not safe. I ended up giving them both away.

If it helps at all one thing Cedar does when getting on the young ones early on is to step off in a lateral movement SI usually. The person on the head leading asks this. We did this while I was just laying over Joplin not sitting on her and then again while sitting and stepping off first thing. Cedar gets on a bunch of young horses at the farm, this is how they do the backing so the horse is less likely to explode when feeling the weight of the rider and first moving off.

MC yes Mark was killed while mounting a known problem horse. The horse exploded even before Mark got seated throwing him violently. Working with such horses IMO is just not worth it. Too many good ones out there to ride to mess with such bad problems.

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby demi » Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:58 pm

I didnt know that was how Mark died. That’s a sobering thought.

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby Chisamba » Fri Apr 26, 2019 1:31 pm

I wrote a response, deleted it, but I am going to try for a calmer response.

I stopped riding Deneb. I had worked with her for 4 years before I gave up. I think believing that no matter how much I taught her, there was always going to be a high likelyhood that she could be dangerous was the deciding factor for me .

I too had the reputation for being the person to take problem horses to. It's a shitty reputation to have. Think of the famous willing trainable horses you miss out on because there are lots of those that need good owners too..

Just a thought.

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby Josette » Fri Apr 26, 2019 2:17 pm

Chisamba - I don't see that as a s***** reputation but rather one of a SMALL percentage of horse people who are gifted to work with damaged horses. I think there are very few trainers who would even care enough to try to save such horses. The sad reality is when one acknowledges that some cannot be rehabilitated or saved. When the safety / life of the rider or horse is at stake it is not worth the risk. What khall described is terrible. Blob - I am sorry to hear you may be in a tough decision here.

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby demi » Fri Apr 26, 2019 2:33 pm

This is my third response. I deleted the other two. I am done riding Emma. I just now made the decision. It’s a complex thing with difficult horses. Each case is different. Em is quite happy in her life right now. She doesn’t care if I ever ride her again. The riding part is my issue. At the moment she is calling me because the other two horses are out and she is reminding me that she needs to go out too!! But first she needs her fly boots, and mask, and sheet, and spray, and lotion on her mane and dock.

I am going to mow trails today before I ride Rocky. After reading the medium trot thread, I realize that Rocky just needs more strength for the dressage work. I don’t school dressage on the trails, but I am going to start asking her to carry herself in the kind of frame I ask for in the arena. It isn’t an advanced frame, but still, she can only keep it for about 20 minutes before she wants to drop on the forehand. I think the hills and trail work in a frame will help. We shall see. I’ll take videos in the arena tomorrow and then compare after a couple of months of the new trail approach. I plan to alternate trail and arena every other ride.

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby Ryeissa » Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:30 pm

Hugs to everyone making these tough transitions.....

I am not the right person to work through these things so I totally understand. I can work with a very sensitive horse but not one that explodes. its totally 200% not worth it and I have enough stress in my life and I don't have unlimited resources to board a problem horse

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby Sue B » Fri Apr 26, 2019 4:31 pm

Blob, I am so sorry for your troubles with RP. My horse, Scotty, did a form of that well into his teens; the difference being that I learned to control his outbursts. He was 17.1hh so when he'd blow up it was indeed rather frightening. Add into it that he once fractured my femoral neck by bucking me off during a "Spring Fling". :lol: After Scotty, I decided never to rehab another horse...ever. Scotty eventually became a wonderful, loyal, trust-worthy animal but I decided the risk I placed myself in rehabbing him probably was not worth it. So now I only have horses I started myself. Even so, I am currently mulling over selling Tio, who broke my back by slamming me into the ground with a celebratory buck--this from a horse who "doesn't buck under saddle" but has a heck of a buck on the lunge. I broke him myself, never bucked but did do little pigroot-type hops now and then. A couple weeks before I came off, I was galloping him through the hay field next door with no issue whatsoever, so stuff can happen I guess. I think about selling him only because I still worry he'll dump me again and I'm not sure how much more this ol' body can take. You have some tough choices ahead.

I rode both dingbats yesterday in the glorious evening sunshine and I think it went well. This time I remembered to video but have not had time to review (or even to check if the vid worked) the footage. Tio, especially, was feeling snarky and somewhat uncooperative in part because the neighbor's mares were out buck-farting in the pasture bordering the arena. I told him to use that energy to move out and show off and eventually he did. :D I totally empathize with khall and her Rip--he and Tio are indeed brothers in temperament. Tomorrow I am taking Tio to a clinic of sorts. :shock:

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Re: March & April Goals and Progress

Postby Chisamba » Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:19 pm

Did we talk about miscues here? how if you do something often enough unintentionally it can become a cue or aid?

Kimba was done with her ride, standing on a lose rein, and i ran the reins through my gloved hands, it made the slightest shwoosh noise and she trotted off! so i started to experiment with running the rein over my hands and she did it again and again. I spent an extra twenty minutes reminding her that the aid to go is leg or whip, not shwoosh sounds as i shorten the reins.


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