Thursday, October 8, 2009

10-07-09 Update BIG NEWS!

Though I had been working on saddling ace for the last month or so, he was still terrified of the saddle. Per Clinton Anderson's advice from his training segments on RFD-TV with Cider, he recommended that if a horse is scared of the saddle, leave them in a safe pen with it on for several hours until they realize it is not going to eat them. So for three days in a row, I saddled him after he finished eating in the round pen, removed the stirrups (horses can break their jaw if they reach back and try to play with the stirrups and get their lower jaw hooked. Even if you are leaving your horse tied for even a short amount of time with the saddle on, remove or tie up the stirrups so they cannot reach them.) and turned him out with supervision. At first he was very scared, but after about an hour he calmed down and relaxed. I removed the saddle after 4-5 hours so his back could breathe and he could have some relief. (I NEVER recommend leaving the saddle on unattended, or on overnight. That's just cruel, they need to be able to lay down, relax and just be a horse.) I repeated this for three days, and worked on other ground control exercises when the saddle wasn't on. Tuesday, Oct 5th I tied him up and saddled him. He is still somewhat nervous when that saddle goes on and comes off, but he started really relaxing right after he was cinched up. I sacked him out really good with several different objects and he was still nice and calm so I started climbing on him, sitting on him, and generally just getting him used to me being above him. He was fine with it, so I reviewed the cues I taught him for saddle work and climbed aboard. He was AWESOME. All I did the first day was ask him to move his shoulders and hips over, and started him backing. He was super calm so after riding him for about 10 minutes I hopped off and ending it on a good note. NO BUCKING!!!

Yesterday, after I got home from college, I sacked him out good again and went ahead and saddled him up. This time I asked him walk forward after we reviewed moving hips and shoulders over. Surprisingly he walked right off. Many horses get their feet stuck at first, and are scared to step forward, but he walked right off. We walked all over and worked on the pivots, he acted like a 30 year old plug, not a 3 yo stallion lol.

I will post pics today, and hopefully video I haven't gotten any yet.

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