Monday, June 18, 2018

Why I only have one horse

In my previous post I mentioned that I only have one horse to ride.  Well there are reasons for that. 

1. I sent Killian off to a potential new owner.  He is on an 8 week lease with an option to buy.  So far it is working out well for everyone and it is my hope he has found his perfect person.  If not, he can come back and I will just keep him with me. 

2. Melody is out of commission.  She recently was in a pasture with a new horse who promptly claimed ownership to Trax, and kicked the crap out of my mare.  She has a hairline fracture and is 6 weeks in to her 90 day rehab process.  It is truly killing me not to be able to ride her.  The mare that did the kicking didn't stay long.  She was a horse I was trying out.  It ended up not being a good fit. 

I am, however enjoying the ability to focus more time on Trax and our Barrel Racing.  Things are finally starting to come together.  We had some pretty bad runs, but finally pulled down and 18.871 which is our fastest time yet and earned us a little check in the 4D.  3rd place to be exact. 

Here are a few shots from the night.
I like this one.  My eyes are up and we are looking good. 

In this one we are both hunting for the next barrel and right on track

This was my first time running him a tie down.  It seemed to make a difference for him mostly right here, where we struggle with balance.  

In this one the first thing I saw was where I was looking.  He is following my eyes.

As soon as I looked up, so did he. 

I always like these because they show how hard he is trying. 

I have to be honest.  I was almost ready to give up on all of this, but as always, the biggest problem with my horses is the rider.   I'm not going to sit here and try to convince anyone that he is a sweet innocent old guy who only does what he is told.  But for the most part, he really wants to get along, and really likes barrel racing.  He tries really hard to follow my cues, and he just didn't understand why he was getting in trouble for going exactly where he thought I wanted him to go....I was staring at the barrels and so that is where he went.  Even though he didn't often knock them over, he would run into them and then have to jump to one side or the other, or just stop all together.  Once we fixed where my eyes are, and where I cue him to turn, suddenly everything fell into place.  

We still have a long ways to go, and he is never going to be a 1D horse. But I'll never be a 1D rider either, so it works.  We are currently sitting 1st in the 2D senior division for the year end awards of this club.  I'm pretty excited about that! 


  1. While I know Trax can be a tough horse to work with at times, I have to say, he still needs to work on things on a bit more of a basic level. I'm not trying to throw shade, but he is clearly not working in balance like he should.

    Pic #1 looks good, but drop your hand a bit and help guide him around the barrel.
    Pic #2 He has switched leads on you. His inside hind is way out behind instead of up underneath you and the front legs are the same. Instead of being blanced thru the turn, he is having to step over himself to get around and get the job done.
    Pic #3 where you say you struggle with balance- it is because he is not balanced and is flipping leads all over the place to compensate. If you look at his legs, the inside hind looks like it has already touched down in the wrong lead behind.
    Pic #4 & #5 he looks like he is more balanced but he is coming out of the turn cross firing- left lead behind, right lead in front. Inside hind has already left the ground when it should be under him supporting you both thru the turn. Again, drop your hand and guide him.
    Pic #6 while this one is a cool shot and shows the power he has and he is trying really hard for you, it also shows he is crossfiring in a BIG way.

    When you address this problem and fix it, you will find he is going to be a much smoother ride and your times will also likely improve. He will be more balanced and able to put his power to use more efficiently as well as being a less likely candidate for injury.

    It will take time and loping lots of circles at home, helping him build up the muscles to maintain the correct lead at all times, as well as you developing a feel for when he 'flips' on you. When he bounces from one lead to the other or begins to crossfire on you, bring him back down, ask for the correct bend and lead and continue on. Change it up on him, doing bigger circles and smaller, fast and slow in each, but always maintaining the correct lead. Work on this in both directions since it looks like he is doing it no matter which way he's turning.

    When he's able to maintain the correct lead on the circles, add in a barrel and work around it focusing on helping him maintain the lead and balance. Go around the barrel incredibly wide to start, to help you both focus on the lead, not the turn. When he is maintaining the lead around the barrel, start closing in on it little by little, but always maintaining his balance and the correct lead.

    You'll get there and things will improve, I promise

  2. Excellent comment from Cut-N-Jump. I never thought to look at his leads. Glad to see that he is trying his heart out for you and enjoying what he is doing.