Monday, October 13, 2008

Sorry for the lack of updates...

As you Fugly blog readers know, I am nose deep in developing a new web site. The VLC is still looking NQR so he is on vacation and doing nothing more than rolling in the mud and playing with his gelding friend. I have not had time to ride at all in a few days and am going to regret it when I have to get back on the Drama pony.

Casper went home to Cowgirl Spirit to begin competing in drill this season and I wish her much luck. We had begun cantering before she left and she was wonderful on the straightaways and (I LOVE this description my friend came up with to describe those greenie legs-everywhere moments) an eight-legged huffalump on the corners. But she is a baby and she will get it! Other than that, she was a total success story...riding like a champ, no bad behavior. I am very happy with how that one turned out!

Lucy came home and I need to ride her too. She is looking good and much less head shy so I'm very pleased by that. Updated pics very soon. She is available for adoption so if your barn might need a cute black 14 year old TB mare with four socks and a blaze, let me know. Stephanie says she's great to ride and has no issues other than a bit of ongoing headshyness.

OK so someone else entertain the troops...what's your best green horse story from this summer? Funniest/silliest/dumbest moment?


Alexis said...

This has been confusing me-- Drama is her name? Or has that been the nickname you have given her?


Well, it was mostly dumb on my part--wasn't really worried about it at first.

So my greenie is five, and he's not super green, so that is why I didn't really think about it. When I leave him in for even one day, he is usually a little high [it is better now though]. So I decided to do a trail ride on him. Alone. Bareback. In a place he hadn't been in a long time. Ahh, in retrospect, this was so dumb.

We got to the top of the hill and there was a big, open, flat, windy space [red flag, i would think]. In the distance there are horses he knows and cows [which, at the time, he hadn't seen in a while].
Needless to say, we had quite a fight with each other over this area. He reared up so high, I wondered after how I stayed on.

Won't be doing that again...

Sydney said...

Dumbest green horse moment this year: Was riding my young mare (3) I have driven her but not ridden her and so I started. One of our first handful of rides was right before a bunch of friends came over for a trail ride.
Someone pulled into the field behind a row of big tall bushes I was on the other side of. She jumped once and that should have made the red light go off and me get off before more started pulling in but I didn't. Suddenly this horse in the first trailer started spazzing out and busted the butt bar and made this perfect unholy demon of hell coming through the side of the trailer impression. Mare (even though shes Morgan, not Arab) teleported herself in like a second a good 50 feet away next to the paddock fence. I didn't even have time to blink.

Linda - Nickers and Ink said...

Gee, riding a green-broke three year old is surely fodder for stories.


The Mane Point

Guess the Breed, at The Mane Point

evenetr4lifee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eventer 4 lifee said...

Oh man, my DUMBEST green horse moment of the summer:

I ride my instructor's pony, and he is six now, but his training was started late. He is pretty spooky and has a nasty spin on him.

Anyways, about a month ago I got him out of his field and the idea popped into my head that I would like to to hop on bareback to stroll back to the barn (what can I say? I'm a lazy kid and didn't feel like walking, haha). so, I climbed on a rock and hopped on. As I was tying my lead ropes together, two horses in the field tore off at top speed; thus spooking pony. Pony bolted down the road. Off I go!

a beautiful disaster said...

not from summer and not a green horse, but certaintly silly and funny:
buddy (my gelding, the beautiful disaster haha) was standing ground-tied in a grooming stall last thursday while i was tacking him up. our ground tying rules aren't super strict, he is allowed to look around and entertain himself (rather than thinking of ways to play alligator), and so long as he stays mostly facing out and his feet stay on the wood floor we're all set. so he was standing this way, and being good, and i stepped out into the aisle to pick up my cell (mothers...). i guess i was ignoring him too much, because next thing i knew he had picked up the trash can in his teeth and THREW IT at me. legit, it is a fairly big bin and it went flying through the air and stuff went everywhere.

after a little bit of annoyance, i just had to double over in laughter...he's just to cute and funny. i love my poneh :)

Lisa said...

