Horse Lovers - a good horse story for you with pictures

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Posted 12/16/2013 by slicksister in NSBR Board
 

slicksister
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 12/16/2013 11:18:42 PM
This is DH. On most message boards, other than this one, I refer to him as The Cowboy. He's a horse trainer and is very talented. The horse is a 9 year old AQHA gelding named BOOMER he got in for training after he spooked out sideways from his rider one too many times and shattered her wrist.

She had to have surgery and now has plates and screws in her wrist. She said she wanted to sell him because her confidence was shattered and she didn't trust him anymore. She didn't start riding until the age of 54 which was 4 years ago. She is a friend of ours from way back but we only recently - 2 years ago - reconnected via Facebook so she didn't really have anybody reliable to help her with her horse buying. She sent him to DH to train in order to be able to sell him.

DH started by just de-sensitizing the heck out of him - tarps, water bottles, barrels, ropes...you name it he did it. Boomer's confidence was shot too and he had a lot of holes in his learning. He's a big horse and he'd gotten away with so much over the years. He either just intimidated people and/or if the weren't intimidated they just didn't have the knowledge to be able to correct him properly. He has good ground manners so was never a problem on the ground. Just would spook at everything and duck out and spin.

Although he never ducked out with DH and tolerated, after some coaxing, just about everything, after about 2 weeks of training DH felt Boomer just wasn't giving him the respect he needed nor giving in to the authority he requires from his horses. He told me it was time to "Lay him down."

Horses are prey animals. They are always looking for the enemy. Their eyes are on the sides of their heads so they can see all around them. Horses do lay down but not a lot and it surely has to be their idea. They will only lie down if they feel perfectly safe. It puts them in a very vulnerable position.

Laying a horse down in training is used for several reasons most of which have to do with teaching the horse to trust you implicitly and that obedience on their part is not going to hurt them. The idea is to put them in that very vulnerable position and show them that they can trust you. That you won't allow them to be hurt and that they need to do what is asked of them even if they are scared or nervous knowing you won't let anything hurt them.

Basically, though, once you begin this process you really need to see it through. Some horses will resist a lot, some will not. The longer they resist the more strong willed they are. It took Boomer quite some time to make up his mind to trust DH and lay down. The second day it too less time, the third day it took less time and by the 4th day he would lie down in less than a minute and look like he'd been doing it all his life. He didn't change overnight but change he did. From then on he would do ANYTHING DH asked of him even laying down on top of a tarp or having the tarp puller over top of him while he was laying down.

So after 60 days not only did DH desensitize him but taught him balance at the walk, trot and canter, taught him simple lead changes, he can pick up the lope from a stand still and work all 3 gaits slowly, controlled and for the most part collected. He opens and closes gates, walks through water, chases cows, follows a mechanized roping dummy, hooks onto the cutting flag...we haven't found anything he won't do. He is a wonderful horse and we have been privileged to work with him.

The best part? His owner came up for the weekend because we had a buyer for him and she wanted to meet him. She decided to take a couple of lessons on Boomer and feels so confident now that she is going to keep him. Yay for her, yay for Boomer and yay for DH. He did a fabulous job.


http://i1089.photobucket.com/albums/i356/slicksister59/photo50_zpseb4c8def.jpg







WingNut
Best Cat Evahhh!

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Posted: 12/16/2013 11:26:36 PM
Pictures? Where are the pictures?!! LOL!

There's nothing better to read than of a horse that has been given a chance to prove he's got the right stuff by someone who can and will take the time to train him. Congrats to all involved!


Joy


slicksister
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 12/16/2013 11:28:54 PM
Pictures added now Wingnut.



cmpeter
PEAceful Pea

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Posted: 12/16/2013 11:37:16 PM
Wow, that is awesome. Boomer is very lucky to have met your dh.


Cindi

SueSume
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Posted: 12/17/2013 1:39:46 AM
I love a happy ending!


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UkSue
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Posted: 12/17/2013 4:05:52 AM
I love to see horse pics and stories here! I was horse mad growing up . My oldest sons GF is the only one I can talk horses with- she is training to be a national hunt jockey and is currently helping to train a thoroughbred.

Boomer is a beauty!


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identicaltriplets
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Posted: 12/17/2013 5:48:22 AM
Oh how awesome! I can't wait to share this with my girls! And what an amazing trainer your hubby must be!


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lynlam
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Posted: 12/17/2013 6:01:09 AM
That's awesome Sylvia! I'm sorry I didn't get the chance to meet your cowboy before you moved.





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PhotoHorse
PeaFixture

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Posted: 12/17/2013 6:25:30 AM
Does he take apprentices? I love working with young/green horses, but my own knowledge level is limited, so I am slow and kind of unproductive compared to 'real' trainers like your DH. The horses I work with are always better than when they arrived, but my 'toolbox' isn't very deep. Kuddos to your DH for a job well done!

FLCindy
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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Posted: 12/17/2013 6:41:33 AM
What a beautiful story! I hope you scrap it! I could make an entire scrapbook from the training Boomer received from DH. You DH has a special gift.



gajitldy
BucketHead

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Posted: 12/17/2013 7:13:48 AM
Glad this horse had a good result. I personally witnessed a trainer lay down a horse who was EXTREMELY resistant. It took several hours. The horse was sweating profusely and bleeding from the ropes used in this process. The mare was a Tennessee Walker and the next day went right back to her old ways of running off with the owner riding.


Diane



KikiPEA
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Posted: 12/17/2013 7:20:43 AM
That's awesome!




