Saturday, November 24, 2012

I love My Crazy Paint Horse!!!!

My Trainer...Not so Much!

I'm kidding, of course, about my trainer.  I really just hate it when he is right, which is pretty much all the time.

I finally got off work about 12:30 and headed home to hook up my trailer, called my trainer/friend, Jay and told him I'd be ready in an hour.  Promptly managed to dent the front fender on Toms brand new pick up trying to squeeze my way out of the pasture gate and past the semi that was parked in front of it.  Backed the trailer back into the pasture and called Jay to come and pick Trax and I up.

Of course in between that came the call to Tom to tell him what I had done.  A conversation we won't bother repeating here as we like to keep this G-rated.  But it ended with me promising to pay to get it fixed and lots and lots of, "I'm so sorry"  and "Its just a little dent"

Anyway, we got to the arena, Jay was working his horse, I did some ground work with Trax.  He was not near as grumpy as I expected (he had even been easy to catch) and was actually quite soft on the ground.

I put the snaffle on him, mounted up and we did some lateral bends which took about fifty spins before he would stand still, but once he did several times, we did a walking lap around the arena. then I switched to the hackamore.  We did two laps like that, then Jay saw what Trax was wearing....the conversation went something like this.

"What is that crap on his face?"

"Its what we are using today, leave me alone" (hurt feelings face)

"Why are you using that? What is it that he does better with that?"


So I showed him a few things, and he said, "What he does has nothing to do with the bit and everything to do with you..  Go put your snaffle back on and I will prove it to you."

So I stuck my tongue out at him in a purely adult manner, and grudgingly put the snaffle back on Trax.

Since Trax wants to move his feet when I ask him to bend laterally, Jay decided that we would not ask him to stand still but continue to ask him to move his feet.   The exercise went like this.

Walk 2 steps, pick up on the right rein, bump with the right heel, full circle, take 2 steps, left rein, bump with the left heel, and back and forth for about 15 min.  When he started trying to stop we pushed him a little harder. Then we switched to 1/2 turns so we did s-shapes all the way around the arena.   Pretty soon Trax was moving with a low head (instead of his usual straight up) and was soft in every turn.  I was able to sit still ask him to drop his head with both reins, and then back him up, IN A SNAFFLE! (not one of his strong points)

Next exercise was to ride him up to the wall and face it. Then with some work ask him to move off my leg to the side.  So it was lateral flex to the right without motion, then bump with the heel to get motion ride out of it to the middle of the arena, pick up the right rein bump with the heel, turn him back towards the wall. Ride up to wall, slight pick up on right rein, bump with my right let and ask for leg yield.  Two steps to the side, take that as good, relax, then ask for two rein softness, as soon as he gave it, back up three steps and then rest.

Then we repeated to the left. The hardest part was when it came to the leg yield, keeping him straight, but I have found that I can actually move his hind end quite nicely with my heel, so now the trick is for me to let go of my natural tendency to try to move him with my hands. 

He really did very well.  After that we worked with him moving a big rubber ball around, which he really didn't care for.  However we did get him to actually move it a couple of times and so we let it go at that.  it was kind of fun doing that because Jay and his horse Poncho would get it going and then we would come up behind and take a turn.  It was cool watching Poncho push that thing all over the arena.

We did a couple of trips over the bridge, which was nothing to Trax.

Ok so after we were done, we took a couple of pics, but all we had was my cell.

 Forward motion (never an issue)  nice loose rein, terrible quality pics

 Backing up.  Pretty nice for him, although hard to tell with the picture quality

 Lateral to the right- he was kind of fighting me on that one. 

 lateral to the left- look how loose my left rein is. This was a first for him. 

 Another terrible picture but you can see that my body is saying stop and Trax is totally ignoring me.  It took a one rein stop to get him to oblige. 

 We decided to end with something he does very best of all.  Go forward over anything. 

 Taaa Daaa!

 Jay and his most awesome horse Poncho,  Talk about a horse who is
soft and responsive. Jay can do just about anything on this big guy.

All in all it was an awesome ride with a nice lesson that I had not even known I was going to get.  Trax did so well, even Jay said so.   I heard alot of , "Where are your hands?" because they are rarely where they are supposed to be. When I can keep them in the right spot and keep my body relaxed, my horse turns into someone completely different.  Which takes me right back to one of the things I learned from my experience with Brickster.  "If I think I need a better horse, the problem is me, not the horse."  

The ride was yesterday, Friday.  Today we put up 9 tons of hay cubes and almost got the pens done. With any luck I can get my paperwork done tonight, the pens finished in the morning and another ride tomorrow! 

(keeping all my body parts crossed!)


  1. I'm glad you had a good lesson! And I love the lessons our horses teach us :)

  2. Haha I hear that too all the time about my hands being inthe wrong spot. And I agree if the horse does something wrong its ussually what we asked for... annoying, lol