Maybe this isn't the funniest or best green horse story of the summer... but it falls into the category of, "OMG I have the best filly ever!"

Yesterday I had my 3 year old in the cross-ties and was tacking up to ride. While I was bent over to put on her boots on, she kinda jolted a little. She didn't move, she just shifted her weight forward. I looked up to see that the kindergartener had not only ridden his bicycle into the barn, but had CRASHED IT INTO HER HIND END.

My filly was standing there with a bike tire wedge between her two hind legs looking at me like, "Mom... a little help?"

And yeah, I had the "no bikes in the barn please" talk again with the kiddos and barn owners. ;)

Deer Run Stables said...


None to be had from putting the first few rides on the 3 year old Friesian cross gelding-- drama would be too much like real work, I suspect.

Nothing *but* drama from the Drama Queen Gelding (does that make him the DQG on this blog?), the 2 year old Andy/Arab learning to ground drive in preparation for pulling a cart this winter. Still, it all takes place without much actual movement of the feet, and it's, y'know, ground driving, so, seriously, what's he really gonna do?

My best Dumb Green Horse Moment comes from the 2 yr old's baby sister, the yearling palomino Andy/Arab filly that I'm keeping for myself because I love her personality so much. If she's in the area, she just has to try whatever the big horses are doing.

If they're being sacked out, she has to be sacked out, too. If there's a saddle, it has to be set on her back for a few seconds. Snaffle bit with maple syrup on it? Ooo! Ooo! Let me try!

So, of course, she was right there at the gate when I finished introducing the 2 yr old to the training surcingle. I looked at her and thought, "Y'know, I bet this would actually fit you." Sure enough, it did, with two holes to spare.

She followed me into the roundpen wearing her new surcingle, proud as a peacock, and wandered around with me for a bit. I sent her off on a circle to the right, at liberty. She trots off, pretty as you please, and then-- KABOOM!-- she's broncing around the pen in a full-out, stiff-legged rodeo buck, complete with that wonderful bawling noise you occasionally hear during the saddlebronc competition.


Fortunately, no one was around to video tape me for posterity as I stood in the middle of the pen with my jaw hanging open while my precious little princess's heels repeatedly cleared the level of the top board of the 6 foot tall fence.

The imaginary cowboy she was trying to get rid of never stood a chance of getting his 8 seconds in. After 2 1/2 circuits, she dropped back to her pretty little trot, then a walk, and came calmly into the center.

After a bit more jaw-hanging for good measure, I snapped my mouth closed and sent her off in the other direction. Ms. Jekyll persona firmly back in place, she floated around the ring in her cute little trot, offered a few steps of relaxed lope, and turned smoothly into the center on cue, polishing her halo the entire time.

The moral of the story? There's a wild mustang inside every precious little pony princess raised from a baby and trained with loving care.

And I'm not nearly as excited as I used to be about our first ride in a couple of years. :-P

Ellie said...

I don't have any green horse stories, but thanks to everyone for sharing. They are entertaining to read about even if they were not so entertaining to experience.

Ellie and Werther Blog

Jocelyn said...

Ok, she is not green to riding but green to the canter. She got late start in canter training. So, I decided to just let her canter her little heart out without much of collection or softening with the reins. WOWZA, who knew she loved to run, and turn and burn, she took her new found canter freedom like a 1D barrel horse with me hanging on for dear life while her ears were pricked forward and loving it. So, now we work in smaller circles and with less freedom to turn n burn.But you can tell she just wants to RUN !I'm too old for GAMING!

BarnHag said...

Well, I was recovering from a raging case of stomach flu (not pretty) but I needed to lead my green geldings in from the far end of the pasture. Non-horsey husband offers to help. I get out there and halter the paint (17HH) I feel hot and wobbly and feel like I can't walk another step. I ask hubby to give me a leg up - he protests but does it anyway.

I'm very happy to say that my greenie looked a bit confused but when I asked him to 'walk on' - he ambled all the way back to the barn with me aboard, my head swimming, hanging onto a hunk of mane. AND he gave me a snappy 'whoa' when I asked for it! I slid off praising him and I swear he looked proud of himself.

