An overdue update on Ace-Man

This striking 12 year old paint gelding was a bucking stock stallion for all of his life until a couple of days ago. He is now on the road to recovery and trust as he learns that not all humans are bad!

An overdue update on Ace-Man

Postby Juliane on Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:51 pm

I have been very, very bad about updating my threads lately! Life is hectic and crazy, but even so, we are all thriving! :) I am guilty of not doing alot with Ace. I tend to go through spurts of wanting to do something with him daily, and then not doing anything with him for weeks at a time, other than typical stuff (worming, farrier, etc).

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Back in March, there were a few days in a row that I pulled him out and practiced some of the techniques I learned at the colt starting clinic, though hoping to transition him to letting me sit on him via the mounting block. He was unsure and jumpy, though it was a cold, windy wintery day. Each time I touched him, I seemed to shock him wih static electricity! LOL Poor guy!

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Cathy was there with me and offered to play with Ace. There haven't been too many other people to work with Ace, so I was eager to see how he'd react to her. He was just as good with her as he was with me! Yay Ace!!!

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I continued to play with him that week, but he was never truly keen on the idea of me sitting on him without the security of the panel next to us... Or maybe I wasn't really keen on the idea and he was picking up on my fears? Either way, we never really progressed past that point.

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Fast forward to a couple weeks ago - I pulled him out of the pasture and saddled him up. He immediately went to bucking, which didn't really surprise me a whole lot. I think he will always do that to some degree, due to his history as a bucking horse. The good news was that he quickly calmed down and let me re-adjust the saddle and re-tighten it.

We worked for a short time on the ground, then I worked with him on stepping into the stirrup. I've never done this before - putting weight in the stirrup or stepping up. At first, he was very nervous, but pretty quickly relaxed. After mounting and dismounting (without throwing my leg over) multiple times, I mounted up (again, keeping both legs on one side, though well balanced on him) and then asked him to take a few steps forward and back. I was extremely surprised and pleased when he responded quietly and did as I asked. It was the first time in a long time that I could truely see him as a riding horse! I was SOOOOO proud of him!

A few days later, we all went on a trail ride. I decided to take Ace with me and pony him alongside Dandy. I think I completely fried his brain, though it was good for him. Just the steps of trailering somewhere with all the horses, being tied to the trailer and then tacked up, and then heading out on the trails... He went with the flow pretty well, but was not comfortable with horses behind him. The first few times that horse and riders got too close to him, he'd scoot away, off into the brush to the end of the lead rope to get away from the horses. I just kept going like nothing happened, forcing him to find his way out of the brush and continue along the trail. Before long, the horses behind him didn't bother him any longer. Ace was particularly great at going through the water crossings and over the large downed trees. What a trooper!

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When the trail ride was done, I spent a short while with him before untacking, going through the same mounting exercises as before. He was as quiet as before - the first few times he was nervous and wanted to scoot away, but within a few moments, he was standing quietly. Good boy!

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I haven't done much with Ace since the trail ride. He was sore footed after the rocky trail - so I brought him into the stall overnight last week so that I could soak his foot. During the day, he lounges in the pasture, enjoying the grassy environment. He's now sound again, but I'm so busy with other stuff, I'm not sure when I'll be able to work with him again. He is so beautiful - I am so grateful to have him in my life. :)

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Feel the Spirit, Keep on Riding!
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Juliane
 
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Re: An overdue update on Ace-Man

Postby cat_67 on Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:37 pm

Okay, that picture of him lying in the flowers is seriously the cutest thing ever!!!
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