Thursday, April 24, 2008

The next ride is the one where he throws me, right?

Two notes before I begin:

1. Yes, I know I am not wearing a helmet. I am sure somewhere there is a blog called Stubborn Assholes Who Won't Wear A Helmet where you can talk about what an idiot I am. Sorry, I hate the damn things. I'm one of those people.

2. I have debated putting up pictures because Very Large Colt is a stallion prospect, and if I were purely focused on his marketing, no amateur photo of him would ever see the light of day. However, I am not going to breed him unless he can earn a show record worthy of that, and after he does that, I figure his record will speak for itself and it will not matter if there are some bad pictures of him on the Internet. Also, the kind of people who cannot see through the occasional bad picture are probably the same people who own fugly mares I would refuse to breed anyway. So what the hell...

Another day, another mental battle about whether or not to ride...Very Large Colt was turned out in the arena with the saddle on and I was standing there contemplating catching him.

Left Brain: OK, you just did ground work yesterday, now get your ass out there and ride him again. You didn't die the first time.

Right Brain: I don't cooled down, it's windy...he's much higher tonight. He's not quiet like he was the other night.

Left Brain: Yeah, he's actually trotting without being chased. Woooo! What a wild ass! Call the rodeo!

Right Brain: I don't think he's going to stand still for me to get on.

Left Brain: You've ridden approximately 200 off the track Thoroughbreds in your life. Maybe one or two of them ever stood for you to get on.

Right Brain: They weren't 16-fucking-2! They were little, safe-sized polo prospects.

Left Brain: You have a western saddle, there's a horn on it. How hard can this be?

Right Brain: Yeah I know. I could hang my sweatshirt up in that horn if he does something unexpected and get dragged and die.

Left Brain: How many times in your 32 year riding career has that happened?

Right Brain: There's a first time for everything!

Left Brain: And a second time. So get your ass on that horse and ride him a second time. Whiner.

My friend came out and attempted to keep Very Large Colt somewhat still while I mounted. Predictably, I immediately felt him about to Do Something so I said "LET GO!" I have a pathological fear of being flipped over on, and am fairly convinced if you restrain a nervous horse in any way, that is what will happen. I would rather they gallop down the arena with me half on than go up. My friend immediately let go, and Very Large Colt did a rather fast pivot. I actually am used to this kind of stuff and managed to finish getting on gracefully mid-spin; however Very Large Colt's Very Large Ass knocked my poor friend on her ass.

Baaaaad colt.

We then backed up. When he is not quite sure what he should do, he backs up really fast, which I am actually kind of OK with as I imagine it's hard to go from backing up really fast to bucking really hard. He stopped pretty quickly and we did the drunken sailor walk back down the wall.

I was surprised and pleased that he figured out tonight that leg means go forward. Sometimes the reaction you get to leg is that the whole body locks up, the tail swishes and they go "hey, bitch, stop squeezing my ribs or you're going to be sorry." You know you are in for an, um, interesting time when you get that. So I was pretty much super thrilled that he figured out leg and cluck meant walk forward.

Very Large Colt is interesting in that he's so freaking big that my weight on him really isn't affecting him a bit. He doesn't have the unsteadiness I'm used to the first few rides, where you feel them trying to figure out WTF to do with over a hundred extra pounds on their back. I am trying to decide if this is good (i.e. he's already sure of himself and his feet so if he were going to blow, he could have done it already) or bad (my weight doesn't affect him a bit and if he decides to do some incredibly athletic air above the ground, my presence is not going to slow him down a bit).

As for me? I got on with that weak in the knees feeling you get right after you avoid a car accident. I was shaking and I knew it. I decided tonight to babble nonstop to myself the whole time - mostly about how people used to pay me to do this and I rode all manner of crazy shit and this wasn't even crazy shit, this was a perfectly nice, sweet and good tempered colt who just happened to be a little large. It worked. I stopped shaking. At least until he shook his head a few times. Yes, that stunning show of temper resulted in more leg shaking. But hey, I stayed on for at least ten minutes this time, and we walked both directions as well as halting several times. All is well - things went fine. I'm sure Very Large Colt can't figure out why the loser on his back is so nervous, but that's okay. I may get over it by the time he is five or six...
I will now quit typing and begin obsessing over the upcoming third ride...because we all know that is the one where they realize they are going to have to work for a living and try to dump your ass...

And how are the rest of you doing? Who rode today?


SerenityTraining said...

Oh my gosh, Cathy! You both look great! I would be so proud of your two first rides! He is so dang gorgeous! Let me know if you want me to come out this weekend some time and get some outdoor photos of you riding him. Maybe Saturday morning?? Congratulations! I'm proud of you!

Anonymous said...

Man, that is one very large colt. He's built like a truck! Cute though! Good luck!

Samantha said...

I'm so glad you're doing this. :)

I'm 24 and I too have a very large colt (well, gelding ^_^) and I'm a little afraid to ride him right now - a feeling I'm not really used to, and which I find frustrating.

He'll be 4 in June, and is just under 16.3hh (which is great, because I'm 6'1"). He's Belgian x tb, and is just dripping with athletic potential, and he's smart and sweet to boot. My perfect horse. I've raised him from a weanling, and done all his training myself.

He's had all of 18 rides on him now. Everything went text-book perfect up until ride #10 when he spooked - and let's just say I made the bell and would've scored in the 80s at the NFR, but alas, we ended up parting ways. I ended up in the ER and was out of commission for 2 weeks. After I was healed enough to sit a horse again, I climbed on him bareback in the round pen (I've decided to use the RP rather than the arena for awhile) and just sat on him a bit. I did that a few times, then tacked him up and tried again. Three rides ago, I decided to try trotting again (what we were doing when he lost it and dumped me). He's very willing and forward - a little TOO forward for my comfort right now. I want to trot and just RIDE him and the fear be damned. I'm working on it - with baby steps, and even though I'm afraid I'm really, truly having fun at the same time. Every time I get off, I can't wait to get back on again, even though the fear is still there.

I'm really hoping that talking about it, and getting support from others will help.

crazychickmia said...

Oh, VLC is a buckskin! How beautiful!

I'm not supposed to be here, I don't fit in the catergory lol. My mum does though =)

Although I have been through getting a horse that was way to much for me, scared me half to death, tried to kill me to death, and I never wanted to ride again.

And I know how frustrating it is to get on your other quiet horse, your OLD PLODDER whom you've ridden for years and suddenly be so scared that you can't let go of the mane and you're afraid to ride outside the arena on a horse you know and love and have owned and ridden for years.

David Simons is the only accredited John Lyons trainer in Australia. His wife Sandi (according to their website she met him by pushing him down a flight of stairs at a nightclub) runs "Confidence Clinics" aimed at middle aged women overcoming their fears.

Taken from their website:

"A mother of four sons and a daughter, Sandi is still in the saddle training her own dressage horses. She understands from first hand experience the physical and emotional difficulties, fear, trials and tribulations a mother or busy career woman can face when riding or returning to the saddle after a break. Like many women, she has had to overcome apprehension when getting back on a horse after child bearing.

Sandi cheerfully overcomes her own disability of spinal disease in order to pursue her love of riding horses. A sympathetic, tactful and successful instructor in her own right, Sandi uses much of the David Simons training methods in her own clinics, with the added understanding of women. Her humour, sometimes a little on the outrageous side, does much to relax the most apprehensive woman rider and re enforce confidence. The result is a much better relationship and better management skills between horse and rider.

Sandi's clinics are an opportunity for women riders from all age groups to get together to learn, discuss and overcome problems, improve their riding skills and above all have fun."

I haven't met Sandi, but I've been to one of David's clinics. I was only 12 so it was a bit "over my head" but even I managed to pick up some really important lessons that helped me then and ever since.

So if any Aussie ladies happen on this blog and haven't heard of this duo, who knows, her confidence book or a clinic might be worth looking into!

Magna Cum Mule Trainer said...

What a pretty, pretty boy. He sounds like a nice feller- I like the ones that don't flip out at the slightest provocation.*

*For reference of "slightest provocation" see "herd of unbroke Arabs that need to be saddle-trained". Yes. At the barn. I want to give these horses a decent future but I am in college and short on time. I feel like such a bitch for not even wanting to do ground-work with these horses.

I suppose it doesn't help that I'm always catching shit from Arab people for having a mule... but no one else is lining up to train these suckers.

Any volunteers? Hello?

So that's my story on the horsies I don't want to touch.
I would have no problem with working mules from here on out, actually, or nice stock breeds like the pretty boy in that post.

FourHoofKO said...

I didn't ride today, but good for you for getting back on and having a non-traumatic time of it. Very Large Colt is quite handsome.

I'm only 19, but I've been bucked off, kicked, and maimed more than the average person. This has caused me to gain some pretty serious fear issues when it comes to riding. Having bad joints and being in constant pain doesn't help either, but when I have a good day, I wish I'd just grow some balls and get on.
My Haflinger isn't THAT spooky, sure he'll scoot to the side if something tries to eat him, or he'll jump forward a bit if someone rams their nose up his hiney, but that's about all he does. He hasn't hurt me, infact he is a real saint with me, and he allows me to do whatever I want with him on the ground which I will admit is helping my confidence. Hopefully this weekend I will take him to a show with my girlfriend and she'll ride him for me over some jumps. (Trying to sell him.)
I'd like a trainer to work with me, but I can't afford that.
I might start adding to my blog a bit about my riding and my fears. I'll have to make a mental note of all the horrible things I think of when I'm in the saddle.

Anonymous said...

You two look amazing together. I'm not currently riding, but I went through something similar in my early teens after taking 6 months off to heal from a fall. Nothing is scarier than realizing you aren't made of rubber and that big 1100 pound animal can, in fact, kill you.

*sigh* I miss it. Good luck with him. You'll be fine.

Elliott Elijah said...

What about this? I'm only 20 years old and I've already ridden enough OTTBs that I get unnerved.

I'm still cocky enough that I'll ride anything, flatwork. I was brought up on 10 years of dressage, but I'm not built for the higher levels of the disipline (5 foot 2, short legs for my size and a long torso...) nor am I motivated towards dressage.

Around 13 years old it was realized that I "stuck" well, and had the balls for OTTBs and the patience for young horses. I love them, dont get me wrong.

This year is the first year I've had real training, official lessons, in jumping. I was found to be a natural, but sometimes I just FREEZE. Unlike flatwork, sometimes, my heart leaps into my mouth and I cant supress it for a good 20min. The calming effect I can have on flightly horses in flatwork goes out the window, sometimes, in jumping. I had a really good run, and now I'm going straight downhill.

