Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Just when you think you know......

Saturday morning in the "Arena"
Just when you think you know your horse and what he is going to do he completely blows your mind by doing something you never saw coming!

Saturday morning we took Trax and Killian down to my friend arena (which is badly in need of some dragging) so that Trax and I could work on stopping and Killian could just get some exercise.  Tom went along to operate the camera. 

I learned a very valuable lesson that day!  If you are going to let a man (a very non-techno man) operate the camera, ya better show him how first!  I was really hoping for a ton of pictures, so I could pull a few good ones out, and trash the bad ones.  He took about 10 and none of them are very good.  I can't blame him though, after all he is just a mere male! lol

This is the fastest we got Killian to go.  Not much exercise but
probably for the best considering the condition of his hooves.
The plan for getting Killian some serious exercise kind of fell by the way side.  His feet are just falling apart, hoof wall chipping away in large chunks. So taking it easy on him was the best plan.  Plus Simon fell off of him a few months back and has been a little nervous ever since. He is a big horse and it is a long drop!  I have a trimmer coming Friday to see if we can give Killian some relief, but between the drought and poor condition of his hooves when we got him 6 months ago, I don't know what can be done.  I had the same problem with Trax too when we got him. But his "bad areas" are almost completely grown out now and his hooves are Strong and healthy.  Killian has good strong hoof wall about 1/2 way down but the below that is dry, rippled, and cracked.

Ah but I digress.  This is supposed to be about the ride and Trax and his bag of tricks!

As you can see by this picture, Where I am asking for a stop my timing is completely off.  I believe that timing is my biggest problem with him.  I guess I need a coach who can watch me and say, "now" so I can learn how the right time feels.  To me it seems as though he is trying to give it to me, but if I ask when he is coming down on his front, it is a jarring stop, uncomfortable for us all.  I need to ask for it when his weight is forward, legs out behind so he can pull those feet up underneath and stop.
There are 3 big paint horses that live where we were riding.  They thought the whole thing was quite interesting as you can see.  These horses are huge!  I guess the owner uses them for polo.
This stop was slightly better, but again I think my timing was a little off.  Also I can see that his head is going up when it needs to go down.  Perhaps this is a by product of his formet life as a barrel horse and roping horse. Ride really fast and stop really hard, head high, no one cares. Sometimes I wonder if it seems like he is trying to give it to me only because it is less of a fight with the hackamore more than it was with the snaffle.

Not a very good picture of backing up.  It was the first time of the morning and he always fights a little the first time.  He had just dropped his head in this picture. Hmmmmm, I see where part of my problem is now. Note where my hands are int he picture above.  I am pulling up high and his head is up high.  I get a lot of Larry Trocha (reining/cutting horse trainer) DVDs and newsletters.  He talks alot of muscle memory, I can see I have an issue with this.  Perhaps if I can lower my hands when I ask for that sop, AND ask at the right time I can get a nice sliding stop out of him.

Now comes the "Bag of tricks" part.  Right after this picture was taken, I decided to do a barrel pattern on him. We were not at full speed by any means, but man he turns so sharp it is almost scary for me!  We did not have any barrels out there, so we just used imaginary ones.  We did the first turn just fine, went to the second (over by this same fence line) and instead of making the full turn he went about half way and then started to BUCK!!! He got in about 4 good ones before I get his head back up.  He did not dump me, I doubt he was trying that hard, I have seen him really buck and he could easily face plant me if he wanted too!  I was so blown away!  He has never really done that before.  One crow hop once when he was mad.  I only wish Tom had been ready at the camera.  Would have made some great pics for sure!

So of course we had to do a few more patterns. He did not try it again, and to this day I have no clue as to why.  The bugs were terrible that day so maybe he got stung, maybe the pattern triggered some bad memories, maybe it was the rabbit that ran out right before....I really just don't know.  This picture is of the end of the final run.  I am sure that in his day he was a great barrel horse.  I would love to have someone who runs barrels take him out so I could see what he can really do. 

This is where Simon and I were playing follow the leader.  Doesn't Killian remind you of Eeyore, from Winnie the Pooh?  "Oh   my, I   can't   go   very   fast,   I   can't   believe   you   are   making   me   do   this"

I had to cut the ride short, as Tom had to go and we only had one vehicle.  Hopefully this week I can get some more time in and see what Trax's issue really was.

Take care everyone.

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