Wednesday, May 18, 2016

May 18, 2016

The last month of training has been a little discouraging. I have taught Charmer so much, and he's overall getting better, but he recently bucked me off again!

I did a forward roll and landed hard on my right hip before continuing to roll and stand up. The problem of me not letting go of the reins helped me this time. Charmer kept backing away from me and pulled me back to my feet.

I took him through a series of turns from the ground, having him go right and left around me, but not letting him cut into my space.

I did mount back up also, but I was in the round pen.

~ ~ ~

Today I got out there and Charmer met me at the gate. I rubbed down both sides of his neck then haltered him. He finally drops his head for the halter! For a while there he would drop it then raise it before I could get it buckled. The last few times he has left his head low for me to put the halter on and buckle it.

I took him to the round pen under the trailers and did some groundwork with the halter. Then I did some free lunging (without the halter).

I then felt perfectly safe to mount up. Let me clarify, that's without a halter and no saddle. I did some directing with my legs. I want to do more of that. I even asked Charmer to canter a few steps. He protested some, but was really smooth for the few steps he did canter.

I want to get him going both ways, he kept turning around and only wanting to go race way. We'll get it!

I finished in his pen by rubbing his legs and shoulders with a thick plastic bag.

April 6, 2016

The last few rides I've had have been very enjoyable! They haven't been perfect, but I have enjoyed most of my time.

Charmer has had quite a bit of energy, but he is also getting better at listening. I feel like I am giving him more subtle cues and he is doing what I ask.

The ride today was a little different because I didn't rude in the main arena. The arena below the cows was being used, so I used the round pen below the trailers. It is a slightly bigger round pen than the one by the main arena.

Charmer was slightly excited because we were closer to the street traffic, but it was only a few minutes before he was listening and following my lead.

I worked on turns and smaller circles, working on keeping the energy up even though we were doing the smaller circles. I think he still has a tendency to not drive forward with his hind end, which makes it harder to maintain a quick speed in a smaller circle.

Charmer is getting gentler when leading and tying. He walks along beside me and I feel like he likes being around me. He still comes to the gate when I get him on each visit and he follows my hand signals when we do groundwork in the round pen. We really have a lot of fun together!

I have found I am more excited to work with him each time now and we get great results as we work together!

March 18, 2016

Charmer didn't have any "go forward" energy today. It was more up and down. I did some ground work in the round pen and had him run some.

Down at the tie-ups a girl tied her horse, a Mustang, at the other end of the pole. Charmer was more interested in the horse than normal. I think he could tell she was not from around here. Well, Charmer spooked at the tack box. I'm not sure why because it looks like mine only it's blue.

I rode Charmer to the main arena, but he still didn't want to go forward. He actually bucked and I slid off, super annoying!!! Charmer pulled back enough to pull the bridle off. He stopped immediately, bridle still on, then as I walked over to him, he pulled it off and took off running. *Sigh!*

After that . . . I actually had a pretty good training session. I rode him in the small round pen quite a bit, loping for a long time. It still felt like his cantering was more vertical, not driving from the hind end.

I rode him down along the front of the property below the trailers and stopped off in the round pen down there. He had more energy, so we did more cantering and worked on a smaller circle.

I finished by riding in the main arena again, working on trotting around the barrels and a smooth canter in a slightly bigger circle than before in the other arena.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

February 13, 2016

Wow! I had a great training session with Charmer today! I started out with some groundwork in the round pen, having him follow my change of direction and speed. He seems to like that time and is even getting a little more playful. When I was leading him back down to the tie-ups he was getting excited, so I turned him back on himself in slowly traveling circles and got to where I wanted without him getting excited.
Another rider out there said I am getting a lot done with my horse, that my patience is paying off. I would agree with him after today.
I tacked Charmer up easily, though he was alert and looking around. Then I rode him to the main area. I had it to myself today because the other riders were all at the roping arena. I did various sized circles at walk, trot, and canter. Charmer is really listening to me when I am riding and I can tell he is responding to my cues much quicker.
I think the groundwork puts us more on an even field, but he still knows I am the “alpha” and I am feeling that transfer to in the saddle as well.
His rollbacks (a technique used in sorted the cows) were amazing today! Not only did he stop quickly and pivot on his hind legs, but he quickly picked up the canter in the second direction. He had an excitement in his movements today and I couldn’t help, but smile on some of those cues he followed so exactly.
Sorting cows here we come!

Friday, May 1, 2015

May 1, 2015

A lot has been happening since I last wrote. I have introduced more groundwork into Charmer’s training and he is picking it up quickly. I have been working on different hand cues and body movements and he now follows when I change direction and speed. Pretty cool! He has a “calm” spot with his head beside my body. When he stays there he’s in a good spot. When he gets too far behind I create an incentive so he comes back up into his “calm” spot. He understands the cue to go out away from me to jog along the fence line and also the cue to come join me again. It’s been fun teaching him from the ground. He is also really starting to listen when I am on his back. I think it might tie-in to the groundwork we’ve been doing together. He knows he can trust me and we always have fun! Lots more training to come!

Friday, February 13, 2015

February 13, 2015

Golden Charmer has come a long way from where he has been in his training. Yes, there will always be days where I feel like he is on the same plateau he has been on for the past week, but today we had another breakthrough. Today was my first day working him with some cows. It took him a while to understand that I wanted him to go after the cows, but when he figured that out, he was really getting into it! Friday the 13th today. It was awesome!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

August 3, 2013

The last few times I have been out with my horses has been awesome! Golden Charmer is really starting to listen to my hand and leg cues, and Seyvilla is becoming more accurate with her turns and positions that will help her when we do more cow sorting.
Though Golden Charmer is not as easy going and calm in most situations as Seyvilla, he is becoming more used to things moving around his head, back, and legs. It was probably about a month ago that I walked him over to the fence and stop while I gathered up the halter and lead rope that I had hung there earlier. When I reached over, from his back and picked them up off the fence, he startled at the “scary” stuff and shied away. It was odd that he minded because I can swing a calf rope around his head and even gently bump him in the ears and he doesn’t flinch. Well, this “scary” halter and lead rope issue needed to be fixed . . . The next day I had him stop by the fence, and I lifted the halter and lead rope. This time, I kept it over the fence so if I had to let go it would just hang itself on the fence again. When he moved away I dropped the halter back on the fence and then asked him to do something else. Later that same day I asked him to come back to the fence again. Now, about a month after starting with that “sacking out,” he will let me pick up the halter and lead rope from the fence and he’ll just stand still. It might have taken longer than forcing him to accept it the first day, but now he knows that it won’t hurt him and he didn’t ever get afraid of it.
I will be taking more cow sorting lessons with Seyvilla in a few weeks. We are currently working on the specific skills we learned in our lessons before so we will be ready to apply them and learn further techniques in our coming lessons. I’ll make sure and post when we have a sorting event and I hope to see you there! Just yesterday a rode Seyvilla up to the roping arena when they were doing the usual morning jackpot runs. I rode her all the way up to right behind the heeler’s box and she stood relaxed. It was really fun to sit there mounted and not have to pay careful attention to what she was doing every minute. She doesn’t mind cows now, so the fun is just beginning!