When jumping, I'm afraid horses will "take off with me," and in flatwork, my attitude is, "who the hell CARES if it takes off with me." Like I said... in 20min, I can have a panic attack, (complete with silent tears and shortness of breath) and then, suck it up, man up, and jump a course with god-knows-what OTTB you throw at me.

How do I get rid of that totally embarrasing meltdown? Will it just go away in time?

wolfbitch said...

Elliott - I know the panic attack thing, which I call "The Panix." That's what I'm dealing with right now, and it's effing tough to fight through even WITH medications!

I used to be all kinds of cocky, and I have a really good seat since I was born with inward-turning femurs in both upper legs. So I'm all kinds of sticky, too. I rode runaways, one horse who tried to kill me, horses that reared a lot, you know, all the bad boys and girls. And sure I took some falls, but no big deal.

That's not what's keeping me from riding.

What's keeping me from riding is this overwhelming fear that I'll do something embarrassing and somebody will yell at me. I know how silly that sounds - but it's true, and it's giving me the panix bad enough so that I'm still not able to head to a stable even for a trail ride.

Fourhoofko had it right, I think - I need to grow a set of balls. I have plenty of balls when it comes to other things - but not this, not so far. Maybe I'll meditate on Ball Growth!

Suvetar said...

Oh, VLC is so cute! And you're a brave lady. It took me half a year of groud work before I mounted my 17.1 hands high gelding. And he was already 7 years old. (Allthough with a history of violent people and not enough food...)

And even after all the groundwork I was still trembeling all over when I finally started to ride. With a big horse it's really a long way down. :D

Good luck with the big guy!

NoLandGrab said...

I might have to quit Fugs, on the account that I'm 40-yr-old as well and never had a second thought of sitting on a freakster, until I viewed the YouTube vid of the dressage-teen riding crazy-assed horses. [Some of you may remember the video, linked at the end of Fug's post on "rollkur" or "hyperflexion."] That video gave me the first peak of what I probably look like landing on a horses neck, or worse, hanging underneath the neck. Basically, it scared the shit out of me.

My current project (OTTB, what else?) only got me off once before my trainer and I decided to restart him over, from the ground up. I am now starting to sit on him again, and will hopefully trot him undersaddle today for the first time in four months.

Meanwhile, reading a blog about a middle-aged rider with loads more experience than I have, trying to regain her nerve, is rattling my own nerves, so I might have to sit this blog out, unless it turns into a cool exchange of training ideas, like the original post that spawned this blog.

Sorry Fugs, love your stuff, but I gotta try to keep my cool because DamnNervousOTTB is one hand taller than VeryLargeColt (who BTW is quite a cool looking prospect).

Is it possible to read the new blog with one eye closed??

advocate_for_the_innocent said...

When Ty died I didn't think I ever wanted another horse again. I had the feeling that no other horse cold ever compare so why bother. Well within a month I was looking again... simply because I couldn't function without one on a daily basis. Ty's been dead for 7 months now, and Zion just turned two a few days ago.

I just came to the realization a few days ago that I haven't ridden since Ty died, except for one happy little stallion who I'd never met, that I rode without a helmet and barefoot at a public arena just because someone offered...

I watched my very large colt (gelding actually, but 16hh @ two years old) bucking and running in the arena today and though... what am I getting myself into :-P.

Ronnie said...

Today I watched the filly that I've taken from completely untouched through to ready to ride, get backed by someone else. And behave perfectly of course. So this blog is very timely for me, and I'm hoping that someone will have the magic formula to get me up there and having a go myself. Just curious though about the 3rd/4th ride thing, is that a common occurrence? I do heaps of long reining and am trying to read what they'll do under saddle from that.

Mads said...

I worked with my seven year old today. He should should should be perfect but this was trail riding. He's used to the arena and spooks easily on the trail so we worked on that. He spooked at two dogs and also some birds and a plastic bag- but mainly he was FINE. We just walked and had a little trot but he was SO calm with all the traffic! Rode for 2.5 hours and he was gorgeous.

The colt is lovely. He's so big! I'm glad you posted pictures of him, he's a cutie. WELL DONE!

ash said...

Your boy is gorgeous, I have a buckskin too.

I rode her today (inspired by your blog). My mare is not a baby but she is green.

My story is a familiar one by now: I would gallop and jump etc with not a thought as a younger,fitter and responsibility-free girl.

I turn 40 this year and take up more of the saddle than I would like.

I didn't get out of a trot today and spoke out loud to myself most of the time, but I did it!
I kept choosing a focus in the distance and just practiced keeping straight lines joined with (sometimes) nicely flexed turns.
Madam snarled if she thought I was going to ask for a canter, which I didn't (I will one day when I'm feeling very brave!)

What's that saying - the greatest journey starts with a single step?

Here's to lots of great journeys....


austriancurls said...

Posted this on yesterdys by mistake, reposting here:

I got back into riding in 2003 about 20 years after not being able to ride due to allergies. In 2003 I was thrown four times (I was 42 at the time). I learned that I can still fall correctly. One mare though threw me from a standstill when I squeezed asking for forward movement. She did a 45 degree toss, and I went ass over teakettle. I had a helmet (which I never ever wear) and a security vest on. I think the vest saved me from some broken ribs on my landing.

Bringing horses under saddle I did with a trainer, we worked daily 6 months of the year, then I would take a break and repeat. I've worked two stallions on my own, with his guidence once a week. I lost the trainer due his early demise.

I now have a big ass colt. He towers over me and is not even two yet, he will be next month. I feed him well, and he is very studdy already. In order to stop the constant mouthy fighting with me, I've started to roundpen him earlier than I planned (I usually teach them to lunge at two, and roundpen at three). Forget it, he gets it now before he becomes dangerous. He is now learning to lower his head and so on.

Reading the blog today I thought, jeez Fugs, you are doing the same thing you bitch about on the other blog. You are in a very dangerous situation and you need to accept the fact that that colt has to be sent to a trainer, one who works with stallions on a regular basis and will have him working well without danger to himself or him learning to do funky things.

Stallions (and this is my third now I'm working on, and I'd say I'm no expert but deal with them regularly for five years now) are not like other horses. You cannot just go and sit on them and let them wander about at random in the same way.

Stallions need about three times the work a mare or gelding does, and they can take it, they are hard ass mfers, and any sign of weakness like you are mentioning without the bond needed which would be developed over his lifetime if he lived with you since the a baby, you are at a serious disadvantage.

My advice to you is find a high level quality professional that keeps the horses health (both physical and mental) in mind, and send him there. It's the best thing you can do for a horse you want to show in the end. Forget the do-it-yourself nonsense. No matter how much you've done in the past, what you are writing here shows that it's time to admit that he needs a trainer that will be of benefit to him and his future.

My colt, you're damn right I won't be taking this one on myself.

Here will hopefully be going here:

Sorry, I really respect your blogs, I'm just shocked at seeing this do-it-yourself stuff here.

Anonymous said...

Yep, I rode today. I rode SpookyMare whilst my friend rode BuckingBronc. Sppoky, being 15.1, was obviously around the 18 hand mark once I got on!. Bronc, on the other hand, became a fat shetland who couldn't move to save his fat @ss.

Spooky, as predicted, spooked. At EVERYTHING. You'd think she was in a lion park. Bronc used every opportunity to pin his ears and stop for grass. Grass. Grass. Snooooooorrrrt!

Between the two of them, we had an interesting ride. And survived! Yay us!

Mary said...

First, I know I'm not the first to say this, but OMG! I feel SOOOO much better knowing I'm not the only one who's brass balls have wilted away over the years. I started riding before I was 2 and was always the one called when someone had a horse that was beyond nutso but now, even my level-headed, patient to the max 17.2 hand gelding scares the bajeezers outta me! I don't push him like I used to push others. I don't ride as much as I used to, either! And I send all of my greenies off to be ridden the first 20 times!


ellen said...

Thanks for doing this -- I need incentive and encouragement as I have seven to start this year. All homebred and gentle, and little wiggly Morgans (VLC, by the way, is stunning).

As for the "get that leg off me" thing, I have good luck carrying a dressage whip, which they are all very familiar with. I put a little leg on, then if they don't respond, reinforce with the whip, which they get. The ONLY time I've taken that 3rd ride sail was when I insisted a 3 year old respond to leg w/out whip.

Jackie said...

Lurker here...this thread it so appropriate! After 18 years I wanted a nice, quiet old horse...and I fell in love with a 6 year old, green broke, appendix QH mare...who resists through bucking - but only when you canter. Needless to say, after going off twice, I am very nervous about the canter...only until I am sure she is not in that mood (and she is getting better...bad, rushed training which we are working through). She doesn't mean to buck me off...each time, for weeks later, she would get spooky at *that* spot until she realized I was okay...and I'm pretty sure it's not me being spooky there LOL!

So, windy day, spooky gal yesterday only got walked/trotted. After reading this, I feel better not pushing either herself or myself!

BTW, he is beautiful!

PlaysWithPonies said...

Hurray! Another blog to read!

Also, damn, that colt is nice to look at.

luvmyfuglyhorse said...

Your Very Large Colt is drop dead gorgeous. It's also so neat to see YOU!

This blog is going to be a great help, not only to me, but my daughter who at 13 has serious confidence issues from a nasty fall a few years ago...

In one of those pictures (you and VLC tracking right), I see stress -not the horse. You. It could be the angle or the moment the picture was taken of course, but your back is arched and your upper body is forward. Again, I know nothing about breaking out babies so maybe you need this body language in order to get him going forward with you? You are also biting your lip, or it appears that way. I do that when I am stressed and thinking I am going to do something wrong.
I just thought I'd point out what I see. We are here to overcome anxiety right? So, I am thinking - sit down, fill that hollow? Am I right? Was there some anxiety when that picture was taken?

LongBranchFarm said...

Well, my colt isn't very large, he's right at 14 hands right now. But I still get wiggy about riding him. Tonight is my little colt riding night. He's had about 5 rides now, spaced about a month apart. So far, the worst he has done is turn his head around and look at me, like "what the heck are you doing up there mom?"

And I still get nervous about getting on...

However, tonight, providing the whopping ten minutes of ring work I do right now goes well, we are going to WALK DOWN THE DRIVEWAY!!!! I live on the edge of a state forest, so that means walking into the woods. This horse is supposed to be my next endurance horse, he seems to understand walk and whoa, so down the driveway I'm going. We'll hope I survive the expedition.

4Horses&Holding said...

Gosh, he's huge. You look so little on him.


