Back in the Saddle Again and Lots ‘O’ Groundwork

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“You need to get his saddle checked, you need to get a once over from the vet, you need to get a chiropractor out for him, Check his feet, send him to a cowboy, send him to a working ranch, get rid of him, put him down he is dangerous… “I have heard everything, EVERYTHING from kind people who have been trying to help me.  But thank goodness I have decided to only listen to my own heart and my instructor.  Because otherwise I would prob be broke and heartbroken.  So Chief and I are still Bee Bopping along!

October 3-  (1 Hour)

Yay Friday!!! Worked with Chief with Saddle and Without.  He was really calm.  A tiny bit distracted, but nothing crazy.  He was eating his hay when I took him out of the field, so I think he had half a belly full.  He was pretty forward, not lazy at all but really good.  No issues with or without flag.  He was very gentle and really great with all of the commands.  He was leading well, and changing direction well.  We have had his cribbing collar on because he started cribbing again if he eats his grain and does not have hay with it right away.

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October 4-  (1.5 Hours approx)

Worked Chief with saddle and without, with flag in both circumstances.  He was really great today.  He responded to everything really calmly, and I noticed myself being particularly relaxed as well.  I knew I was not on a time limit, and really took my time.  We worked on moving circles up and down the arena, walk, trot and canter on the long lead, with and without flag.  His canter on the lead with the flag was a little reactive but NO bucking.  I took the flag away and his upward transition was great and he picked up the correct lead.  He was really paying attention.  Was slightly distracted when his girlfriend Crystal came around but he was easy to get back and attentive.  He was also less inclined to eat when I worked him on the grass.

horse scare

October 5- FIRST RIDE SINCE BROKEN ARM!!!!! (1Hour ground work… 40 mins under saddle)                                              Western saddle, Western curb snaffle, thick pad, western reins

I can’t even express how blessed I feel.  I keep my horse at my instructor’s barn, a small barn, so I get so much extra knowledge and attention from her with my horse.  I feel like I learn so much there. I knew I was going to ride Chief today, so i was a little nervous. I knew I had to work him on the ground prior to getting on his back, so Astrid told me to work him through my groundwork routine and see how he was doing.  He was so LAZY today. He had been turned out for 24 hours 3 days in a row, and also this was his third day in a row that I worked with him.  I have never seen him work with his head so low.  It was kind of funny.  So he was good with and without saddle, with and without flag.

When I had him saddled with the flag, he was trying to run into his circle, so I just kept stopping him and making him start again asking him to walk.  Astrid came out and was watching me and told me to point my flag at the stirrup and wave it up and down a little to prompt a reaction.  So I did and Chief ran out of there. Astrid told me to keep it there calmly and let him react however he likes as long as he is not bucking and wait for him to calmly come back to me.  So I did, and he worked himself up from a trot to a nice canter (flag at stirrup the whole time) and then brought himself back down to a trot and a walk.  I did this on both sides.  We were kind of like, get out any of your shit now horse, so when I’m on you we don’t have a problem.

So he presents himself at the mounting block really well and I laid on him a little and he was good.  Totally calm.  And we did a little pony ride around the circle.  So in the past, Chief never had a problem working tight circles.  Until we came to this new barn and I screwed him all up.  And as soon as I would bend him and ask him to roll the hind he would blow up and start bucking.  So Astrid told me she was going to bend him and she bent him to the RIGHT and he spooked hard.  I just held on to the horn and said woah buddy and he calmed.  We still can’t figure what that is, but after he saw nothing bad was happening we worked more on it and had no more spooks.  We worked in small circles, transitions from walk to trot, backing up, trot to walk.  All sitting trot.

Astrid asked me if I wanted to ride him alone without him being on the long lead/ lunge line.  I thanked her but told her I would prob want to keep him on the lead for the next few weeks if not months.  And she told me that is perfectly fine.  I just need to get my confidence back so I can instruct him properly, and then I will ride him alone.

I think he really HATES the deep sand arena.   (4/20/15- Update… IDK why I thought this, but I think i was pretty wrong.  Chief doesn’t give a crap about the arena. )

October 6

My horse is really smart.  And not in the, “He is basically my child so I think he is smart even when he is stupid,” kind of way.  Last night I went to barn just to clean tack and shovel poop.  So I give Chief some space instead of accosting him with pets as soon as I walk in the gate.  And I can tell he wants to come see what is going on, and get a pet, be he is trying to casually make his way over as nonchalantly as possible. So when he gets to me i pet his head and then he looks in the poop bucket.  He sniffs a sec, realizes its shit, and then turns 180 degrees and poops right next to the bucket and walks away.  I laughed so hard I think I peed a little.


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