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Rodeo, Again

Last year when we went to the kids first rodeo they loved it. We found a out about more coming up the next summer and I told them we could go. The next summer came around, things changed, we lost Onna, but the rodeos were still coming up. The Goblin Child found out about them and still really wanted to go. I told her we’d try.

Coyote isn’t Onna. 8 has been riding him, while being led. T.G.C. has been getting started on him, trying to get used to him after riding her own horse. i have a lot more I want to say but don’t seem to be getting around to writing it. So here are the videos. It wasn’t great. We all survived. I did not get to work with Rusty the way I wanted. There was no way we could have done it without Tanna and Jerry. They were life savers. We are so grateful to Tanna for coming along and always appreciate all the help she gives us.

They scared me half to death here loping back!

 

 

 

I kept watching not through the phone and it would drift down. I’d look back at it and realize I was filming dirt and get aimed again then back to the dirt. Oops.

 

The End Of A Challenge

Over on Rusty’s page I’ve spent the last few weeks playing with all the strange ways I could think of to get on my horse. No particular reason. Wanted something fun to do and I had seen a couple of ways that looked cool to try. Turned out I didn’t, couldn’t, do those but did come up with a few others. Rusty was a willing and enthusiastic participant who takes my strange ways in stride.

We worked on lots of little thing and put them together into a couple of big things. I can’t begin to say how proud I am of him and what a fun and enlightening trip training him has been. Not just this part but all of it. Normal horse training drives me insane now. When I see people round penning and desensitizing horses, the pointlessness of it nearly makes my head explode. Desensitizing in my biggest pet peeve at the moment. Why in the world would someone chase a horse around until they get tired enough to accept what ever you are trying to force on them when you could, without ever making the horse scared in the first place, show them how fun it is to chase and play with things they once considered scary?

No, Rusty is not perfect. Far from it really ๐Ÿ˜‰ But he is the perfect example of clicker training and it’s effectiveness. Using traditional, natural horsemanship methods, I got exactly nowhere with him. He still ran me over. He still bounced off the end of the rope.

Now he works off a rope most of the time. He’s nipped my fingers a few times being over enthusiastic for food but has not crashed into me once. He now comes when called, I can’t even begin to think of the vocal cues he knows, walk, trot, canter, whoa, bow, lie down, step big (Spanish walk), and the list goes on. Not to mention being light and responsive to ride.

A quick intro to this video turned into a bit of a rant. But anyway, here is the end result of our little training exploration. All put together into one short video.

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Self Loading

I’ve been indulging in an in depth exploration of all the weird and unusual ways I can think of to get on my horses. Rusty in particular. I wanted to share a couple of my favorite ones here! These are long and involved and complicated, obviously not ones that would, probably, be used everyday.

The benefits of teaching such in-depth skills is well hidden in the details. I achieve control well beyond the basic. My horses get used to all sorts of strange things. They also enjoy the work and want to come play. Quite the opposite of horse who are drilled and “desensitized” (I’m coming to hate that word and all that it implies). Hope you enjoy!

 

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Show and Tell, Again

This time she took her horse. The lovely Princess Onna stood nicely as all the preschool children petted her nose and tried desperately to feed her treats. The whole thing was a little stressful though and she couldn’t handle eating too. The wind had picked up bowing a blizzard in and was whipping through the parking lot where we unloaded, stirring dust up into our faces. Princess Onna stood like the princess she is carefully not smashing any small children.

Horse Stuff

Some horse friends an I got together and did a thing. We had a blast doing it and it’s so fun to have friends from all over the world. There is also the couple from the north of England who farm. A mother from Canada. A young girl from Slovakia. And many others but it was fun to have people from two continents at least get together on a project. Showing off our horses and letting people know that you don’t need force and macho idiocy to train a horse.

 

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A Day Of Many Firsts

Putting this up here for mom real quick so she, and anyone else who’s interested, can see the videos. We hauled the horses over to a friends indoor arena to ride with our good friend Paula who we don’t see nearly enough. I wanted to try Rusty somewhere besides home and start getting him used to being hauled.

The morning started out warm, as it was supposed to. We spent the morning playing outside and getting the horse stuff loaded. Ate lunch came back out and it had gotten cold, as it was supposed to. We all squeezed into the cab of the pickup and dropped my long suffering husband off so he could put in a couple of hours of work in town.

