Early morning rides... (A slight setback and training plan!)

This 8 year old, 15.3hh registered Appaloosa gelding is in rehabilitation as he gains weight lost due to EPSM. He will be started under saddle and available for adoption.

Early morning rides... (A slight setback and training plan!)

Postby Juliane on Sat Aug 25, 2007 11:21 am

Yesterday morning, Susan and I got up at the crack of dawn to work with Shadow. He wasn't so keen on being saddled before 6am on a foggy, cool morning - I was right there with him! Hahaha!

We went through all the typical training steps before riding, though this session, we decided to switch the reins from the too-short one piece reins to a much longer set of two piece reins. We made sure the reins were tied to his saddle horn and lunged him around.

He was immediately goosy and jumpy, not his typical quiet, laid back self. He hasn't been like this since the first couple times I ever saddled him. It was disappointing to see him bucking here and there as we free lunged him. Both Susan and I attributed it to the early morning briskness and the long reins rubbing his shoulders as well as his legs.

I had ridden Shadow the night before, for the first time, and he was excellent. I only spent about 20 minutes with him, so it was a very 'short and sweet' ride. But it had been a week since he'd been worked, and the first time he'd been ridden since getting shoes on. Since he was so incredibly quiet and solid, we were surprised to see Shadow so on edge!

Once he was warmed up, Susan climbed on and rode him around. He kept having little minor crow hopping incidents when the split reins Susan was holding would leave his neck and shoulders, then come back and touch him. He controlled himself fairly well, and Susan did a great job pushing him through his wiggly-ness. However, at one point, after pushing him into a trot, he had another episode and ended up bucking Susan off.

It most certainly was not a mean spirited buck - it was a 'OMG - get that thing off me' - in regards to the reins. Looking back, we definitely didn't set him up to succeed, as we didn't properly desensitize him to the longer reins. Definitely our fault!

While Susan was catching her breath, I lunged Shadow more aggressively, asking him to 'get over it'. When I felt like he was calmer and more into listening to my cues, we switched the reins back to his regular one-piece reins and Susan re-mounted.

She continued riding him for a while, until they were BOTH relaxed again, then we ended the session. After talking to Susan, we've both agreed on a training plan going forward. Shadow did incredibly well out on the trails. He had no issues with his rider, or leg and rein cues. However, in the round pen, he is starting to rely too much on me, standing in the center, to re-enforce Susan's cues from the saddle. Neither of us are the 'cowboy' type of strong riders, and are not willing to just get on his case while on his back to get him to move forward. Though, I am not sure that is the kind of rider Shadow needs.

So, we have agreed to head out on the trails, teaching Shadow those cues he needs with the guidance of another horse. Once he has a few more rides under his belt, including a better sense of confidence, I think it will be good to go back to the round pen. So, Susan and I need to find some time to go for a few trail rides. :)

Here's a few pics from yesterday morning:






Feel the Spirit, Keep on Riding!
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Postby myhorsefaith on Sat Aug 25, 2007 7:17 pm

hey Julie- have you done the ground driving thing with him (like I did w/ Cassie, Buddy, Class, etc) where you are at his side by the saddle? touch his stomach where the calf normally is- teach him forward from the ground, steering from the ground, back up and it should be OK!

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