Thursday, April 3, 2014

Same Old Thing

Hahaha..I totally thought I would get bored with this long lining thing...But if anything, I'm enjoying it more and more.

One day of rope training Jet, one more day of rope work plus added long lines...

And here we are on Day 3...

Tootling around the yard.

Under normal circumstances, I would not think this was a big accomplishment, but this is J.E.T., the horse who hasn't had the best track record of getting over his uneasiness about ropes. When the trainer who started had him, he told me he had to give up trying to ground drive the horse because he just couldn't seem to stop coming unhinged about the ropes touching his body or his legs. I tried to ground drive him a year or so ago and did a lot of rope work with him...and I can't say that I had any better luck than the trainer. Sometimes persistence is better than skill!! Hahahaha

I also added LJ to the long lining group. I wasn't sure if he had ever had any rope training before and well, since everyone else is getting lessons in it or a refresher, I decided to give him a whirl. He was a little nervous about the ropes for like a moment and then just took them in stride. I could tell he had never been ground driven before...But it ended up being an even more successful lesson than I anticipated. LJ is a goer. He's a hot-blooded, quick moving little guy and his previous training was geared toward capitalizing on his natural abilities. W.A.L.King was not a large part of that...or at least it doesn't seem like he really understands the idea that it IS okay to just walk. A large portion of what I'm trying to instill into LJ is that it's okay to relax at Casa de Tiller. Life moves a little slower around here than what he is used to. Lots of things happen...But getting excited or staying excited is not necessary...or desired. LJ's previous training was so thorough, that it has been hard to get him to disregard it. Finally being able to teach him something he did not already know, popped him out of his regiment and we was able to get and sustain a nice relaxed walk. He finally grasped the concept of 'it's okay to slow down and completely relax' and he was even able to maintain that relaxed mind for some riding time. FINALLY, just a nice, relaxing walk around the yard, through the pole pattern a few times and the barrel pattern a few times and even over a log (gasp).

When I talk about LJ's previous life experiences or his previous training, I am not in any way 'bashing' his training. LJ is an excellently trained little horse and there are no holes in him that way. I'm not in the least bit disappointed with any of it. I knew what he was when I bought him and I knew I would have to work him through the exact things I have already talked about and more. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the horse and if I wanted a full-on reining prospect, I don't think I could have found a better one. He is cool, cool, cool. I just expect my horses to be more well-rounded and I like them to be as calm and relaxed as I can possibly make them, otherwise barrel racing will fry their brains. I strive to instill an on and off switch in my horses. The only time I want them to 'act' like a barrel horse is when I flip the switch on (going through the gate to make a run) and I want to be able to flip the switch off (coming out of the gate).

The key I have been looking for was a way to 'reset' LJ's frame of mind so I could start over-riding some of his specialized training and get him to look at things from a little different perspective...and I think I found it. :-)

11 comments:

Cindy D. said...

Awwwww...look at how good Bubbles is being.

Are you running your reins through the stirrups or your breast collar rings?

fernvalley01 said...

sounds like great work for LJ , you found his key!

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

I ran his reins through his breast collar rings. I usually use the stirrups, but I wanted a little more control with this guy. :-)

cdncowgirl said...

I'm putting in a request for two things...
1) Can you do a 'how to' article on your ground driving? I haven't done it in eons, seriously I think the last guy I ground drove was a dinosaur.
2) Can you do an article on your on/off switch?

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

Ground driving...No problem! I doubt I am as advanced as CutnJump...but it's fun practicing it. :-)

Creating an on/off switch...I can try. It's kind of just an everyday thing and is mostly about creating and dissipating energy.

Cut-N-Jump said...

Awe shucks, BEC. Kicks toe in the dirt... lol I'm interested in the on/off switch too. After the cones this last weekend, it would be nice knowing I can flip it and hit the turbo's without losing my pony's mind. He did come back around and quieted down nicely, but I want to make sure that is the norm in the future too.

CDN Cowgirl- I'm glad to do a post or series of them on the subject. I will be working with Cindy this weekend with Trax and I have my two mares to get back in shape and fix their problems before I climb on them again... Hopefully I can get pics of at least some of it.

kestrel said...

Woot! Love new and more info, since figuring out a specific horse takes both having a big bag of tricks, and knowing which trick to use!

Cindy D. said...

I've been thinking about the on/off switch, and it reminds me of when I watched the team penning competition back in Casper last year.

I remember being totally amazed at some of the horses there. When they weren't working they were tied to fences or little kids were climbing all over them like jungle gyms, or riding them around the arena just being kids. And these horses were taking great care of those midgets. The the parents would take the horse to the pen and get to work and suddenly they were fire breathing dragons ready to eat those cows for lunch. Once they were done, they were back to babysitting. It was amazing.

Lynn Brooks said...

This is off subject from a long time reader of your blog. I have a question I have diagnosed my gelding with IR and I know you have done quite a bit of research. His hair and skin is dry and just yuckky. I usually give my horses equine senior for the fat and they shed out slick and shiney. Do you know of a good hair/skin supplement that would be O.K. for an IR horse? Flax seed keeps coming up but thought I would ask someone with experience. Thank you for a great blog and any insight you would like to share!

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

Lynn-Flax is my personal favorite as a fat additive. The one I feed all of my horses is primarily flax, but also has some soybean meal in it. I have had no problems with that on my IR horse(s). I would also think that Cocosoya would be fine as well. What I do avoid is products that are mostly corn and/or vegetable oils because they are so much higher in NSC's (non-structural carbohydrates) than flax, soybean or coconut oils.

Lynn Brooks said...

Thank you for your response I was leaning that way but just wasn't quite sure. Don't want any problems now that I have my gelding lined out. I'll start looking for a good Flax supplement!
Thanks again :)