At the arena I decided there was no way I was pulling down to the arena, it didn’t look like we’d ever be able to get back out. We parked on the gravel far far away from the arena and started to climb out of the pickup. It was cold and windy. The horses were crazed the children were under foot. Paula had arrived by then and was the only reason we were able to accomplish it at all. She took the leads of two horses loaded with children and I followed with Rusty, helmets, hats, gloves, and treat bags.

There is a pen that needs to be gotten through on the way to the arena and it had horses in it. Paula gave me the other two to lead through while she kept the horses off of us. I abandoned my other baggage and concentrated on getting a crazed Rusty and two other enthusiastic horses through two gates and away from the other curious horses. We all lived.

In the arena Rusty immediately made it clear that he was NOT going to stand tied. Not without choking us on clouds of dust. Trying to get the children ready to ride for real, I forgot those pesky helmets earlier in the rush to get horses saddled before we froze, and into the arena where they could hopefully take care of them selves was difficult. Fortunately, once again, Paula took care of everyone and got the job done.

We had a good ride once everything got settled. 8 rode Coyote all by himself! I was so proud of both of them! The Goblin Child was a little pouty and wouldn’t really try to get Onna to go away from me but she still did pretty good. It was the same jumbled, mad rush to get back to the pickup. The kids were cold and tired and grouchy. It was colder and windier. Once everything was loaded, they hopped right in so nicely, good horses, the kids fell asleep almost immediately. It was a great ride and I for one can’t wait to do it again!

Little Horsemen

Those kids, I’m just so proud of them. They are getting to be such good riders. When I picked The Goblin Child up from the bus yesterday she really wanted to go ride. Who am I to say no to that? It was getting late though, starting to cool off, and saddling takes so long, so they got on bareback.

 

 

Of course they wanted to trot.

Proud Parent Moments

It ranks right up there with taking their first steps. I am so excited that I was able to get it on video! The Goblin Child opened her first gate horseback! She had been watching us, Coyote andย  I, do it and we had talked about how she would be able to someday. We had ridden through this gate yesterday and I told he it was an easy one to unlatch, in one way really hard because it’s in a corner though.

We got to go sort the bulls out of the cows today. She got to come along on Princess Onna. Off the lead rope even! She’s been doing so good I thought we could try it. Princess Onna always got overly excited when she and Tanna moved cows together so I was hesitant to let he try it on her own. But she’s been good about it with The Goblin Child so they got to go loose today.

After doing a wonderful job of helping, while poor 8 watched from the four wheeler, she wanted to go for a ride. We went up the lane to go out in the pasture. She walked ahead of us to the gate declaring her intent. I was thrilled to let her try and hurried to get my camera ready. It took a few tries to get lined up and bent into that corner but she stuck with it and together they managed to get it! What very good girls, the both of them.

 

Lesson Ponies

Poor Coyote, he never thought he’d see the day. He’s taking it well though. We had invited Cade and Ava last summer to come ride with us when ever they could so next summer they could come along to any horse stuff we do. Cade has come once but Ava has been making a real effort and is doing wonderfully. Coyote has also been doing wonderfully, far better than I would have expected, as her lesson horse. Like Princess Onna does with The Goblin Child, he goes from his usual hot fiery Morgan to low headed and plodding.

The Goblin Child however does the opposite. The first few rides together she was pretty proud of herself zipping all around and showing off. Princess Onna takes that pretty well but even she has her limits.

 

I have been doing some clicker training with Onna though. I think it may be the perfect way to train a kids horse to get them used to and responding the the very different aids a child gives. Anyway, she is fairly well trained to come running to me because I am the one bearing treats. So any time there’s an issue she runs to me instead of taking off with her rotten little cargo.

 

The two of them on their horses are so incredibly cute. I love watching them ride around together.

 

Last time Ava was here to ride someone was being more than a little rotten and complaining because Onna wouldn’t go enough for her. So she got off and pouted and I got to go ride! Ava and I went out around the corn fields and had a very nice long ride. Baa came with and I thought it was going to kill her. She survived though. Not sure if that’s good or bad ๐Ÿ˜‰

Category: Family, Horses  2 Comments