Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Making Trailer Training Safe & I Like the Way Beautiful Moves

Once upon a time, Leah trailered very well.  Then, life happened, and trailering to a lesson every week, and she soured. She paws, jumps up, pulls back. It stresses me out.

So, I made a plan.  

To make the trailer her safe and desirable place, I decided to start putting her in it whenever I work with the others. (I had a trainer who used to do the same.  She'd ride a horse and then tie it in her stock trailer to rest. Brilliant.)

I did a few things to make it extra safe: 1.) Tied her to a blocker tie-ring, 2.) Kept the divider open, 3.) Gave her a hay net, placed above pawing range, 4.) Stayed in the general area, just in case.




Even though the food was a snack, she was hungry, so it helped to make our first lesson a success.  (In fact, I should probably start to feed her breakfast and dinner in it.)

While she was in there, I did some massage work with Cowboy, then I rode him bareback at the walk, trot and lope.  Cowboy has a lot to give me still, and I have a lot to give Cowboy.  (See Leah in the trailer?)


Hey, no hands and bareback, so I can film with my phone!


After Cowboy, I went to get Beautiful Girl for her 2nd day of training this week.  Her first was yesterday and she was WILD.  Beautiful Girl has club feet--I adopted her that way.  It has kept me from doing any serious training with her. (My farrier has always said she's fine.) She does have exceptional balance and she never takes a bad step.  I check her before and after for any heat or swelling, and she always stays sound.  My hope is to keep going and see what she's capable of doing.

Here's a video from this morning.  Personally, I think she has beautiful movement, especially being out of shape.


Beautiful Girl is a very smart, tough horse.  She's a bit over-emotional at times, so I have to quiet my aids way down, since she can be highly reactive.  She's also deeply loyal and has, at times, risked her life to defend Cowgirl and Red.  In other words, you'd want her on your side in a fight!  She's the policeman.


After working with her on the line, I took her over to the mounting trough and let her get used to me swinging my leg over her on both sides, putting my weight on her, and petting her all over.  She was good for that, so I put her away after a little massage.

Finally, I got Leah out of the trailer and worked on her walk, trot and lope on the line--she still has a lot of work to do, but her body is changing more and more all the time.  I will say though, there is no way I'd lope on her back until I can see her carry herself well without a rider.  I did ride her bareback at the walk and trot and she did a lovely job.  She's got such a loving disposition. 

After her, I got Little Joe.  He's a very well trained horse, but needs a tune-up in the manners department if he's going to be the perfect kid's horse.  His mind is on the new herd and not so much on the people around him.  That, however, is changing.  We did some leading and basic ground work.  

Now, I'm at work.  Poor me!  But tomorrow is supposed to be 61 and I'm doing a trail ride.

Oh, my new saddle came.  Now, I'm just waiting for the pad and other accessories from chicksaddlery.  I also ordered some leather conditioner that I'll probably apply before my first ride.  This is a new adventure for me, and I have a lot to learn about English-style saddles, but my friend rides with this one, and she loves hers.  (With a Cashel pad.)


12 comments:

  1. I've been intrigued but the blocker tie ring for a while now I just haven't bought one!

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    1. They have 3 levels of control, but all 3 will release if the horse doesn't give. I have them everywhere around my place. Since I started using them, none of the horses pull back anymore. Beautiful Girl is the reason I started using them in the first place. It completely changed her.

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    2. You may already know this, but it release just a little bit when they pull back. They stay tied, but get the feeling that they're not stuck. Steady pull will release the whole rope. I use on #2 which stops them pretty quick.

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  2. Sounds like a great trailer plan. We usually offer a small amount of hay when we load/trailer, it just helps. So great that you get to work with & ride different horses. I need to start doing more of that. Your new saddle looks comfy. Enjoy your trail ride!!

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    1. I enjoy working with multiple, they're all unique. It gives them a rest, too, to see that all my energy and emotion isn't concentrated on them. Sometimes what I learn about one helps me with another. This is the most rideable horses we've ever had at one time.

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  3. That saddle is interesting looking. What do they call it? It looks comfortable like a western saddle but without the annoyance of a horn (sorry, they annoy me - useful if you rope which I don't do).

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    1. This is the equiRoyal Comfort Trail saddle. I can understand why you wouldn't like a horn. They're not much use to me except to hold my front saddle bags. I sometimes use it when training a new horse to pony along. I never wrap it full around, of course, but I'll wrap it half around to give them a little pull when they freeze up or pull back.

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  4. Cowboy is a treasure! I'm impressed with the "look ma no hands" so you can film! Beautiful girl is ,well,beautiful.
    I like your new saddle. I think they might call that an all-purpose saddle. I had a similar looking one for Dusty and it was very comfy. I find it hard to ride in a western saddle. Don't like the horn or how my feet position in them. Have fun with it.

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    1. Cowboy is the horse I can still learn on while I train the others. He's also the horse I can relax on. He is a trasure and I highly value every moment. :) Yes, a western is unforgiving of where the legs will be positioned. You can get them with thinner fenders, I suppose. The aussie saddle is an interesting combination of the two. I considered getting one rather than the equiRoyal, but they seemed a bit heavy and I'm trying to go light so my grand-daughter can swing it up for Trail rides.

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  5. You got a lot of training done in one day with several horses. Weren't you exhausted? I like the way Beautiful Girl moves too. He topline stays relatively level. Is she comfortable to ride? She looks to be built slightly downhill with her croup higher than her withers. I once rode on a drastically downhill horse and felt like I was leaning forward and about to roll over the horse's neck any minute now. Nice saddle.

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    1. Working with the horses energizes me. I wish I could do it all day and skip work. I haven't ridden beautiful Girl, so I wouldn't know what she feels like in saddle. I agree that it looks like her top line stays smooth at the trot. She doesn't feel downhill when I've been on her back. She feels pretty even.

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  6. A productive day! It's interesting working with so many horses, they all have something to teach us.

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Please feel welcome to join our discussion--tell us about your own thoughts and experiences.