Friday, June 18, 2010

Riding bareback, old trails and that darn trailer loading thing

My terrible posture at the endurance ride - I was trying to stop for the photographer (which explains my feet being at his shoulder and my slump). But I still bought a coffee cup with this on it.


I think I'll take the last one first. Trailer loading.

Cibolo and I worked on this today. We're sorta stuck. He gets in, but not far enough. When someone is at the window it seems like it helps - at least it did on our way home from Sunday's day on the trails. (more on that in a minute).

I guess if I'm measuring progress in millimeters, we are progressing. He got in. He stayed in. He's still fretting over the divider.

But he just. Won't. Move. In.

Now I'm putting pressure on the back end. I try to remember to be the post. Keep the pressure on.

Don't get me wrong, if I have to load him, I can. It's forceful and direct. But I keep feeling like I can fix this with this approach. But to be honest, I'm fighting off that old thinking. That "he's disrespecting me" thing.

I know when this horse blows me off. I can read it. I know when I have to regain his focus.It happened today, the flies were pestering him, he was miserable and he wouldn't listen. I got his attention quick because he was encrouching on my safe space unconsciously. I raised my intensity and he woke up.

This doesn't feel like that. It really feels like something else is going on.

Either that, or I'm being snowed. But so far everything I learned at that clinic has been dead on. So I'm going to keep trying.


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I headed out to the barn today. Life is a little stressful and I needed my therapists, Cibolo and Lily.

I hobbled out and got Cibolo. This healing boot is not so great for paddocks. Luckily his resistance was minor and even that poor attitude really about the flies. They have gone into overdrive.

I grabbed my bareback pad and rode in the round pen for a good 30 minutes. I want to learn to trot well on bareback. Cibolo did well standing next to the railing (we have been working on standing next to things so I can mount), and was a good partner as I struggled to find my bareback seat. It was not pretty. Hopefully it'll improve or at least no one will witness it. And my dismount works fine - I land on my left foot. Voila! Pain free!

Then we did the trailer thang (see above). Then it was hay for my horselets and fly spray. I doused Cibolo and Lily with fly spray and organized a little.


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Last Sunday, before I discovered that I was broken, we went on a trail ride at our old barn. Just driving up to the place brought back so many memories. The kids would like me to move the horses back there, but I really am happy where we are. It's a shmidge closer, and the trails through the neighborhood are great, my husband gets along well with everyone there, the drama factor is low.

But I miss the lights, the big arena and the long trails. I miss the nice stalls and pens, the lack of hot wire.

Cibolo rode like a champ, spooking only at a vine on the side of the trail. Must have looked carnivorous.

I hope for another ride on Sunday, we shall see...

13 comments:

Arabians;Wild At Heart!! said...

How I got my balance bareback is i trotted around one barrel for a long time and thats helps a lot because you have to find your center or you'll fall off and hit the barrel!! (i learned the hard way) ;) haha but that helped me a lot and now i'm better bareback than in the saddle!! and let me tell you cantering is so much fun when you get there!! :) good luck

Arabians;Wild At Heart!! said...

wow that other comment was long!! :/ sorry!?!?!?! :)

AareneX said...

I hope your foot heals up quickly!

jacksonsgrrl said...

Flies? OVERDRIVE? I KILLED 34 in my kitchen today! On my rest breaks, I went on a search for the dead body where they must be coming from! For REAL! I was convinced something, or someone had expired here in my 1,100ft. house. I am in serious awe. I am almost ready to duct tape the dog door shut! I have never in five years of living in this house with the same dog door had this kind of experience. Going out to Pipe Creek in the AM to make sure Jackson is alive, and make sure that he hasn't been carted off by a fly cartel. Also to try out his new Happy Bit. I hope it makes him really happy. I put it in my mouth this AM (brand new) and didn't detect a bit of Apple taste. NADA. It must be particular to the equine. Let's hope so for that price... So if my horse is still present, I may post on something. LIKE KILLING 34 FLIES IN MY KITCHEN TODAY. Oh. I might also mention, it wasn't easy. I'm not a very good swat and those suckers can MOVE! I'm seriously going to buy strips, and be all trashy in my house with like 20 (at least) in the kitchen alone....

Kate said...

Should you hold off on the trailer loading thing until your foot is better, so you're more mobile?

Our Lily and our Maisie were both like your guy - I don't need to use the respect/disrespect way of looking at things, but if he isn't afraid and won't go any further in, you may want to explore ways of keeping the feet moving - may require an assistant - if the feet are moving he has to put them someplace and when he chooses the trailer, that's the solution! Keeping the feet moving isn't using force or "making" them get in, it's just quietly keeping the feet moving. When I worked on this issue with Mark Rashid at a clinic, he stood behind us at a distance and took a handful of small pebbles and lobbed them one at a time - not hard but just enough to cause the horse to move its feet - but at the exact moment the horse stopped moving. It does require some timing so the pebble toss is exactly connected to the feet stopping. That is, your assistant has to pay attention and do it right. No pebbles as long as the feet are moving even just a little or side to side. The horse handler's job is to keep the head pointed into the trailer (usually from inside to start).

Our trailer loading issue was solved in a single session and has never been a problem since.

Good luck, but like I said, it may better be done when you're able to move a little better.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Nothing can keep you off a horse. You know, your comment about your therapists made me realize what my biggest issue is with my neighbors always hovering around the perimeter of my horse paddock. I can't just talk to my horses about my lousy day or absorb their warm and calm energy to relax or get silly and play games with them. It's like having paparazzi sitting in on a real therapy session while you are on the psychiatrist's couch. Keep concentrating on those one-legged dismounts. I don't want you to lose your balance. I've done that. I get my confidence up, stop paying attention, and next thing I know I'm on my rear in the dirt with a horse standing over me telling me I'm an idiot.

Lynn Brooks said...

Sorry to hear about your foot. Love your blog! Was wondering if the boots you bought were working well? Did you use them on the endurance ride? I have a horse that needs them and I'm trying to decide which brand, any input would be appreciated.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

I have that problem with Scout. He'll step in with his front feet and streeeeeeetttcccccchhhhhh all the way to the feeder for the treats. If I have a helper, which is rare, a few light whip taps on the butt urge him in all the way. I am in the process of training Yalla! with a hired horse trainer. She's like her mother and won't have anything to do with loading. Next, we'll work on Scout.

Bareback riding is great for learning balance. That's what I do most of the time nowadays because I am too lazy to clean my saddles. ;P

Leah Fry said...

I was thinking maybe you should be being careful with that foot as well! You aren't exactly as mobile as you may need to be.

Katharine Swan said...

I can totally relate to what you said about trotting bareback! It feels very precarious to me too, and I know it ain't pretty! Plus, Panama is small and fairly slap-sided, so you don't have the same margin of error you would have on a rounder horse -- once you start to slip, you're gone, no time to hike yourself back up!

Beth said...

Just keep riding bareback and the balance will come. Looks like you are doing great!

Funder said...

I think the secret to being a good horsewoman is learning when to insist and when to back off and let the horse figure it out. I'm not perfect at it, but I'm working on it, and it sounds like you are too. Y'all will get there.

Grats on trotting bareback! I'm not that brave, not with Dixie.

Cara said...

Janow is very difficult to load unless he can stand kitty-corner. Then, he is easy. He is not saying
"Take a hike, Dirtbag!"
He is saying
"I prefer it a different way."

If he can stand kitty-corner, you just show him the door and get out of the way.