No bridle, no saddle, no helmet, no longeing, no preparation of any kind (not my style AT ALL). Apparently I have to be delirious to 'JUST DO IT'!

It still makes me happy to think about it . . .

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

Lisa - that IS the best filly ever. Wow, what a good girl!

Love the stories. The VLC has to have HIS nose in everything and he too picks things up. He's just insanely curious...typical baby! And I can tell he just does not understand why we're not working. I swear I'm going to have to teach him tricks or something to pass the time until he looks sound again. He's not MUCH off but it's there and I am just not going to push.

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

And yes, the pony's actual name is Drama but that was created both by her Diva Princess behaviors and the joke that every barn needs a little Drama. ;-)

Serendipity said...

Think I might have told this already on the other blog but here goes:

One of the barn's re-riders has a young QH, who was supposedly a ranch horse but doesn't even know how to neck rein. He's green as snot, headshy, and too much horse for her right now, so I've been schooling him.

One of the things we've been working on is standing for mounting, because he gets really uneasy and sometimes panics and tries to run out from under his rider. We had passed the point of 'OMG, I'm going to die' to 'I'm okay as long as you don't start hitting me.'

Since we had progressed to the point where he only needed minor correcting on occasion, I was getting more relaxed with him. Except this one time it was to the point that I apparently forgot who I was riding, and ended up vaulting from the mounting block a couple feet across the aisle onto his back.

Poor little guy just about fell over with a heart attack.

Char said...

This is a greeny horse-handler moment...

My brother doesn't know anything about horses, however he is very athletic and figures it can't be all that hard to ride.

So, one day while I'm not there, he decides to hop on my 16hh, 1200lb QH gelding who tends to be VERY forward...with nothing but a halter and leadrope.

So, said gelding does what he does when someone hops on him with NO restraints to speak of and KICKS HIM...he took off at a flat out gallop, threw in a couple bucks once he reached top speed for good measure, and once he had successfully dumped my brother took off the the neighboring farm to visit with the mares over their fence.

He never did that again... :)

Char said...

Hey, I have a question to ask you guys:


My mom's mare is in her mid 20's. She was a neglect case and we are only interested in getting her to be a reliable trail mount for Mom.

She is great about not spooking and such, she turns, stops and moves out on command. She is ridden in a side-pull bridle. She will go in a bit, but is much more relaxed and happy in the side-pull, and since she tends to be the sensitive type, really minds it well.

She has recently stared shaking her head violently and trying to spin out from under Mom if she's held back on the trail. I've checked her out for pain and saddle fit issues, and there don't seem to be any. She goes along fine until she decides that she would like to trot or canter/gallop. Mom is not "ok" with going this fast and I don't blame her, as this mare has the most up and down lope that I've ever had the mis-fortune to try and sit.

She wants to go fast, Mom takes up the slack in the reins to slow her down, she shakes her head like a dog with a toy. To me, she just looks pissed, and throwing a temper-tantrum. Needless to say, Mom's rides are getting less and less fun when she has to deal with her mare being a royal bitch when she doesn't get her way.


How would you go about stopping this head shaking and general bitchy attitude? I really think from watching these exchanges that it's a respect issue and she needs a little knocked into her, so to speak. I've thought about getting on her with a small jumping bat and whacking her in the shoulder or neck when she starts her bitch-fest to let her know it's NOT ok to act that way, but I'm looking for any and all advise as exactly how to go about getting her to stop this, and then teaching Mom the same.

mugwump said...

My stupid greenie moment? That would be me, with the greenie. I keep my horses tied to a rail (or used to) in groups of five or six. I ride through them, and when they're done, put them up and and get out more.
I was turning to lead one up the hill and got yanked back. I didn't look behind me, just put some muscle into it and pulled. Got yanked back. STILL didn't look just really dug deep and towed on that rope. Got yanked back. Finally looked behind me and Greenie is standing with his nose snubbed to the rail, and an extremely "Hey Stupid!" look on his face.I hadn't undone the last wrap of rope. Every time I pulled I just pulled my colt into the rail. Ahem.