My story: I've started a few (3) horses under saddle, and finished several very green horses.

Now, I have a little horse who will be turning 11 in May. I sent his dam away from breeding, and when she was pregnant, I got pregnant. I did some work with the resultant (gelded) colt on the ground. I kept putting off actual mounted work, because I was home alone during the day with a 3yo and a 1yo child, and couldn't start a colt.

When he was 6, I started doing a bit of mounted work with him, because I got remarried and occasionally did have someone around during daylight hours.

Then I got pregnant.
Then we got custody of my husband's young children.
Then we moved.
Then life was just busy.

When he turned 10, and Fugly (Snarkosaurus) started the training forum, I decided this was a perfect time to actually break this horse out.
His training log can be found here.

Although Justin has had intensive ground work and 'despooking' work done with him, I'm still a bit of a chicken. He's a nervous sort of guy, and I do not ride often, so my riding muscles are not nearly as good as they used to be. Plus, the times my husband mounted him (when I was pregnant), he bucked him off, every single time. (He's never even offered to buck with me.)

I find myself carefully checking the weather, the wind, his attitude, the neighbors behavior (will they be shooting?), my children's energy level, my attitude, the alignment of the stars..... anything, before I decide to mount up.

I figure, at the rate I'm going, he may be a little less green by the time that he is 15 or so. I've thought about sending him off to a trainer for time under saddle - but I know that I do a good job, and I'm scared of someone else ruining him - he's very sensitive. If he was treated at all roughly, I think it would be a huge set-back.

So, I guess we'll just piddle around and continue on as we've been going...... slow, slow, slow and steady.

verylargecolt said...

First of all, congrats to those of you who did ride today!

AustrianCurls, if you've been reading the Fugly blog religiously, you'd know that I disagree with you 100% about stallions. They should NOT be any different to deal with and work with than mares or geldings - not if properly handled. I believe a stallion who is aggressive in any way should be cut. This one isn't. I also don't believe that a fear issue that can and should be worked through is a reason not to do something. However, if I find myself failing to ride the horse effectively - for instance, unable to correct a misbehavior due to fear - you can bet I will put someone else on him who can do it right.

>>In one of those pictures (you and VLC tracking right), I see stress -not the horse. You. It could be the angle or the moment the picture was taken of course, but your back is arched and your upper body is forward.<<

That's totally one of my personal riding faults. To begin with, I'm not really a western rider, I'm an english rider riding in a western saddle for security and that's how I look. To continue, I have always leaned forward. Back in my showing days, I would have to have a friend throw me out on the longe with no reins and ride with my arms straight up, out to the side, and behind me, to "straighten me out" enough for equitation. And yes, the horse is fine - I'm the one with the issue to work through. :-)

4Horses&Holding said...

BTW - that colt is very, very nice, fugs (or FHotD, or VLC, or Snarkosaurus - what do we call you now?)

4Horses&Holding said...

Austriancurls - I have to disagree with you. I think that she absolutely has the knowledge and ability to train this colt. The issue isn't ability - it's about the mental aspect and reluctance to actually DO it.

Like me, I know I have the ability and knowledge to start a horse correctly. But that doesn't mean that I don't have to fight the tenseness that my brain imposes on my body when I'm on a green horse now. I have to consciously tell myself to relax, several times during the ride.

fuglyhorseoftheday said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
verylargecolt said...

4horses - call me whatever, LOL.

And you described it well. It's not a lack of knowledge or ability - it's merely getting past the mental issue. That's what this blog is really about and I'd like to feature others with their own training projects - just send in your stories and pictures and I'll put them up. I don't believe in riding a baby seven days a week, so there's plenty of room for guest blogs, and I really want everybody to be able to come here for encouragement.

Another note: Trust me, if this horse had a buck or a rear in him, he'd get sent out, though given my level of distrust with most trainers (my friend just had to pull her horse back home suddenly thanks to discovering they were riding him in a twisted wire behind her back), I'd probably have to send him all the way to another state where there's someone I do trust!

lusitano epiphany said...

What a handsome guy the Very Large Colt is. And're not kidding about the Very Large part! He's hyyooooge!

As for me, I am researching new dressage trainers in my area. My old trainer's school horse has come down with "lameness issues" and his arthritis is getting worse, so off I go to trainer-shop.

I just hope the new trainer doesn't put me on anything *too* hot to start off with...for I too have been battling the "It's A Really Long Way Down"s in my adult years!

ellen said...

....and NO, I did not breed seven colts in one year, two is my limit. None this year or next while I train and sell...

They are my "barefoot cobbler" class from when I was busy riding other people's horses, then the past 18 months has included a major depressive episode, a strangles episode (only 2 sick out of 18, but infection control on that level is a full time job), 4 rescues, a euth, and some of the worst winter weather in 30 years, so I'm a bit behind. One of them is also a broodymare who suddenly decided she didn't like boys and needs a new job.

4Horses&Holding said...

We have a green pony. He's big enough (and I'm small enough) that I can ride him for short lengths of time and at a walk.

But I have to ride him bareback. And he's totally green. And I'm totally chicken.

So, I got on him (months ago) and I was a nervous wreck.

And I think the best thing that could have happened did. We were coming back towards his pasture and the other horses. He wanted to go faster and I kept him at a walk. He bucked. Two little bucks about 10 minutes into the ride.
And I stayed on - bareback. And I wasn't even scared while it happened. My muscles remembered WHAT to do and how to stop the buck. I didn't have to think about it.

And I was much more confident on him after that.


But.... he is only 12.2 hands. ;)

Lisa said...

Hahaha... I about fell out of my chair laughing at the shaking/babble incessantly part! That was SO me on my 3 year old for the 2nd time!

My filly was 3 on the calendar in February. She's only 16h, but she's got a bit of a high maintenance personality. High maintenance in the fact that when life doesn't go her way she melts down and attempts suicide.

My farm is owned by non-horse people. We don't have a ring or arena. And I don't have any horsey friends that are close enough with flexible schedules who could help me out as a ground person.

I started her under saddle back in Feb. Believe me, I completely had the right brain/left brain conversation! My nerves are still pretty well intact, but starting a filly with an explosive personality in an open field with no one on the ground is a little too much for even me.

The first ride when great. I choose to do it when no one is around because my BOs have terrible horse sense. After lunging, I climbed on her off a step stool (no mounting block) with no one holding her. Wow, I got lucky.

But the second ride is where the shaking like a leaf part came in-- as soon as I got on her, my barn owners decided it would be a great time to come down on 4 wheelers and let their mare and foal lose to run around the property as their kids played on the trampoline. I started shaking so bad I probably looked like I was in epileptic shock. But not wanting my filly to think my BOs' lack of common sense was an excuse to quit, I decided to stay on. You should have heard the incoherent crap I was babbling in an attempt to regain my nerve. Babbling didn't work, so I had to switch to singing. LOL. All while my filly was plodding along like a superstar wondering WTF was wrong with the crazy lady on her back.

She's only had about a dozen rides total so far-- we're taking things very slow. But surprisingly, she's been one of the easiest horses I've ever started. Knock on wood, the worst she's done to date was crow-hop a little when the neighbors decided to bring out the nail gun during our ride. She wasn't a big fan of that constant, loud "pow pow POW."

So... thanks for starting this blog. There's safety in numbers-- we're not all pathetic wussies. We're just grown too smart over the years. ;)

flying_low said...

I was not supposed to end up having all these green horses!

I'm breeding Arabian horses. I wanted to breed some that I would want to ride, so I began breeding my dream horses about 7 years ago.

I thought somebody else would start them under saddle. I mean, I'm 57 years old!

Like Fugs/VLC I used to ride anything when I was young and I still can't believe the antics that I regularly participated in with horses (bareback riding everywhere (!), rescue rides, full ass gallops at night when only the horse could see anything). Was that really me? It seems like it must have happened to someone else and I have those memories by some-kind-of-fluke.

And now I've got some wonderful horses and I find I hate all the trainers that I know. A couple of trainers totally soured my foundation mare that I paid umpty-skiddle dollars for (when I had money). She hates being ridden.

And now I'm having to start these rascals by myself and it ain't fun. I ride waaaaay too defensively anymore to be really effective, although my ground training skills are pretty good.

But I have a two year old filly coming up that can buck like a dolphin. Whenever she gets mad or frustrated, she bucks and breaks right in half in mid-air. I AM NOT RIDING THAT.

If she wasn't so drop-dead gorgeous and athletic, I'd find someone to buy her.... Sigh.

Brittany said...

I had a pretty bad fall on monday that involved me getting bucked off, scraping against the 5 foot high wood fence that enclosed the outdoor, and flipping over the fence and landing on the other side. Reading your post about fear really struck a chord with me because I got back on the naughty bucking boy and I was having the same left-brain, right-brain conversation. I am still quite young, 23, and I have good health insurance, but none of that seems to matter when contemplating getting on a horse that you just had a bad fall on a couple of days ago. Now I am on a bit of a timeline because I actually have a show on the wild beast on Sunday, so I had to convince myself that being scared shitless was idiotic and this horse had a freak bad day, and that no one else will ride him, therefore, I had to get on to finish prepping him for the show. Luckily, I got on him and had a great, albeit short ride. Knowing that other people face fear all the time comforted me, and helped me get over the panicky right brain that was trying to tell me to take up miniature golf! Thank you Fugs/VLC!

I must say though, that your colt is stunning! He is such eye candy!

icepony said...

O YIKES! Count me in amongst what looks like fairly normal, even though I thought I was terminally unique: 40 years old, 6 year horseless hiatus, and a backpack full of fear. Same, same, same as everyone else - USED to ride anything with hair, and am now eyeballing my own guy with suspicion everytime he twitches an ear.

Got my guy a month ago. Have I been on his back? Noooooooo. Granted, it took 3 weeks to straighten out his physical issues (teeth, etc), but I could spin out the excuses until next spring. I will bit him for the first time this weekend (I did test ride him before I bought him, so I know he's at least greenbroke), and if things look good, I may swing a leg over him. Or not. Depends on how badly the fearmonster rears its ugly head.

Keep on keepin' on, gang! It's inspiring and encouraging to read everyone's posts!

leesa said...

Good on you!

I too know how hard it can be to get confidence.
I'm a nervous nelly and I haven't even had a major accident yet.

For me, I was taking lessons at a riding school with three horsey friends. I had a fair bit of confidence back then. When we were ready to get our own horses, my three friends all had major accidents that left them in hospital.

