Ace @ the Jon Ensign Colt Starting Clinic

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!

Postby Juliane on Mon Sep 03, 2007 6:30 pm


Well, today marked the last day of the Colt Starting Clinic. Ace was happy to be caught this morning, again walking up to me. This still blows my mind, after having this horse for the past year and a half that would usually let me catch him, but it most certainly was never 'easy'. Now, he seems to be eager to be caught in the pasture!

When we got to the clinic this morning, he was in a funny mood. I don't think anyone else noticed his behavior, as it was so subtle, but he was pretending to be spooky at things I knew he wasn't afraid of. He'd flinch at movements made by other people, he'd look at me, eyes wide open, toss his head and snort, for what appeared to be no reason. ROFL

We worked with one of those huge exercise balls, about 4 feet high. He was cute as he willingly pushed it around with his shoulders and legs. We also repeated some of the flag work we've been doing (I can't stress how much of a change this very work has done for him!).

It seemed like our lunch break came and went quickly, and then it was time to ride! Ace and I had our 2nd ride today, much like it was yesterday, with Jon ponying us around the round pen. Ace obviously has many, many years of abusive handling and experiences to get over, so our under saddle progress will be slow and steady. But - it will progress. I have no doubt that Ace will become a solid riding horse! Though, I am very careful not to make any wrong moves, so while I will continue the ground work I have been doing with him, I will not get on him again until I can take private lessons with Jon.

There is a trail ride with Jon Ensign this weekend (check out that I am considering going to. I will likely take Ms. Dandy and pony Ace along. Or, maybe I'll take Shadow. I am so completely excited to get started with these horses, applying all that I have learned to each and every one of them. They all need it! It almost makes me cringe to think of the issues and accidents I could have avoided, had I followed the steps I learned this weekend. I'm very eager to work with Dandy, in particular with her continued spookiness with the flag. Hehe!

So, all in all, this was the best clinic ever, and very worth every penny I spent. I will most certainly be trying to figure out my budget so I can go to more in the future! In the meantime, the bond that Ace and I have has gotten 100 times stronger and I will be forever grateful to Jon Ensign for that! Thank you Jon!




Feel the Spirit, Keep on Riding!
User avatar
Posts: 1521
Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2006 11:50 pm
Location: Carnation, WA

Postby stardreams on Mon Sep 03, 2007 6:47 pm

Congratulations, to the both of you :D
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 7:57 am
Location: Sammamish, WA

Postby Valkyrie48 on Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:05 pm

Two main things in training a horse or any other animal is confidence and above all, CONSISTANCY. This horse has grown to trust you through your consistancy with, and confidence in him and now you are getting your big pay-off.

I would never, never part with this horse if he were mine. He's a real stunner, and now you are going to get a mount that everyone will be green with envy about. Even if he can't be ridden by everyone who comes along, who wouldn't be happy having such a pal. CONGRATUATIONS for your patience, persistance, and kindness. Nobody else could have "fixed" this horse. :D
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 4:00 pm
Location: Washington State

Postby Juliane on Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:32 pm

Valkyrie48 wrote:I would never, never part with this horse if he were mine.

Thank you for your kind words and support :) I can guarantee you that Ace will be with me forever. I will never let him go. First off, I could never risk betraying the trust he has put in me. Secondly, I am completely in love with him and would be heartbroken if I lost him! He will always be in my pasture!
Feel the Spirit, Keep on Riding!
User avatar
Posts: 1521
Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2006 11:50 pm
Location: Carnation, WA

Postby myhorsefaith on Mon Sep 03, 2007 8:30 pm

ooo I can't wait to see all that you've learned- sounds like you had an awesome experience!
User avatar
Posts: 371
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 7:28 am
Location: Renton, Wa

Postby majxmom on Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:40 am

:shock: :shock: SOOOO glad I logged on this morning to read this thread.