RussianRoulette said...

No silly/dumb greenie stories from me!

My 3-year-old is one of the best youngsters I've ever had the pleasure of working with.

Last weekend I shipped him to a friend's farm and took him hacking in the woods all weekend. His third ride was a hack. He goes through water, mud, anything I point him at. He willingly jumps small logs in the woods (not something we do often, since I'm not interested in jumping him while he's still so young but if there's a log in the way, there's a log in the way) and is willing to go first, second, last - doesn't matter. I went on a hack with 5 other people and two of those people decided it would be fun to drop back and gallop up behind the 4 other riders - repeatedly! Even after being told that it was rude and upsetting to the horses that they were coming up behind. My guy got upset about it once and tried to race ahead of everyone but respected me when I firmly requested that he not do that.

He is such a fast learner and an eager worker. He greets me at the gate everyday with pricked ears and a nicker. I cannot say enough good things about him. I never in my wildest dreams thought having a 3 year old would be so easy! Apparently I lucked out with him. :)

Ponyice said...

Not really a greenie moment more a I am a dumbarse moment. Last Oct my horse went off his food and got a fever (vet out pencillin given no explanation for really high fever) So then follows a week of temp taking which he has never really had done except at the vet check when I first got him. So we deal with all the issues of rectal thermometering (LOL) and fast forward to day 4 he is old pro not scared of me messing with his backside, don't even need a halter at this point he will just keep eating his hay. Well that day the first chill had come I walk into the tack room get the therm and dip it in the vaseline in the tack room and walk into his stall, chatting the whole time with mom who was standing outside his stall,pat his butt move his tail and insert the thermometer and promptly get checked in the knee with a back hoof (not an all out kick ). I proceed to smack him for kicking out and then it dawns on me, temp in the barn is 30 degrees, well so was the vaseline and I had basically just shoved a popcicle in his butt. Yea I won't be doing that again.

Char said...

Pony Ice:


These are all great entertainment!

Sydney said...

ponyice: LMFAOROFL!!

KC Campbell said...

I have an 11 yr old OTTB who was raced a looong time and then bounced around Oklahoma between owners, trainers etc. SO basically still green, and yes, also VERY large.

His ground manners are mostly immpeccable, but I hadn't ridden him at all until this summer. And I'd heard stories from the trainers he'd been with that he was this and he was that but mostly, he'd just been ridden around a roundpen...

So I finally get the opportunity/guts to just do it, after much ground work so I bring a friend and plan to stay on the longe line.

I hop up and just kind of lay on him for a moment (it's been at least two years since anyone was on his back), nothing. OK braver now, tell him to walk on and give him a very little bit of leg. He walks, or rather ambles on.

Needless to say, nothing happened!! And I now wear spurs, still no rodeo moments...

I was so proud of him, but I know he was thinking, bish please, what did you expect!? Been there, done that. Just like he's been with everything else...

KC Campbell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Liri said...

KC Campbell:

I have a story similar to yours, except we had no idea if this mare had even been ridden! Someone donated her along with another mare, and told us she was a gelding. Also told us the other mare had been a show horse, but nothing about this one. Somehow I drew the short straw and wound up being the first one to get on her to see if she rode. I was all nervous, but trying to be calm and everything, and then I get on her back reaction. Turned out she rode great! Neckreined and everything.

My greenie is picking up things really quickly. Aside from the one bucking incident, he's been doing really well all summer. He's starting to learn to collect himself in the trot and canter, and to pick up leads on command. He's also getting better about being dewormed! It only took five or ten minutes last time!

TheHorseGirl said...

TWENTY- FIFTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

barngal said...