I was looking for my first horse with their accidents fresh in my mind. My first horse was a beginner's horse that I owned for a year. I was nervous and he gradually turned into a nervous skittish horse as I wasn't a leader. Nothing major happened with him, but I was just waiting for him to explode like my friends' horses.

Oh and I'm only 24!

I had to sell him as I no longer felt safe. I'd lost my confidence by seeing OTHER people have accidents. How lame is that?!

I've just bought my new horse - a 14.3 hand arabian cross stock horse pony. He's my confidence builder. Some days I'm really confident and others I'm horrible.

When the wind blows, I worry. When a dog barks, I worry. When someone runs... you get the idea...

I've started up a little riding log type thing. Anyone is welcome to read it! It's a record of what we did that day, etc, so I can look back and see how far we've come. :)

I'd never canter with my last horse, but with this guy I'm back cantering... sometimes... :)

The address is

Kathleen said...

I rode my silly boy today. We worked more on our canter. He is 16.3 and a LONG way down. He is getting that when he is speedy he does circles and lots of them. So today we might do a circle, and than go around the ring. He has a great canter when he relaxes. When he is tense through his back it is SO bumpy.

I almost took a cross=rail ysterday but my weenie thinking gt in the way.

MissMyFuglyHorse said...

I cannot believe that you would ever worry about a bad picture of VLC. He's GORGEOUS!! I'm a bit jealous, as a matter of fact. Being a 30-something that hasn't been on a horse in over a year due to pregnancy, I sympathize with you. I ended up selling my mare back to her breeder. Mare is now leased to be a little girl's 4-H project. Said breeder gave me carte blanche to come and ride anything in her barn at any given time, free of charge, no strings attached... I'm terrified. I get Mothra sized butterflies if I even think about getting back up on a horse.

Zhenya said...

i think he's a really cute guy, fugs. what's his breeding? is he an appendix? (sorry i know you've probably mentioned it before on FHOTD, but it's friday morning and i haven't had enough coffee yet....)

rockymouse said...

Thanks for the original thread, Fugs.
I really, genuinely thought I was the only lily-liver on the forum. I'm 40, I have a son and a husband, I have a green mare with an attitude, and a bad back. I read the Fugly forum and thought, wow, all those women are so *brave*! And we are's just sometimes that bravery is in baby steps.
This acknowledgement of fear and indecision honestly made me feel 100 percent better - more optimistic, even.
Thank you!

BountyHunter said...

VLC is gorgeous, and his gorgeous golden color is icing on an already yummy cake (as it should be)! Glad I'm not the only stubborn-ass that refuses to wear a helmet. I KNOW I should but I made it this far without one and now I just can't adjust to wearing one. Now I have to be a total hypocrite and make my son wear one when/if he wants to ride, I can't take the chances with his little life that I have taken/still take with my own.

Anonymous said...

I am 50.
I have 6 horses: 15.2, green broke 9 yh old, 16.1 older event school master, 17.2 bitch from hell going Novice, not quite 17.2 clyde that is a solid novice school master and now a 17 h OTTB I am starting.
16.2 is NOT big and you are NOT old.
So, if I can do it at my age on horses this size, you can do it too!

4Horses&Holding said...

Bravery is admitting that you are afraid and doing it anyway!

helmstead said...

Well, congratulations. Your post of FHOTD was just enough of a kick in the pants for me (a closet chicken since the 20+ year old perfect mare died and was replaced by 7 year old scatterbrained green mare). I realized I'm not alone, for one, and that I would have to ride her to get her better for two. What happened to the old me that was the problem horse rider? I had kids, gained responsibilities and totally lost my nerve.

So, I called my mother over to watch the kids (and, hey - she knows from the past 25 years of crashing off OTTBs which ER to take me to) and caught the crazy green mare with a new left brain mantra.

Since the day she was purchased, I have been unable to get this mare to canter (um...emotional buy, didn't even think that maybe they'd worked the piss out of her before I got there). Trot work galore...forward, through, round...nice! As soon as she thought you might ask for a canter - up comes the head WELL above her wither, she runs into a hellaciously fast trot, drops her inside shoulder, swings her haunches out frighteningly fast and BOLTS into a short, stilted gallop just as I'm freaking out, doing a one rein stop and dismounting - defeated, shaking and sure I should resell her to the barrel racers.

Well, I rode through it this time. Cotton mouth, shaking legs and all. I just stayed with her in two point, keeping her running trot as controlled as possible, bringing her back when she bolted but keeping her moving forward. Finally, she broke into a canter. I sat down, I took a deep breath and SO DID SHE. Three 20 meter circles (and a lot of pushing, because she wasn't sure she should keep going) later, we trot transitioned and reversed. Same deal the other direction, but this time she GOT IT faster, another dual deep breath...three more 20 meters. WE DID IT! BREAKTHROUGH!

I was able to get her to pick up the trot/canter transition one more time both directions and canter in a somewhat relaxed fashion before calling it quits.

I feel 16 again, haha. I think I can do this...and somehow in this single session of canter work, crazy green mare has decided I'm okay, too. She stood like an angel for her post ride bath and grooming (unusual for her) - enough of a thank you for me.


Boss_Mare said...

So I just want to point out the obvious that that horse is ABSOLUTELY STUNNING!!!!

Pretty head! From what it looks like in the pics also very corrrect! Hugeness abounds!!!

And of course, all bundled up in a gorgeous (aka I'm envious) color + dappling!!!!

buckpony said...

Thank you for the new blog!!! Now I'm going to spend even MORE time on the net reading your blogs and all the comments! :) Maybe I can work through my fear issues with the help and support of this new blog! Can't wait to read this one every day, too!!

Gorgeous colt, BTW.

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

Rockymouse - that's why I'm doing this. I know it can help others that I will acknowledge my own fears (even though I know all the FHOTD-haters are going to jump on it in glee - but honestly, you all know I have the skin thickness of your average rhino and I truly don't care - I figured out a long time ago that I was never going to be a great rider and am happy with being a reasonable competent one that doesn't piss off her horses).

And, it really ties in with my original mission - to see that fewer/eventually no horses go to slaughter. All of these things are connected. If we overcome our fear, then our horses get trained, and are less likely to go to slaughter if we can't keep them. If we overcome our fears, we're more likely to keep our horses and stick with riding and then I don't have to worry about those horses going to slaughter or going to a bad home.

Helmstead - WOO HOO and good for you! Your experience is so valuable for others to read. We have all had that feeling - you fear, you anticipate, and then you just ride through it and go "holy shit, wow, I did it!" and your confidence goes back up. (Not to mention that the horse goes, oh damn, I guess she's got my number!) We all need more of those success moments.

Lisa, your story is a familiar one - I do worry about anyone trying to ride/train alone and with no arena/round pen. Maybe we should start a thread on the FHOTD message board trying to hook up people with ground people to help them in their local area?

I am lucky in that I have knowledgeable friends conveniently located and never have to ride alone, plus I have an indoor and round pens at home. Definitely makes it less intimidating!

>>i think he's a really cute guy, fugs. what's his breeding? is he an appendix? <<

He is all QH, believe it or not. His sire is a son of Sheiks Whim, a Superior Halter Horse. Dam is a Boston Mac granddaughter who is a full sister to Favor Mr. Sabre, AQHA Versatility Horse of the Year. Favor Mr. Sabre has over 2000 AQHA points. So he has a pretty nice mix of halter/performance bloodlines. FYI, if you want one like him, his dam is for sale and she's bred back for a full sibling.

(I'm going to give up and post as fuglyhorseoftheday here, too. It's too hard to remember to re-login.)

everbely said...

After riding anything with hair, training and giving lessons I found myself not riding for a few years in my 50s. I now find that I'm terrified to ride anything at all! I have 3 horses here that need training plus my arena is now under construction and the pocketbook says I need to start training again. I'm so glad I found this blog!
I've taught a number of older returning riders and know why I'm scared, have helped others over their fears but still feel paralized.

imbendingspoons said...

Nope, I gave up.

We bought our "Big Guy" because DH at 6'2" and almost 300 lbs could muscle this Perch/TB 16.3hh - 5 year old - if he ever got out of control. DH promised me he would help me out with him, since it would be DH's horse. Personal Note: NEVER think you can change a horse liker into a horse lover... it doesn't work that way. I can't fault him for going against his promise, I should have known. HE didn't know how much work it would be. I did...

He was out for surgery four four months and I couldn't work with BG on my own. I tried. I was that woman at the barn who paid someone else to ride him.

Yesterday, after riding another horse at the barn because BG was acting up, and my kids were riding our two mares. I was having FUN... this is what it was all about, cantering, jumping, YEAH! not scared to death over my BG....and then as I stood there as the vet twitched BG's nose as a last resort, and BG started trying to strike the both of us with his front legs....

I realized it was time to let go.

BG is an amazing athletic horse, he is a waste for a small timid pleasure rider like myself. I'm working on finding him a new home. I had to admit it.

If I were immersed big time in the horse world and could devote more time to him, I would, but reality is reality.

Shadow Rider said...

What a pretty boy! I love how he is put together. I have trained someone elses 2 older stallions (5 and 7 yrs old, one stressy, one a jerk) and my own colt I raised. All were expected to have the same manners as any other horse. All were expected to work for a living. The stressy one was the most sensitive and responsive horse I ever rode. I did many breed demos for the owner riding him. My colt was ridiculously easy to train and ride. He knew from birth I was boss, but I was fair. Never had a buck or anything. Although he did end up being gelded, he was still a very nice horse. He was very serious about his job, when you rode him, it was a complete partnership. I predict that for you and your VLC.
Remember - bigger horse, more to grab and hold on to! LOL!

barrelracer20x said...

I used to ride anything when I was a teenager too-and thought it was fun! Fast forward through parents selling horses, a bad attitude, getting married, having a baby---BAM! Find a gorgeous gelding after not riding for about 3 about a chicken! If he so much as shook I would about pee down my leg! I'm back to riding him like I used to be able to, we lope circles to learn our leads, stop, back up straigh, simple things. I got that--starting him as a barrel prospect? Oh my stinkin heck--!

4Horses&Holding said...

barrelracer20x said: "--starting him as a barrel prospect? Oh my stinkin heck--!"

:lol I bred my ex-barrel racing mare to a race-bred horse to get a replacement barrel horse. Little did I realize that the several years of barrel racing hiatus, the having children, etc. all would conspire against me and take away my mental ability to get out there and push a horse to run a pattern. I did take my mare to a few fun shows, years after we'd "retired", but we just sort of took it easy. She went as fast as she wanted, and I didn't have any desire to go faster than that, either.

The barrel prospect colt never did run a barrel pattern. He was a great trail horse, though!

luvmyfuglyhorse said...

