Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Triple Double

Today, we rode three horses each. I rode Aiden, Tate, and Steen. Brian rode Oliver, Laredo, and Bear.

We had a great day with both Oliver and Aiden. Oliver was the big surprise. His attitude was hugely changed today. His pushy, restless inclinations was almost entirely gone. He lead nicely, stood quietly for tacking and grooming, and was pretty darn great under saddle.

Aiden was really good too. He lead nicely in from the pasture, and our groundwork was good. I had an easier time moving his forequarters from the ground. His big issue today was he wanted to come towards me when I asked him to change directions. Also, when I first introduced the flag (I hadn't used it with him before) he was pretty freaked out at first. Once he got up the courage to sniff it, though, he got over it pretty quickly. Pretty soon, I could touch him all over with it.

Both Brian and I had great rides. I just can't believe how nice these horses are. Both are showing willingness to learn and adapt. They're both getting soft to the bit. They have nice gaits, they settle into work without protest, and when you challenge them they will try to find the answer. Here's a little video montage of groundwork and riding:

After finishing up our first ride, we grabbed Tate and Laredo. We only rode those two for 30 minutes, because Tate's owner arrived. She's made a lot of progress on healing, and is ready to get back in the saddle herself. So this was our last time riding Tate. Which is fine, because we certainly have plenty of other horses to work with.

We wrapped up the day by taking Bear and Steen out for a jaunt. We looped and zigzagged around the fields, mostly walking, but with a few little trots and canters thrown in. It was cool and breezy, but it felt really good to be out and about.

Ride Time: 1:00
Ride Time: 0:20
Ride Time: 1:10
Horseback Hours YTD: 39:05


  1. Oliver has a really nice trot! Aiden doesn't look like his is quite as nice, but I image he will get there. He looks like he just has a little more leg than he knows what to do with. (I know another horse like that...) Of course, I'm just going from the video, you probably know better having actually ridden them. :)

    And yeah, they do seem like really nice horses. Congrats on a good find!


    1. Yeah, Oliver is an unbelievably smooth ride. And this is with feet that are too long. I've trimmed the worst of the extreme overgrowth off, and that has helped, but I can't wait to see how he moves after the farrier comes on Wednesday to do a proper job.

      Aiden is pretty easy too. He's nicely balanced, although he's got more loft. Right now he's a fair bit underweight, which definitely leads to that gangly look and feel. I think as he fills out, gains strength, and gets back into the swing of things, he's going to smooth out.

      We're keeping these rides super light until we get their feet attended to, but I'm looking forward to seeing how they canter. I wish you were closer so you could come ride them. :)

    2. Ha, then I'd probably just want to take them home with me. :)

  2. Glad you're having fun with them. I might have flagged them both before I went to riding them but that's just me! ;-)

    I have a question - do you believe that every horse desires peace and wants nothing more than to do what your'e asking, or do you think it depends on the horse?

    1. I do believe every horse desires peace, but I think whether or not any given individual wants to do what I'm asking depends on how well I've established that I can support that horse. I think some horses are easier to convince that I have something valuable to offer than others. While I believe the same principles and techniques can be applied to all horses, the nuances of that application will vary depending on the individual.

      But goodness knows I'm still learning. It always amazes me how much each new horse we have the opportunity to work with helps us see the bigger picture.

  3. A horse can only do one of two things at any given time:

    1. He can do what he thinks he needs to do to survive/defend himself.

    2. He can do what he *thinks* you want him to do.

    I might approach saying what I think you're saying, not from a "want to" standpoint but from the standpoint of:

    Am I allowing the horse the opportunity to learn?
    Am I helping him give me the answer I want?
    Have I set it up so that what I want to happen is the most likely?

    I think you're probably from this same school of thought but I'm not getting that from your writing.

    Someone who isn't on the "the horse is never wrong" journey could construe what you say as "well the horse doesn't want to do what I want him to do". And then they don't worry to better themselves. I've ridden several hundred horses I can assure you they all want to do what we ask. They just may not know how.

    Every horse is born soft. They may be born softer than another but they're still born soft and from an early age learn to search for a release. The human is who messes up the softness (by our bad timing) and the horse that once tried (because they ultimately want peace), will stop trying because the human may have asked him to do more than he was able, or pushed him through something instead of allowing him to search for the answer.

    You're right in that every horse we ride helps us to better ourselves and helps us see a bigger picture (usually of what we don't know/can do better!). I figure if we ever stop learning, we've quit trying or we're dead!

    I'm looking forward to seeing more videos of the crew.


The Archives


Popular Posts