Monday, July 7, 2008

Pets tend to resemble their owners!

One of my personal failings is that I'm just not that patient. I'm fine with horses, but with traffic, long lines, and people who cannot make up their minds, I have a pretty low boiling point. So it should come as no surprise that so does my VLC. I decided tonight that we were going to simply work on standing still by the mounting block. I wasn't going to get on. I tacked him up and free longed for a while and then we were just going to work on patiently standing still next to the block. Not fidgeting, not barging past, not backing up. Just standing there and being praised for standing there.

Ha.

The VLC is like his owner. He doesn't want to F around, he wants to get out there and get working. He couldn't figure out why were screwing around just standing there. He got highly annoyed. First he tried to turn around and nibble on my feet on the block. I pulled his head straight. He barged forward. He backed up. He swung his hindquarters. I just kept bringing him back to stand and praising him when he did stand.

He decided I was an idiot and this was the stupidest thing ever. He even stomped his back feet a few times. I growled, he quit.

Finally, after at least 15 minutes, he gave out the long-suffering "God, my owner is a prize moron" sigh and stood still and relaxed. I got off the block, took him inside, put him away and detangled his tail while he finished his dinner. I am not sure whether or not he learned patience, but maybe we took a step in the right direction.

I also rode Honey tonight. The BTM continues to be just extremely good. She stood like a statue for mounting, was bending to the right better than ever before, and is really getting the hang of backing up now. We've started to work a little bit on neck reining. She is such a kind, cooperative mare and she just feels solid underneath you - you know? She is relaxed, even when she's fast - she's not a nervous Nelly at all.

We have some changes coming here. Lucy, the black mare from the Enumclaw sale, is heading off to Stephanie Korhel's barn for the intensive ground work she needs to get over her fears about humans. I think being in a busy training barn with lots of handling will be good for Lucy, who I suspect has sat in a field popping out babies with minimal handling for years now. Meanwhile, I have a new project coming in. Bessie, who is actually my old mare Kit's daughter, has been sold to a new owner and is coming in for 30 days' refresher training. She has also been just a broodie for years now with the exception of a few bareback rides last summer, but she isn't scared or spooky. It's pretty obvious nobody has ever been mean to Bessie. She thinks humans are creatures that supply alfalfa and horse cookies, and so does her month-old adorable bay filly (by the VLC, one of his two from before I owned him). I'm so excited that she's coming here and I'll get to play with the VLC's first daughter. Aren't they cute?







Finally, some more exciting news - the VLC's first colt, Bullwinkle, has been sold to a reader of the blog. He's out of a mare even bigger than the VLC, so I think he'll max out at 16.2 or bigger. His future will be dressage and trail riding, and he is heading to Idaho as soon as he is weaned this fall! I have strongly suggested that he get his own blog. :-)

39 comments:

Karen V said...

I'm so happy that Honey is being such a good girl! I was so intimidated by her the few times that I actually rode her. Like you said, there's a LOT of horse under that saddle. Can't wait to have her home!

verylargecolt said...

There is a lot of horse BUT she is not stupid or silly. You just have to adjust to the fact that you're driving a V-8, not a four cylinder. ;-)

CutNJump said...

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwe! Look at the babies!

JR's yellow mare has been working on the fact that someone is in the saddle, does NOT mean you move off and start working until you are asked to. Before you could be half on and off she would go.

She is working on standing in one spot while someone mounts then continuing to stand there until asked to move.

JR is much the same- all the patience in the world for the horses and absolutely 0 for anything else- esspecially computers/electronics and traffic.

I think it would also be safe to say he has a negative score for patience or tolerance for stupidity and ignorance.

Can't truthfully say mine is much higher...

Maybe that's why we are all friends here?

Karen V said...

LOL.... That's all I've got is 4-bangers. (Except maybe for Kaci) That appy I have is like riding a jack-hammer! She beats the crap out of me everytime I ride her!

Joy is looking SO awesome! She's fat and sleek. Still just a little itchy, but not too bad.

cdncowgirl said...

I support the suggestion of a Bullwinkle blog!
As for patience... its a good thing we Canadians don't have quite the love affair with firearms that our neighbours do. :P
I want a "dart gun" that you fire at other cars and a small flag sticks to their vehicle. It would say something like: Caution Bad Driver. or: Driven by a Dumbass.
I also want a device that would cause those excessively loud car stereos to implode. You know the ones. They're 3 cars behind you and you can't hear your own radio. You can't even hear music, all you hear is THUMP THUMP THUD THUMP.

verylargecolt said...

CnJ - That is the VLC. He would like to get moving as soon as my leg comes over. What is JR doing to correct that with his mare?

andrea said...

What a beautiful little colt. and the name suits him so well!!!

Congrats to his new owners!

BritnieAnn said...

VLCs colt DEF needs a blog!! He is sooo durn adorable. Good luck with VLCs antsyness at the block, you'll get 'im!

bigpainthorse said...

Interesting about the yellow mare, CnJ, my mare is that way also. I do not have a lot of information about her early days, but I know she was ranch-broke, so it may have been that "go NOW" was drilled into her as the "right" way to do things.

Given the temps out here this week, I'm perfectly happy to be rewarding her for standing still and patience has nothing to do with it, LOL.

June Evers said...

In regards to horses and their owners being alike....my horse and I are both so exceedingly lazy. It's a great match...we don't do anything that will cause us to break a sweat.

CutNJump said...

VLC- get on and make him just stand there. Wait for that OMG! I AM SOOOO INCREDIBLY BORED! *siiiiigh*. Reward him for that then ask him to walk off. Other days make him stand there a bit longer even after he sighs. If you get on take a deep breath and sigh to relax, he will take that as a signal to do the same.

*A neighbor of ours taught a horse to sigh as a way to get her to relax- exaggerate the sound until they pick it up and copy you.

During work do the same thing, take time to stop and let them stand there and relax. A few seconds, minutes or just while you look at things outside the arena. It's the fastest way to go slow. Just because you are on them does not mean they need to be moving all the time.

What if you wanted to hang out on the rail and watch a few classes or jumping rounds at a show? From his back you will have a better view if he is quiet and standing on the rail behaving. You will also be able to focus your attention rather than fussing with him and hoping he listens. What if you are watching competitors who are before you in the class? It would be nice to tell him whoa and be able to actually watch.

We teach them on the lead rope, longe line, long lines, that whoooooa is a low, soothing, relaxing cue to stop and stand still. By the time we get on them, they know whoooa means "I get to stand here and do NOTHING! BONUS!"

Some days this might be all you work on- I get on and you stand still. Walk a few steps down the arena, stop & stand. Walk a few steps of a turn, s & s. Pivot, s & s. Walk off half way across the arena, s & s. Back a few steps, s & s. Trot a few circles left, s & s.

It keeps them from anticipating. She gets on, we to this, this, this, then that, cruise over here, back a few steps and done, she gets off- I go eat.


JR's mare is more inclined to work, and can be a bit 'hot' at times. We longe her until she settles down enough to decide SHE is ready- relaxed, comfortable, ready and she stops on her own. Some days it takes her longer than others.

If she is really warm or near dripping, we will push her back out to walk on the longe for a while and after getting on- more walking until she is breathing normally and 'settled' with herself.

She went from walking off while mid mounting, to walking off shortly after the leg swung over, to standing there but figiting, then finally she just stood there and sighed- determined we truly are the rulers of the far reaching lands of boredom.

She will still try to creep forward and back. She wants to go to work and do something, anything, let's just get moving already...

It takes time, but we have plenty of that and so does she. It's not like either of us has a hair appointment at 3pm before picking up the kids on the way to go grocery shopping...

CutNJump said...

June you crack me up! Our bay mare is like that too. She will assess 'the mood' and act accordingly. If I am in an off mood or just not feeling it- there will be no extra effort on her part.

SOSHorses said...

VLC - Did you get the chance to read Sammy's blog?

Here is the Link

Serendipity said...

The boy I'm working with is also not one to stand still during mounting. (How common is this problem?) Trainer says he was, 'cowboyed.' He's supposedly come from a ranch, but doesn't know how to neck-rein?!

Anyway, he's much better than he used to be. Even that one time I forgot who I was riding and vaulted onto his back like my I do to my redhead. Poor little guy almost had a heart attack.

verylargecolt said...

I was so proud because I could get him to stop and stand still on a dropped rein almost from the very start (mid ride). Then I recently realized he only does it for maybe a count of three. I've always let him move after that. Now we are working on the LONG stop and he hates it - starts fidgeting, sideways, back, whatever. I agree, I want him to stand quietly at shows and he NEEDS to stand in the line-up so this is a skill we must acquire in the next six weeks!

CutNJump said...

VLC- if he starts figiting and backing, make him move forward a few steps, stop and stand again. If he goes forward make him back and stop.

Determining when to push forward, move backwards or just stop where you are takes a certain knack. I still don't always get it right, but I am working on it too...

We will often ask for one step and stop. One step, stop. Each step is deliberate and asked for. They learn not to rush, no anticipating, no just plowing through things. Stop and wait, stop and wait.

It gets boring as all hell for me up there sometimes too. I just think, GAWD! Let's get on with it already. That's when the horse gets all figity again and messes around.

That's when I have to take it as if I were in a lesson- Work on something then stop and ask your 'rail rat' (my appollogies Josie and everyone else!) a question as if you couldn't understand what they just told you to do. Try it again. Stop and ask about work? Do another manuever, stop and ask about the last movie they seen? Each time you stop and start asking questions and they answer, he should stop and stand there and relax. Stop at different places along the rail, center of the arena, right next to the person... He will look to the sound of your voice and relaxed manner as a reason to stop and relax as well.

We stop and stand at random places along the trail for the same reason. You never know when you may have to stop while another rider in your group tends to a tack adjustment, a problem, gets a drink, takes a leak or ??? It's nice insurance to have knowing your horse will stop and stand whenever, wherever and for as long as you ask them to.

And yes you ar often still being judged when in the lineup at a show. How nice to be pinned below a beautiful, nice moving horse who doesn't know how to stand still...

I have won halter classes with a horse who stood still over a nicer horse who didn't. I have also lost to skin & bones crooked legged horses who stood still when mine would not.

Redsmom said...

Cathy, I'm glad all is going well. As to impatience, the other day I got Dude all tacked up (reins removed) and went inside to change into long pants and he tried to head out the front gate onto the trail ride without me. Why not? HE was ready to go. LOL.

While I'm on here... who wants to give me the idiots guide to understanding the prize list for the upcoming hunter show that my daughter and I are going to attend? I've received the prize list and read over it 15 times and I'm still confused. I have no experience with showing although my daughter and I have both had lots of lessons. I don't want to ask the lady running the show because I don't want her to know how ignorant I am. I did email her about the dress code (white pads required etc. to find out whether how formal it will be since its a local barn sponsored show).

Karen V said...

Cathy - Did you get my e-mail regarding Joy's dental appointment this Friday?

dp said...

After lots of hard work I now have standing to be mounted down pat with Raven, and her stop and stand is getter better as well. What still sucks is remounting on the trails -- bloody hairy! She is fine in a ring or field or whatever, but on the trail she wants to GO. Any suggestions on how to work on this would be appreciated!

foodforfounder.blogspot.com

Redsmom said...

Beautiful filly and colt, BTW! I'd love to see a blog about them. I wish I were closer and had some money -- I'd like to have a well trained easy goer, but I have my beloved project boy.. sigh. Anyway, I figured out the hunter show prize list thing -- there's 2 rounds so that's why some classes are listed twice. I love the internet.

SquirrelGurl said...

The babies are just TOO CUTE!!!

I was digging around on Etsy the other day and came across this print... made me think of the VLC even though he'll be in the Western ring. It's still a beautiful piece of artwork...

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=13039085

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

>>Anyway, I figured out the hunter show prize list thing -- there's 2 rounds so that's why some classes are listed twice.<<

Yes, and the two classes plus the flat class make up a "division." So you go in those three classes and are eligible for division champion or reserve, as opposed to an open show where you have high point. You can go in more than one division but some do not permit cross entries, and a lot of times if you are jumping the 18 inch division, you can't jump over 2 feet in any class...you pretty much have to read everything and ask questions.

quietann said...

On horses being like their owners -- Feronia and I are far too much alike. Smart, easily distracted, sensitive, and prone to drama! This is probably the cause of some of our difficulties....

Josie said...

My Ginny and I are VERY much alike, to our mutual detriment.

We are both fat, short-legged, wide through the middle, inflexible, slow-moving and easily offended. She is cuter and younger than I am though.

mugwump said...

When I have a fidgity horse who needs to stand, I work them waaaaay past the point where they think standing still for a few seconds would be a good plan.
Then I ask for my whoa.
Then we go back to work before they can think about moving, again way past the point of them wanting to stop.
Then I ask again.
Eventually they won't move if a tornado hits 'em.

Heat Stroke in FL said...

Boy, do my horse and I make a pair. We're both fat and lazy. We're both fairly nice, but tend to get hormonal when we REALLY don't like something. LMAO, great post!

Honey sounds like such a trooper. Are you keeping this one or just getting her ready for her new forever home? You might have answered this already, but I have been unable to do much computer wise for the past few weeks.

I finally updated my blog. HM and I have had lots of new developments!

http://www.outofshaperider.blogspot.com

Jackie said...

HaHaHaHaHa! You got me thinking....we *are* a lot alike...don't push me, show me, let me think about it, and I'll get it...get loud, angry, and I'll put on the brakes....hmmm....that is so much Starlette! LOL!

However, I will load in the trailer without hesitation...

Shadow Rider said...

I wish I did resemble my horse, she is carrying her extra weight a lot more elegantly than I am! LOL!
I had the best ride of my life this past weekend, for a reason I think you guys will totally get. Put it on my blog instead of taking up 3 pages here horse blog

Redsmom said...

VLC said "Yes, and the two classes plus the flat class make up a "division." So you go in those three classes and are eligible for division champion or reserve, as opposed to an open show where you have high point."

Oh THANK YOU! That makes a whole lot more sense! Thank you, thank you, Cathy!! The lady wrote back and said its a schooling show and also said what her students will be wearing. Coats will be waived for the heat (July, Louisiana = hot and humid!) I've given up on finding my old tan Khaki colored riding pants - they're in the elusive box with my two pair of western boots that I have never located since the move 5 years ago. At least I found my long boots packed with some dishes (?!)and they're still good! Off to shop!!! Oh, and train my horses. LOL.

NYCowgirl said...

Ha! Chester and I are two peas in a pod - stubborn, afflicted with ADHD and a sick and twisted sense of humor, and always looking to figure out new and exciting ways to avoid manual labor.

epicus06 said...

VLC...JW, but what kind of bit are you using? I haven't been able to find it mentioned, maybe I'm not looking hard enough...?? I've started riding my Feb 06er and I'm having issues moving him from a sidepull-nobody I've asked can seem to decide on a bit...???

Redsmom said...

I'm posting this all over the place so that I will have to follow through... tonight I'm going to put a bit on Dude. He's never had a bit on since I've known him and I don't know when the last time is that he wore one. I've seen his tongue and there's nothing wrong with it. He has hideous canine tusks, but no wolf teeth so here we go... He was exptremely head shy when I got him, but I've pretty much gotten him over that (flame me, I used baby carrots!)

everbely said...

Oh please let Bullwinkle have his own blog! Bullwinkle was my maiden name and I have a soft spot for anything named Bullwinkle

horsecrazy88 said...

Doesn't your very large colt have a real name?

OutRiding01 said...

Awww, babies! So adorable...

Anyways, when I was younger, I had a pony that would walk off as soon as you put a foot in the stirrup. I finally decided I didn't like this one week and we had "mounting bootcamp". I would mount and if she walked off, we would back and stand until I asked for something else. Sometimes we'd stand for several seconds, sometimes for over a minute. By the end of the week, I could run, jump and vault myself into that saddle and that pony wouldn't take a step forward.

We were in a pleasure pony class at a show once and the judge asked for a halt and then to drop your reins and out of 30+ people my mom said mine was the only pony that didn't take a step forward.

amarygma said...

Aww, yay for babies! I'm a sucker for bays anyways. (okay I'm a sucker for lots of things)

http://www.horsenoob.blogspot.com

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

>>When I have a fidgity horse who needs to stand, I work them waaaaay past the point where they think standing still for a few seconds would be a good plan.<<

But how do you do that when you are committed to the idea of not working your young, downhill, still-growing horse for more than 20 minutes? He just isn't tired after 20 minutes. (Am I being silly? I don't know. He's still downhill. Still growing. I just don't think he can hack working to the point of tiredness yet.)

Epicus - I am riding him in a copper mouth D-ring right now, medium thick. He seems to like it much better than the loose ring snaffle.

Horsecrazy - the VLC's registered name is Big Yellow Caddi. The filly is out of Bess Conclusion and is going to be named Lil Besscalade :-) I think the colt's name is yet to be decided!

I am going to update tonight. The internet was down at home much of last week. Sorry guys!

epicus06 said...

Okay, I don't mean to be a dick...but I researched your guy on AQHA.com and his sire doesn't seem like he's done much and his dam doesn't have a show record, but VLC is still a stallion, do you plan to breed him later? He's cute, no doubt, but isn't that important for a breeding prospect according to your fugly blog?

I've got a mare who's sire didn't do anything and her dam never entered the show ring, their sire and dams were champions though. She's only done open shows (though I'd love to get her in the WP ring, I just don't know if it's worth re-training her, she had the joy of being a toy for barrel "trainers"). So I understand the situation, I just don't know if I agree with everything on your blog, I needed to ask you about this.


Thank you for the reply on the bit. I put my guy in a reg. eggbutt snaffle and he's decided to completely ignore me and follow the hot dun mare(who doesn't seem to know he's a gelding either). I did a little research and I've come up with putting him in a little harsher bit, maybe a square twist d-ring, for a few days to soften him and then go back to the smooth. I'm 19, a total pansy, and riding my first non-dead-broke-show-pony so this is a huge learning experience for me, I'm trying to draw tips from anywhere I can before I give up and send him back to the trainers...ew I ranted..

brat_and_a_half said...

About the mounting block, I taught my little WB filly to stand at the mounting block during her first sessions. She learned very quickly exactly where to put herself, and if she moved or swung her bum around to the point where I had to get down from the mounting block, she was in trouble. I was also flopping over her back at this point (it was before I was riding her) and she moved once (not balancing) and she got in trouble for that, so now she stands at the block, quietly and relaxed, until she's told to move. It was a big thing to teach her since my coach always uses a mounting block on her horses, I thought it would be nice to have her so good at it.