BountyHunter - I have only started wearing a helmet in the last few years. (For 30+ years I rode helmet-less unless in a show). The biggest reason I wear one now is my daughter. She is not allowed to mount up without one. She has come off a few times and in two cases, avoided serious injury because of that helmet.

There are times when I'd like to say, screw the helmet. But I cannot require that my daughter wear hers, if I don't wear mine.

I am waiting for my big confidence-ruining wreck to happen. So far, I've been lucky. It's not a matter of "if" but "when." And when that time comes, I will be very happy that I have a brain bucket strapped to my noggin. I do not want a big "I told you so" from my horse-hating husband whilst he is spoon-feeding me pablum and wiping drool from my bib.

creaky knees said...

I don't want to be the wet blanket here but is that saddle purple?

Your horse is a lovely color.

I'm 57 grossly overweight and still ride frequently on great big horses. I think when you start worrying about getting in the saddle (other than the fact my knees don't work well getting on or off) it's time to find a different horse at least until you are comfortable. You can't ride well if your worried or tense and your back and hips aren't relaxed.

Yep I've been tossed and because I am wider in the saddle than I'd like I run a higher risk of breaking something but if you don't understand you can get killed every time you get on a horse - no matter what horse in what situation then you are deluding yourself.

Take precautions (a helmet is critical for me - 3 cracked helmets no cracked heads - being a vegetable or paraplegic doesn't seem very caring to my family) but ride fearlessly.

Lali said...

He's so purdy!


Cheri' said...


I too am a re-rider after 25 years. I've been back in the saddle now for about 5 years, and regularly for about a year. I have found a really cool riding partner who inspires me to get on the tanks at least twice a week, sometimes more.

Aa-nyway, I have a VLF who is coming two, who we call The Supermodel and her cousin, a VWF (Very Wide Filly) who we call the Jock. (I have the FriesiaAppaRons, shameful I know, =-D) As they are too young to ride, we pony them out with their moms.

It's such a treat when you have TWO horses that spook at the same time,....

I plan to watch closely and learn lots! While I was the idjit who got to train everything when young, that was well before I had a ready supply of estrogen to keep mah bones absorbing calcuim.

One thing I have been very aware of as a re-rider is muscle memory vs muscle conditioning. Just like karate, apparently, your muscles never forget. But it hurts like hell the day after a spook when your legs respond like they did at 20, only to remind you the next morning as you try to climb out of bed that you are really 47 and waaay out of shape,...

One of the cool things about having a young, spry, fearless, riding partner is that when the time comes, I can put her up first, LOL!!! Oh the evil plans I have for her!

You VLC is really nice!!! He is a handsome boy! I look forward to more pictures!

And, I hate helmets too. They make me feel claustriphobic,...

Lisa said...

FHOTD said:
I do worry about anyone trying to ride/train alone and with no arena/round pen. Maybe we should start a thread on the FHOTD message board trying to hook up people with ground people to help them in their local area?

I think that could be a very good idea. But I know in my case, I'm very picky about who I want on the ground when I'm backing a horse. I don't know if I'd trust someone I met online... you know people and their pseudo-internet-personalities. ;)

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

>>I don't want to be the wet blanket here but is that saddle purple?<<


It is INDEED. My friends are loaning it to me. It is their official Colt Breaking Saddle, as in "we don't particularly care if it gets thrown to the ground, landed on, scraped against the arena walls, etc."

I have a very nice used County dressage saddle I'm going to switch to as soon as I buy/borrow a short girth. I'd rather ride in an english saddle but my other english saddle is a Barnsby polo saddle and it is a terrible fit on the VLC.

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

>>But I know in my case, I'm very picky about who I want on the ground when I'm backing a horse. <<

Me too. But even someone who is there to do nothing but be a witness and photographer is better than nothing.

barrelracingmom said...

Crazychickmia said: "And I know how frustrating it is to get on your other quiet horse, your OLD PLODDER whom you've ridden for years and suddenly be so scared that you can't let go of the mane and you're afraid to ride outside the arena on a horse you know and love and have owned and ridden for years."

This is what's most discouraging! I make up things in my head that the horse is "getting ready to do bad".

But, thank you one and all for helping to feel like I'm not the only one! I really thought I was done as far as horses go, especially since I was the one people had ride their horses that THEY were too afraid to ride. My daughter, after years of western pleasure, showmanship, etc, is rocking it running barrels and poles now. I grew up running speed events and am at the point now of being too scared to get on just about anything. I'm so disgusted! I've only rode her horse once in the round pen and only for about 10 minutes! Thank you for all of your stories and experiences. I will let you know if I can make myself ride again.

Lunasparter said...

I love you blogs and I agree with most of your philosophy. I hate hats of any kind with a passion. Stallions should be just as mannerly as mares (if not more so) and stupid people shouldn't be allowed to caretake animals or children. VLC is beyond gorgeous. Your 40 and fearful stories are really hitting home. I have three horses to start at home and although I have been riding and retraining horses for the better part of 25 years I'm not as eager as I once would have been. My current riding horses are other peoples training nightmares (bucker and a nervous spooker) which I didn't start, but now I have living at my house because of learned behavior. My horses aren't too tall. However, they are small and mighty. Having ridden both large and small horses, both english and western I have learned that what smaller horses lack in size and power they often make up for it in agility and quickness.

Heidi the Hick said...

Oh mygosh, THANK YOU for posting this!

I laughed. I just started riding a 16.1 hand gelding and is it ever different. I much prefer small horses (everybody knows that about me) but I like this big boy. I do know that wobbly first-ride feeling... my tiny mare was 3 when I started her and she wasn't even 14 h yet. I was only about 110lb at the time and she still felt like she didn't know where to put her hooves to brace herself!

I ain't gonna flame you for not wearing a helmet. You know I hate them too.

You're an adult! It's your choice!

As for your colt, and amateur photos of him... listen, he's so gorgeous I don't think you can take a bad picture.

You know what you're doing, and you're taking it nice and slow. You'll be fine.

HOw am I doing? I rode my coach-friend's horses three days this week with another planned tonight. However, I haven't been on my own horses since October. Very hard winter here in Ontario, just ended two weeks ago! I have had lots of snuffly grooming muzzle scratching time with them though. It'll do for now.

mulelisa said...

>>Maybe we can even network people together locally to be ground people and cheerleaders for those of you who are usually stuck riding alone?<<

That's touching one definite stumbling block for me. I have the wonderful situation of having the animals right out back but no one around when I have the time to do anything with them. I dare not risk breaking my damn fool neck with no one around to call 911. And having a cheerleader (or someone with a cattle prod) would go a long way to getting me out there. My husband offers to help in the evenings or on the weekend but he has little horse experience and less horse-sense --he thinks they all are like his incredibly tolerant, on-a-track-for-sainthood mule. Adding him to the equation with my just-3 mule or my OMG-it-moved! mare is like putting a match to gasoline.

4Horses&Holding said...

FHotD/NotFuglyVLC - I think the idea of adding a topic on the training forum is a great idea.

I think it would be best if you made a whole new forum topic for it, instead of it getting lost in the other topics.

Oh, and while I have your attention - is there anyway you could make these threads sticky in the conformation critique sections?
This one and this one

Hm? There have been a lot of people commenting that they wished they were sticky. :)

4Horses&Holding said...

mulelisa, it's too bad we are a few hours away from each other!

(except I do have sort of an irrational fear of longears)

Amy said...

Wow he is a gorgeous boy. It looks like you are doing a terrific job with him even though you're being a scaredy cat hehe.

I am only 21, and I already feel nervous once and a while whereas when I was more like 13 I would have been really brave :\ Jumping has become quite scary for me... My mare overjumps a lot (like, clears the standards when we do poles). I have pictures of her clearing 2' jumps by 4'. That, or she refuses. She LOVES jumping, she gets sooo strong... but she is scared of jumps that have anything weird or different about them (ie, brush or even just an oxer). I have made sure it is nothing physical (I even had a custom saddle sent in and had a saddle fitter come from accross the bloody country to fit her properly) and she is extremely happy to be saddled and ridden... just the jumping. so, I am perfectly happy just doing poles and crossrails :) Dressage is our forte anyways LOL.

Heidi the Hick said...

(I kinda like the purple saddle. Shhhhhh....)

Chezza said...

Wow...he is Very nice. I would be interested to know his bloodlines. We don't get many of those "big bodied" TBs here. My mare is one! :-D

I rode Monday AND Tuesday and yesterday took my old lady to drop off at the clinic for her BIG teeth work. (she is 30 and needs the BIG guns) :-D

I have STILL not galloped my mare outside. I wish I had my own trailer b/c I would take her to brown county and ride ten miles. By mile FIVE I would be like "okay there is a hill and she is tired" LOL When we are on the grass...My wussy angel on my shoulder says. "oooh she is an EVENT horse and she is STRONG and if she decides to GOOOOOOOOOOOO she could KEEP going for a VERY long time and you have NO clue whether she THINKS she can jump that friggin fence down there and you know for SURE you can NOT...." LOL

4Horses&Holding said...

Chezza - his bloodlines are in the comments up above.


DietingAnyway! said...

Very cute! I'm having dreams about his potential foals. Damn it! Have a good show record!

When I was 18 I was training a 17.0h TB mare (I was "been there done that" at this point in my life). She got very nervous at SOMETHING in the bushes across from the arena. I was adjusting my stirrups and someone was holding on to her and chit chatting with me. Well the woman didn't let go when she started backing up and she ended up backing into the fence. As soon as she hit (and majorly dented) the fence she sprung forward leaving me on my ass in the arena. I tore my rotator cuff and seriously bruised my ego. Since then I have never been the same rider.

It sucks being a 22 year old who is scared to canter and jump my own horse. Once upon a time I trusted my horses because they trusted me. It doesn't help that I have a bum shoulder, a bulging disc in my spine, and some arthritis from the bulging disc. I think I need to get myself a smooth moving Paso Fino to chill out on for a while.

JVK said...

Just a story about helmets...

I too hate wearing the darned things...I can NOT stand the itchy forehead! I have a show helmet but that is only because I have to. BUT I need to share a freakish story...

First off, I have been riding since I was 8 y/o...and no I did not ride TB's...but spent much time with the relatively calm breed of Arabian.

This January we celebrated a late Christmas with my Father....I am 35 y/o BTW. We opened gifts on Saturday night. I was very surprised to receive a shiny grey helmet. Sweet thing! Leather chin like a glove.