During the summer we had been hauling to lessons. We were inbetween lessons so I had been warming up in the outdoor arena only to bombarded by horseflies. I then went to the indoor for the shade and the nice breeze. There was a cute little girl on an adorable pony who was warming up also. The arena isn't real big so BCG caught up pretty fast at a trot but we were able to circle and stay away. BCG couldn't keep his eye off the pony. He really was acting strange. He has had this reaction with two other ponies before so I wasn't too surprised. The little girl decided to canter so we moved to the center. I could tell he was irritated with being told no that he couldn't follow, but he shook his head grunted and before I knew it, went straight up and stood there. A true Trigger moment. When he came down all eyes were on us. I was never so embarrassed. We went back outside to the horseflies! Temper tantrum of a youngster!

Laura Crum said...

In the interest of entertaining the troops, here's a fun sidebar. For all you VLC fans who are also fans of mugwump, there is an interesting post about mugwump's other career up on
today--Oct 15th

Sagebrusheq said...


I see that none of the pros here (Mugs?) weighed in on this, so I may be entering fool's territory, nevertheless, here are some of the thoughts that occurred to me while reading your post. And I may be missing the mark, but as you have described it, this sounds like a difficult problem indeed; and on three counts: she is an older horse with old habits, she is sensitive, and your mother doesn't have a lot of experience. I'm not saying it is hopeless but finding a way around a jiggy horse, which is basically the class of problem you're dealing with, will try the patience and exhaust the ingenuity of an expert let alone someone who doesn't understand what it means to get the horse in front of your leg. And therein lies the basic problem; not holding her back which only confirms her in this attitude. Also, though absolutes are rare in horsemanship, I would say that in this case it is probable that your bat won't be an effective tool, and may make matters worse. And even if it does work for you, I doubt that the correction would carry through to your mother's riding. The head shaking is just another impetuousness to throw off the riders control.

But here are some things you can try that would be within your mothers capacity and that the mare MIGHT respond favorably to:

Ride more often;

Let her get out in front, way in front, a hundred yards or more( She may not be so keen to take off without her mates around her). Closely related to this you might also try letting her get way out in front, stop, turn and face the other horses on a loose rein and wait for them to catch up, repeat.

Make long stops in different places on the way home and dismount until all the horses let down, then proceed again. This may change her mood as it becomes a separate expectation in her routine (She may pitch a fit at first but it's easier to deal with if she's tied to a tree and you're not on her.)

Dismount and walk. If she leads nicely this may be a way around her habit that you can use to get her to relax.

To someone who feels that their horse is on the verge of running away it seems insanely counterintuitive that what they need to do is give him his head, but that is exactly what they need to try to find every small opportunity to do. It is physically impossible for the horse to walk and relax as you want him to when he is being held back. And yet, if you just drop the reins he probably WILL take off with you. It's a vicious circle that can't be solved from within, and for which there's rarely an instant cure. You need to find a way into her head from a different angle, avoiding the pathology that triggers the old response, and it will take time.

These are just superficial tactics that might give you a chance to get her started on a new track. They all will take patience and repetition if they work at all. The real problem is beyond your mother's skill to deal with and is a challenge with some spoiled horses that is sometimes hopeless with the best of riders. But don't let me discourage you: You say she is a nice horse otherwise, and hopefully she'll take an opportunity to relax and enjoy life if you can find a way to convince her that she is free to do so.

Just a guess, S

Sagebrusheq said...

To add: It was an old cavalry maxim that to find a good campaign horse, from among the school horses in the manege, ask to see the one that was the worst actor in the way that you describe. After a few days on the road of riding him forward into a loose rein he would turn into a nice sensible, yet energetic, animal. As with a horse that goes behind the bit the real cure lies in re-schooling him by riding him forward not in holding him back- not so easy to accomplish sometimes though.

KC said...

Hey Char, I'd say check her teeth if you haven't already.

Otherwise, what sagebrusheq said is similar to what became a daily fight between me and a project horse a few barns back. Once I gave him his head and stopped fighting him, he was a PUPPY.

He rode great on seat and leg alone. But get in his mouth and he'd grab the bit and take off...we did eventing and he always did great once you let go.

It seems counter-intuitive, but it worked on him.

Char said...


