Sunday, May 18, 2008

Check in time: How are we doing?

OK it's been three weeks since the Post Your Goals are we doing?

I am pleased to report that I am a bit ahead of schedule. I said I was going to have a solid walk/trot on the VLC and be riding him inside and outside in the round pen by Memorial Day, and we're already there. Plus we've done our first bareback ride! The progress has very little to do with me, LOL. He is just a great horse and I got lucky!

I need to add some goals here. The way it's worked out is that the VLC is so freakin' easy and enjoyable to ride that I have no problem at all riding him regularly. I want to ride him! He's easy, he's sweet, he's smooth, what's not to like? I've ridden 15 year old show horses who were less broke than he is after 12 rides. So now I have to kick it up a notch. Now I have to make myself get on the Small Spotted Gelding - who has a stubborn streak, and is pretty darn fast, and is half mustang and for some reason that alone makes me nervous. I seem to have a deep seated belief that all mustangs are wild asses, probably due to the fact that in all of these years, I've never ridden a mustang. Not once. I have heard lots of wild mustang breaking stories from trainer friends...but, again, this is a half mustang that was born in captivity and has actually had much more consistent and extensive ground work than the VLC. He doesn't know he's a mustang, and he's a large pony, and I love that size!

So why am I procrastinating just getting on? I think I've decided that I can't possibly get lucky with a greenie that does nothing wrong twice, and this is the one where my luck is going to run out. So I'm gonna put myself on the spot - I will get on the SSG by Memorial Day. I will.

OK, what about the rest of you? (And if you've already posted, or put it on the message board, just update us again - I have a mind like a sieve lately!)

Ellen, how's your herd? You have got your hands full! So glad SOMEONE is making an effort to break out the old broodies. We need more like you - those old girls need the help!

Fssunnysd, got that saddle on the horse yet?

Masquerade, I know you're on the same schedule as I am - how's the walk/trot coming?

Skint, have you got that mare coming when you call yet? (The VLC comes like a well trained dog. Carrot whore.)

Beautiful Disaster, how is the silly mare doing?

Which_Chick, you started yours about the same time as mine, how's yours doing?

ChipNCharlie. did the PITA boarders move out and can you use the arena now?

Whoa Mare, how's it going? I want to lose another 10 lbs. too - today is day two of eating in a manner that will accomplish that and not stuffing my face full of Taco Bell because it's cheap and convenient!

Icepony, I know you got on the horse - did you do it again? :-)

Fanoffugly, have you gotten on the big one yet? Neb, have you taken a lesson yet, or at least investigated trainer possibilities?

Twisty, how is Stanley and have you held it together for that lap around the ring yet? Stanley sounds adorable by the way, you should post pictures. (HTML is what works for those wanting to post links - you can't use the IMG tag but you can use the regular link tags)

3CatCrazy, did you get back on your horse? (I got a 4th cat, BTW. I am more crazy than you!)

Queen Skankarella (great handle!), how is your greenie coming along?

Artdoc, are you on track to start riding yours next month? How is your knee feeling?

DC, have you gotten on yet? If you need a blog reader for moral support/ground person, post your location - odds are we can hook you up!

Barngal - did you start your Big Cool Guy back to work? How is your knee holding up? (I swear, one day we'll just blog about our age related aches and pains and whine to each other. My damn back is killing me.)

4Horses&Holding - you've got your hands full too! How are they all coming along?

Char, how are you doing? I think you should make your mom ride the spooky gelding if she gives you any crap, LOL!

ReadyToRide - how is the Appy metamorphosis coming along? Has he figured out the jog yet? (The VLC has not. He now wants to long trot - or stop. I was pleased that the trot was more relaxed tonight. He is figuring out he can cover ground without being quick.)

Char, did you find a place to ride?

Truthseeker, did you manage to adjust your work schedule so you'd have more time to ride?

Lisa, how is your filly doing? We are aiming for our first show in August, too!

Gorillakeeper, have you put those cool boots into stirrups yet?

Liri, is project horse realizing the sunscreen is not pepper spray? :-)

Crazyhorse, you're already ahead of me if you can put a western saddle on the Doofus yourself. I need to go to the gym, too! How are you guys doing?

Ellie, is your boy staying sound?

Morganhorselover, did you get your mouthy boy to knock it off? That can be a hard, hard habit to fix.

Dante, you and your pony sound like a match made in Heaven! Have a fun summer.

Danielle, hope you were reading the day we determined, um CnJ determined, that my colt was leaning because I was leaning. Yours probably is too! Throw a little more weight into your outside stirrup and outside seat bone and see if that fixes your going-left issue.

Liz, well, we can all read your blog to see what you're doing! BTW, guys, I think blogging is a really good way to keep yourself on track. People will bug you if they don't hear from you. Trust me.

ApocalypsePony - how is the VSG and has he figured out that you are not a mountain lion?

Jackie - retraining those sour overschooled show horses is a pain. How is your girl doing? Starting to listen to heels that don't have points on them?

Cutthecrap - Have you started working with your OTTB mare? How is she doing?

Heidi the Hick - I know you're progressing on your certification. Are you riding three times a week? That is about what I've been riding... 3-4. I need to step that up (not all on the VLC but the others who need it)

Quietann - Have you survived the dreaded hacking out alone session? I feel the same way. I don't like the open but I REALLY do not like it when I am alone!

I Am Who I Am - Have you ridden yet? That birthday is coming... :-)

Horsegal984 - Are you going to do the May 31st show? Let us know, and of course we want pics!

Redsmom - Did you do the May 10th show? How did it go?

BigPaintHorse - Showing really isn't that scary. That is why they have schooling shows, where you can wear what's comfortable and it's just not that much work. I'd start there!

Oh and congrats to KarenV who just got herself the most gorgeous OTTB gelding ever...with a show record a mile long. He is a bit thin but nothing stays that way very long at her house!

And the rest of you...come on, let's see your goals! If I am going to risk humiliating myself on an international level by chickening out of any of mine, so can you! ;-)

I am gonna hit publish post and then I really do have to get on that very quick little part-mustang critter within the next twelve days...


fanoffugly said...

Fugs, I haven't got on the big fella yet. In fact I rang and have him booked in for a "breaker" in early August. I decided that the little one is going to take lots of time. So there we go I chickened out really, he is not as big as the VLC, but I measured him at 16.1hh give or take. In fact he looks alot like Masquerade, black QHxTB. So, I'll get on after someone has "warmed the seat".

bigpainthorse said...

Hey, Cathy, thanks for the encouragement re: showing. I'm sure I'll be a complete basket case, even at a schooling show, LOL. Nothing like loads of extra attention to make one totally self-conscious about everything from one's form in the saddle to how far my gut sticks out over my waistband... argh!

I still have to decide what to show her in (she may be a Big Paint Horse, but she ain't got no western jog ... although I almost got one out of her for 100 feet or so yesterday). We had a great ride today, too, that included a nice collected canter at a steady rate of speed, 3x around the arena. Silly business at the mounting block is now down to less than 1 minute; she stood still for me today after just a few false starts, even though a very hot mare was being ridden at an only quasi-controlled canter right behind where I was trying to mount.

We had some interesting ear-pinning moments and I thought we were going to have a Major Training Moment (she's an Alpha), but she got over herself very quickly and got down to business.

I'm really loving hearing about your progress with VLC; this blog is definitely having an interesting impact on my own confidence level, weirdly enough: nerves are way, way down, and the horse is behaving extremely well for me. (Those two things are clearly related!)

I guess I thought I was the only "chicken for no reason" out here. It's nice to know I'm not alone, and to see others making progress, too!

Mads said...

Okay, what I am procrastinating on doing right now is actually commenting on this. It's rather daunting! I have a great deal of respect for you Fugly. It must sound ridiculous but based on what you've taught me about the industry I have been able to horse hunt and I didn't buy my new mare without thinking 'What would Fugly say?' Okay. I am the world's biggest dork but, hey, whatever helps in responsible horse ownership! :p

Okay, I am only 17 and I have just bought my first project horse.
I know it might seem weird (it was in Pony Club circles where the girls hit 13 and upgrade to a TB) but I love my first pony VERY MUCH. He's a 14.2 haffy/QH and a total honey. I spent many years happily competing and trail riding on him.
But, I've just bought a 6 y/o TB/Australian riding pony. She's gorgeous and 15.2 not a great deal of training but eager to please with good blood lines, lovely nature and pretty looks.
Just focus on the not a lot of training.
I mean, she's broken and sound. She's fine in traffic and loves people and likes being ridden and has done some jumping. The one thing I'm not so clear on with her is her BREAKS.
I'm used to my melt-in-your-mouth pony who rides bitless all the time and uses voice command. We're not just a horse and rider but a partnership.
In my trial with my new mare I found myself actually having to pull on her mouth which upsets me, I hate the idea of hurting the horse and I think the mouth becomes numb after a while. So, my goals will be to work on remouthing this mare. I think she was broken quite forcefully before but I want to get her to the point that she's quiet on roads in a bitless. I also want to work on getting her to be more collected and responsive.

Not to hard for most of you, and yet this will be my first time! The trainer says I'm up to it and I know the mare is up to it- so the work is all down to me!

BTW- I LOVE this blog. Also HI to quietann who I know from LJ- It's madeyemads. How is Feronia going?

fanoffugly said...

Mads, a good mouth is paramount, try improving the lateral mouth of your new mare at the halt by turning her nose to your foot (very Parelli I know). Then develop this into a one rein stop, by doing this at walk etc. You are as soft as you hands ie don't continually hold her mouth, reset her head and soften (quickly). If she goes up to avoid contact then maybe rings are in order. Don't go to a bitless until she rides well in snaffle (fugly may do this the other way around?) Remember your bit is only as severe as your hands.Goodluck.

which_chick said...

Glad you asked, Fugs! I got on Project Horse Saturday and we did walk-trot transitions in the field across the road. I took a buddy for moral support, but the buddy rode BESIDE or BEHIND us and we did all the changes first (so that it really was us practicing transitions and not just following the buddy's lead).

This was ride #2 in a snaffle bridle, which went swimmingly. She still mouths the bit a little at the start but is holding it nicely more and more. (She also wore a bit on the ground some for practice.) Steering is getting quite good.

This was also ride #1 in an english all-purpose instead of in the security-blanket western saddle. With Posting! (Horse did not care. I really think I'm the weak link, here.)

First ask-for-trot took some effort on my part, had to push with seat and bump with legs and click to her. Second time I straightened up my seat, looked forward, thought about trotting (pony lesson lady keeps telling me I need to remember to pre-cue things with posture/seat, so I'm working on that) and got exactly one leg-bump in before she picked it right up (nicely! Without lifting head/hollowing back! And she's smooth!). The third time I asked, she moved off of seat/body with just a leg-squeeze, like she'd been doing it for years. Damn. Just... damn. Riding buddy said "That looked great. Seriously."

Downward transitions are not so pretty (she shakes head a bit, comes above the bit, hollows out) and I think the problem there is me. I have a bad habit of skipping the pre-cue stuff for downward transitions so, to PH, it's like she is trotting along just fine and then *bam* someone is in her mouth all of a sudden. No wonder she's all WTF about it. I'm going to work on this with her and me this week to see if we can get on the same page, there.


This week, I will ride PH across the hard road on the dirt road into the woods. By myself. With trotting. We will go down into the hollow and then up the big hill to the buckwheat field and then back again. I will not make excuses about the weather or how nervous PH is. PH is not nervous. I am. I own my fear.

Before the end of May, I will ride PH down to the covered bridge and back (with a group). It's about five miles round trip, hard road but with very little traffic. That'll probably happen next Sunday.

First week in June, I will ride PH on the Hall ride (with friends), which has Mules! and Wagons! and Drafts! and Buggies! and drunken people riding with beer in hand and A Hay Wagon Filled With People and Pulled By A Tractor!

IT WILL BE FINE. Fine, I say. I bet myself a nice used (Stubben, Crosby, something of that ilk, probably about $250 at Thurmont) that PH will not do a damn thing wrong on the Hall ride.

Come the second week of June, I will start conditioning rides for PH. We'll begin with five miles, three times a week, mostly at the walk to start. There will be me on PH and The Kid on The Pony (same combo as last year) and Little Brother on Dumb Pinto Pony, so three of us -- two fairly competent kids on mostly reliable ponies and me on the pleasant greenie. It'll be all right.

DC said...

Still procrastinating.... I did give him a bath though!

I have no real excuse. But he is pencilled in with someone in June...

