Friday, June 5, 2009


Grrrr...Moon is such a knothead...

Mom has been helping Megan with her barrel pattern and she is doing really good. Well, pretty good...but that's another story.

I've been riding Moon and working on the slow pattern too. Ya just can't do to much slow work. But even during slow work, I was noticing that Moon really wants to cant his head to the outside, brace his shoulder and not really set his hindend at his rate spot. I've been messing with different bits on him...all very mild-1/2 gag action type bits, with different mouthpieces. The last couple of nights I have been riding him with a simple rope-nosed hackamore called the 'little S'. It's not really leverage I'm looking for, but rather something that Moon seems comfortable carrying.

When I'm not practicing or running barrels, I ride him with a simple broken-mouth, copper wrapped curb. The same bit I ride nearly everything in. He gets along with that fine. But it's not the right type of bit for running barrels. The curb action does not work correctly for lifting and bending Moon around the barrel.

And boy, does this horse need help lifting that shoulder and bending around the barrel. See that is really his problem, not the bit. He is back to his old trick of canting his head out, dropping that shoulder and diving into the barrel. Aaaahhhhhggggggg! And he is pretty darn determined about it.

So anyway, mom watched him work for a couple of evenings. And finally suggested that I put a tie-down on him and use a full gag bit. I had a tiedown in the trailer and put it on, played with the adjustment and that really seemed to help.

Duhhhh-I feel kinda dumb. A tie-down is exactly what Moon needed to help himself balance around the barrels. He is struggling to find his balance going into the barrel and that results in him basically throwing himself around the barrel anyway he can. In his case-front end first. He's a little over eager!

The problem is not 100% resolved. I have to gather up that gag bit and add that to the mix. Then it is just going to be a lot of steady repetition, trotting and loping up to the rate spot and making him bend around the barrel. Time, lots and lots of time!

The problem is really compounded by the fact that Moon is a hard-headed bugger. The term a lot of people might use is P.I.G-headed. One he gets something into his head, it's a fight to change his mind. He's pretty smart, but he is also a cheat. He'll do whatever you ask, but he is always trying to figure out how he can cheat. Smart and lazy-a bad combination if you want a horse that you don't have to constantly work on to keep them correct. I swear, sometimes his only saving grace is the fact that he is so darn fast. But if you ask my mom, his only problem is ME!;)

Hmmm-she might be onto something there too! Darn I hate that she is usually right on this stuff. Not really! It's pretty awesome to have her helping again. She can see things from the ground that you just don't realize when you are riding. Like the fact that I am the one who is letting him dive into the barrel. She said that I ride up to the rate spot and just stop riding. It's like I am just throwing him out there to find his way around the barrel however he can. I sure didn't realize I was doing that. So I have to work on keeping him gathered up and bent and actually riding him around the barrel more. You can bet I didn't like hearing that-LOL. It didn't feel like that was what I was doing. Maybe that is why Moon and I get along so well-we are both pretty pig-headed.

Sooo-I'm going to have to cowgirl up and stop thinking my horse can find his way around the barrel correctly and sit up there and ride him around it. I bet fixing MY problem is going to improve his problem dramatically.


Andrea said...

You are lucky to have a good helper on the ground. I have to constantly tell myself to "ride" when I am on my four year old. I get to "lazy" and just sit there and expect the green horse to just do it himself. I hope you get things worked out with Moon. I am a fan of slow work, or maybe just going slow!! hee hee

Adventures of a Horse Crazed Mind said...

It is so hard to see what you are doing in the saddle with out help from the ground! That is what I love about lessons! Sounds like Moon is a tough case:) Lazy and smart is the hardest combo to work with, I've had one myself..and he was an APPY to boot! lol

Anyways, I just sent you an e-mail to your yahoo account, dont know if you check that one or is with respect to barrel patterning.


City girl turned Country Girl said...

Well I am glad you have your mom to help you!! That is awesome, that's great that you have partially fixed Moon's problem!! Can't wait to here how Megan is doing!!

SunnySD said...

Always great to have a good pair of eyes on the ground!

No nose flies here yet, but it's been so dry, I don't think they've had a chance at a good hatch. It's pouring at the moment, so likely they'll be horrid as soon as the sun pops back out.

Can't complain about the rain, though! Has it been as dry there? Folks over this way are really starting to worry about the hay situation.

kdwhorses said...

That's great for the help! I know what helped me was getting the video camera and looking at my runs. Especially in roping.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Sunny-The hay situation is looking pretty crappy. It's been dry and cool. Everything is very short and headed out. What hay there is going to be is going to be very fine stemmed but washy this year. The only thing we can hope is that after everything gets cut it goes to raining and warms up. That could give us a second cutting.

cdncowgirl said...

A good spotter on the ground can do wonders! I bet you're right, you'll go a long way to getting this fixed once you get your riding 'fixed'.
And some horses just need that tie-down for balance on a pattern.

Vaquerogirl said...

I know ala bout pig headed horses! Des has been doing the same thing and we're not even loping! I'd settle for a controlled trot! although after four weeks of fighting with him, he's finally decided that he CAN keep his shoulder up... gosh how about that! Good luck with Moon- he's cute.

Leah Fry said...

Smart plus lazy equals Poco. Add an inept and inexperienced rider — me — and it can be a comedy of errors.

Always good to have someone on the ground coaching.

C-ingspots said...

Aahh, I remember those days fondly when my mom was right about something, and it just hurt like heck to admit it!! My dad used to ask me if I wanted a little ketchup to go with that crow? At the time, I didn't really appreciate his humor. Good memories. You are so lucky to have your mom with her good eye on the ground barking those orders at you. We can all benefit from a little guidance now and again, especially if it's coming from someone who's not afraid of hurting your feelings.
Insert: your momma!!

Have fun!

Anonymous said...

you're blessed to have such a mom!
happy trails