Thursday, May 17, 2012

hobby horse blog hop #13

Here are the rules:
Answer one or all of the prompts. Link back to Living a Dream's post. Visit other blogs. And don't forget to ask a question of everyone else!

Dreaming (lucky duck) got to see Buck and attend a demo! So the Blog Hop is Buck related, fun!

1. As Buck was working with a horse and throwing a rope so it touched the horse all over its body, and tickled its legs, Buck commented that we must prepare our horses for the unthinkable. What 'unthinkable(s)' have you tried to prepare your horse to deal with, and how did you proceed?
This was one of my first orders of business with Shyloh! I did a ton of desensitizing stuff with Shy, I still do to this day. Ropes, pop cans, tarps, barrels, noises, hula hoops. . .the list goes on. Even when I took her on her trail walk during the show, I had her walk at the edge of the path so the branches and leaves would brush against her. 

2. Buck suggested that his assistant "rub bald spots" on the horse. He asked us to think about how a mare would comfort her foal by nuzzling and licking him, and how that might feel. In addition to rubbing your horse, have you found ways to comfort him/her when he or she is tense or needs reassurance?
I have found that Shy licks me when she is nervous or needs reassurance. She also likes to be rubbed right under her forelock, where it meets her head. Saying easy and keeping calm myself has also shown to be comforting to her. 

3. When asked how to make a horse stand still, Buck replied that you really can't. He suggested that the rider "use the energy for a worthy cause" and make the horse move his feet; make the horse 'do' something. Then, after doing that for a time, the horse might be more inclined to stand still. Does your horse stand willingly? What types of exercises might you ask your horse to perform instead of standing still?
I have not really had much experience with making Shy stand still so far. . .standing still is one of her strong suits. Unless she is unsure of being mounted. Then it is just a battle of who is more stubborn. When riding, if she does get scooty or tries to rush forward, Beth disengages her rear end. I like the idea of the rectangles that Buck does!

My question: What one behavior does your horse do that you would like to get rid of?


  1. I wanted to comment on desensitizing. With Pippi mom got cans filled with rocks and shook them as I rode, along with unbrellas and bikes and weird stuff under jumps.

    I wish I could change how Pippi is so afraid. I don't mind her being caution but I don't want that to get in the way of showing. I'd like her to trust me more.

    1. Buck addressed trust in the clinic. His main point was that the human has to be consistent and through that consistency, the horse will learn to trust you. I will have to say that Buck is so incredibly 'cool' when horses are going crazy - he doesn't show anything outwardly. I want to remember to react that way he does... well, I guess that would be to remember not to react at all!

    2. Trust is huge! That is something I am always working on. On the ground, Shy trusts me for the most part, but in the saddle. . .I know she senses that I am not completely at ease or confident.

    3. She totally trusts anyone on the ground, once I am on her back it is a different story. Sometimes she will get over it and work thru it but we don't always have time for that in a show ring.

  2. I love your question... oh, and your answers!
    I would love to have Pippin stop his scooting. If you figure out the solution, let me know! I'm sure some of the scooting comes from my reaction. I have been trying to laugh it off and not suck in my breath - easy to say, hard to do!
    I'd like both horses to hold their heads in a decent position. Pippin's is way too high and sometimes Doc plows the arena with his nose.
    OK, so I'm picky...picky, picky, picky! But, heck, you asked!

    1. The scooting is kinda scary! Sometimes it comes out of no where and it is so fast! Hard to not react to that! Shy has gotten better with more regular riding. . .although she will be on a two week hiatus. Eek!

  3. Great answers. I don't know what I'd change about Estes. The thing I did want to change - her walking off during mounting was cured at Horse Master. Other than that, I can't think of anything I'd like to change. I LIKE that she's not a push-button horse. She does what I ask of her, but on occasion she makes her opinion known while she's doing what she's been asked to do. She's very expressive and I know exactly when she's cussing me out in her little pea-brain.

    1. Haha! Shy is expressive too. Her eyes tell it all and I know when she is flinging cuss words at me too!


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