I think I am a bit far away for onsite moral support sadly. Im in The Adelaide Hills in South Australia!

ellen said...

Well..... one of the broodies (the 16 year old I was never able to get bred) as she seems to have brought home a small unexpected hitchhiker. SURPRISE! She had dropped a bit on the topline and seemed to be "spreading" toward the rear, and a rear view convinced me to get her palped -- voila. She is looking smug.

CLG is doing well -- he seems to fear nothing, although he's mouthy and it's a struggle to convince him which end of the reins is his. He wants to steer -- which sums up his entire personality in one phrase. He has shown no nervousness and a minimum of objection. He has always loved to work and does better the more he has to do.

Motocross Morab had an epiphany on the double longe and is back to carrying herself -- she wants me to play with her so badly that when I go catch one of the others she crams her head in the halter.

Big Doofus Ap had a brief attack of Harrier Jet crowhopping, but got over himself and is trying now to remember how to do transitions without "hopping" -- needs more wet saddle blankets.

Silly Black Mare is picking on preggo, so a change of turnout is in order, and more work for her. She has attention span issues.

Nouveau Yearlings Him and Her are going for nice long walks around the farm (must bush hog we are being eaten by ticks).

Not as much progress as I'd like, as I noticed my property sorta looked like a sheriff's auction, so I've taken tow chain and chain saw to my landscaping, and am still trying to get all my fence together after our awful winter weather.

LoveWithoutLove said...

I didn't get to post on the original, but as far as my goals are going, they're decent.

My Arabian is starting to gait (and yes, Arabians DO gait), though I have to take it slower than I'd like because the muscles involved in gaiting aren't used to being worked. She was amazing on Saturday, walking so fast it may be considered a flat walk, while on Sunday we spent a lot of time walking regularly because when I asked for leg she bucked (she was fine towards the end after I got off and stretch her myself and then practiced weaving through obsticles). After that I became one of those bold teens and got on her with nothing but a lead rope. Lucky for me she's awesome and we've got a connection so she responded just as well if not BETTER with just a lead around her neck than in her bridle. Which also makes me want to invest in a new bit for her.

My only issue with gaiting is that I was a moron and let her start to trot under saddle (used loosely, of all of her riding sessions-which is around 20- she has never been ridden in a saddle). Once they know how to semi-balance at the trot, the gaiting challenge is on! D= So now we battle between a speedy walk and a high stepping trot to avoid going any faster. Saturday was great, but soreness considered the next day, we spend more time than I'd like trotting (not much, but still a few times too many).

There was an "incident" I plan to "complain" about in my blog, but thinking on it now, it isn't the worst of my problems and even if it was, I've got it pretty nicely to only have that to worry about. =)

I really need to update my own progress blog. >.>

LoveWithoutLove said...

As for my goals:

-Get my Arabian mare to do a slow rack by Autumn. I'd even settle for a fox trot, but it isn't desirable. xD

-Get my mare to learn tricks. She's a sweet heart but when I've tried that whole "bonding" thing and pampering her, we have so much time left over we get kinda bored and I swear to the gods this mare begs to be ridden. xD I hope she stays like that forever instead of becoming one of those punks that is like, "riding...URGH."

-Teach her "come." I think it is easiest to teach it using a clicker, but she's afraid of them and after some working with her, she just tolerates them. Fugs, how did you get your guy to learn the word come? She follows me in the arena when she knows it's time to work, but I'd love for her to know exactly when I want her to follow me, and to come in the field.

-Have all the tack I want for her by mid autumn. It's annoying. D= The BO keeps going "when are you going to saddle her?" and I'm like, "...what's wrong with bareback?" I don't want to saddle her right now, I want her first saddling experience to be perfect. I want to get a decent used saddle that generally fits her, and then I want to get it custom tailored to her back. I don't want to give her any excuse to buck. She's never bucked without the reason being pain, she's not a malicious mare, and I don't want her to associate being ridden in the saddle with pain. Is there something wrong with that? >.> On the plus side, I have put a saddle made for a TB on her and she was fine, I just left her there with no girth. She could have bucked at any time and didn't. Just stood there, so I think she's fine. Besides, has anyone heard of a horse that travels docile bareback but thinks all saddles are the devil?

-My personal goal is to learn how to trim. I'm hoping to apprentice this summer!

-I want my mare as responsive as she was the first time I rode her. I just looked somewhere and she turned and went there. Now I have to be very specific with the reins and it annoys me. This is why I plan on riding her in nothing but a lead rope at the end of every session, to work up that response.

Mary said...

~sigh~ With a head hung low from defeat, I now have a different goal. See, about 2 years ago, due to failing kidneys I developed an allergy to UV rays as a side effect. That summer, we tore down our round pen, took down the small outdoor arena and I rehomed all my retrains out of severe depression because "I can't train anymore". Now after 2 years of poking, proding, DR appts weekly and lots of crying, my wonderful husband has invented a "hat" that I can wear comfy AND keep my face covered AND still be able to see everywhere AND still have the ability to move freely just like I would without something big enough to cover my face. So, now onto my goal:

The stubborn spotted princess SSP is going to get finished off by ME! No more looking for a trainer. She comes home next thursday. The hubby and I went outside last night and sunk all the poles and we're putting my training pen back up!!!

Goal #1: Have SSP riding a solid w/t/c for more then 15 minutes without planting her feet and work on her balance and shoulders by 2nd Sunday in June

Goal #2: Once she's going nicely, start working her over ground poles AND get her out on the trails. Refine w/t/c, yielding, sidepassing and so on all by August 16th.

Goal #3: Take SSP to local saddleclub show for exposure. Both my 14 year old son and I will show her.

I've contacted a show pony barn in Canada ( ). I'm good friends with their son and they have agreed to take Nike over the winter and get her going extremely well. She won't be shown much, but I want to ensure SHOULD SOMETHING HAPPEN, I will be able to find my grade little mare that almost went for meat will have a lifelong career.

Jackie said...

Wow..I'm noticed :) Thanks!

We had a nice was really blustery here in MI...I took advice from one blog (don't remember which one, that's what happens at 51 LOL)...I started on Sat with Eng. saddle planning on cantering, and she was so hot she even was tossing her head, so I went back and switched to my West. saddle...she still was tossing her head (now bugs!!), so I put on my loose running martingale (training fork) just so I wasn't yanking on her...then I noticed that the clips on the reins had a chance of getting caught, so I went again and took those off and screwed the reins directly onto the bit (I use a West. bridle as I like the rein length over Eng.). *Finally* felt comfortable and we worked...yielding/w/t trans..then onto t/c...did the jackhammer trot, but I didn't kick, just kept after her with leg pressure, slowing down (she has the best jog), and finally she cantered...I honestly think she just doesn't understand (she has no foundation...I had to teach her to neck rein). Lots of c/t, then w/c tranistions (thanks for that advice, who gave it to me). Only one buck when we changed directions, and it seemed more in protest (Oh,we are not going to do that again in this direction, are we??). We ended on a good note, I gave her lots of treats and mane rubs (she loves those...I even give them to her while I in saddle so she has something she really loves while I'm riding).

Sunday she was much better...took less time to get her to canter. What is nice is that she's starting to keep going, so I can work on my seat and get deeper, get my legs in better position.

I really appreciate this blog and what I've already learned...simple things, like not squeezing with my knees (damn, that's why my feet came out of the stirups when I was pushing her to canter), bareback riding (now trotting, even stayed on at a spook!!!) has really helped my seat a lot...I noticed that I now rock with her at a canter, where before I was stiff in my hips...yes, they ache, but I think in the end it will be good for me, too. Taking my time with her...when I was taking lessons, if she didn't respond instantly, I was told to kickkickkick...and I was feeling pushed, and so was she. I also know she did not have her balance at a canter figured out...she used to stumble, now she doesn't.

Anyway, so much learned and so much more to learn...but I thank you all when I get advice, and even learning from others. It's already made such a difference!

Oh, too bad I'm so far away...I'd love to take on one of those rescues :) I do have an extra stall and am working on hubby for horse #2...

Lisa said...

I see we're having the same problem-- our young horses are so awesome that we want to ride them ALL the time! It's been hard to hold myself back to keep from doing too much too fast with my filly. She's so easy and fun! I think I'd be riding her 7 days a week and cantering and jumping if I didn't know better.

Luckily, my old PITA gelding has stepped up to the plate and has decided to become enjoyable to ride again. My intention was to basically retire him for good once I started the filly under saddle. But he's not having any of that! I swear he's jealous of all the attention the filly is getting. But anyway, since I'm now juggling to find time to ride both of them, it keeps me from doing too much with the filly. I just don't have enough hours in the day!

Yes, we're still aiming for our show in August. I think we're more or less on schedule. She'll need a canter for that, which I haven't asked for yet. I don't think it will be much of an issue when the time comes (famous last words). I figure we'll start working on it around the end of June.

A more immediate goal-- I really want to get her out on the trails behind our farm. But I want to do everything I can to ensure it is a 100% positive experience for her. Therefore, I want to go out with a capable rider on a dead broke trail horse. My PITA gelding, the perpetually herdbound spook, is not the best candidate... but it looks like I might be resorting to dragging a friend out to ride him due to lack of other options.

4Horses&Holding said...


The desire is there - the time is not. We've been working on shed-building (Yay! My saddles will be able to move out of my living room!) and fencing. We spent almost all of last week & the last two weekends on those projects.

In fact, two weeks ago my husband brought home a used English saddle for me to try (see if I want to buy it)... I haven't had time to put it on a horse yet.

A few side notes:
* If you buy a shed, and can get the store to assemble it for less than $300 - IT IS WORTH IT TO NOT HAVE TO BUILD IT WITH YOUR HUSBAND.
(dating someone? Don't marry them until you have completed one construction project with them.....)
* Digging post holes sucks. And why, after two holes, did my shoulders just BURN, but my 10 yo son did about 10 before he started getting sore? Are girl & boy upper bodies that different? I KNOW I am tougher and stronger than he is....

Midnite said...

About three months ago I got myself a new Tenn. Walker mare, former brood mare. A lovely girl, who really needed more out of life then having foals. I got her started to saddle and she never made a bad move. First dozen rides or so were great, she was learning fast and very will. Then i asked for a canter. She promptly bucked me off and i broke my shoulder. Now my goal is to heal up enough to even be allowed to lead and brush her. I am very nervous about getting back up there. A hard fall and 8-12 weeks in a cast really is a fear inducer.

Bummer, i was even set to go on a group trail ride next weekend. My first in years.

MsFoxy said...

Midnite, I feel your pain! I got bucked off and would have been okay to get back on the next day...except I had broken my elbow. After 6 weeks off healing...and DWELLING...I was a little less excited about getting back up there. I did finally bite the bullet (and not the dust!) and get up there, but only walked. Next ride we may have trotted a few steps and that was it. And now here we are, a year later and the saddle hasn't touched her back! There may have been a few other reasons why I have not worked her (lameness, cross country move, house buying, illness, weather, etc)....but I am thinking I need to buckle down and get back in the swing of things. I have health insurance again and the weather is improving. There is no time like the present!

So Fugly, here I am. A little late to the challenge but I think I need to work on getting Ms Foxy back in riding condition and get back up there. Even if it means just walking around the pasture. That horse is too young to be a pasture potato! And I want to play horse soccer ;)

icepony said...

VLC said:
"Icepony, I know you got on the horse - did you do it again? :-)"

Uh-oh, the fugly finger pointed at me...! ;-) This is a GREAT MOTIVATOR, lol!

Nope, haven't managed to get back on him, but I can blame some of that on the fact that it snowed 3 days last week! The weekend, of course, was gorgeous, and I was on a roadtrip instead of at the barn.

Well, specifically, I was not at *my* barn...but I WAS at my friend's barn, and took the opportunity to hop on her leased Fjord! I was dying to see if my fear was of all riding, riding greenies, or just riding my own greenie, and the Fjord mare is VERY green. She's been cowboyed around the barn by well-meaning (but not trained) volunteers, and that's about it. Whoa is not in her vocabulary...neither is turning. We slung my all-purpose english saddle on her, gave her a nice KK snaffle bit, and took her to the gasp! OUTDOOR arena! (By my choice. Which is weird, 'cuz I looooove the security of the indoor. But it was too nice out to ride inside!)

Turned her loose for a minute so I could watch her move...moves like a tank. I climbed on board without hesitation, and happily worked her obese butt for about 15 minutes. She's a quick learner, and I thoroughly enjoyed her! (I'll post pix over on the forum tonight, come over for a giggle!)

So obviously I'm not afraid to climb on a strange, known-to-be-green horse. It was a real confidence builder when I realized how many things are still second nature to me - I was particularly surprised when I dropped my stirrups without a thought in order to use my leg more effectively asking for a trot, and for icing on the cake, was able to sit said trot with no fear or difficulty!

So now the goal for the week (I'm trying to keep this manageable, and a week at a time is all I can handle)is to get on my Slightly Odd Gelding twice by Memorial Day.

Kasilof Melinda said...

Long time lurker here, first time posting. I just turned 44 and hopefully next year will get my first ever horse, I have many of the same physical stuff going on everyone else does (knees, back) and fear about getting hurt by a horse. Thank you all for sharing your fears/concerns and plans for getting over them, I am learning a lot from all of you and I enjoy hearing about your successes.

4Horses&Holding said...

I looked back at my goals. I *DID* actually pony the pony. Yippee for me! I actually started on one of my goals.

He did really, really well..... we dealt with dogs & kids & neighbors & cars.

This guy saddles and has a mind like he's a 20 year (nice) school horse. Nothing bothers him.


I wanted to take Justin to work cows, but they worked 3 days. The only day I could have gone it rained... hard all day. Plus, Wednesday a guy got bucked off his green horse. Thursday a guy got spun off his green horse. Friday was the day I could have gone.... I did NOT want to be the third one off.

They're doing it again this week... so maybe? (probably not)

Josie said...

Phew, I must not have posted goals. I'm not as dumb as I look, LOL.

I did write some up for myself though and I'm falling short. I'm just going to keep trying. I've got more than the average amount of "stuff" going on right now so whatever I can do will be great.

I did hose down the Small Spotted Gelding on Saturday. It helped that it was freaking hot, but he still managed to cover a lot of ground and make it into a fight (in which I prevailed, but still).

Anyone care to weigh in on the hard-to-hose horse, specifically the virtues of holding horse (and running around with a hose or spinning in circles) vs. tying the horse and letting him fight it out with an inanimate object. In the case of the SSG I am convinced he would not go overboard to the point of harming himself, so I am thinking that the next bath will be tied.

But I digress. Carry on with that goal stuff, LOL.

Karen V said...

LOL!! They don't stay skinny do they!! I'm going to have to "worm" them so they'll lose some weight. Even Honey is getting fat, which I figured would never happen.

You can see Kaci at the link below. I take crappy photos, but oh well. The sores on his legs are from bug bites. We are scheduling an equine dentist as he had a choking episode yesterday involving hay, which really surprised me since he's so meticulous (SP?). Poor guy has done nothing but eat since he got to the house. Yesterday's chow was 10 pounds of orchard grass pellets, 4 pounds of Purina Strategy, 2 pounds of Purina Amplify, 5 pounds of teff hay, and free access to pasture. He's BIG, 16.3. His whithers are so high that you wouldn't even need a cinch to keep the saddle on AND you could mount from the ground (LOL - kidding). He's a very sweet boy. I refer to him a B3 (Big Bay Boy!)

heater said...

I didn't comment on the first "goals" post, so I'll post mine now.

My just turned 5 year old palomino paint and I have our very first show on the 31st! It's his first show ever, and my first in 9 years. Thankfully it's at home, so it won't be too crazy hor him. We're only doing Intro A&B, but I am so scared! I'm scared we're going to go around in counter-bent, inverted circles because I'll be nervous and he'll be distracted. My goal is to get through this show without completely embarrassing ourselves. To do this we must NOT be inverted or counter-bent, we must NOT spook at the judge or her tent or the tack-for-sale booth, we must NOT look at every other horse outside the ring, and we must HALT at X. LOL! We're both easily distracted, so we both have to be 100% focused to get it right! AH!

We were going to do baby green WTC, but we're not 100% on our canter departs or our leads yet. That's goal #2.

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

>>If you buy a shed, and can get the store to assemble it for less than $300 - IT IS WORTH IT TO NOT HAVE TO BUILD IT WITH YOUR HUSBAND.
(dating someone? Don't marry them until you have completed one construction project with them.....)<<

Truer words were never spoken! But yes, $300 would have been money well spent. For those of you who board, THIS is why people bring their horses home and then never end up riding them!

Icepony, cool about the Fjord ride!

LOL on the SSG's reaction to hosing. Well, you saw the VLC...we were longeing the first time. I am pleased to say he gave up the second time and realized it was more fun to eat and that the scary water snake really wasn't going to kill him. So I vote for just letting him circle you and hosing, hosing, hosing until he realizes it's more fun to eat and that it's water, not acid rain.

Midnite and Msfoxy, sorry you got hurt! Yeah, we haven't cantered yet and we shall see how that goes but like I said, I'm not particularly rushing that. One piece of advice I'd share is, absolutely canter them first with the tack on but not you - i.e. longe or free longe with tack on and girth tight before you get up. If I'm going to do something new or potentially scary, I make sure they've just started to break a sweat (like under the girth) before I get on. I don't want them exhausted, but I want the edge off. It is just a good common sense survival tactic.

BTW, for those who recall the VLC's cinchiness issue - it really was the neoprene cinch. He stood almost perfectly yesterday, third ride with the fuzzy fleece cinch. He's figuring out this one doesn't bother him. I should have gotten a clue quicker and replaced the neoprene. Bad owner!

Liri said...

I haven't actually tried the sunscreen again yet. I discovered those wonderful fly masks that cover the nose. (Okay, I also chickened out) I am happy to report that both of them did very well with their move (from OK to CA), are both getting fat, and Project Horse is extremely relaxed and friendly all the sudden. I think he's bored. Anyone got any ideas for horse entertainment? I had to separate the two of them because PH started chasing the mare out of boredom.

Princess Jess said...

my goal is... *gulp* to take Jack on a few trail rides this summer. I'm hoping that a few 4-hour long trail rides (where he's exhausted and doesn't care anymore)will get him really really broke....

Hey Cathy- I'm off on Wednesday and Thursday this week, so if you need someone to hold the SSG (is that the correct abbreviation?) for you while you get on, let me know!! I can take pics and VIDEO, too!

I don't know the SSG, but if I can get Jack to stand quietly for mounting, I doubt this will be any big deal. :)

wolfandterriers said...

Ok, fine. My goal with little freaky-surgery mare is to be shooting off of her at a standstill by the end of August. So that means throughout my wonderful time in organic, I need to desensitize her to the sound of the bow, the "pop" when the arrow hits the target, and the idea that some small, very fast items are moving rapidly around her. As she's just gotten a lovely metal plate in her skull, I'm not really planning on much riding--just putting around at a walk, some work in long lines, etc.

Observational walking would be nice as well--down roads, watching traffic, seeing me yell at dogs. I have something going on with Rotties: they always show up when I'm out riding my bike, I yell nasty things, they come near me, I grab them, and hold them until weird owner comes out of nasty house and tells me how they always bite people. Rotties no longer seem scary after you acquire a pony that used to chase people.

Yes, I have made the defining decision of my life (beyond taking out high, terrible loans to go to school and take all the classes I need): I will no longer fix other people's under saddle problems (broke my jaw sorting one of those out). I prefer my ponies free and with obnoxious habits (eating small children and terrifying the neighborhood covers my current mare pretty well). My current mare was atrocious enough to her former owners left her alone as much as possible. She has had no time or inclination to develop any snarkiness under saddle, and has been a breeze to work with after we sorted out our initial relationship.

Flesh eating pony was a wedding gift, and next month will mark our year. She's lovely for me to handle, has a great brain, and I get everything that I want out of her. We were just getting ready to start under saddle work (of course, nothing fits her but my side saddle, so we are working with a Skito bareback pad as that wonderfully absorbs the trot concussion!) when she got injured, so it's no big deal to give her time off. I just enjoy having pony things to do, and being lucky enough to have a cunning, sneaky, inventive one at that! It's such a relief and a reward from homework.

Long term goals:
1. I would like to have a nice side-saddle pony that I can event. Not necessarily to a high level or very fast, just kind of cool and "out there". And I don't know anyone that events side-saddle, and I don't even know if it's legal. So if you event, and you're in the know about side-saddles, please tell me. I mountain bike and the bones I break end my (bike) riding season, so falling/wrecks really don't bother me. Besides, they leave such cool scars (haha).
2. My basic skills are in dressage, and her floating movement belies her fugly appearance. As far as we are comfortable, I would like to do some schooling shows in the side saddle.
3. Uh, medical school. I'm applying this year and scared shi*tless.

Midnite said...

""One piece of advice I'd share is, absolutely canter them first with the tack on but not you - i.e. longe or free longe with tack on and girth tight before you get up.""

Great advice Fug....Since the Doc has forbid me to ride at all for 3-4 months and i have this cast yet for at least 4 more weeks, i bet that lil' mare or mine is going to be getting tons of ground work at all gaits. Heck, after 3 months of ground working her with a saddle on, we might be both ready for a ride

fssunnysd said...

Congrats on being ahead! Thanks for the encouragement and keeping us on our toes by checking up!

I've actually had a western saddle (complete with back cinch & breast collar) on Pinto-Boy twice, although we haven't cinched it all the way snug yet. (I chickened out the first night by myself with no helper, and reverted to the light bareback pad.) Even though the western saddle I'm using weighs all of twenty pounds (it's my old, light Simco used-on-my-first-pony-twenty+years-ago saddle) I was having visions of a sky high blow-up and all sorts of unseemly antics. Not that PB did anything except more uncivilized snort at it a couple of times while it was sitting on the ground. Evidently it's much scarier there than on his back... Go figure.

Lately we've had rain and mud, a colic incident with one of the older mares, more rain/mud, rain (and more mud), high wind, and a few nice days in which to de-mud some more. Needless to say, I'm making progress a bit slowly. But I have laid across his back a number of nights, so he's getting used to weight.

And on the plus side, now that the pasture grass is up enough, they're all out, the winter coats are coming off, and they're all MUCH less muddy, so there is hope!

Josie said...

Oh I wish that the SSG only longed in reaction to the hose. But you've seen him longe -- I think in his case it really should be spelled "lunge". In other words, it wasn't a circle and even involved backing INTO the barn (memo to self, shut door). And then he said "well clearly I'm not winning this one" and became cooperative. I'll have to see if he remembers that not-winning part next time! I do find that tying with a rope halter to an unmoveable object does get the message to them sooner, but only with a horse that is being obnoxious or playing games with me, never one that is really fearful.

ChipnCharlie said...

My progress is very slow towards my goal.. The PITA boarders keep pushing back their moving date, but so far that is alright. Right now we have the picked on/crippled gang in the arena together, meaning my horse is out there too as he gets picked on by more dominant horses. We put the picked on mare in an empty stall, and my mom takes the little pony yearling for a walk, and I leave the old crippled mare in the arena and ride around (she can't back up, can hardly walk, she poses no threat to me, the poor old thing). So far, two rides in the arena, walk/trot. Arizona summer is coming, already in the triple digits, not sure if I will be loping by my birthday with this weather. My horse is lazy and I wouldn't want anyone making my fat ass run in triple digit heat so why should I do it to him.. maybe I will go out on a nice evening and do it, though. Just not during the day right now.

mulelisa said...

I haven't done diddly-squat. My husband & I have been helping out my dad -- his hunting club got evicted from their camp (the owners want to do something different with the land) and there was a 37-year accumulation of STUFF to remove: BBQ grills, A/C units, pumps, roofing material, decking, lockers, etc. We've been coming and going in the big truck & trailer, looking like Sanford & wife. Of course, all this stuff then has to be unloaded and put somewhere. I also took the opportunity to dig up and pot some two dozen volunteer sweet orange, grapefruit and tangerine trees for eventual replanting. End result: the equidae have been little more than fed and patted over the past three weeks.

Chezza said...

I will allow Chai a good gallop in the open after our weekend with the trainer (june 13th) or before.

Great now I am committed

BTW-we also got my hubbies 3YO Greenies fifth ride on him and got him to trot. (one little buck and he said 'Okay) :-D

I will also ride Kizi (TBWI) (thorougbred with issues) at least once a week between rides on Chai.

Shana said...

I don't really remember my goals, lol, but I will say I have now officially ridden sans-stirrups twice. I was WAY too afraid to do so in the beginning, so after 4 months of riding I'm going back and doing a lot of the things I should have been doing from day one.

I even rode out a spook at canter speed without stirrups. I slipped and thought of halfpassgal's video on youtube where she manages to stay on while her horse was rearing. She held on to the horses neck and shimmied back into position. I did the same thing, pulled something in my leg doing so, but damn all I stayed on, no falling and no bailing off.

So, my confidence is slightly better now. After all I rode a canter without stirrups, and didn't fall, didn't even want to bail! Its also helping my riding just to have no stirrups (I know, surprise surprise, lol) but even though at first I feel very unsecure up there on my dressage saddle, after a few minutes it feels normal and stirrups feel odd!

Since my goal is probably just continuing to gain confidence and build skill, I'm getting there :)

ellen said...

On the hosing issue: I find if I give the horse room to move, but just move with him quietly and relentlessly, he gives it up pretty readily. Luckily I have room to do this. I start by spraying the ground close to his feet, then work my way up from the forelegs to the chest, and pretty soon they relax.

I don't count on being able to do the hindquarters until the 2nd or 3rd bath (of the season for my bathophobes)but I can usually have them accepting the hose in about 15 minutes max.

It helps if I can be utterly nonchalant about it, yet focused on gettin'r'done and not giving up, and let the horse see how silly he is to be hysterical.

Latigo Liz said...

Thanks for asking. ;) Not much progress on riding here. Lots of projects and a toddler nearing the end of his first year of preschool. The nice weather HAS helped and at a minimum I am getting projects done. Took a boatload of pictures of both of the girls on Sunday and I will post them and some minor observations and reflections on my blog later today or this evening. I haven't been riding (since the PC clinic in March to be exact), but I am OK with that, and that is really all that matters. Hopefully the summer will be a long one and the weather cooperative!

SarahR said...

My goals are modest - I'm a green re-rider (pushing 40 hard, real hard)and coming back after decades away. To make matters worse, got myself a greenie OTTB, however he has a fantastic mind, and we're under adult supervision, so we are progressing.

I am still working on my balance and strength, and his rhythm. We've been doing lots of w/t (he has a big trot that is the very devil for me to ride.) Short term goals - working on sitting that bugger, and canter transtions.

A couple days before your famous "Can I just order a supply of guts" post I fell off, I am still in the market for those guts so let me know if you find a supplier, I shall order a whole pallet.

SarahR said...

Shana said:
"I even rode out a spook at canter speed without stirrups. I slipped and thought of halfpassgal's video on youtube where she manages to stay on while her horse was rearing. She held on to the horses neck and shimmied back into position. I did the same thing, pulled something in my leg doing so, but damn all I stayed on, no falling and no bailing off."

I say dayam, you go girl. I would have been eating dirt.

ellen said...

Oh, and BTW thanks so much for the inspriration and motivation VLC -- I printed out my goals as I posted them, and have them in the front of my training notebook, a looseleaf binder I keep with a tabbed section for each horse, where I log each ride and set goals for the next one. It helps me keep the Big Picture in mind and gives me a sense of deadline.

dante said...

Winter down here (hi to the other Aussies) and while I love the cooler weather, ponies arthritis is playing up. I upped his Pentosan shots and will have to consider adding an oral glucosamine supplement I think. Net result is that I've done bugger all but the singing continues. Anyone know any songs with very few words?
We've ridden out on very slow trail rides but I have to hop off on the downhill stretches because of his ringbone, and then I seem to spend ages wandering around looking for a log or whatever to get back on with cos I ride bareback.
Whatever happened to that body that could vault onto 16hh ?
Only posting to let people know that happily doing nothing is always an option and the horses seem to learn something from it.
Why do I always spring clean pony when it's winter ? Trimmed bridlepaths look ridiculous when his fluffy coat is 1 and a half inches long.

gemaholic said...

I'm a 44yr old re-rider. I've owned my OTTB mare for 1 1/2 years but she has been with a trainer for 15 months. I had knee surgery, then shoulder surgery last year. Lily comes home next month. I've been riding my husband's "quiet" paint for a few months to get back into riding shape before my mare returns.

Friday she bucked me off and kicked me in the groin as I was flying through the air. I'm still trying to figure out what caused her to buck. When she spooks it is usually just a little "start" in place. Friday she spooked by leaping to the left and bucking.

Until the bruises heal, I cannot ride. I've never been so purple before and sitting is fun.

My short term goals: figure out why she bucked me off; not let the fear grow so large I cannot ride; get ready for Lily.


dante said...

Actually, I meant to say congrats on everyones progress and hugs for those who've had a fall, but my brain wandered off on me.

bigpainthorse said...

Gemaholic, hang in there. You CAN make it back to form and you WILL. I had a similar experience two years ago at 46 (only I got kicked in the head), and I am riding now and doing better than I ever expected to be ... in fact, I'm doing more and better than I was BEFORE I got kicked in the head.

So do not dispair for a minute. Those first few times back on, you will be scared, but you can work through it. If I can, anybody can!

Anonymous said...

I'm very much a lurker here but I think if I post my summer goals i'll a) Have to make some b) Have to stick to them!

I'm horseless at the moment whilst going through med school so my riding is relatively rare at the moment, which is hard having ridden every day and shown for years before uni!

Goal 1: Showjumping lesson a the weekend when I will relax and get over my obsession with counting strides even over the tiniest fences on experienced horses. Following this a clear round at the university riding club friendly competition in four weeks time.

Goal 2: Volunteer, beg, or pay for riding at least 4 times a week across the summer. Hopefully a mix of lessons and bringing on the basic flat work of future show jumping horses like I did last summer.

Tentative goal 3: If possible: an intensive weeks training somewhere in the eventing disciplines. I will event when I have the time and money and if I don't want to lose my nerve I have to keep up the practice, even if few and far between!

Anonymous said...

An addendum to my post; since its worth a try!

If anyone in Northwest England (especially Merseyside/Lancashire) needs a rider willing to sit on pretty much anything (spooky/green/slightly nuts... within reason!) or just help with ground work, chores etc for the summer; I'm willing! Anything to get horsetime!

Anonymous said...

Another addition: (sorry, brain fried from a day of studying!)

I know my goals are really training; but since I'm horesless I'm aiming for self-training; putting myself in a better position to train horses when I'm in a position to own one.

CutNJump said...

Ok for Fugs to be let off the hook a little- I had a pony mare who didn't seem to pick things up very well or very quickly.

I also had at that time a young stallion who picked up everything really quickly, retained everything the first time and just loved working or being with people.

Which one do you think I wanted to work with more? Which one sat in the stall between sessions longer?

Yep the mare. She just didn't 'get' anything so I let her sit and did less and less with her. Wasn't her fault, but when you get an easy breezy horse to train it makes it more fun. You look forward to them picking up everything right off. They don't need as much or more attention, but they get it while the other horses don't. Sad when the others are usually needing a little more time to create the wonderful mount they will become with proper work.

The easy ones can sit a day or two in between and still pick up and learn more on their work days, while devoting the extra time to the difficult, harder to train horses.

fssunnysd said...

Proof of the saddling adventure is posted complete with a (admittedly bad) picture of P-B wearing his first saddle.

Redsmom said...

Oh! Has it already been three weeks?!! Thank you for asking! Due to the shoulder injury, I didn't make it with my horse to the May 10 show. I figured out it was from giving my daughter a leg up every time she mounts her 15.3 monster, so I bought a mounting block for her!! I did take my daughter's horse for her and she rode -- got a 6th in novice barrels! For my part, I have obtained a western saddle and have ridden in it three times. I got my belt cuaght on the horn on a dismount and dangled on the trail ride, but Dude stood still for that, thank the gods. Sunday afternoon I practiced trotting barrels at home and Dude seemed to like it! Now, I'm broke so can't afford the lesson ($30.00)until next week. The next show I can go to is June 7. That gives me plenty of time to practice. I'm still afraid to canter... I figure I'll have to do it at Miss Dee's and also there will be adult supervision in case I break my noggin whereas at home its just me and a 10 year old.

Redsmom said...

And so glad to hear about the VLC, Cathy. Its probably your riding that is helping him be confident and good. Lord, goats! I though abandoned ice chests were scary! You gave me a great idea on the Fugly blog today which is to hang a bit in Dude's mouth while still using his mechanical hackamore to judge what he will tolerate. I would love to show him in WP as he has the headset and the slow trot for it, unlike my daughter's horse. You can use a rope bosal, too, in our little club, but if I could get him to go with a bit it would be nice. His former home says he won't tolerate a bit, but they didn't have time to work with him as he was 1 of 20 in the school there.

Redsmom said...

Oh, and I have a question for ya'll. Dude is freaking me out from time to time with his stumbling. I know I need to get him collected, but I'm not sure how. I'm used to arena riding lessons where they have ground poles handy to make them pick up their feet. But Sunday he stmbled a couple of times. The stumbling FREAKS me out because it was exactly 1 year ago the draft horse tripped and fell and squashed my ankle! I worked on 180 degree turning and tried to teach/cue him to side pass (he probably knows how) and I practiced backing up, hoping some of these will get him off his forehand. He seemed better afterwards. I need to get him to be collected all the time... He just needs to be cued right -- he knows how to do it.

whoadammit said...

Long time, occasional lurker... posted a couple of times, but must have missed the original goals blog.

My goals actually seem quite mild compared to most here. My Little Sorrel Mare is quite broke, but I'm a big chickenshit and have only trotted her once on purpose *sigh*. Due to a falling out with my only riding friend, I have been forced to put myself in situations where I can meet more horse people. Being a loner by choice, this has not been easy for me. However, I have met some really cool people and find myself really wanting to improve my riding. Since I have never had any formal lessons, I have made plans to take riding lessons. I will actually be paying someone to tell me I suck!!! Yeehaw!!!

So... goals are to t/c LSM without wanting to puke by the end of June. I have done some trail riding with her and she's really good. Second goal is to try to have fun in the arena.

Thanks for this blog... even tho I don't get to read it very regularly, it's quite educational and very entertaining. Best of luck to everyone with their respective goals.

Masquerade said...

Nothing since the first ride as I've been away for work. I did give him a quick lunge lesson yesterday where he displayed his "airs above the ground" and ability to drag me all over the ring to my boyfriend. LOL Today he finally got his feet trimmed and it was rainy and windy so no work. Tomorrow evening we'll tack up and lunge again and if he's good I'll get back on. I'm also so damn excited I'm moving in July and will have the horse with me on property.

I'll post Wed or Thurs with an update, here is hoping my second ride goes as well as yours.

Horsegal984 said...

I can happily say that he is well on schedule to be ready for the show on the 31st. I don't know if there's going to be trailer space, so if not we're gonna bump to the next weekend when we can make two trips. However if we do that I might buck up and enter him WTC instead of WT. He's getting really good at picking up the canter now, and we've figured out what's making him pop little bucks when asking for it! He HATES leg behind the girth. Oh well, he's gonna have to learn to get over it. but now that I know what it is I can get him over it gradually. We're trotting small courses, 18" and under, so far we're up to 5 jumps, and he's doing great! He realyl seems to enjoy that more than anything.

Had a girl come out to look at him today(still have him listed for sale, probably won't be able to bring myself to sell him though) and even she commented on how much fun he is to put over fences!

Overall I'm REALLY happy with his/our progress, and I'm really looking forward to the show. Probably need a Gatorita in the morning for my nerves though!

Jackie said...

Ha! Just found another reason she was so goofy this weekend...I just let her in the pasture next to the horses next door, and she's been standing there for minutes at a time with her tail in the air...and the geldings are just going "Duh?"

She is such a horny thing when in season...good thing this is her day off!

Sagebrusheq said...


Just in case you missed it... I answered your tricks query at the end of yesterdays blog.

Fugly; Did you catch my question about britches?


Annette said...

I started my own blog - written about my journey of conquoring my fear of riding my horses. I'm pretty bad off as far as fear goes but if anyone wants to read it's

Taking on my own fears is probably the most challenging and interesting thing I've ever done so I thought it might be useful to journal it.

borderbratz said...

Oh as far as goals go, I feel that setting short term goals is best for me personally. My dream? Riding a lower level dressage test and not riding a time bomb or being a time bomb. Or maybe a 25 mile Competitive trail ride...

But for this week: To ride in a controlled environment at a walk and feel relaxed.

readytoride said...

Wow, this is great! I had allready forgoten that ambitious post-

Well, my BigApp has been ridden a lot over the last three weeks, but much of that was by my daughter. He is supposed to be my horse but as he can jump a little bit, we had the goal of her showing him in a class called "hunter hack". This is sort of a western horse show jumping class with a whopping two fences (usually 2' to 2'6" high) followed by rail work (this means walk, trot, canter on the rail like a hunter under saddle class- yes, make fun of me but I do live in Central Texas and this is all we have)

Anyways, after five lessons with an instructor and a brand-new-to-us Stuben saddle (about 10 years old, but in great shape), My daughter did show him in hunter hack! They got 2nd place. This sounds great, but of course there were only two riders in the class. Funny how the Hunter Under Saddle and Hunt Seat Equitation classes are always full to the brim but those same girls can't go in Hunter Hack with its two puny fences... pretty funny...

Anyways, the real important thing is that they made it over the two fences just fine.

So, it has been a good three weeks for us...

Lali said...

Fugs - Just so you know the farm I used to work at had a mustang mare. She was a lazy couch! We used her for all the over weight men that had never ridden before in their lives! Her only bad habit: if she knew she had a newbie, she tried to rub them off on trees.

My goals:
1) Be able to keep DWG (Dutch Warmblood Gelding) on the bit during walk/trot work. So I can...
2) take him to a schooling show (which will be his first show ever and my first show ever) before I leave for Vet school in August!

3maresforme said...

What a great idea! Setting goals :-) I want to ride my new young one in a fun show the second week of June. Te is my first project horse - my trainer told me I was ready, and she has been a challenge! Smart, way too cute, thought she would be easy (she is a 5 yr old quarter horse) but she knows all my fears and pushes all my buttons. first, she figured out how to fake limp. I would never had believed it was possible until I met this horse. Then, when I had that figured out, she started fake spooking, even though she had never before so much as batted an eye at most things. And I mean giant sideways leaps and bolting. Thank god her original owner taught her to disengage her hind end or I would have had some long scary rides. Figured that out and made her work whenever she spooked, and now she just plays dumb, like she doesn't know what I am asking. Suddenly staying on the rail and going forward seem so hard. She actually tries to move laterally or not at all hoping I will give up. Got my trainer back out to show me what to do. It was sooo encouraging to see Te tried exactly the same s#@% with my trainer, so now I know it's not just me and that I can make her do it too. After a 40 minute battle of the wills last Friday, Te realized my trainer was serious, and started following orders. I rode her later and she seemed compliant, but stiff. I rode her again the next day and she was WONDERFUL. Soft, light on the bit, responsive to seat and leg. Then I asked for the canter and it was off to the races. Took 20 minutes to sort that out, and I am still sore, but it is really funny how I am no longer afraid/feeling unable to work with this horse. Hope this confidence lasts.

ellen said...

redsmom my Doofus Ap gelding has the same problem -- he is stiff and inverted and pokes his nose out, which restricts his shoulders and he snags his toes. What helps him is getting him soft at the poll and riding him more forward.

I close both lower legs on him with a soft following seat (important -- it's a bit of a trick to use leg independently without clamping down with the seat as well) and keep them on until I feel that BIG step meaning he is releasing his hips, flexing the joints in his "drive train" and striding looser behind. From the ground there's a dramatic lengthening of stride behind when he responds correctly.

If he doesn't respond to the leg, I'll touch him with the whip until I get that big step, then I release the leg and ride with a soft following seat as long as he keeps MARCHING. I don't drive or push him with every stride, as it's his job to keep moving. If he sticks or stalls, repeat the above, until he's maintaining and energetic forward marching walk on his own.

Once he is loosening up and walking out, which takes more energy, which means he pays attention better to where his feet are, I ask him to soften his jaw and flex at the poll WHILE maintaining the marching forward walk. The combined effect is to round his top line and that gets him better able to not fall over his own feet. I find it all starts at the back end, however, to fix it.

When he's stumbling, he's stiff as a board ears to tail, resisting the bit, and usually holding his breath. I longe him in a body wrap for a long time, do a lot of double longeing, and do a lot of balance work under saddle -- bending lines, changes of bend, serpentines, just to help him figure out both lateral (side to side) and vertical (front to back) balance.

The result of this work is that he is consistently rounder earlier in the workout (we still go through breath holding board stiff when I first get on him -- emotional I think) and rarely ever stumbles now.

The bonus is his conformation is really changing, from upside down to nice and round. He just LOOKS more balanced overall. He will always have a low set neck and post legs, but using himself properly takes a lot of stress off his hocks and hips (chiropractic wonder when I first started riding him) -- and it FEELS better so it reinforces itself to him. It's been a fun process with him.

readytoride said...

I was the proud owner of a real, BLM Mustang for one year. He had the neck tatoo and all. He had been captured as a yearling in Nevada in 1987. Somehow, he ended up in the fanciest H/J, Dressage Barn in town- actually as the Pony Club mount for the son of the owner of the barn.

No matter how many fancy hunters they bought their son, all he wanted to ever ride was this 14.3 hand, fugly as all get out, jar headed, flat backed, weak hipped, narrow chested BLM mustang,

The son has long grown up. The barn was shutting down for good. We were among the last people taking lessons at this barn and so when it closed, they gave him to us.

He has the most cadanced, smooth canter. He picks up a little canter and then jumps a course without ever changing speed or rythem.

Unfortunently, he is alergic to a type of horn fly that grows in cattle manure and sucks horses blood (we have a cattle lease and so 100+ cattle on our land). So, he had to go on to another (cow-less) family that has known him for years.

It was special and fun to own a BLM mustang, even for only one year.

ellen said...

...oops should have read I LONGED him in a body wrap for a long time, as in over a period of many days, not for many minutes ONE day -- I never do that longeing anyone!

I also meant to say doing lots of transitions -- and expecting him to do them smartly, not shuffle and shamble through them, and in balance, softly on the bit, helps a lot with his vertical balance.

a beautiful disaster said...

the silly little mare has by far exceeded my expectations up to this point! even after taking a week + off to study for exams, she has managed to retain most of her senses. she is starting to put on muscle in all the right places, and has completely shedded out to a gorgeous summer coat complete with dapples (she's bay). under saddle she is much quieter and more responsive to the bit; she is now more than happy to trot around nicely on a long rein has discovered the many joys of having a balanced trot (including how easy it is to pick up the canter). we have been doing some pole work every ride, and though she still can't consistently find a nice distance, she seems to finally comprehend that "jumping" the pole does not necessitate running and careening around corners. we also started adding little jumps into our monday lunging, which was exciting at first but is now old hat (read: booooooring mom).

right now i feel as though we could start under saddle jumping as soon as i get the go-ahead from a trainer (at my barn it's no jumping outside of lessons), and there is no question in my mind that she will be back in the school lessons by fall. she has proven herself to be so smart and willing, i really couldn't be happier!

Blair said...

Fugs, your new blog is really inspiring. Since you've started writing I've been more and more motivated to ride my beasties.
I've got some pretty ambitious long-term goals, and I'm having a little trouble realizing some realistic short-term ones.
My first goal is to get my Mountain horse back into shape to start her on the road to some endurance. She's been through the mill, so I'm going to have to take it slow. I want to be able to take her to do a 8 or 10 mile trail in a state park by the end of July.
My second is to get over my major showing phobia and get my palomino into some local equitation shows in June.
That's going to be the toughest... I have major show-ring anxiety. Even just thinking about it is making me jittery.
Does anyone have any tips for my unreasonable fears?

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

Blair - go to the show with the idea that you are not going to actually go in a class!

Just go and ride in the warm up ring and put no pressure on yourself. If it feels good, you can enter a class. If it doesn't, you don't have to. Most shows will let you do this. They'll charge you a minimal fee for the day or whatever.

Again...none of us (I assume) are on track for the Olympics here. Proceed at your own pace!

Redsmom - stumbling. First of all, look at the feet. If the toes are too long and the heels are too short you're going to get stumbling. Tell your farrier you have a stumbling issue - they can do certain things like square the toes that will make it easier for the horse to avoid a stumble. Second thing, check for soundness issues. Stumbling can be a sign of various physical problems - a once over from the vet is probably not a bad idea, particularly if you've seen stumbling when the horse is turned loose, not just during rides.

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

Another tip for those of you with show ring anxiety: Go to a show and have fun.

Find a neighborhood schooling/game show with stuff like egg and spoon and ride a buck and trotting barrels and go have FUN.

I always found that stuff helped my lesson kids who were prone to stressing out over competition. Plus it's good for the horses!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for asking...unfortunately, I haven't lost any weight at all. I don't understand it. I have cut out most of the fast food and started cooking again (miraculous in itself). I've been eating "real" food and not just gorging myself, but the scale isn't budging. I guess it's time to break out the notebook again and write down everything I put in my mouth and then see where the inconsistency is (hey- it worked last time!).

It's not all bad though! I did get on my horse and -WOOT!- I didn't get thrown and she didn't run away with me! Now we just have to address her kicking habit and work on the "scary waterhose" thing...we also might have to put her on a diet if she gains any more weight. She's starting to look more like a broodmare than a riding horse :-|.

Lee_Chick said...

Originally my goal was to get some show experience on my boy this summer but now it appears he will be spending most of his summer out in the country an hour away from me and I'll only get to ride on weekends (the barn we're at in the city is having a number of disease issues so the only place I can take him is my in-laws farm).
This is a setback to the show plans but will be very good for my plan to help him learn to be a real horse and get over the last of his "city boy" fears. Now though I do have a real challenge that requires a goal - I have to find the nerve and discipline to drive out there and ride my 17.2hh powerhouse ex-racer city horse in the great outdoors where there are all kinds of scary things for him to spook at and not nearly enough big solid fences to bring him to a stop if he were to bolt. I know in my head that he will do well because he's a big solid STB who has a heart of gold and barely spooks even at the things he's actually scared of but having had a few mild scares with him over the last year (and a lifetime of riding arab firecrackers) it is waaay to easy for me to imagine all that power and size being used against me if he ever gets really scared...

Lee_Chick said...

Ooops - I guess I didn't really put a specific goal. My goal is to comfortably w/t/c outside (NOT in a ring) by the end of July.

cutthecrap said...


Let's see had foot and wrist surgery was healing good then had to be stupid and get seriously sunburned from the knees to ankles. That caused my healing foot to swell up and resemble a damn monkey foot or something. I swear I was getting nightmares worrying about developing a 100lb leg(google it it's GROSS)

But I did start the process of splitting up the nasty, herdbound TB mares. They get foot trims this coming weekend and then we have to redo all the groundwork. Bitch about ran my ass over moving to the new pen. Scary shit, she's about 17 hands and very pudgy. I honestly am not sure if I SHOULD be the first one on. I am a very beginner now. So I am thinking I will get the groundwork better and try and find a sucker, OH I mean, youngin' to get on.

Besides I don't own a saddle anymore. And that is my story and I am sticking to it!!!!

Groundwork begins this weekend!!!

cutthecrap said...


Your in the NW want to climb on!!!!

FindlayDropout said...

Well I should have commented earlier, but better late then never. I have SSS (Super Skinny Saddlebred) gelding that I got last summer, only halter broken. I was planning on selling him, awhile ago, but he still needs work and unfortunately he is growing on me... However I have posted my goals on my blog. So please feel free to comment! I am currently looking for help in the picking-up-the-right-lead department!

I have been reading fugly forever (you are endlessly amusing) and love this blog as well! Good luck everyone!

robyn said... goal is to get my 3 out together, all getting along. The lady at the horse rescue was very helpful, had some suggestions. She thinks that they were acting strangely b/c of the full moon. It's certainly possible--full moon does affect animals, people, tides, etc. So I think I overreacted the other day, b/c I turned them all out again and was able to watch the goings-on this time. Pony is boisterous, but playing, and the new horse seems to *like* the play. I think it will do him good physically to do all that turning, bending, stretching, using himself. So my short-term goal is to take down the dividing fence in my corral by this weekend, and see how that goes.

For the other 2, keep my TWH in shape--he's been at his best ever lately! =D And get the pony comfortable w/ cantering, and still work on turns w/o shoulder popping.

Amanda said...

I may have a saddle that could work for your boy.

email me at

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

I might very well climb on your mare. I told you, my comfort zone is OTTB's. I think I just have it in my head that you never see anything blow up bucking in a horse race, therefore racehorses do not buck, therefore there is nothing to fear.

Yeah, I know that isn't logical but why should I clear up a misconception that actually helps me ride?

3catcrazy said...

Okay fugly, since you like riding OTTBs you now have an official invite to come up to Alaska and ride mine ;)

So I go to Banamine my horse and a friend tells me I was called out on the VLC blog. Nothing like posting your goals online!

My horse got himself beat up in the pasture so I had a good excuse for awhile. But apparently the vet cleared him on Friday for walk/trot in the arena, so I had better get up on him this week. I think once I get over that initial step up things will go much better. I'd really like to participate in the little eventing show this summer. I think I'd look pretty silly running the jumps with him, so I guess I'd better get on him ;)

Gentle hugs to everyone who got injured and high fives to those who are accomplishing their goals. Fugly - you are my inspiration. To those who are procrastinating - I'm right there with you!

wolfandterriers - do not be afraid about applying to medical school. Just go in there with the attitude that they will be very lucky to have you and you'll be fine. Be very, very afraid when you get accepted though.

Mary said...

So I got outside to work with the, now gaining weight, TLW and since he's been sitting in the pasture ALL WINTER long doing little more then just having to stand for hoof work, his pawing is even worse. I've rehomed a few OTTBs in my day and I've never ever had a horse that pawed more. I've done all the things like keeping his mind busy, moving him off when he paws, grabbing his leg in mid-paw and so on and nothing is curbing it. Hints? Tips? SOMETHING?

SSP comes home in 1 week and the poles are all in! Just have to run the limbers now and get the gate on. This is the most excited I've been in 2 years! I HAVE HOPE AGAIN! I did find a girl about 5 miles away that is just like me as a teenager. Velcrobutt and all! She's going to come put miles on SSP so I can continue my run of 32 years and no broken bones!

Speaking of broken bones, I don't know about the rest of you, but do you remember being bucked off as a teenager, jumping up, limping a bit, but climbing back on like nothing happened? I don't know what the heck happened! I remember being at a low-end auction and seeing a scared 1500+ pound spotted draft freaking out in his tiny outside pipe corral. He danced and was wide eyed and scared to death. Little ole me (5'4", MAYBE 125 pounds) climbs INTO the 10x10 area with him like he was a mini to CALM HIM DOWN. That wasn't the smartest idea I ever had, yet he calmed down instantly and put his forhead to my chest and shook. I later find out that he had a testie that wasn't decended and the corral next to him was full of mustang mares that were in heat. Plus, he was 4 and had never left his farm. Sampson was sold to the kill buyer because he was so scared, in the ring he danced and snorted. I went home crying, called in a favor, and he was picked up by a friend just before he got loaded on the truck. He's now a 65 year old's trail horse. He just needed a chance.

That makes me wonder if I'm going to miss out on a great horse in a bad situation because I won't take those risks anymore.

FancherMC said...

I did not post the first time, but I figured, what the hell, I need some motivation. I'm a re-rider after a 7 year hiatus, and this week will be my 8th week of riding. I have been steadily working on my balance & getting my leg back (which has been so unbelievably hard) at the walk & trot. My trainer says I am really quickly coming along, but I am a complete chicken shit. At 6 weeks she told me that soon I'd be ready to canter again, and I don't know why but I am terrified to do it. I know the balance is there, and most of the time my leg is fine so I know if he should stumble,shy,etc., I'm not going anywhere. But I'm just scared to move forward. Maybe I'm just psyching myself out since after cantering we start to really work on the hard stuff on a different horse because my candy ass is riding a 14 h fat-n-happy pony. That's right I'm 5'9" riding a PONY. I used to show jump Hanos & I'm scared to canter on a freaking PONY!!! Somebody talk some sense into me. PLEASE!

barngal said...

VLC sounds like he is coming along well! I'm jealous that you are even able to ride that often. We just can't get away from rain and mud! I could ride and tear up the fields, but with limited grazing areas, I just can't do it, soooo my project lately has been blazing some nice trails through our woods.

My most recent goal on my Big Cool Guy has been to canter both ways of the ring. Once again I had to haul somewhere so I decided to ride at the local fairgrounds with the 4-H club I often work with. BCG was a handfull so he was lunged in the field and once again in the nice sand arena. Staying away from the kids was an adventure. BCG chose this time to show me one of his leaps while I was mounted. I did stay on. Honestly, he was good when we went into the small arena where the kids were practicing trail class. Things were slower so we tried the obstacles. BCG walked over the bridge, stood in the square and turned a 360 degree circle and even did the gate the first time.

We have a new obstacle though, small white/grey horses. BCG just thought he found his long lost best friend when they were aound. Nothing more was going to be accomplished while they were around and I wasn't going to look like dummy in the sand that day, so we quit on a good note.

The knee is holding up so far to the amount of riding I'm doing but the dismount to the ground is what hurts. I hate getting old!

Redsmom said...

Ellen and CathyD, thanks for the suggestions - I have printed them out and will follow thru. Cathy, on the farrier issue, I think my farrier leaves the toes too long and the heels too short, so I've been thinking about a change, but he's single, darn cute and pretty reliable... Decisions, decisions.

mulerider said...

I've been working on teaching my 3 yr old VLG to load. Well, honestly I've pretty much been letting my old mule demonstrate and letting the VLG teach himself. Never underestimate the power of horse cookies tossed in a tub inside a nice roomy stock trailer. Until last night, the VLG had loaded himself, but I had not yet walked him up to the trailer and put him on it.

Last night I had all 3 mules tied up to eat and be groomed. When I was done grooming, I led the old mule into the trailer. He loads easy. I gave him several cookies and unloaded him. Then I led the VLG up and he also walked right on, stood quietly while consuming several cookies, then unloaded just as quietly. Yea!

Then, I thought, what the heck, and got the old mare, who is a bitch to load and never goes anywhere so I have been very negligent about remedying her problem. I figured I'd lead her up to the trailer and at least make her reach her head in to get a cookie. Much to my surprise, she stepped up and put both front feet in the trailer before thinking better of it.

Apparently she has been watching the other two eat horse cookies out of the trailer for the past few weeks and is thinking about getting in on the action herself. I looked out the back door later in the evening and saw her standing by the back door of the trailer looking in, so now I have a new goal: get the old mare to load herself, too.

Truthseeker said...

Sunday night was my last night at my third shift job. I'd been at a show all day Sat. and I'd taught riding lessons all afternoon Sun. and then I taught lessons for several hours Monday evening, so I'm still tired. It is a great feeling to know that I now have time to sleep and recover and get back to training horses consistently.

A friend sent me this link about personal responsibility and the Rolex: I think there is much in it that us fat old lady riders can apply to our work as well.

Sagebrusheq said...

re pawing:
You might try the rocks at the hitching post set up that I described in yesterday's blog- after exercise. With horses where the issue is one of impatience or greenness it quickly helps them get over it. And there is the old trick of the block on a string fixed above the knee and hanging down to mid cannon length for stall pawing. I've never resorted to that method but, like the rocks, with one that is manic I don't know how effective it would be. Resting on the trail I will sometimes sit within striking distance with my crop and rap the offending leg to nip it in the bud. In a short while a gesture and eventually a look is sufficient to redirect. I've never dealt with one that was confirmed in the habit though. Good luck, hopefully after you get a few miles on him he'll wise up- I don't like to cite wet saddle blankets as a cure all because it's generally misunderstood, but I'm sure you take it in the right way.


Heidi the Hick said...

Arrrggh! No, I haven't been able to ride 3x a week lately. It's either anti-depressant- related nausea or it's an empty gas tank.

However, as far as the certification process goes, I've completed the classroom "learn to teach" program. Two days of theory. Now I have to learn that Level 4 pattern and ride it well. I'm teaching at least one lesson each week (which sadly eats up my own riding time) and I'm feeling more confident about my lesson plans.

So, yeah, I've got all these great excuses as to why I'm not in the saddle. BUT I'M NOT GIVING UP.

My own two little appaloosas got some love and care this weekend. It was pouring rain and nasty muddy, so I didn't ride them, but we spent some time with grooming and hoof picking and I'm reminded again that these two have such lovely manners. They'll both back up with a tap on the chest and a word. They lower their heads, they move over, they don't push me around. This is so important to me. I wish I had more time with them, but at least it's quality time and I value it.

I also had a long chat with my Dad about our mare getting a second career to fall back on. (I might blog about that later this week.) And no, it's not as a broodmare!!!!!

This week I plan to ride at least twice, for sure. I'm hoping for good weather and a solid stomache and decent gas prices!

Heidi the Hick said...

I would also like to share a goal that I've accomplished:

I got back into my Wranglers and my old chaps!

Those chaps were my 18th birthday gift from my boyfriend. In 1988. Yeah, I married that guy. He buys you chaps? He's a keeper.

Anyways, they fit me for years, even after both my kids were born. Three years ago, I went on celexa and gained 10lbs that I never managed to lose after getting off the drugs. Now I'm on effexor and can't eat so I lost it all. NOT the way I wanted to lose weight, people. Not healthy or fun. But I feel so generally crappy that it's nice to have at least one good thing come out of it!

Now all I gotta do is get those chaps zipped up and wrap them around a saddle.

Anonymous said...

Hey- all you people who are having trouble getting on pony sized creatures- I can relate! My little mare is about 14hh too. She is lightning fast and can do a 180 in the blink of an eye- IN THE AIR (and yes, she HAS done this with me on her back). Don't underestimate those little guys. They may be small, but don't they say "dynamite comes in small packages"? I love ponies and I especially love my little pint sized brat mare :-).

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

>>I would also like to share a goal that I've accomplished:

I got back into my Wranglers and my old chaps!

That IS something to brag about! Weight loss is hard, hard, hard. I absolutely love that I am the same size I was 20 years ago, too, but it is MUCH harder maintaining that at 40 with a desk job than it was at 20, riding horses all day. I am in a constant battle between the desire to stay in this size of jeans, and the desire to eat Mexican food dripping in sour cream and guacamole...

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

>>VLC sounds like he is coming along well! I'm jealous that you are even able to ride that often. We just can't get away from rain and mud! <<

I am grateful EVERY DAY for finding this rental situation with an indoor arena. It's like living at a boarding barn. I am SO lucky.

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

>>Okay fugly, since you like riding OTTBs you now have an official invite to come up to Alaska and ride mine ;)<<

LOL, send me a plane ticket in August. I was there in August and liked it - I don't think I could deal with any other time of year up there. I am a thin skinned wimp!

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

Oh, and for those trying to lose weight, try Fitday to track calories. It's fun. It's kind of like a game, logging in everything. I like it and it does work. Most of us have no idea how much we eat in a day...we think we are being good but pay attention to actual portion sizes (you have no freaking idea what a portion of pasta actually is, it wouldn't feed a squirrel - most of us eat like SIX portions and then wonder why we get fat) and calories and you will usually see that the arithmetic clearly shows the reason why you can't lose weight.

Anonymous said...

just started reading this blog, congrats on your work with the VLC! I started a paint gelding last summer and he started out really great, but then was quite stubborn for a while. I hope VLC continues to be well behaved for you!

dkktatk said...

I know everyone's busy with your own training, but after reading last week's blog, I thought I'd see if anyone could point me in a direction where maybe I could find some information on bucking. I was helping someone out by training a nice looking pony two years ago. She looks like a small bay mustang, but she's just a grade pony, very fine built, about 13 hands. They had picked her off a kill truck and brought her here, neglecting to tell me that they had discovered she is a bucker. She isn't a bit of a bucker. She's an all out rodeo star bucker if she wants to be. They eventually let it slip that the husband had worked her in the round pen after he had cinched her up as tight as he could. He asked me how long they usually buck. He said she had bucked about an hour. He let this slip out about a month after I had been working with her and they had come to see her progress.
After I had worked with her all summer, ( I have unending patience with horses), I could ride her at a walk and trot with no worries(almost none), of her bucking. I could lunge her with saddle at a lope and got her to the point of maybe a slight crow hop or two. She's about 6 years old and a very skittish but works well on the ground, very respectful. The owners last year told me that they could never trust her and asked if I would want her. I told them that I would keep her. I became attached after all the work that I have put into her and with her behavior, I worried about what would become of her out in the world,so I bought her for $300.00. They should have given her to me but I wasn't going to argue her fate. She is amazing at liberty. When I see her running, turning, stopping and her roll backs in the pasture, I am in awe. I know that she needs a trainer with more experience than me although I think that I have gotten her to a much better place than she was when she came here. I know why she was on the truck.
I can't spend any money to send her to a professional trainer. I am 55 years old and I can't take the beating. She got me off once and I don't want to risk that happening again. If I could hope for a future for her where she would shine, she would be a youth gaming horse. But she can't be trusted yet. My question is: Is it possible that she will forget about bucking at some point? I don't think it's a pain issue because she is a star athlete in the pasture. What is a good way to work this out of her, if it is even possible to hope for that? Is there some reading or training tapes that deal with this issue?
I don't like having a mare here only because she stirs the boys up. She's been here two years and I keep her separate or with one of the boys. I just wanted to help her get an education so I could find a GOOD home for her. Now I wonder if she will ever be able to leave here. Please help with some words of encouragement or point me in the right direction. Thanks.

Anonymous said...


I think she can get over the bucking. I would try to find an experienced rider who is looking for a horse just to ride (not be paid to ride) that would take on the challenge of your mare. I highly doubt I am located any where near you, or I would be interested in helping you, but the upper peninsula of Michigan is probably far from where you are.

as for the bucking, one way to fix it would be when she bucks, #1, stay on, #2, redirect her energy, do a one rein stop if you can and hold her there until she gives her head and stops moving her feet, repeat every time she bucks and he eventually should get the point that she is not supossed to buck. ( i heard this from a trainer from CO.)

Char said...

DAMN! I didn't know you were actually keeping track and were going to call out NAMES!



As for my Moose of a gelding...

Any and all plans are on hold for now as he has come up lame and x-rays have revealed that he is loosing bone density in his left hind leg around and through his ankle joint.

He is on 4 weeks of stall rest and hand-walking to avoid fracturing the ankle, should he pull a dumb-ass move and take a wrong step.

Now he has come up sore to the touch in the front of his hock joint on the same leg, so I'm not sure what's going to be done for that. More x-rays I would imagine. His next x-ray appointment is in the first week of June, so we'll see how or if his bone issues are progressing and where to go from there.

Consequently, the vet believes that the spookiness that he has suddenly been displaying is in part caused by a feeling of vulnerability because of the bum leg and the fact that he's slowly losing his eyesight. GRrrr...

As for Mom and her mare...

I'm taking this opportunity to re-submit my goals. Although we haven't found a REAL place to ride yet, my goal is to get my mom's mare to steer, stop, back, and slow down without tossing her head, dropping her shoulder and going the other way, spinning around, or any of the other anoying crap that she does to intimidate my newbie mother and buffalo her.

We'll see how that goes. Mom just thinks I'm being "mean".


(god help me...)

blondetherapy said...

My goals... gulp... My goal is to ride my ginormous mare 2-3 times a week. I want to be able to mount up without fear. I want to be able to mount without outside help.
I want to have a good walk/trot going in the first 10 rides. Granted, yes, she was started and "trained" with a professional last year... but nothing since last October.
I also want to have my own riding lessons start. I have a lot to get in the next 6 weeks. My big goal is be riding in a training clinic the end of July. Must have w/t/c though.
Well... here goes. :)

Skint said...

Thanks for remembering! For the purposes of this blog I shall call my tb princess VSM (very stubborn mare)

I can get a halter on now and she will follow me as the gate where we feed her, but it still takes 2 of us to get her out of the field and away from her lover (much older man hereafter referred to as "Hef"
VSM is going through a phase of passive resistance which is a real treat compared to her former active resistance.

VSM is young and easily led, I believe this change is the influence of Hef, rather than our other equine ELP (evil little pony)who has always been quite the activist.

Currently she plants herself and says "I'm sure I don't know who you think you are but can't you see I'm busy!" We're trying to convince her it's much easier to humor the crazy ladies,leave the herd and come up to the stable where everyone makes a big fuss of you and gives you cookies!

skip to the end... we've got a way to go yet!

morganhorselover said...

Fugs- Jack is almost over the nipping/biting thing, although he does still try to test who ever is working with him every once and a while. at least I don't have to keep a death grip on his lead rope anymore when the 8 year old who owns him and eventually is going to be riding him decides to pet his face!

dp said...

I evented as a teenager, but my goals are much more modest as a 30-something re-rider. I keep two backyard horses for pleasure/trail riding, both of whom are broke but with some gaps in their training.

Tonka: 12-year-old foundered gelding with moderate rotation of both front coffin bones. My main goal is to get him healthy and sound more often than not. My secondary goal is get him braver. After a life on a dairy farm cows are the only thing of which he's not scared.

Raven: 15-year-old TB mare. Filled to the brim with heart and try, but panics when asked to yield to more pressure than she can bear. My main goal is to get her brakes working without escalating to a fight when she's stressing. My secondary goal is to get her ponying Tonka as his soundness improves. I ain't skeered of her, but I should be riding her 4-5 times a week instead of 1-2. Feel free to harass me on my blog!

Mary said...


TLW is a very experienced 14 year old off the track gelding that has had this violent pawing since I got him 3 years ago. It's his ONLY vice. BUt it's a constant one. The second he stops when he is out of the pasture, whether it be under saddle or in hand, he paws. I tried rocks before, infront of him, he pawed anyway and took a nasty chunk out of his toe.

Side note on TLW, test results are in...Sarcoids...The vet wants to freeze them off but said he'll never grow hair there there ANYTHING ELSE? Minnesota is no place to have bald spots. Just ask my exhusband. I've done a lot of googling and found something called XXTerra but it sounds mighty painful. Tips? Hints?

icepony said...

Mary - there's a "sarcoid support group" on Yahoo...just punch in "equine sarcoids" and it will come up. Interesting reading on there. My gelding has 2 small sarcoids as well...the first thing I'm going to try is Crest. That's right, the toothpaste. Sounds like the least traumatic, painful thing anyone has come up with, and apparently it sometimes works. Hope that helps!

Mary said...


Wow! Toothpaste? Just plain old Crest? I could see why it works. I use diaper cream in his ears to keep them from gooping up and learned that bacon grease on old scars promotes hair growth. It really works but you have to cover it in the summer because of the flies. Oh, and for any open booboo, soak bread in milk and press it into the wound. It heals super fast and draws out any infection. I've got all sorts of these home recipes for horses.

Jayde's Surprize said...

PIFOG (Paint in a field of greys), had developed a lovely habit when I was long lining him of rearing when asked to back. We came to the conclusion that it was his teeth (which it was), and they have since been taken care of by the vet. However his rearing still continues, when asked on the long lines. He will back well if I stand next to him and ask with my reins, and will even do one or two steps when I'm on his back. He's been super good for everything, but I'm scared to ask for too much when riding. I would rather him keep his feet on the ground.Any suggestions??

Karen V said...

XXTerra is WONDERFUL stuff. It actually attacks the sarcoid, not healthy tissue. I had a yearling with one under his jaw, right where the curb chain would go, and one on his whithers. I applied it morning and night for three days, then got caught up in an emergency. (I was boarding at the time) It was a week before I got out to see him. It was almost completely gone, and once it was gone, it never came back. It sound harsh, but it honestly did not harm the healthy tissue surrounding the sarcoid.

quietann said...

Since you asked...

The short version is that I have not yet ridden Feronia out by myself, except for two hacks around the outside of the turnout paddocks a few weeks ago.

The long version is... I almost sent her back to her breeders as a consignment sales horse. I came to the realization that I do not feel safe on this horse without supervision. She can be a handful, and while she's *never* tried to dump me -- she is far too eager to please to do that -- when her brains fall out of her head, things can get pretty scary pretty quickly.

This all came up as a result of a 2 1/2 week period where I got to ride her... twice. Work, being out of town, being sick... My 4-times-a-week schedule bit the dust.

In the meantime, my trainer's daughter, who is just shy of 14, was riding her. Alice is a very mature, level-headed young woman who started riding at age 4. She likes speedy horses, and Feronia certainly fills the bill. It was discovered that Feronia has a good 3-foot-plus jump in her; in fact she jumps better over larger fences than smaller ones.

Alice has been riding and competing on her mom's older eventer, and quite frankly she's outgrown him. He's a wonderful horse, but not "exciting" enough for her. Now I've ridden him quite a lot, and he's basically your big security blanket. He *can* have his moments; put someone who doesn't know how to ride at all on him, and he panics. And he has a real buck! But he's a good boy.

So... we came up with this plan to more or less trade horses for the summer. I'd build confidence on Trump, while Alice and her mom would take charge of Feronia and also teach me on her a couple of times each week. Alice is taking Feronia to eventing camp for 3 weeks, and hopes to come back with them ready for Beginner Novice or even Novice level eventing. (Alice is a Novice-going-to-Training rider herself.)

In the meantime, of course, Trump went lame. Sometimes. Sort of. Might be an abscess, might be a torn ligament, might even be Lyme disease given the transient nature of the lameness. So my riding him is up in the air.

Feronia is teaching me a great deal about patience. The more one dotes on her -- massages her, feeds her carrots, just spends time talking to her, and slows down everything -- the calmer she is. I also have her on a calming supplement. Alice has given me a few lessons on her, and I've helped Alice with setting up jumps, with the reward of watching her and Feronia go.

So... is it a great outcome? Too early to tell. I need to give this a lot more time.

quietann said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
quietann said...

P.S. -- There are photos of my beautiful girl at

icepony said...

Oh my, this blog is the BEST motivator! It was gorgeous out tonight, so I cancelled my out of town appointment and RODE MY HORSE instead!

LOL, this time it only took 45 minutes to convince myself to get on, and I stayed on board for a whopping whole 5 minutes! (Last time I futzed for an hour and 45 minutes, and rode for 2. Not kidding.) I even asked for (and got) a trot going both directions tonight, about half a twenty meter circle each way.

Honestly, the SOG was awful, but I think it's due to my nerves. I'm still shaking when I get on, and he's obsessive about mouthing the bit. He's also very, VERY sensitive to both leg and hand, and so I assume I'm driving him crazy with my timidity (is that a word?) He's taking tiny tiny little steps, and his trot is horribly disjointed and does not flow AT ALL. I'll bet my bottom dollar he just wishes I'd CALM DOWN and ride like a normal human. :(

On the plus side, I expected some antics with the mirror reflections (last time I hid on the end that doesn't have the mirror), and got...nothing. The SOG was completely spook-free. He probably knows I'd wet my breeches right now if he did anything unexpected. Poor, poor horse!

StabledSolutions said...

Is it too late to join in on the fun?

I am fairly young, but have issues. I lack motivation to ride, usually because I am riding a young horse that just isn't much fun.

I recently purchased a gorgeous 3 year old APHA mare. I know, what was I thinking. She is just SO pretty and talented, I could not say no.

So, I would like to join to motivational group :-D I need it! This filly is green broke and my goal is to get her out and showing. I want a somewhat reaction to shows and I hope to get that result within the next 6 months. Maybe winning blues within a year?

StabledSolutions said...

Oops! I was trying to say that I want a somewhat CALM reaction to shows. Sorry!

StabledSolutions said...

Well, I started a blog! I think this will really help me get off my butt and ride more:

fanoffugly said...

I have decided writing goals down is great. Usually I have a "things to do list" or a "worry list". So I did my own blog called Baby Black Horse (BBH). So thanks so much Fugs for highlighting things we are all feeling. It felt good to reflect and focus.
Who knows I might end up putting BBH under saddle myself.

4Horses&Holding said...


I have an update!!!! I rode the 'Very Bad Horse' yesterday afternoon. She did quite well - the story is at that link on the FHotD Training Forum.

I discovered, as I was riding her at a trot, but was not comfortable pushing her into a canter - that my BIGGEST fear is cantering.

I'd not really acknowledged it before - I just don't canter often.

I think it may stem from the fact that my primary riding horse for the last 16 years had been my mare. Who bucked on canter departs. I started riding her when I was a more fearless 20 year old... and then just became so comfortable with her that it didn't bother me anymore. I knew how to ride her to discourage the buck and didn't have many problems with her for the last many years - but if I had not ridden pro-actively, she'd would have bucked at every single canter depart.

I think that is in the back of my mind when I start young horses. Walk - trot doesn't really scare me. Asking for a canter makes me nervous - weird, huh?

quietann said...

I think a lot of people are afraid to canter. I certainly have been, over time, though a lot of it depends on the horse.

Feronia has a lovely canter. A bit bouncy, but she goes into it well and stays there. Her canter depart is *huge* for such a little horse; one can really feel those jumping muscles!

I actually prefer her canter to her trot, which can get rushy and anxious. When I first had her, I had to work very carefully on the correct aids for trot, because if she's in a walk and given "speed up" aids, she prefers to go into a canter. She's what her breeder calls a "cantering Morgan" rather than a "trotting Morgan." It's easier for her to collect at the canter, and she's much less likely to spook or otherwise be resistant.

4Horses&Holding said...

It's weird, though - because I LOVE to canter.

I thought a little bit more about it, and I think there are a few more factors to it.

