Friday, March 22, 2013

like a charm

I had sent Shyloh back to basics last week to get this whoa and stand down. For me, it needs to be perfect (or as close to perfect as can be) before I brave the cart. We spent the week line driving and just working on cues. 

Someone put these tires up and we used them as cones, weaving back and forth. Shy can turn a sharp corner. Her steering is not the issue, but it is fun to give her other stuff to do than walk aimlessly through the property. 
We had snow earlier in the week
The whoas are good. That is not the issue. It is the stand. The stand. . . After one particularly frustrating session of Shy absolutely refusing to stand still past one second, I was ready to give up, throw a fit, cry, or do something drastic. It was blow through the bit, side step left, side step right, pull forward, anything but stand still. All this from the horse whose favorite thing is to stand still!

Sometimes it is the simplest thing, the most obvious thing, that when you feel overwhelmed and in over your head that you just need someone to tell you to do. And Becky from the Ohio driving shows, owner of three Haflingers, two who are mares, was just the person to give it to me straight. 

First, I got the reminder that Shy is a mare. Yes. . .the "m" word. Which pretty much means that at every step of the way, every opportunity afforded, Shy is going to test me. I just have to come to terms with that and be prepared for it. Even though I know all about the sassyness of mares, I wouldn't trade it for the world!
Sass. . .never. . .
Second, use the whip! Always use the whip! The driving whip is used to act as legs. Well. . .since my whip got torn up by some unknown rowdy horses, I had no whip. The plan was to use my lunge whip and tie up the excess until I get a new driving whip. But, another boarder had found a driving whip that had been abandoned all winter in our tack room. I'll borrow that for now. 
whip it. . .whip it good
Whip in hand, I headed out with Shy. . . and ooh did we fight! Shy started her pulling forward then side to side movement. I tapped her on the side to straighten her out and Shy wanted to go forward. We dealt with a little bit of whip miscommunication before Shy realized that touch of the whip did not mean shoot forward. After we got that down, my pony was perfect! 

I could tell her whoa, then stop and talk to people without constantly pulling on my horse. It was wonderful! It was everything I hoped it would be. A whip will be my constant companion when we work. Shy got a ton of hugs, a carrot or two, then a quick shave of a heart on her butt. 
Shy loves this heart


  1. Uh Oh Shy, you'd better have a boyfriend to eat that whip too!!! Love the heart :)

    1. The whip is being secured in an area where no horses can access :)

  2. Awesome! The whip can be an excellent aid for certain types of horses who wont stand. Wouldnt work at all with my guy, but my moms horse has it as a constant reminder. So glad it worked !

    1. The whip seems to be doing the trick. Just a touch and she seems to know I mean business.

  3. Yay for taking your time, less is always more with horses :) I also love the shaved heart on the booty, adorable!

    1. I was going for a lightening bolt, but I need new blades and there as way too much hair!

  4. Great to hear that things are going better, loving the heart Shy :-)


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