For the horse, the mental and physical factors are interconnected. If his mind gets tense, so will his body. –Hans Senn–
Feeling is as important to the rider as hearing is to a musician. Only time spent in the saddle will develop feel. Feel cannot be taught, only further developed and polished. Feel may be the most important quality in riding well. Your ability to feel will improve when you are totally relaxed. –Hans Senn–
Everyone does such different things with their horses. What is it you do with your horse? I would like to know if you have goals set for you and your horse. Are you working on anything in particular? Please share your thoughts comments.
Susan posted a questions via Askshawna.com about her horse who flips over with her in the saddle. Also wondering about the foal. Wills he pick up this habit as well? Please leave your thoughts, ideas, comments or share your experiences.
Listen in to Friday’s show and hear all about how Bugs did at his first show! Click here for the link to the show.
Listen in and learn how to take advantage of the daily lessons we learn from our horses. We are always learning from each other and thats something that should always be reinforced. Click here for a link to the tip!
Victoria sent this question in through Ask Shawna. She has a Shetland pony who acts out when any pressure is applied during training. I discuss solutions utilizing positive reinforcement. I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.
Here are some photos of Bugs that were taken last week.
March, 15, 2011
It has been about a year now since I first fell off of Bugs. That, of course, was the first time I met Bugs and decided I have the tools to rebuild his trust (see “Bugs: A Horse with Big Shoes to fill” for more about his beginnings). What an amazing journey it has been so far! It struck me how much one learns through the process of bringing a green horse along. I learn something everyday, Doesn’t that sound cliche? But it is true! It reminds me how much I take for granted dealing with an experienced horse. There are so many firsts. Watching him mature and learn to deal with new obstacles. This, to me, is the most joyous part of the training process
I realized that this journey is one that should be documented. I plan to keep a journal of our progress, along with my thoughts and observations so that I never forget our shared exprience. This will also provide an opportunity that others can learn more about using positive reinforcemen,t together with some traditional training, to accomplish these goals.. I want to share our triumphs as well as our challenges. I would love for you to come along! It would be great to hear comments, questions and suggestions as we grow together.
Here is a short recap with a little bit of new information. Bugs grew up in a pasture without much in the way of human interaction. At the ripe old age of 4, Bug’s owner pulled him from the pasture and gave him to his adult grandson as a roping horse prospect. Bugs didn’t take too well to his training and being ridden. He continued to buck until his rider’s fell off. Mind you his owner was not new to breaking horses but Bugs wasn’t responding well to training. The owner thought that Bugs needed to have a different career. He decided he should try him out as a bucking horse. The irony is that he wouldn’t buck out of the bucking chute! Bugs ended up with a pretty good scar on his face from an injury sustained in the bucking chute. This career wasn’t panning out either. The decision was made to take him to the auction. He was reedy, had a scar on his face and just seemed like he was not going to trust anyone enough to make any friends. I don’t think the auction would have ended well for Bugs. But, thank God, my friend Marcy intervened and gave him another chance. He was kind of a back burner project. The low key and consistent routine really seemed to help him settle.
It was just last December that we really began to get started together undersaddle. I am going to start the journal from that point and post on some of the major highlights to bring us up to date. I will journal about progress undersaddle and from the ground. Again, I would love to hear from you, questions, comments, thoughts, suggestions or share your own experiences. I hope that sharing this journey together helps to open a dialogue with each other and our horses!
You may control a horse with gimmicks; those however, will not change him mentally. It is not a good idea to distance yourself from the horse by domination.
March 2, 2011
Well, it is a new week. Tuesday morning and things were all pretty normal. Mint was back in business after throwing a shoe and Bugs was good as usual. When I was riding him and feeding from the saddle I noticed his lip had a lump in it. I thought he had a treat squirreled away under his upper lip. I kept trying to figure out what was going on. Finally I got off and looked at it. It was definitely a lump in his lip. It seemed kind of sore but not too bad. I knew that Steve, our vet, was coming the next day so I thought I would just keep an eye on it and suspected there would be nothing to report to him tomorrow.
I was wrong. First Mint had a nail get too close to his laminae and he was lame walking out of his stall and Bugs’ face and nose were swollen and lopsided. He would have rather thrown himself on the ground than have his nose or lip touched. It was clearly very sensitive. I must have first noticed the bite it when it had just happened. Of course at that time I had no idea what I was dealing with Luckily horses can handle these better than we can. I am happy to report that he got better in a few days and stayed in good spirits all the while. Mint took a little longer to get back on track but he is doing well too.