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A Peruvian trainer's thoughts..

PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:52 pm
by Juliane
My friend, Sara (cutiepiepmu), came by today to help me with Mi Amigo. When she first saw his thread, she excitedly emailed me in regards to him being a Peruvian Paso. She has professionally trained Peruvians for many years in the past and has quite a bit of experience with their personalities, quirks and training styles. I was thrilled to pick her brain and learn more about what she's done with them in the past.

She really liked Mi Amigo and thought he was a handsome guy. Though, she thought he looked more like a Pasofino, rather than a Peruvian Paso. I was really excited because when we went out to his paddock and stood there at the gate looking at him and talking about him, he came up to us and let us scratch him! Wow! He also was right there when I opened the gate. I was easily able to attach a lead rope to his halter. What a difference!

Sara and I took Mi Amigo out to the round pen. He was a tad bit tender-footed on the rocky driveway, but was fine in the soft footing of the round pen. Sara turned him loose and asked him to move out. Her thoughts are that Peruvians gait from the moment they are born - and Mi Amigo trots like a normal horse. At one point, we did see him attempt a gait for about 6-7 strides. It looked like he was trotting in the front and walking in the back. Very cool looking!

Sara also noticed, as Peri pointed out as well, how sunken Mi Amigo's back pasterns are. She didn't think it would be an issue, but was something to watch for. She also felt he was skinny and could use 75-100lbs.

After working with him in the round pen, she attempted to catch him. He was having none of that and made her work for it. 20 minutes later, he finally relaxed enough to let her approach and take hold of his halter.

We decided to do some more work with Mi Amigo and the saddle. He shied away at the saddle pad again, but accepted it much quicker this time :) I placed the saddle on him and cinched him up. Again, he was great. However, one of the things that made him the most nervous was the noises and vibrations going on on his back. I was rubbing and patting the saddle and it was completely freaking him out! :P So, we did that for a while until he relaxed.

We also did some exercises with me stepping up on a stool next to him. He was ok with my weight on his back, but was very nervous when he saw me from the opposite side that I was on. He couldn't quite understand how I could be in two places at one. Definitely something to work on in the future.

I do believe he will be easy to start, though I think I need to back up and work quite a bit on groundwork and desensitizing him first. Sara mentioned that when she was working with her Peruvians, it was best to just do it all at once, rather than the typical training methods. I'm not sure if that will be the best route for Mi Amigo yet. I think I need to slow down a bit. We both agreed that basic groundwork wouldn't hurt :)

Tomorrow I may try ground driving him :) See how that goes!

Special thanks to Sara for coming out and giving me a hand today!! You're the best!!








PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 6:59 am
by rodeo51
Wow, I love that 4th picture of him. What a good looking guy. Your going to have fun with him. :)

PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 7:58 am
by seahorse
WOW very cool! How fun to have the ability to pick the brain of someone who has worked with his breed before! Very cool to see pictures of his gaits- whether or not he ever gaits under saddle he is a very handsome boy and seems to stride right out!

PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 11:32 am
by schwung
Curiouser and curiouser.

In the third photo down, he does appear to be gaited, but the other photos clearly show a trot.

I don't know much about gaited breeds, but I do remember him and Regala exhibiting a very different gait. It was very cool to watch.

Elaine, I recall you said his dam was not registered, is it possible that she was not purebred? It is possible he exhibits both a paso gait and a trot?


PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 11:33 am
by cutiepiepmu
This kid is smart and kind hearted - just extremely senstive and nervous. I truely believe him to be paso fino vs. peruvian paso - he did not do the peruvian gait fully at any point - although I did see him do the 4 beat gait of the paso fino several times. Peruvian horses will gait from the second they are born - and can't trot or canter (well they try, but it looks like a train wreck) and they are more comfortable gaiting than trying to trot or canter. As you see in the pictures - Amigo has a beautiful extended trot. He also does not wing his front feet out to the side when walking like a peruvian paso does - but rather moves straight like a paso fino.

I expect he will come around extremely quickly. He settles down once he realizes what is expected of him and once you have a little focus from him he does seem to want to try to understand. At this point he is still easily distracted and anxious about his right side.

Once he learns that people are not out to get him I would figure he will settle right down (as much as he can)

On a side note - his personality is funny. AFter working with him, he got to run around with the boys - while Caleb was over kissing us girls - Amigo decided it woudl be a steller idea to challenge Ace. LOL He would get his neck all up in the air and then back up towards him - he OBVIOUSLY had no idea he was about 1/2 ace's size lol. Was so funny to watch him think he was bad ass! I think the other horses were laughing at him too.....


PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 11:39 am
by schwung
Amigo's sire, Regalo de Dios, is listed in the Peruvian registry and did stand in Washington.

His dam, as I understand it (Elaine, correct me if I am wrong) was supposedly purebred but was not registered. And, Elaine, I believe you bought these two as yearlings, right? You didn't own the dam? My memory of what all you told me is a bit rusty.