I was amazed and tickled that, at this point in my life, my Dad still was thinking about my safety and the integrity of my skull. As youngsters we used to have to bike the 8 miles to the barn with our velvet hunt caps on LOL! What a scene!

Anyway as things play out, we had lessons the following Tuesday. Now in reference to Really Big Colt...I have a Really Big Mare. She is a former PMU, 1/2 Percheron... 1600#'s, 15.1 hh. Mellow, kind, 13 years old and schooling 2nd level Dressage. I am 5'2" and 120#'s (honestly)...what an interesting match up no? LOL!

Anyway on Tuesday night we saddled up without issues - her custom saddle fitting like a kidskin glove. We walked to the indoor arena, me carrying my shiny new "head preserver" already scratching at my forehead.

I set the helmet down as I checked the girth....Mare was OK...mellow as usual. Looked at the helmet, looked at Said Mare...sighed and grabbed the helmet...strapped the baby on! Whoohoo! I can still fit my pinky underneath the forehead area...scratch....

I mounted and we began the warm up...Lots of transitions, serpentines, circles...the usual. Then the trot warm up...Leg yields, shoulder in's...blah blah. Until...

Until said Mare decided she did NOT want to stay on the rail, and not listen to my left leg. Holy Hannah!

Gentle snaffle got locked down with said mare's head and drafter neck and I bet even The Green man, the Hulk, couldn't have put a one rein stop on her to pull her out of it.

From "F" to "H"...rolling bucks...nice and straight. For her mass, the poor girl might look substantial, but her bucks are rather whimpy...But her stops and ability to roll back....another thing altogether.

Said Mare saw the wall approaching and had to make a choice...Stop, or turn.....I thought at least...Well she compromised....pause and turn...CRAP!

Said Rider, me, started coming off...and I remembered the old gymnastics leaps and tucks as I was sailing through the air toward the newly raked dirt. Tuck the chin, arms in..."feel like a ball."

Airborne, slowed down by the "discourse" between the back of my head and the soil. One somersault into a rather non graceful 1/2 somersault with stopage on all fours.

Looked over to said Mare...she is standing in the middle of the arena looking at me...."What happened?" in her eyes, Blink Blink.

I was fine, except for a strained knee. I took off the brand new helmet, no longer shiny, but scratched from the sand in the arena soil. As my trainer and I looked into the helmet, at the "impact" lining...honest to goodness...3 BIG cracks all the way through. And me not so much as a concussion.

Freakish timing no?
Do I wear a helmet now... Yup...Scratch


mulelisa said...

jvk--Jen--that's why I wear mine! When I got back into horses about 8 years ago, I didn't want to wear the itchy, icky thing but felt I had to set a good example for the kids. Then I kept coming across news articles about 40-something women that had bashed their brains out on pine trees, gateway crossbars, etc. and kept the dang thing on. When I went off my mare three years ago and broke six ribs, my collarbone & partially collapsed a lung, at least the hollow gourd at the end of my neck stayed intact.

L.L. said...

Lovely colt, and many kudos to you for jumping on in spite of your fear and also adding this blog.

I didn't ride last 2 days - - torrential rain and a virtual swimming pool in our (outdoor) arena. When I rode King (16hh TB) 2 days ago, he had a 2 inch scratch / tear on his back from his pasture mate, the evil Jonesy. It looked more like the hair just scraped off, and it wasn't in a spot where it appeared that a short ride was going to do more damage. But I'm glad I didn't ride the last 2 days, let that heal completely up, as I have enough trepidation without also worrying about possible ouchiness.

Ride went well 2 days ago. My issue with King is that he's a BIG TB (big to me, who hasn't ridden anything over 15.1 hh) and he has such big movement and he likes to pick his own speed - - fast.

I was able 2 days ago to get him to actually WALK around the arena both ways several times, in spite of trotting in between. He was also able to give me just the nicest little jog-trot a couple of times instead of the bone-jarring extended / nearly cantering move that he most enjoys. I've only cantered on him about 3/4 of the way around the arena and that was not my choice. Although when he broke into the canter, I decided to let him go a bit, kind of to see if I could stop him.

I have a choice of 6 horses to ride, and Star and Taxi are both well broke but also have their quirks. I'm accustomed to both of them and their antics (Star is pissy and does buck once in a while when he's pissed, and he can jump sideways about 5 feet, and Taxi is scared of TREES so trail rides are a lot of fun), but I've decided it's time to try the next level and ride King this year in drill team.

Thank you for this blog - - it will help me to continue with this guy.

mulelisa said...

4Horses&Holding -- I wish you were closer too. How long do you have between when the last one gets off to school and the first one comes home? I could help you with your longear-phobia ;-)

mocha67 said...

VLC is so cute! You looked great in the pictures! I am so glad you talked about your experience, I am new to the sport & thought I was being a huge chicken until I read this. I have been taking lessons (first Western, then English, even jumped a few cavaletti's) in an indoor arena...well, last night was my first trail ride & holy cow what a difference! I felt like a beginner all over again! And, after talking to my trainer, I found he feels the same way you do - he thinks he's lost his edge at 60 because he was breaking one of his horses & got thrown pretty badly, and I told him about this blog. Thanks so much for this, its helped me a lot mentally -- and I think that can do more than physically learning a skill. Good luck with VLC, we're all watching :)

ariemay said...

I fell off my BIKE and dislocated & broke 3 bones in my ankle. I am writing in pain at this very moment: got a 5" plate and two long screws put in yesterday.

The problem is that I am now very very aware of how hard and painful it is to recuperate - esp. at my age(41).

So my "yips" about getting on my gelding when I have recovered (7-9 weeks) will be so multiplied from before the accident.

After he bucked me off once (My fault - I put a very badly fitting saddle on him) I had The Fear. Now I just hope to get up on him and be able to fake my bravado.

My husband is putting in a pasture cam so I can watch him and his little pal - a rescue mare - get more and more lazy.

Ok - more meds - more meds!
And *cheers* to all who can and do ride today and every day!

CutNJump said...

That is a damn nice looking colt!

What the hell kind of bridle is that? We use a plain old offset D snaffle on them and leave the halter on as well as a lead when taking the first few rides. Use the left hand to pull their head around towards you holding the halter and bridle, left foot in the stirrup and up you go. We keep their head pulled around to us while we are getting up there. They see us the whole time, hear us talking to them and know we are not going to hurt them.

Keeps them from bucking and you are your own 'header'. You are not having to worry about what the other guy is doing or not doing. It's just you and the horse. Of course if you and your header are of the same minds, you already know what they are thinking and doing anyways.

And Fugly if you would sink into and lower your heels and drop your hands, your body position would be more secure. Pull out and to the side for your turns- lateral flexion work starts early, also it makes it as clear for him to understand, as you can.

Sorry, the instructor/mom in me is making me say that. Oh and also because I can hear those words coming from Johnie Rotten's mouth even though he is at the barn and I am at my desk at work, 45+ miles away! LOL!

JoZ said...

I am working up to riding my two green girls after a winter hiatus. The Pony Princess is short and wide and lazy... the Smartass Mare is tall wide and hot. Well, tall by MY very chicken standards... I think she's only 15.2! I have something like a 27" inseam though, so both of them are a stretch, for different reasons.

One thing I haven't seen mentioned here is PAIN. That's what I'm working through right now. I have iliotibial band syndrome which in a nutshell means that the band of I'm not sure what -- tendons? ligaments? guy wires? -- running down the outside of my thighs and knees is extremely tight and knotted. I just went to the physical therapist yesterday and have 11 different exercises. There go my dreams of ultrasound, massage, whirlpool, etc. Figures I have to EXERCISE the pain away. Siiiigh.

I'm really hoping it helps. The nerves and other signs of aging are hard enough, but to be in excruciating screaming pain in the saddle? I haven't been able to work through THAT obstacle. *JoZ grumbles off to do exercises*

Tatooed Lady said...

I took a 20-some year break from horses to be stupid, drunk, married (see: stupid), divorced, a single mom, etc, etc, etc. Horses were out of the picture for me, other than seeing horse-y movies or seeing them in someone else's pasture. Last year I bought my own, after having realized I'm not getting any younger, my only child is almost out of school, and I need something *I* enjoy doing.
Enter the 3 year old, 17hh Percheron. Sweet as pie, calmer than most older light breed horses I've met. She was the horse everyone wanted to hit the trails with.
A month into horse ownership: Something spooked her (of course it did, why wouldn't it??), and I got launched out the side door. Before anyone decides to check my story, trust me, gravity works. No need to re-test. That accidental arial dismount landed me in the ER, thinking I'd broken my hip and a couple ribs. Nope, turns out they were all bruised pretty good, only my BANK ACCOUNT was broken from that ordeal.
Okay, fast forward to the "bareback incident"....spook to the right, land to the left. No pain, hoorah!
Then there was "the rodeo". I hadn't been aware before this that a draft horse could get her ass and hooves (much less ME!) that far off the ground. Huh...go figure. Gravity STILL working perfectly, you're welcome.
Every time I see her, I long for the "old days" where I was more balls (and balance) than brain, and thought the BEST part of a ride was a gallop. Now, if she breaks out into a canter, I'm clutching at the saddle horn, wondering how hard the ground is.
Every time I saddle her, I get weak in the knees, and an adrenaline rush that kills the relaxed feeling I'm searching for.
Maybe a few bloody marys would help to take the edge off. ;)

Emilie said...

I had a rotten experience when I was just learning to ride - my first canter resulted in a rear, buck, and near trampling.

It took a lot - years of riding - before I was comfortable at the canter again, and I was always iffy about new horses - my trainer had all of four, so I knew them all.

I took time out of the saddle in late HS/early college, and then halfway through college started riding again. During the time off, I found I had really thought about riding and how to ride. When I got on the horse, I was more understanding and attuned to it. New horses didn't bug me. I could disect situations as they happened.

Some of getting over fear is a desensitization, either by removing yourself from the situation or by overloading yourself. Do you know anyone with huge, dead drafties you could hop on and get over the scary 16.2-ness of it all?

Turtle1639 said...

And how are the rest of you doing? Who rode today?

I have been a dedicated Fugly horse reader for the past year - I have learned so much about conformation and horses in general. When I read about this new blog I just couldn't resist comment. So this is my first ever post on any blog! I will be keeping a close eye on my grammar and spelling.

I am a 40 something re-rider. I have battled insane fear through 3 geldings and now I have a safe, 14.3, great minded appy gelding. (read short, pink and fat ::sigh::)I have a great, supportive coach and do take as many lessons as I have time for. As a youth I rode many horses in many situations. I wouldn't say I was fearless, but I sure was up for any challenge. It wasn't a fall that scared me - merely a runaway school horse as I was getting back into riding about 6 years ago. I didn't fall - I rode it out with great style but have never gotten over the shock.

