Jennifer, did you see the article about Orphan Colts in the Equis magazine recently? I think it was April or May.
How are things going?
I posted some videos on YOUTube under CShirleyC if you want to take a llook at how Cash and I are doing. We are finally moving forward again. It has been a long while and I was getting worried but persevere we did. We tried lots of things but quitting was just not an option.
Hello Jennifer, I just want to tell you how happy I am that you and Oliver are making so much progress. Don't let the 'nay sayers' get you down, you're doing what works for you and Oliver...and being successful with it. Truthfully, from what you've posted/blogged, it sounds all 'spot on' to me. Good on ya girl!
Sometimes I wonder if Steve is good for you personally.
It is the HORSE who is the proper judge of how well you are doing. All my riding life I've been dissed by professionals saying I did not know what I was doing, only I was the one with the horse I could put anyone, a horse I had gotten just green-broke and did the rest of the training myself. He was so good people thought I could not ride.
I long ago gave up on getting approval from professionals. Keep going, don't let a pesky pro diss you out of your joy. You just got a different relationship going with your horse.
Yeah, I'm also on the Forum using my own name and the same photo of Mia.
So long Oliver is not 1) opening his mouth, 2) not slinging his head up, 3) not diving his head down and yanking the rein out of your hand, or 4) not tossing his head up and down, you are probably doing OK with the bit. The proper response to all of these, at your stage of riding and well into the future, is to move your hands forward until Oliver stops doing the above, while gently urging with your legs. Don't worry it will come, especially since you care about Oliver's comfort and are doing all you can to learn to ride.
I am trying to find a bit that Mia will consent to, the problem is that at her age she has less room in her mouth. During my experiments I had all of the above problems, and each time I moved my hands forward just like I just told you. I finally found a bit she seems to be happier with, but I have to use really light contact.
Don't listen to most people about your horse, they are not there and they don't know what you've been through with him. Steve has trained him well enough to be your lesson horse. Listen to Oliver first, Steve second, and also some of the people here for a different viewpoint. Bitless can be fun, but you have plenty of time to try it later.
Well you are special! I'm sure at least your horses tell you that every day...probably several times a day.
Welcome to the over 50 group. It sounds old by past generaton standards but it can be a great decade to 60. Take care!
I also give the horses the benefit of the doubt. At least the first time or two, then I work on figuring out what I'm doing wrong (and its usually my fault.)
I also apologize to the horses I handle and ride.
So good to have you back and sharing your knowledge.
Hey Jennifer--remember you said Oliver would just bite at your leg when you tried to ride him. Just read a book by a trainer (dressage) of many decades. He commented that young horses often bite at the riders leg before the horse figures out what the leg aid means. It isn't just you!
This is probably why English riders often start with the lunge and teach the voice commands (should be easy with the clicker.) That way the horse already understands what WALK means (& trot, canter (hup)) before we get up on the horse's back.
I noticed on the video you mentioned--Oliver was walking past Toby and it looked like Oliver was thinking of nipping Toby--but he didn't because he was working for you. Good job woman!!!
PS - it's great that your trainer takes Oliver on trail rides 4 times per week - that's wonderful! Take a look at agility courses for dogs, and trail courses for horses, to change up Oliver's training situation and make his work more challenging for both of you.
There are no dumb questions! If Oliver was a child I'd have a fit about the butter creams, but Oliver's teeth and chemistry are different from humans', and his teeth only need to last him about 30 years, rather than 90. I use sugar all the time, and it's straight sugar. I think whatever works for you is fine.
I think it's time to read Shawna's book all lthe way through again. I do that with a lot of things - I take away the big picture the first time, but start to find the detail work the second or third time through. Referring to specific chapters works, but sometimes we miss the preceding work by doing that.
It's hard to not be affected by our animals - they have pulled and pushed me through some terrible times, and I am very connected to them, and you are clearly the same. That's a double-edged sword, as caring deeply about anything makes us more vulnerable. I think that developing the relationships and growing together is worth the tough times!
It's Shawna Karrasch, and "On Target Training". Maybe that's the book you've read, but it's the right one. Try little horse crunchies (I use sugar cubes, they're cheap and easy to get, and easy to keep in your pocket or a fanny pack) instead of big carrots and apples. The Spanish Riding School uses sugar cubes, so they're good enough for me.
Easy horses may make good riders, but the hard horses are what turn a person into a horseman (or horsewoman, don't you wish they'd make up their minds?). Before my first difficult horse I thought I knew what I was doing, it was my crazy mare that showed me I didn't and started me on the road to being an affective horseman.
It is really hard, though, when your difficult horse comes in the first few years!
Stay safe dear.
Hi I think you have a wonderful prospective. I'm 39, and have been spoiled for most of my life I have had a relationship with horses. I left for 11 years (long story-- had to) but when I finally got a horse again (Oct. 26/08) I realized it wasn't the ridding/jogging, compition racing- showing that I missed nearly as much as I thought.. it was what you are developing with your horses... this is what I missed, the comunication, the time spent being part of Che's herd... creating a family/herd with him and my human family... the togetherness of the whole experience... My horse drives this point home each day since he only allowes my family and in particular my husband and myself to touch or work with him... he only wants those closes and nearest and dearest to him... his herd... no others are welcome... I think many people need to take a step back and think about things from their horses perspective and from the herd mentality like you have. Good luck. Deb