Wow, Juliane, I can't believe your courage--and how open you are about your fears. If I had taken him home, he'd be out in the pasture for life, and every trim would be an ordeal. I would never consider riding him or letting him have a job; I'd enjoy looking at him and knowing that he was retired and wouldn't die in a slaughterhouse. It's so wonderful to see how he's changed, and it ought to give hope to every amateur horseman who is having trouble with a rescue horse. They CAN change, and every horse ought to be given a chance. I am humbled by your perseverence.
Posts: 120
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 9:51 am
Location: Knightsen, CA

Postby cutiepiepmu on Tue Sep 04, 2007 3:59 pm

Good for you for digging deep and getting up there! Ya know - I have things all the time that make me feel that way, and the only thing I have found to help pull me past whatever is making me nervous- I look straight up at the sky and smile the biggest smile - I do this till I make myself laugh... well - others are probably laughing too thinking I need to ride the short bus - but It works. It makes me feel just stupid enough that I forget how afraid I am!

Take care and good job.
Sara in WA
Posts: 265
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 10:38 am
Location: Port Orchard

Postby shellyr on Tue Sep 04, 2007 5:56 pm

Hi Juliane,

I've been following the whole clinic, and I just sat here for the past few days grinning and grinning at my computer screen. :D I was especially thrilled with how relaxed Ace looks in several of the pictures. What a huge change he has made. I appreciate your honesty with your fears in riding him too. I battle those fears when I mount up on a new horse too. Great job and huge congrats to both of you!

Posts: 76
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 5:17 pm

Postby Janine on Tue Sep 04, 2007 8:14 pm

It gives me goosebumps to read this and see the pictures! This is so affirming of what love, patience and trust can accomplish. Fantastic!

Also good to read I am not the only one that struggles with fear. Maybe I'll try the "look at the sky and smile" trick....
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 10:07 pm

Postby Tatesmom on Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:18 pm

OMG Julianne, I get tears just reading this wonderful update on Ace, I was at the SAFE clinic and had the pleasure of meeting Ace, this is not the same horse. Congratulations
You are a very brave young women and proof of you and Ace's mutual trust shows in the pictures.
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue May 02, 2006 5:39 pm
Location: Arlington

Postby Eileen M on Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:27 am

Freaking A"" :D

Go for it Ace, I don't think you'll be sorry :wink:
"When I hear somebody talk about a horse or a cow being stupid, I figure it's a sure sign that the animal has outfoxed them." Tom Dorrance
Eileen M
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 9:10 am

Postby cat_67 on Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:24 am

Congratulations! He definitely always struck me as a smart boy who just needed to realize that things were different now than his previous experiences with riding. He has fear issues, and will probably only be a one-person horse but that's ok. He really does not look the least bit stiff or concerned that you are up there. I think that now that you have time to work with him consistently, he will come along very quickly.
User avatar
Posts: 701
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2006 6:08 pm

Postby cat_67 on Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:27 am

P.S. I know this is kind of crazy, but when I have to get on a horse like that, sometimes I put the thought in my head that it's a different horse - like a 25 year old school horse having a cranky day - so that I will feel confident about riding through it if they do throw something unexpected at me. For some reason, the same behavior doesn't scare me the same, and I deal with it better if I convince myself I am either on (a) something very old or (b) something really short. LOL!
User avatar
Posts: 701
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2006 6:08 pm

Postby cardicorgi on Thu Sep 06, 2007 2:05 pm

Julianne, I well remember Ace from last summer with Dorothy/Rick. You both have come a long way - and congratulations!!!! :D Kudos to you for your patience and willingness to take the time necessary for Ace.
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 9:53 am
Location: Oregon

Postby maefly on Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:55 am

Is it possible that you're hesitant because of the other horses you've been riding lately? I know when I'm working with lots of green horses I tend to fall into the habit of thinking that every horse is green. I'll get on Keila (my 18 yr old morgan mare that I've had since she was 3) who knows everything, and is good at it, and I'll treat her like she knows nothing. To be fair she's the type of horse that acts like she knows nothing if she can get away with it, she needs a very asertive rider. I'll catch myself direct reining her because she won't neck rein! Then I'll mentally call myself stupid, give her a stronger leg cue and we'll go neck reining away.

One of the hardest things for me is to distinguish between the different green horses I'm working with. This might not be your problem, but it's still something to think about. It's why I decided not to go into training full time, even though I have the reputation around here to make a go of it.
'One mans wrong lead is another mans counter canter'
User avatar
Posts: 104
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2006 3:00 pm
Location: Bemidji, MN


Return to Ace

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest