Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Because I'm In A Bad Mood...

I'm going to vent a little....

I went and picked the big bay up from the trainer's today. He wasn't making any progress.

As a matter of fact, he blew up with Levi last week and hurt the poor kid. Big bay went to bucking, took Levi off guard, but he stuck with him. He said he didn't just buck around the round pen either. He would buck straight into the fence. When he'd get to the fence, Levi could manage to get his head pulled up, but rather than come out of the bucking fit, the bay horse would spin around, rear straight into the air, striking and lunging. Of course, then Levi would have to give him his head back so he didn't fall over on him and the bay would bog his head and buck straight over to the other side of the round pen. Levi said this happened over and over...for about 30 minutes. He said after a certain point, he knew the horse was so mad that he was actually scared to get bucked off because he thought the horse might actually attack him. By the time the bay finally wore himself out...Levi had pulled a groin muscle as well as several back muscles and a buttock muscle. be does not surprise me that the horse finally blew up. That's why I sent him to a trainer. I also knew that deep down that horse had a temper and a bit of a tough streak.

Soooo....I want it to be clearly understood that I'm not BLAMING Levi...I'm just not very happy cause I think I know what happened and it's a damn common fault.

The last time I was over there and watched Levi ride the horse, we had a pretty long talk about all the bending and flexing and asking the horse to come back through himself. I could see the horse was getting a little frustrated with all of that and I told Levi I really just wanted the horse moving out. Give him the basics of softness and moving off of leg and rein and all that....but PLEASE just get the horse moving out. Jet's a big, forward moving horse. Not just conformationally...but genetically.

I also told him that I thought it might behoove the horse to start ponying the big arena and moving to ponying him out in the desert. Build his confidence. Get him used to different things. When that went well, if he needed me to, I would be more than happy to bring a broke horse over and pony him while he rode the horse. Whatever it took to get the horse covering some country.

But nope...he stuck to his 'standard' training practice of overdoing the bending, flexing and roundpen work and the horse finally blew a gasket.

I thought the bay horse was overly nervous when I brought him home the last time. He was in a pen where he could see the other horses, but he paced and paced. So I turned him out. By himself of course, because I wanted to keep him out of physical contact with my other horses for 10 days. I wasn't worried about the EHV-1 outbreak, but I really can't risk Moon catching even a common cold and we haul all of the other horses with him, so...

Anyway, the bay paced and paced the fenceline in the pasture as well. He lost a bunch of weight and his backbone was sticking up after just a few days....That GL is why you did not get any of the profile pictures you requested.

I started the horse on a calming supplement as well as the gastric distress supplement. He calmed down, but by that time he had been home long enough and I started turning Turk and Bugs out with him. So I don't know if it was the supplements or having other horses with him that calmed him down. He gained most of his weight back just about the time I took him back to Levi.

So anyway...While I was picking the horse up, I asked Levi how the sorrel horse was doing. I know the sorrel horse is not a problem. Last fall, Levi had him riding in the big arena after just a few days. I specifically took the sorrel horse to Levi because I wanted him rode regularly and I wanted him rode OUTSIDE!!!!

Levi said Bugs was doing good and was just about ready to take to the arena.


I would have thought Levi would have had the horse outside by now. But then I remembered that Levi was laid up for a week thanks to the big bay. I'll forgive that.

But when Levi continued on and told me he was having problems getting the sorrel horse to soften up and get flexible, I got pissed all over again and kind of tied into the poor kid.

#1-I understand the need to have a horse that gives his nose, understands whoa and knows how to move his feet before you just head out across country....But you just ran into a problem with one horse because you didn't ease up on the bending and flexing crap...

#2-The sorrel horse is 14.2HH, weighs about 1300lbs and is built like a bulldog...He's no freaking ballerina. Enough with the bending, flexing, softening crap. It will take MONTHS!!!!! of riding, conditioning and working with the horse to get him truly soft.

#3-I specifically told Levi, I didn't want all of the 'training' crap either of these horses. I wanted horses that I could saddle and ride out. Obviously, they would need the basics for him to accomplish that...but NOT to try to put any finesse on them whatsoever. *I* do that and I do not appreciate how so many trainers try to accomplish all of this 'softening' crap without any forward movement.

This rant is not over...But I will try to continue it in a more positive manner in the next post.

The one bright spot in my day...The fuglyblog is going buhhhh-bye!

Good-bye and Good Riddance!!!


GunDiva said...

#1 - the Fugly blog is going away? That's good news.

#2 - how odd, I *just* read an article about young trainers and how they don't have enough training tools in their toolbox to do anything other than what they know. They want to train each and every horse the same way, and that doesn't work because each horse is an individual.

Mikey said...

I read that Fugly thing too :)
There is a lot to be said for getting a horse outside. I think a LOT of people overdo the bend and flex (and other stuff too). Plus, you can do that outside. Lord knows I've circled a million bushes out there...
Horses get bored, they get tired of it all. I know if I was a show horse or strictly arena, I would lose. my. mind. BORING. I prefer to be "outside". My criteria for getting outside is that I have those basics and I can open and close the gate from horseback. Far as I'm concerned, then we're ready.
I can't believe that blowup went on for so long. I'd have been scared to get off too! But I bet Levi learned a lil bit from that :)

Shirley said...

Hope Levi learns from this. Hope the bay gets over it.

GoLightly said...

this.. "softening' crap without any forward movement."
AMEN, sistah, amen. Turns a horse squirrelly, all that nigglin'.

They gotta GO first. They gotta!

Scritches to my bay, and totally agreeing with ya.
No worries, girl, I never expect my demands to be granted;)
'specially with someone with as many beasties as you!

Sherry Sikstrom said...

among other things ,that is why I really like my trainer Ernie, I have never yet seen him "slow a horse down" in that if they are moving forward in the early days of training , he lets hem go to it. His comment is "they will slow down on their own in time" I agree there is some fine tuning to be done , but not until the horse learns to move frrely and balanced forward with a rider ,at all gaits . thenyou can begin to "fine tune" My favorite picture of Johnnie and I is a good example to me , he is "leading with the nose" and a bit strung out , but it was ride # 4 and by ride ?? or so he had picked up the bit and we were able to work on some more details stuff. all I want for the first while is go and whoa

Sherry Sikstrom said...

OH and waving good bye to Fugly , good riddance to bad rubbish!

Allenspark Lodge said...

So sorry for the bay..and you...and wonder how long it will take for Levi to understand there is lots more to horse training than bending! The bay is lucky you are willing to go to bat for him.

kestrel said...

I had a breakthrough with a little spotted bucking appy gelding years ago. The owner had me ride him in a round pen and he bogged and bucked me off (the owner said he did that a lot. Then why do it!?)...I said 'let us outside!' We had a loooong open field with an uphill slope, and I ran his butt off right up that hill. Goes way back to Xenophon, and the horse that was afraid of his own shadow...anyway, that horse started to slow up when he got tired, and was moving too fast to buck until he got too tired to buck. We still had cattle to move, and 15 miles later me and that colt got along just fine.

You can't soften the movement until you have movement. The best training advice I've gotten is 'first, get forward.' Of course, the next round with a rank bucker is to find a nice medium belly to shoulder depth pond with good footing... pony them out on a solid horse, and then slide over onto them. If they're stupid enough to stick their nose down and snort water, light the barbecue pit! Bwahahaha, one last poke at the fugly crowd...

Leah Fry said...

Love Kestra's trick of ponying a bucker into water. If you have water available, that is.

You know me: I don't know nuthin about nuthin. However, it sounds like you were clear when you sent your horses what you wanted. It's one thing if he came back to you and said he was having x problem and felt like he needed to change things up. It's too bad, since you've spoken highly of him in the past.

If the horse is that mad, I say get a win — any win — and call it a day.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I believe in forward first too, especially with a forward minded horse. All that flexing and bending and going around in the round pen makes me crazy. We have a mare that all that softening stuff was overdone on to an extreme, and she's still a noodle-neck and has damge to the ligaments and muscles of her neck - 19 years later!

Funder said...

I'm with Leah, I don't know a lot. But I am not too fond of flexing flexing flexing. I'd rather have a stiff but forward mover than a noodly horse that won't go.

Still, good job to the kid for sticking out the bucking for THAT long! Hope he learned something. And good job to you for standing up to him, even if it doesn't do any good.

Mrs. Mom said...

Dang. Thats rough. Hope Levi heals up quick and ruminates on forward VS bending bending bending. Bend can come from the ground before you step on-- it does at my place. And then we go on, and move forward forward forward. As long as I can get a horse into a circle if need be to whoa, it's all good.

Gotta give full props to Levi for being able to stay ON that. Tell you what... portions of MY anatomy were painful just reading about his injuries.

And Oh Noes-- FUGS is stopping her blog?? Why whatever shall we poor ignoramuses DO with out her infinite wisdom leading us forth in the horse world? Our poor horses.. they'll suffer so in the throes of our ignorance....
(and if you read that with a straight face, I got a nice patch of swamp to sell you out in Arizona.)

Cut-N-Jump said...

Sometimes the best way to learn the when, why and why NOT! is for something like this to happen. If you are lucky it happens to someone else and you learn from THEIR mistakes. If you aren't so lucky, hopefully others learn from yours!

That being said, it's not like you weren't clear with your requests. Those requests not being met is what sounds like got the kid into the mess he had on his hands. For Levi to ride it out as long as he did is a hell of an achievment, but when you cause the problem, it kind of takes away the bragging rights that go along with it.

Kat was needing some softening work to the right. I bent his neck around with my hand on his nose. The reason I did it from the ground and not in the cart was to see if he could or not and if not, at least I knew he wasn't just being a little shit about it. There is softening work that can be done from the ground, but once you are on the horse, it is a quick refresher and off you go- FORWARD.

I agree with Mikey- there are plenty of bushes and even open ground where you can do circles- large and small. I know a woman who once picked a small, flat area and used that as her 'outdoor' arena. It was out in the desert and her horse thought once he went through the gate and was out in the desert, he didn't have to bend, give or really behave like he did in the arena. That changed pretty quick!

Kestrel- love the pond and uphill solutions!

Fugly isn't exactly going away- she's offering it for sale. Wonder who or what comes next. At least with her we know what there is to deal with.

Anonymous said...

Best news I've heard all week! You just made my day!

Sorry Jet and Levi had conflict. I hope Levi learns from it. I know Casey wouldn't tolerate the bend, bend, bend crap.