Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Gorgeous Night To Demand R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Our heat finally broke and it was 86 and low humidity today.  VERY nice.  My goal was to ride both horses tonight depending how tender footed my Bonnie is (darn white hooves)  after farriers visit today.

Well I didn't ride Rosie but I worked her hind end off.. well 'over and around'.   Grooming ground tied was NOT happening but she was content with lead just tossed over my shoulder.    She's in season too so...

She didn't fidget much, her feet never moved but her head sure did.  Can you say "swivel neck"?

Not much listening to me going on this evening so instead of tacking up, I grabbed the training stick off for a walk we went.   She was consistently good on halt with loose lead, calling out though as we left the barn so that got some shoulder yield work.  Last thing I want is a draft horse who is barn/buddy sour UGH!

With her being in season I really REALLY had to enforce my space.  For the first time in a very long time I had to tap her with the training stick to get her attention.  Then when lunging she was very responsive to  my position to the left, but going right she would NOT stop and turn to face me when I stepped in front of her shoulder.  She even at one point pulled me part of the way across the arena.. DOUBLE UGh!
  This resulted in more lunging at a canter.. and more canter... and even more canter until I just stepped in front of shoulder as she halted correctly.

Good notes - she backed on hand signal really well both times I asked.  Hindquarter yields both sides is progressing to almost a look at her hind-end to make her step over.   Shoulder yields are good left to right, and still non-existent right to left so again resorted to tapping her repeatedly on her neck until she first looked away, then leaned away, then one step over.    AND I can swing brightly coloured pool noodle thingies all around, over, under and even hang them from her halter without a care.

We have a round pen and I'm fairly certain she can't push it over so maybe tomorrow we'll work on that lunging thing in the round pen where she can't drag me so far.

I debated riding Bonnie because of how tender footed she is right after a trim, and today no exception.  But she was not swollen, no heat and only showing tenderness on gravel.  So I lead her to outdoor arena making sure to stay on the grass the whole way.  She is NOT lame at any gait on grass or sandy footing of arena.  I still stayed at a walk though.  I love my mare and she would die trying to please me so I have to be the smart one.

My goal was to keep consistent contact, and work on bending.  I even threw in some leg yields.
She did really well was always carrying herself and very relaxed about it.  I have to remember to keep contact with outside rein when bending her around my inside leg, and keep that inside hand in one spot! I really worked hard at keeping her forward moving at the walk and my halt transitions clearly defined, sit deep, tall, think halt and exhale.  I was getting really good balanced halts with only a few where she tossed her nose up indicating I was off balance.

Her leg yields are really coming along.  I get a consistent yield starting at K - thru -X to M,  F- thru -X to H is not so strong but Bonnie gives great effort.  I tried to make sure I was queuing correctly as I'm fairly certain I'm not but can't figure it out.   I'll need to break it down into tiny steps and analyze how I'm doing each step next time.


  1. Sounds like a great session. In reading your post I think I should be doing more ground work. I know it translates to other work too, so I better get busy!
    86 is hot!!! Our heat is humid though, so maybe that's the difference. Glad you're back to riding and things are going well.

  2. "darn white hooves" You don't believe the wives tale that non pigmented hooves are weaker than dark, right?
    Our heat finally broke here too. The horses and myself are celebrating. They don't have to work in the heat of the day and I don't have to sweat myself silly working them.

  3. Sounds like good work all round. I wouldn't want that big beauty pushing me around either.I have never found white hooves a problem , but I have Appies and for them white feet are super tough

  4. LOL Syndey - no I don't. It's just HER white and have been problematic since she got a horrible trim last fall that left her really long in the toe and almost no heel. I'm wishing I'd have shod her this summer now. I spoke to the gentleman I bought her from, who is also a very good barefoot farrier and he said she's always had softer hooves.

    My arab I had when I was a kid had white hooves and they were rock hard.

    I'm open for suggestions on what I can do, research on internet, and even vet opinion seems to be a lot of wishy washy and not much hard and true facts.

    I do realize feed plays an important role and am seriously thinking of changing to something I know the quality of.

  5. Now that the heat has broke I am putting everyone back in work. They are not going to be happy that their summer vacation is over.

    I wish I could give Bonnie some of Brego's white feet. His feet are INSANE, his hoof wall is SUPER thick and hard and grows stupidly fast. I have him on a 6 week trim schedule and he gets too long! I really should have him on 4 weeks but I keep thinking eventually I work him enough to wear them down.

  6. Nice work...yea, mine are both in season right now-again. Our heat JUST broke today...from 104 for a week to about 70 today and very overcast.
    I think I will ride Pantz and Pony Wa...get them both going.

    Well, Pantz hooves are terribly soft and tender...she was shod all her life and when My sissy inherited her...she has only done the barefoot trimming. She has white hooves too, very little heal.
    I am STILL Loving my Easy Walker horseshoes...on our 3rd set. I only do the fronts and hoof boot the backs should we go on rockier terrains.

    I have Wa on Biotin/Methioine and Zink Supps. for hooves. Many diff resources for it.smartpak and Springtime Inc.
    The Rice bran I feed her has fatty acids..good for the hooves(so does stabilized Flax meal)-

  7. Glad you were able to get out and enjoy the nice weather with both of your girls! Sounds like a good session/ride. Never ceases to amaze me what a difference consistent ground work makes.

    We have fed Horseshoer’s Secret Hoof Supplement to Nemo since we got him, it really works. It takes a little while (as all supplements do) but we've been happy with the results. He has been on a half scoop maintenance for a while now. His hooves are primarily white.

  8. Great training session! Especially considering she was in estrus. Our heat and humidity finally broke here, too, though it is expected to return tomorrow. Not looking forward to it!

  9. Glad your heat broke, so did ours. Good work sessions with your horses too. With the cooler weather I guess all our horses will be getting trained more consistently.

  10. I'm glad you're work with your horses went so well. I love how you always seem to have a game plan and work towards goals. Your horses are surely better for that, too. It must be great to see so much progress with the horses and yourself, too.

    Both Baby Doll and now Apache have white feet and they are as tough as granite, probably due to our very dry weather and ground, along with the steep hills they have to walk up and down and over the boulders and rocky terrain of their paddocks.
    I feed Apache a custom-made grain mix that is supposed to be very good for hooves, hair, eyes, circulation, neuro and musculature systems.

    When she first arrived here, her hair was dry, dull and rough. Her hooves were much softer and not in good shape. But she was kept full time on a flat grassy pasture which probably had a lot to do with that, too.

    My farrier recommends I only trim Apache's feet every 8-9 weeks because they grow very slowly. I used to assume that hooves weren't healthy if they didn't grow fast, but just like trees, it's the faster growing ones that have weaker wood, while the slower growing trees have thick, strong trunks, branches and bark. :)



Happy Trails!