Amigo's ancestry

PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 11:57 am
by Elaine
I did not own their dams. I have wondered myself, at times. I don't know much about either breed, but it seemed to me that the Paso Finos I've seen are finer boned than Peruvians. I did see their maternal grandsire once. He was, as I recall, fine boned and had the longest mane I have ever seen on a horse. I remember thinking that he looked like pictures I'd seen of Paso Finos.
Other than that, all I can say is that I was told they were purebred Peruvian and their dams couldn't be registered because someone had waited too long and it would be expensive to have the blood testing done to get them registered.
I wasn't interested in papers as I've never been interested in showing or show events. Just wanted easy gait for bad back and gentle animals that I had thought I'd have to the end of their days. Couldn't see into the future.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:35 pm
by cutiepiepmu
Alot of people are confused about the difference between a peruvian paso ans a paso fino - Maybe things got confused :) I am pretty darn sure that he is a paso fino - even if one of ht eparents was peruvian paso - odds are the other was a paso fino - which means that baby can be registered paso fino - but not registered peruvian.... complicated I know lol

He is a sweet boy and I bet he will do well given a little time :)

Sara in WA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 8:38 pm
by cat_67
Sara, how great that you were able to give your input. I admit I have never worked with either of those breeds and personally don't have a clue about them! But he seems like a sweet horse who will probably do well once he just gets more used to being worked with consistently.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 7:07 am
by cutiepiepmu
It is obvious he wants to please - even as nervous as he was, he never once did a single agressive behavior or posture. I get the feeling his mind - as far as human contact and training - is of about a 2-3 year old horse at best right now. It is all new, super scary, and he doesn't know what to do.

MANY of the peruvian youngsters I worked with were this way - after a few sessions though they start to come around and figure out that human contact can be a really great thing. I figure he will take a little longer than that simply because he is older before starting the process.

He most likely will always be a highly sensitive horse, but given a little time and patience he will figure out where he fits in the world and be a great equine citizen :)

(sorry for any spelling goobers! it is too early to think!)

Sara in WA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 2:50 pm
by Elaine
What you said makes sense to me. I am no trainer as such, but worked with them frequently the first couple of years that I had them, they were yearlings when they came to me. My work with them consisted of putting a lead rope on and walking or jogging them around the pasture or yard. Handling their legs and feet and brushing and petting them. They were easy at that point to walk up to and put the lead rope on. Then for a short time I had started with light weights on. No problems with that. Amigo loved the petting and loving, but Regala always showed that she just preferred to be left alone. They never showed any aggressiveness or any kind of meanness. I'm trying to remember when the difference started. I think it was after Regala foaled the first time. I remember her calling her foal if it was standing for petting and she started nipping them when they stayed to be petted, including Mi Amigo.
By the way, it was Amigo's right side that the gate hit. He was never shy of his right side when I petted or brushed him.
No matter how it may appear to people, I love these horses and have been guilty of thinking my situation would get better and I'd be able to give them the care they deserve. It was facing facts and knowing that I can't, that made me call out for help for them, (not myself but them). I wouldn't sell them because I know potential buyers can lie and I don't want any of them to ever end up at a slaughter house. When I bought them, I considered it a lifetime comittment. A lot of unforseen things happened when Amigo and Regala were three years old. I never thought of them going to someone else, so if they didn't get trained, I still love and enjoy them. So I'm guilty of a great lack of foresight, but I still love them very much.
That is why I'm trusting Safehorses and Juliane to care for and find a trustwothy home for Amigo and hopefully, Shiraca. And why I'm letting Regala and Shalizar go to my eldest daughter.
I'm sure some very good horses end up in bad situations because their owners aren't aware of decietfull buyers or how many meat dealers hang out at auctions and things have come up in their lives that make it impossible to keep their animals.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 6:38 pm
by tontonsmom
I read Julianne's blogs but don't post (nothing of value to add, until now). I've been watching the stories of these 4 since it was originally posted on the Safe mb.

I just wanted to say, Elaine, that as a complete outsider watching this situation unfold, from afar: the thought that you were anything other than a loving horse owner who got in a situation that you could no longer care for the animals and required assistance, has never crossed my mind, not once.

There is no question that you want only the best for these guys and that is why you did not allowe them to waste away or send them off to auction. Your love and concern for Mi Amigo is apparent in each of your posts.

From the bottom of my heart: THANK YOU for reaching out for help when you needed it, and allowing these amazing women to help you. You did the right thing .

PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 9:32 pm
by Juliane
Hi Elaine,

I am very grateful to you as well for realizing your limitations and doing what is best for your horses. When I met you, I could tell you loved them very much. You almost had me in tears as I saw your eyes well up when we shook hands goodbye.

Please know that what you have done is the best gift you could have given to Mi Amigo. I would be honored if you would come out and visit him sometime. I think you would be pleased to see how much he has improved in just the short week that he's been here :)


PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 11:42 pm
by cat_67
Elaine, I also want to say that I think it's wonderful that you took the time to educate yourself about the many bad things that can happen to horses whose training is not far along as adults so that you could protect your horses from those who would not have their best interests at heart.
I know there will be a happy ending for all of these guys. I wish every horse had an owner who cared so much.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:15 am
by seahorse
Elaine your post has me kicking myself. I was going to add on to my earlier post about Mi Amigo about how much respect I had for you that you turned him over to Safe, heck even contacted SAFE before your situation truly overwhelmed you. I think very highly of people who can swallow their pride and out of love for their animals ask for a helping hand. I work with animal control on occasion and could tell you horror stories of some of the things I have seen so I can truly say I have a lot of respect for your decision. He is in a wonderful place and will be well cared for and loved and leave a well behaved nice riding horse. My hat is off to you and I hope that if I am ever in the same spot I will have the grace and intelligence to make the same decision.