Where I have lived for the last 14 years (the area) I don't have really good *trails* to ride on. I have to ride on a lot of dirt roads. Only a very few of them have a canter-friendly surface. I started my Arabian up in this area - and I didn't really want his first few canters to be along a road. So it took me a long time to actually get to a canter on him. I still had the problem that there weren't many places to do it. The best section of road was a two mile ride from my house - so it's not like I could just hop up and do it.

My next 'newest' horse is a jiggy guy. He has come a long, long way with walking on a loose rein and not much spinning / jigging / head throwing anymore. Unless I canter him - it takes him a while to come back down. I've been 'rehabbing' him (story also on the training forum) - so I don't WANT to canter him until we've got the basics down at a walk-trot.

Then I have two green horses to ride.

I did canter on our old ranch horse a few weeks ago. I still LOVE to do it. I'm just a big wuss about getting a canter on a green horse.

I figure Justin will be about 15 when he's trail broke totally (hey, I don't have a lot of time) at a walk-trot.

I wonder if I'll ever canter on him. LOL I don't think that he'll be a bucker, though.

mulerider said...

RE: sarcoids, the mare I had with sarcoids in her ear had the kind that look like cauliflower, with a big blobby "head" growing on a narrow "stalk." The vet put a rubber band tight around the stalk of each one and after a week or two, they just dried up and fell off. No mess, no blood, and they never came back during the time I had her.

borderbratz said...


I hope you don't mind my butting in and offering unsolicted advise but I have been where you are and here is what helps me and my hores:

You are pushing past the limits of your fear and actually you will create bigger fear in the long run this way. You can't consciously control fear because it originates in a part of your brain that you can't control.

How a person successfully retrains this unconscious part of the brain is by spending time within their comfort zone and venturing out of the comfort zone so that you recognize some excitement and changed breathing pattern and then go back to your comfort zone (comfort zone= feel totally normal and bored). Pushing further than recognized excitement results in shaking, panic, or crying and is actually reaffirming your involountary fear response to your subconscious. So the subconscious continues offers the fear response, often sooner in the activity. We are wired this way as a basic survival instinct.

If you can, scale back a bit. If trotting makes you shake but walking keeps you calm then walk and work on controlling the speed of the walk. You will find yourself experiencing the trot for a stride or two and that may be excitement enough to expand your comfort zone. Work it this way and you will find your comfort zone expanding- slowly but very surely. Your horse will appreciate not being forced on your emotional rollercoaster too.

crazyhorse said...

I am doing FABULOUS!!!!!! We took the Doofus to an actual show this past weekend, his first time away from home and he was such an incredibly GOOD puppy! My daughter decided to show him in the Green Horse division (walk/trot) and he WON ALL HIS CLASSES!!!!!!!!! He won showmanship, horsemanship, schooling!!!! Schooling had 17 horses in it and was the smallest class! I almost cried when I heard his name called at the end of the day as reserve grand champion in the Green horse division. They handed me a 4 ft long ribbon, an etched glass plate and a huge glass goblet!
So this coming weekend he is going out again and *I* get to ride him in some classes at a local POA open show...Also when I showed my 16.2 hand mare in huntseat, I noted my english boots were totally BAGGY on me as I have lost inches off my legs courtesy of the gym! WAHOO!

NOTE: Me and my mare were high point senior rider...we got armloads of ribbons and prizes!!!

Mary said...


WAAAHHHHOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! Great job, all of you!!!! The best thing, it sounds like you had FUN above everything else!!!!

Sidebar: Lex' big Sarcoid has ripped at the base, gotten infected (being treated), and is now starting to seperate from his body. So whomever said the banding worked on their mare, I think Lex has taken care of his in his own way. It looks like he was biting it.

Sandy M said...

Progress....or not. Picked up a friend to go with me to a lesson (hey, any gas contributions are helpful). Unfortunately, her Arab mare (very nice CMK bred grey) didn't want to get in the trailer. Didn't help that the wind kept trying to blow the door shut, so she had to hold the door while I, solo, tried to get reluctant mare to load. Even with her holding it, the wind was so strong she (about 5'2") was almost blow INTO the trailer. Finally, one of the stable hands appeared, and with him in the trailer, holding the lead, I was able to tap/tap/tap with the dressage whip on her butt until she got so bored, she got in. Sigh. We quickly drove back to my barn (5 mins) and my VLC hesitated only momentarily before getting in. ("Ooooo. Someone else in MY trailer? OH! it's a GIRL - sniffy, sniffy, sniffy, lick your back m'dear?).

Lesson was uneventful and he was really going nicely. My friend video'ed a brief snippet with my digital cam and when I get the disk, I'll try to post. He really was good, but he is still VERY ADD. I'll have him bending and going into the bridle nicely, and something catches his eye and he's instantly counter-bent to keep an eye on it/investigate. When his trailer mate came into the arena to warm up, you'd have thought there was a maget in her butt. I was cantering, and suddenly, he went 20 feet sideway (at the canter/on the bit) trying to reach her. I looked like a very bad barrel racer pulling him around to avoid a collision. While part of our problem is ME - collapsing my left side - his magnetic attraction to any other horse in the arena is NOT MY FAULT. *G* Apparently the mare enjoyed his attentions, since he loaded in less than 5 mins going home.

The local heat wave (up to 102 degrees) and a blown up radiator ($676) limited my riding to one day last week, but when I went to ride on Saturday (at the crack of dawn!), I only lunged him about 10 mins and got on, and he was relaxed and calm. I feel like I'm sort of in a rut - just keeping him moving forward, doing big school figures, some leg yields and concentrating very hard on how MY position influences him. A clinic in late March with my favorite clinician - Sherry Ackerman - was cancelled due to a flurry of lame horses, and it looks like I won't be able to work with her until August - and then instead of being local it will be a2 hour trailer ride away, and then just a week before I have to fly to the East Coast to help a very dear friend celebrate her 60th b'day.

Ummm.... what else. Oh. Worked him over some ground poles. He took it very calmly and wasn't at all excited about it. i have lunged him over poles before and this was the first time I've ridden him over them. I was ready for, "Whee! I'm gonna jump" but he just trotted over them quietly. Whew! I still have not been able to get him out on the trail except for about a month ago when we lunged him in the pasture at the colt starter's place and then I briefly rode him out there, including down into and up out of a gully - which he handled quietly and unexcitedly. There's no one at my barn who trail rides except a beginner with a fairly reliable but not totally unspooky horse, and I sure am not going to go solo. Our trail access is good if you have a somewhat experienced horse, but you do have to cross two roads and ride next to traffic, lots of homes, bicyclists, dogs, etc. to get to the main trail entrance, so.....

Sandy M said...

Oh.... how could I forget. Took him to a schooling show. However, we never made it into a class. I lunged him in the warmup, but he was WIRED. Airs above the ground. Yeee-hah!!! The thought of perhaps running through some child on a pony was not pleasant, so we made it, a "this is a horse show. How interesting. let us walk around the area (pre-show). let us stand by the arena. let us tie to the trailer and eat" experience. Prospective schooling show in June. maybe we'll make it into a W/T class at that one. LOL

icepony said...

Borderbratz, no, I don't mind "unsolicited advice" at all, or I'd never post here, lol. I love that people share what works for them.

Unfortunately, I start the shaking garbage the minute I decide to bridle the SOG. Due to prior bad experiences, he's pretty bad about it, but getting better each time. Funny part is that I'll climb on ANYONE else's horse, no matter how green, without any hesitation. It's just MINE that scares h*ll out of me. (And he's done nothing to make me think he'll kill or maim me, he's a pretty good boy overall, just has a few residual issues.) If I stuck to my comfort zone, I'd spent his life admiring him from the other side of the fence. So I'm going with the "every time it's a little smidgeon better" theory, because I really do want to ride/show/enjoy this horse, and he's waaaay too nice a guy to rust out in the pasture. And it really does get a tiny bit better every time. Next time I'm going to try riding with some other people in the arena, and see if that helps.

Anonymous said...

Well my goal is... to set some real goals! I have really been going out with out an actual game plan (I know I know that isn't going to get me anywhere) I had just been dealing with issues as they as they came. SP our abused QP Mare has come a long way; my goal for her is still gaining trust. I can now touch her everywhere (including her ears which were the worst by far) have her hold her feet very quietly while I clean them, approach with different objects in my hands without her walking off and I can now but reins over her head. She greets me now and will follow me around the corral. Her ground work is solid but she is still nervous under saddle, I think that will just take time. None of this was possible when she first came home. The very sight of a bridle or saddle and she was either a) gone if untied or b) shaking violently. I'm very proud of her thus far.

Now as for my QH/TB mare... I think I just need to stop being such a big baby and RIDE her. She just turned 5 and needs miles! The last few times I've been on her were pretty similar. We warm up in the corral, lunge then ride and if everything goes well I'll take her out and around the property. Well, once we are out she is usually full of it. The worst of it is her either wanting to eat (not a big issue) and bucking (that’s the one that gets me nervous) they aren't big bucks and I haven't had a problem staying on and getting her to calm down, but I don't like it! She isn't barn sour or buddy sour, she is just being a brat as far as I can tell. When she pulls her crap I get a hold of her through a ORS and then everything is just hunky-dory. I've also had her bolt on me, the first time I rode her (as a very green 4 y/o) before I decided to buy her. It hasn't happened since and we've encountered some pretty scary stuff but it's still stuck in the back of my mind. So I guess my goal is to start putting miles under her feet and stop making excuses! (it’s too hot, too windy, I don’t have an arena/round pen/decent area to lunge at more than a trot waa waa waa)! I do think I’d feel better if I had a ridding buddy for moral support but unfortunately I don’t so I think I’d better just toughen up!

Kemo Sabe said...

Hi Guys :)
I'm a longtime lurker, here and on FHOTD, first time poster. I just wanted to say great blogs Ms Fugly. You've inspired me to start my own blog, detailing the trials and tribulations of my pally filly. It's off to a somewhat shaky start but I'm hoping writing will get easier as time goes on. If anyone is interested, the address is

I'm hoping this means that if I stop posting, I'll get emails/comments telling me to get my lazy and/or chicken shit arse outside and on my horse NOW.

Anonymous said...


I can relate to the saddle issues your mare has, mine is similar. Bareback (w/or w/o pad) she is just fine, but put a saddle on her and it's a different story. My uncle picked up a purdy* new saddle for me when I brought her home (someone happened to be selling one at his work so he figured what the heck) but unfortunately it didn't fit. I didn't have a ton of extra cash for a new saddle so I settled for a Cahsel soft saddle (glorified and VERY comfy bareback pad w/stirrups) to hold me over until I have enough for a nicer one. I did have to modify it as my girl has high withers and the padding is so thick I didn't have as good of leg contact as I'd like, but it was an easy quick fix and it works great now. I use it on both of our horses.

Katie said...

This is my first post o the VLC blog, though I am a regular on fugly horse of the day. I'm just beginning a training project of my own. I have a fugly grade mare between the age of 12 and 20. I have no idea which but we're hoping its more like 12.

My Mom and I just bought her, and we've had her around a month now. I rode her a lot about two years ago before I moved two states away, and when she came up for sale I knew that I had to save her.

Libby is difficult to say the least. Not only is she fugly, but she has to be ridden the way she wants to be ridden otherwise she bucks like the wildest bronco you've ever seen.

You can't ride her with a bit, you can't give her leg commands only vocal commands. And once you get on god firbid you stop for more then 30 seconds. You took her out of her pasture and got on, so now you have to move, otherwise you're wasting her time.

She's a fantastic trail horse but how much can I really trust her with only a halter for breaks? Any suggestions? I've tried a hackamore but she hated that even more then the bit. And they only bit we've ever tried has been the mildest snaffle you can find.

c said...

Here are my goals:

Re-school and gymnastically build up my ottb Reggie after a year of injuries (all healed now and received hock and knee injections for arthritis next week). Taking lessons at a riding school for the first time in 10 years to ride dressage on horses besides my own.

Goal: Training level on Reggie. Preliminary goal: Walk Trot test at show at summer's end.

For my other horse, the Morgan pony Leland - goal is to trail ride him safely by the end of summer. He is new to me and is about 15 and was not trained properly. Is being schooled for the first time in his life and is coming around slowly. He was gelded very late and has unfortunate studdy behaviors around mares which is a scary thing to deal with.

What needs to happen to make this happen. Ride Reggie and Leland each 3 days a week. Take Leland on little trips around and off the property by hand. Work on both of them with longeing (they are both horrible about it and get really dominant and pissy). Take one lesson at dressage stable a week. Lose 10 lbs and walk everyday to increase fitness.

Those are my goals. I've been stagnating for YEARS and this is the year I'm really going to do this!