My gelding is not quiet per se - but quiet minded and really solid. I have discovered that a quiet horse does not necessarily have a good mind and that a sensitive,confident individual with good sensible mind is a less stressful ride. I would love to hear more experienced riders' comments on horses minds ie the quiet idiot vs the alert, sensible variety.

The snow is nearly gone in our neck of the woods so it is time to start trail riding as well as getting in shape for the spring schooling show in May. We have had a couple of arena rides and Tuesday nite was our first ride out on the trails. It was great, but towards the end we crossed an area that had been used by hunters for butchering in the fall and there moose bits lying around. We rode through it, with many snorts and much collection, but he was spooky for the last 15 minutes of our ride. I know I am a competent rider. I have good hands, a reasonably solid seat and a broke horse. I am so anxious about the possibility of a spook that everytime my little gelding gives a little lurch, or tiny start, a horrible shock of fear runs through my body leaving me breathless and trembling. My trainer says that my fear is a self-fulfilling prophesy: The horse feels my fear and becomes fearful himself. This gelding is a confident individual and very sensible. I am certain that I'm sitting calmly trying like the dickens to keep legs relaxed etc. I so need to get over it already. I am tired of feeling like this and I am certain that my friends, and definitely my coach and clinicians, are tired of my whimpering. WTF do I do? I find that I enjoy lunging my mini more and more...
Signed: Pathetic

Fugly - I do have a question. Is there a particular reason why you are not starting your handsome guy in a nice safe round pen?

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

The round pens are outside. I am one of those people whose comfort zone is the indoor, so for me, it was better to start off in there. He is a colt, and he is somewhat distracted by the neighbor's herd of mustang stallions screaming at him when he's outside. Yes, he's going to have to learn to ignore them, but not the first couple of rides. Also, we've had a lot of rain and even with all the hogsfuel in the round pens, I think there are slippery spots. I DO NOT want slippery spots when I am on a greenie! Again, some of this is my personal experience/phobias - I've only come off twice since I started riding again, and both times were the horse falling. I'm a little paranoid.

(What I need to remember is that I HAVEN'T come off from any bucking/bolting/spooking/spinning that I've ridden in those five years. So why am I worried?)

>>What the hell kind of bridle is that?<<

Dr. Cook's. I love it. Basically just a glorified halter with a little poll pressure, but this is not a horse I need tons of control on. You'd have to know him in real life but there really is not much of a motor here. I used to watch him run with his brothers and he'd go down the field once and then go, damn, that was hard work, and head back to his round bale while everybody else was still tearing around. :-)

I used to start horses in a sidepull. I don't like to start in a bit because I'm always thinking about preserving their mouth - if I am going to have to pull them around/up to correct a near explosion, I'd rather pull on their nose.

Cut - if you get too pregnant to do anything else useful, I'll fly you out here and you can sit on the fence and yell at me. I had pics where my position looked better, but I chose to post the ones where the horse looked better...LOL. What I really need is a mirrored wall - I love arenas like that. They allow me to look at myself and go, for fuck's sake, sit back!

Why is it that sitting straight feels so wrong to me? It always has. I wonder if it's because conformationally, I'm swaybacked? I am. I am so not halter quality...LOL.

Redsmom said...

I haven't read all the comments, yet, but I have to say he is beautiful and I can tell he is BIG. He makes you look tiny on his back. I guess that's why I always wanted a big horse, but my 15.3 boy seems big enough when I am on him.

My3Arabs said...

Please please please put this is a book!

He is one HUGE gorgeous boy!

My day to get on my old TWH gelding is Tomorrow. His new bit arrived and it fits so it is time to get on and see what he does or doesn't know. He is 16.3 and just massive. Of course he holds his head higher than what I am comfortable with so it will be an adventure to say the least.

renessanss said...

i have major confident issues myself. but i'll save that rant for an other time.

right now i just want to say he's a real beauty! and he does look pretty big and not at all 3! the part that i'm a little confused about are the hand measurements. Where I come from we are used to measuring our horses in cm and for the love of God I can’t figure out the hand system! How much is your colt in cm? my personal horse is 164cm, which would put her at 16hh if my sources are right, but she’s not really a large horse in my opinion. Are my calculation wrong or are horses really smaller in the US?

And btw – if you want to check out something really large but not draft, look no further: This horse used to live near me and is 189cm!! How much is that in hands? Notice how the girls are as big as his head :O

Jinx said...

Can you come ride mine? :)
Thanks for starting this blog; your helping me believe in myself again.

SolitaireMare said...

Hi Fugly, I've only recently discovered your Fuglyhorseoftheday blog and it is a "must" on my daily reading list!

You can add me to the fan club for Very Large Colt! He is a beauty!! What a sweet face and gorgeous build! My kind of horse! I'm 5'9" tall and I need the big critters or I look ridiculous sitting up there.

I'm not training a youngster right now but I'm going to enjoy reading about VLC and see his training progress. It will take me back to my days with my last horse, an OTTB mare.

Stop by my Solitairemare blog and say "hello" some time! And hey, "Get out and RIDE!"

Anonymous said...

That is a gorgeous very large colt! He's definitely drool worthy...

Luckyduck said...

I love VLC!! But, I am partial to the buckies. I too have fears to overcome, mine came from having a baby. As soon as my daughter was born, I lost all my confidence. I trained my young horse all by myself, but I had the same inner battles everytime I got on her back. With my new horse, I got a trainer to do it. Why go thru the stress, when my trainer can do it better than me, and it's her butt that would hit the ground, not mine. I hope he's still a good boy when he comes home!

Patti said...

This is certainly an inspiration - except all you young things complaining about your age.
I didn't "really" ride till I was in my twenties, and I haven't "really" ridden for almost 12 years and plan to have my "official old geezer" (65) birthday this year.
My greenbroke mare somehow got way too tall for a Peruvian (I didn't stick her but I have to reach UP to put a saddle on her). So maybe I'll go out today and see if she remembers about the saddle. Walk her around some. Maybe even sit up there. See if she's mellowed out some since the last time (no, we don't need to gait at 90 miles an hour).
Of course, this is what I've been waiting for - if I do get dumped/hurt, at least my social security will barely cover the bills and hay while I can't work. And I do have friends who will feed while I'm in the hospital.
But I'll bet she'll be just fine : )

Patti in Vail AZ

deanna may said...

Hello! I'm sort of a silent reader of your fugly blog, and I love it! Thought I'd come check out how your colt is doing.

Looking good!

I too have a Very Large Colt (well, he's now 7, and a Very Large Gelding). He's a 17hh monster of a Belgian/Thoroughbred cross.

The first time I got on him, when he was three, was basically a gong show. Like your guy, he's not too crazy, mostly mellow and happy -- but you NEVER KNOW what could happen!

So I got my coach to hold him while I got on, and I was all nervous. My friend video taped the whole ordeal. Once I got on, I somehow coaxed him into walking forward (for Sebastian, leg pressure didn't bother him... he just completely ignored it, as he does with things he doesn't understand or want to do... it's the draft in him). Eventually, he stopped, and I COULD NOT, for the life of me, get him to move again. I tried pulling him in a circle, I was clucking up a storm, I was saying "Walk on!" like I do when we'd lunge, but he pretty much just stood there for a good five minutes. My coach and my friend were laughing hysterically while I flailed around and made all kinds of noises trying to illicit SOME response. NOTHING. So I said something cheeky, like, "real athletic, this one!" and it's immortalized forever on tape.

Eventually, I got him moving. He sort of just decided to start walking, so I gave him lots and lots of praise. He liked that so much he started to trot, without me asking. And would NOT STOP TROTTING. I would have been concerned, if he were bolting, but he was just at a nice, easy trot. One that would not stop.

Nothing I did would stop him. I was sitting deep, saying "Whoa," using my hands, everything! I didn't want to do a pulley rein or a one-rein stop, because I wanted to respect his confused, three-year-old mouth.

After a while of trotting around, he eventually realized that it was tiring and came back to a walk.

So it was a bit of an adventure, and I definitely relate to the "it's such a long way down!" thing. But after owning him for the past four years, he doesn't seem so big anymore. You just sort of get used to it. And then sitting on any other horse who is less of a giant just seems weird.

I think you'll do great with your guy! He looks very handsome. What breed is he?

verylargecolt said...

Mine is a Quarter Horse.

I knew someone in L.A. who had a Shire that was the same way...sometimes he'd run back to the barn but it was not too scary as it was never faster than a trot!

CutNJump said...

From the mouth of Johnie Rotten-

Drop your hands and send him forward. Why are you backing him up? The first few rides are all about going forward. No backing up. Circles are continuous motions and always continue the turn.

That lightens the shoulders, puts his hind end underneath him (so he can't buck) and he will continue forward. If he tries backing up on his own, plow rein him to one side lightly tugging on him and light inside leg moving his hip to the outside and use your outside leg to move the shoulders in-following the head...

Because of his size you really want to get the shoulders soft. It will help with the movement and controling his body.

Oh and we use the D-ring and light tugs do not hurt their mouth. We are also as light on the reins/bit/mouth as we can be too.

I will gladly come up there and yell at you all you want, (although Johnie Rotten would be better at getting you through EVERYTHING!) I could scout out a new property to move to while I am there... Oh and we have customers in Seattle, Longview, Portland, Spokane and pretty much all over Washington so a visit to one of more of them and it's a business trip!

Johnie Rotten is not a fan of big horses, and he says "That is a damn nice colt!"

I told him "He is like our little Mondo- he may or may not get to keep his man marbles." LOL!

FourHoofKO said...

Hooo boy. So I got myself up on short fat Haflinger today. (Someone please buy this thing he lives off of AIR.)
I grew temporary balls, put my helmet on, my boots, grabbed his bridle and bareback pad...walked out and hopped into the roundpend.
He gladly walked right up to me and put his head down. This was the first time I've gotten on him since the end of January. I was so nervous that he got a little goosy when I tried to get on the first time, and he scooted out from underneath me as I perched on the side of the roundpen.
I do so love clinging to the side of the roundpen until I am firmly planted on a horse. iluroundpen. So I got him lined up again, I can walk around and he'll follow me when he is tacked up, no bothering to lead him. He knows walk up, back up, move over. So I maneuvered him right up to the side of the pen, and....*deep breath*
Slid on. And then I sat there and just tried to breathe. This was what went on in my head: (Pardon my french, but this is how I think.)
Me: Holy sh*t this looks like a long way down. I don't care if he is 14hh.
Also, I think the roundpen has lost all of its nice..soft..cradle my ass as I fall to the ground sand. Look at the nice hard ground and the grass growing!
I wonder how far I will go flying off of him if he spooks or bolts.