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PeaCeaRyder
BucketHead

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Posted: 12/17/2013 7:30:45 AM
I enjoyed your story so much. Thanks for sharing it. A lot can be said for your DH - his patience, kindness and wisdom met for a happy ending. And Boomer is beautiful!



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PeaFixture

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Posted: 12/17/2013 7:59:20 AM
I googled 'balance at the walk' and only came up with a couple of articles (in the first few pages, at least). Does your hubby have something he could recommend for me to read - or other words to use in a search?

My current project horse crow hops A LOT when I ask her to lope on the lunge line, and will only lope a few steps with me on her in the arena. If we're out on the gravel road, she'll lope willingly and without resistance. Your comment about 'balance at a walk' got me to thinking that maybe she is not balanced and I want to investigate.

And then, I promise - no more training questions.

Gail OH
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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Posted: 12/17/2013 8:51:50 AM
Wonderful story, thank you for sharing


Gail

WingNut
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Posted: 12/17/2013 9:49:49 AM

Glad this horse had a good result. I personally witnessed a trainer lay down a horse who was EXTREMELY resistant. It took several hours. The horse was sweating profusely and bleeding from the ropes used in this process. The mare was a Tennessee Walker and the next day went right back to her old ways of running off with the owner riding.


As with any method of training, when done properly it can work well and without trauma or injury to the horse (or any animal). Done wrong, it can wreak havoc.


Joy


EricaLynn
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 12/17/2013 9:59:48 AM
I love a great story with a wonderful ending!!

Thanks for sharing!

FarmDPea
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 12/17/2013 11:19:58 AM
What a pretty boy Boomer is. So glad that your DH was able to help him through his "issues". Hoping for a successful new relationship between Boomer and his owner.



paperkrafter4life
BucketHead

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Posted: 12/17/2013 12:46:13 PM
this story is awesome so glad u shared it. I loved horses growing up and now we live high up on a hill above a horse farm, I get to hear them whinny and enjoy seeing them in the pasture every day when I drive down our hill. We live in town so it is a super blessing to have them just below us in Von Ahn's Valley as it is called. Horses are such beautiful animals.......................
you husband is so gifted.

slicksister
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 12/17/2013 1:53:47 PM

I googled 'balance at the walk' and only came up with a couple of articles (in the first few pages, at least). Does your hubby have something he could recommend for me to read - or other words to use in a search?

My current project horse crow hops A LOT when I ask her to lope on the lunge line, and will only lope a few steps with me on her in the arena. If we're out on the gravel road, she'll lope willingly and without resistance. Your comment about 'balance at a walk' got me to thinking that maybe she is not balanced and I want to investigate.

And then, I promise - no more training questions.


Ok, so let me explain a term we use a lot in our training and teaching. Forgive me if you already know this. Think of your horse as a 4 door car for a minute. The front door is controlled by the reins. When this door is open the horse is being asked to move forward. The door on the left is controlled with the left leg and the door on the right is controlled with the right leg. The back door is controlled by both legs at the same time. All doors are aided by seat bones (weight) and possible voice. So the term is "open or close the door".

Teaching a horse balance at the walk is basically teaching him to walk between your hands and legs. I don't know if you are riding one handed or two handed but the principal is the same. Keeping your hands close together so the reins rest on either side of the horses neck and having both legs on him at the cinch/girth (this closes the side doors) use your seat bones to urge him into an active walk. Alternate from one seat bone to another until he becomes engaged in the walking process and isn't just ambling along. This will cause his hind end to come up underneath himself and for him to begin tracking up - the footprints from his back feet landing on top of the footprints of his front feet.

Next if you are in an arena riding along the rail tip his nose to the outside just until you can barely see his eye, release some of the pressure from your inside leg, increase the pressure with your outside leg and ask him to move away from the rail. He should continue to move forward but move his body towards the center of the ring. Now reverse that process and move him back to the rail. Repeat this several times around the arena going both directions. Now, just using your seat bones alternating one and then the other, keeping the side doors closed, ask him to speed up at the walk. Discontinuing the seat aids should not cause him to halt but to maintain whatever speed he was at when you stopped asking. You haven't disengaged any of the other aids.

These are a couple of good exercises to use to get him to understand where his feet are which brings about balance. Next ask for some leg yields being sure he is crossing his front legs as he moves forward and to the side at the same time.

Oh rats. I gotta go. I'll finish this when I get back. You are going to do some exercises in a circle next. And we'll address the loping thing.

Thanks for all the nice comments peas. The cowboy has no idea I posted this so I can't wait to show him. For now I'm off to have lunch with my 84 year old friend.



peamac
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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Posted: 12/17/2013 1:54:13 PM
Yay! How great that your DH was able to train the horse so well!

What is it about those blue tarps? DD's horse hates anything that color, which is why when I have extra stuff for him (apple cores, lettuce chunks,etc), I put it in a big blue bowl for him to eat out of.


PeaMac


Hi-D
PeaAddict

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Posted: 12/17/2013 2:06:57 PM
Thank you for sharing. I know that require a lot of patience on your husband and Boomer's part.

Misspeasy
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Posted: 12/17/2013 2:55:39 PM
Great story!! Horses are the most beautiful animals!!




Onekwa
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 12/17/2013 3:36:34 PM
Love your story! I love horses and always wanted one but could never afford one. Boomer is beautiful and I am so happy his owner decided to keep him! And I hope you don't mind, but your Cowboy isn't bad looking either! Great job on his part!




slicksister
StuckOnPeas

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November 2003
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Posted: 12/17/2013 6:02:47 PM

And I hope you don't mind, but your Cowboy isn't bad looking either!


Mind? I don't mind at all. I think he's a hottie for an old guy. LOL


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