Thank you for your respons! I will definatelly consider your advise while working on this problem.

mulerider said...

The first foal I ever raised was one of those "born broke" horses. She never bucked, never fussed, never protested anything. I, being young and stupid, assumed that any horse that received a lot of handling and attention while growing up would react to a rider in the same way.

So, when my second foal came along, I did all the same things to him that I had done with the first, and when it was time to start riding, I stepped up there and hopped on, just like I had done with my filly. I don't think my butt even touched the saddle before he launched me into next week.

I'm not sure who was more surprised - him about me getting on his back or me about him bucking me off. :-)

brat_and_a_half said...

Probably my scariest green moment.

With the little WB filly (who btw is 15.3 at 3.5yo, so i think she'll hit 16!!) when we were first starting off with her, she was a bit of a nightmare on the lunge some times. She would rather randomly decide to bolt straight, and hit the end of line, almost dragging me if i wasnt ready. At the start sometimes she also liked to try and spin and change dirrections when i was on her bad side. So one day I'm lungin her and shes having a very off day. Even grooming her, I could see on her face she was saying 'screw this.' So we're luning, she deeks in on the circle, I move into her and she bolts forward (instead of moving away, bad girl). I stand my ground, let her hit the end of the line, she pulls, at which point i drop the lunge whip. I try and get her forward, but instead she spins away and runs in the other direction. Whipless, I try and get 'infront' of her and throw the end of the line ahead. Theres a lot more line then i thought ther was, and the line goes up in the air, makes some sort of loop, and falls around me. So I'm looped to the hot 3 year old weeee. I tow her in, giving me slack, and eventually get untangled lol. I dont think ive ever been that bad with the line before or since. Funny thing was, after we worked through that, we had a great ride :)

Fleeting said...

Entertaining green horse moment: My 4 yo is an OTTB and is still learning this whole "lead" concept. We have leads down pat, in that any lead I ask for, he gives me the opposite one. It's fantastic.

Anyway, so three weeks ago, the last time I rode him before he started to abscess on me (sigh), he was feeling pretty fresh due to the crisp fall weather and the truckload of grain he gets twice a day to get weight on him. We in a lesson and we were having trouble picking up the left lead, so I asked my coach to put a pole on the ground for me to cue over so he didn't try to run into the lead. He picked up the WRONG lead over the pole, bucked/crow hopped on the next stride, and as his feet were up in the air, did a flying lead change, landed on the correct lead, and we cantered away. My coach nearly peed her pants - I had no idea what had just happened underneath me but I knew that it felt seriously funky!

Fleeting said...

Oh yeah, and my boy is nearly 16.2, and I think of him as a little pony... it makes me giggle when you guys say HUGE and in the next breath say "16 hands".

Seriously, I'm 5'4" and my mom thinks I look huge on Digger!

Brittany said...

My greenie is 20 years old. Yes, 20. OTTB, raced until she was ten and then let out in pasture to be bred (and nothing else) for the following 10 years. Then she ended up in my hands.

Now, this mare is pretty touchy, overreactive, but not horribly. If she does spook, it's only for a few steps before she finds her brain again. In any case, I mounted up one day (second time mounting, no moving yet), and she FREAKED. I mean, rearing, half bucks, the whole shebang and...whaddya know, the saddle started to slip. I decide to bail, and my foot gets caught in the left stirrup. I'm trying to bail to the right.

Finally, foot comes out, I come off, she kind of steps on my ankle before figuring out where I was and moving away. I yelled at my mom (who's holding the lead rope) to just let it go. So she takes off bucking, saddle is underneath her at this point, then takes off running. She only takes about four strides, and she sees me and just stops. S-T-O-P-S...stops. And waits for me to come over to her, unsaddle her, and lead her back to the round pen area.

Of course, that didn't mean her work day was over, but I was done getting on her for the moment.

I've been training horses for five years...and the ONE thing I forgot to check was the girth. Needless to say, I'm overbearing about the girth now. But she's a patient gal and a sweetheart.

DUMB me.