Then of course I walked him around, practiced 'whoa' we had been having 'whoa' problems because he needed his teeth done.
He will now 'whoa' quite well with a nice calm command, pressure on reins and leaning back/thigh. Good thing he doesn't stop on a dime or I'd go 'WOOSH' right over his head. Or I would get tangled in the jungle that is his mane. He did fine, we backed up, did some easy walking around the pen, then I asked for a few tight turns, very nice flexing for a fatass Haflinger who needs to lose about 200lbs. Anyone want a horse that lives off air?
So I slid off (this all lasted 10 minutes, but hey that's good enough for me! Better get off before something silly happens so I can leave on a good note.)
So after that he got some serious hugs and loves.
I'd keep him but our personalities clash. I like him, but we don't do the whole 'click'-y thing and I just don't feel comfortable with him like I do with a lot of other horses.

aceface said...

This blog is awesome! I have been reading fugly horse for a few months now. Im only going on 23 and I def. am not as brave as I used to be. I have a 6 yr old 16.2h appy gelding and my biggest fear is of him tripping. I fell off him once a few years ago because he tripped and fell almost all the way down. This has also happened to me on a couple other horses. But im glad im not the only chicken! This blog is sure to help me. and your colt is gorgous! I think he would def. be an awesome stallion prospect (even if some people think he looks like a gelding hahaha)

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

>>Why are you backing him up?<<

LOL, I'm not. That's what HE does when he's not quite sure what to do (on a loose rein, with no encouragement from me). But you're right about the forward - nothing drives me more crazy than people trying to slow them down or put a headset on them before they even know to go forward. I spent last summer riding this little mare who had learned to balk and go behind the vertical thanks to that kind of training. Pain in the butt to try to fix.

And no, I'm actually not at all worried he's going to buck. I know I'm being silly. The horse does not buck. He does not buck when loose. I think I saw him kind of cow kick out once or twice. I have never, ever, seen him do anything while turned loose that could even conceivably unseat me. That's why I laugh at myself so hard - seriously, he ain't no bronc. I'm just chicken shit!

I can't wait til we're a half dozen rides in. I can't explain this, but I will totally relax after that point. I have ridden several horses recently that had 6-10 rides on them before I got them, and it hasn't scared me a bit. It's that I haven't done those first couple of rides in 14 years!

CutNJump said...

That is so funny abou the backing up thing, but I have seen horses throw it in reverse and get carried away and end up going over bassackwards.

Although it is wee hourse early... I was thinking abou tthe fly me up there thng. If I'm to preggers to ride, they may not let me fly. Duh! It's what they do when you get in the later stages-ground your ass. From everything. Like a bad teenager.

Fugly, if you want email me through the screen name and I will shoot you our phone number. Help is but a call away.

Cutnjump1 @ yahoo. com

4Horses&Holding said...

FHotD said: "I have ridden several horses recently that had 6-10 rides on them before I got them, and it hasn't scared me a bit. It's that I haven't done those first couple of rides in 14 years!"

That's me. I don't mind getting on a horse who I know has been ridden several times. I do NOT like to be the first person up. That is totally a mental block, too. But I don't seem to get over it. My Arabian, who I started, was always a good boy for 14 years. I was always slightly nervous riding him, whereas on my mare, who I got as a greenbroken horse, I was always totally relaxed. Yet, in the early days, she was a champion bucker and did many, many more naughty things than he ever did.

CutnJump -

I'm (supposed to be) riding a greenbroke mare. She has the most amazing walk - I am very, very careful to not discourage her forward motion, so when I rode with other horses, we had a lot of waiting & circles.
BUT - if you try to get her to walk in a direction she doesn't want to go, she'll back up, and back up. The way that I have handled it is encouraging forward motion through my body language (I don't use much leg on her yet) and keeping her straight between the reins. Depending on how much she didn't want to go, I either wait for one forward step and then turn her around, or I just ride her past the spot she didn't want to go.

Good? Bad? Ok? Is there a better way I ought to handle it?

4Horses&Holding said...

Adding - we've actually only had the backing up happen about four-five times. Three were at home, riding around what *may* become an arena one day, two were on the trail.

It's not a huge problem, but I don't want it to become one. I think I am handling it correctly, but it never hurts to get a second opinion!

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

I feel your confusion, 4Horses. I feel like if I put leg on him when he's backing, he may take that as a cue to back FASTER and that could result in the "all the way back and pitch over" scenario that cutnjump just described. So right now, the way I've handled it is just sit quiet and verbally cue him to walk forward, and then pat him profusely and tell him what a good, good boy he is when he does stop and walk forward. The first ride, I had my ground person lead him forward out of it, the second ride, he came forward on his own.

It's only happened once each of the first's what he does immediately upon mounting.

princesses'slave said...

"What I really need is a mirrored wall - I love arenas like that. They allow me to look at myself and go, for fuck's sake, sit back!

Why is it that sitting straight feels so wrong to me? It always has. I wonder if it's because conformationally, I'm swaybacked? I am. I am so not halter quality...LOL."

Or if you are like me and have scoliosis, ie. curvature of the spine, the leaning forward isn't correctable.
I learned in high school that I had it...stopped showing in horsmanship classes because I would be knocked down for it, or had judges pull me aside and tell me to sit straight with a condescending tone, um..there wasn't a damn thing I could do about it. Didn't they realize I was out to have fun?

Not everyone has a perfect form, and when I am in the saddle or walking on the ground, the funny thing is, I feel fairly straight. If I try to straighten up in order to correct my form, my muscles scream.
Best go out and enjoy yourself without worrying about what everyone thinks you should look like while in the saddle.

Darkartistic said...

This is all so very timely for me. I too had the very tall colt. A 16.2 warmblood who was utterly stunning to look at, but had a urge to spook randomly and/or rear now and then, just to liven up his day and rattle me. Every ride got to be a debate between the brave and the chicken. More and more the chicken was winning....So at last i sold the tall horse and got a shorter, calmer little Tenn. Walker mare. Sweet, nice to ride. A doll on the ground, and i started to get my confidence back. Even went on a trail ride for the first time in years. So Last weekend, i got very brave and asked her to canter. She promptly bucked me off and i broke my arm. Bad. Now i am not allowed to ride for at least 8 weeks and already i am a nervous wreck when i think of getting back up there. Crap.

CowardlyCowgirl said...

You know, I have to thank you again for starting this blog. Just reading that I am not the only chicken whose knees start shaking at the idea of mounting up has actually given me more courage!

Of course, I wish I was still the amazing 16-year-old, ride anything, anywhere, anytime, as fast as they wanted to go rider that I was.

Not gonna happen. One - I'm only getting older. Two - seems like I'm only getting wider. That does change things A LOT! My butt takes up much more space on the seat of my saddle than it used to.

BUT - thanks to reading this - I got on and rode today! First time since October. I'm still a bigger wimp than most of you. I'm not riding a greenie. I'm riding a 16 year old, definitely not a dead-head, but not a man-eating terror QH.

I bought him for a good price 5 years ago from another middle-aged re-rider who he had totally buffaloed. So, at least I never got that bad. We've trail ridden, been over to our local fairgrounds and had a VERY fun gallop around the racing track just for giggles. That truly was a lot of fun. Maybe we'll try that again after some "conditioning!" But each spring (no indoor here) I always have to talk my courage back up, especially for that first ride.

I was very proud of myself! Of course, walk and trot only - we both need to condition up to a lope! And, of course I had to act brave as my 9 year old daughter was down at the barn with me waiting for her turn to ride. She'd been asking to ride for weeks and I kept putting her off saying she couldn't ride until after I had. He was so quiet and relaxed, she got on him and did great.

I'm really enjoying reading everyone's stories! And I LOVE VLC!

OutRiding01 said...

Wow, he's only 16.2? You must be tiny!

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

LOL yes, I am only 5'3. So he does look really big with me on him - as you can see, my legs don't even go all the way down his side! :-)

OutRiding01 said...

Lol, that's what I figured. I'm 5'2 so I always look like a midget on anything bigger. Last time I was home, my trainer put me on an 18.2hh warmblood named (very originally) Goliath. No one got any pictures, but I'm sure I looked like a peanut up there. When we were jumping he landed at a stop with his head straight up in the air at one point. I think he could hardly feel me on his back and thought he'd lost me over the oxer.

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

LOL! Well, years ago I was offered a horse to play at an arena polo scrimmage. He belonged to a 6'4, 325 lb. guy, and he was a Belgian/QH cross. Imagine how fit a Belgian/QH cross gets carrying a guy that size for polo! You know, I don't think it registered on him that there was a person up there the entire chukker. I had no brakes. Glad it was the indoor arena so I could bounce off the walls to slow down, LOL.

loudthoughts said...

What?? No Helmet??? I don't get it! I have never understood the compulsion to ride helmetless. Even as a fearless youngster. I wouldn't trust even a push-button pony to keep my head 100% safe, nevermind a green 16+hh colt! Equines are unpredictable. They don't mean to kill and maim. Their just so damn big compared to us humans. But you know this, obviously ;)

But here is a personal helmet story I'd like to share. Wearing a helmet probably saved my life when my reliable gelding decided to turn quickly at a gallop and cross pavement to follow his friend. His feet quickly slid from under him and I crashed into the pavement headfirst before I had even registered what was happening. My vision went snowy for several minutes. It was one of the scariest several minutes of my life. I shudder to think what would have happened to my head if I had that helmet. And that was one of the old thin velvet show-type helmets. They are made so much better now.

I was a teenager then. Now I am 31 and (very happily) getting back into the horse world with a little green trained to W/T/C Arab. She's lovely and fairly calm, but I admit, I am not the fearless rider I once was and I am fairly sure I won't bounce back on my feet after a fall like I used to. Yes, I am very aware of the wellness of my body and have every intention of protecting it. I have no romantic dreams of dieing on horseback. I plan to do that of old age in my own bed. So I have already bought a new helmet and I plan to get a vest before I start working with my green little Arab.

I should think you'd make a point of using both a helmet and a vest in your situation even if not with any other horse. I should think it would give you more confidence.

Also I have selfish reasons for my concern. I would really miss reading your blogs if something happened to you :(

Stunningly gorgeous colt, BTW. I've always loved buckskins. I hope you do well with him :)