Sunday, March 29, 2009

Crossroads Part II

I've had a night to sleep on it. My left shoulder and hip are mighty sore today, but hey, pain lets us know we are alive, right?

I'm not one to cut and run at the first sign of trouble. But I also realize that to do the same thing repeatedly, while expecting different results, defines stupidity.

To assess this problem, I first need to assess what I am doing wrong. It's a rather long list, but if we don't make mistakes we don't learn.

1. Lack of consistency. I can't ride her on Sunday, Wed, and Saturday. I have to ride daily, least five to six times per week, at least one hour per session. I've allowed the other demands of life to interfere. A horse being started for the first time needs constant repetition.

2. My riding skills are rusty. I have not ridden Smokey very much this this winter. I could offer a list of excuses, but they are just that, excuses. While I have never been aboard a horse that reared, I have ridden horses through bucking sessions, and have never ended up in the dirt before. I should have been prepared and able to deal with both of her bad behaviors.

I am going to step back, and return to square one. I am going to ride Smokey at least five days per week, to polish my riding skills. I am going to return to ground work with Kenya, 5 to 6 days per week, until that area is finely honed.

The trainer I talked with is going to help me with a technique known as Ground Driving. I'm not real familiar with it, beyond knowing that it is part of the technique used to teach horses that will pull wagons. Apparently, in this case, it can be used to find out if rearing his her natural response, and if so, to possibly train it out of her.

That's where things stand for now. I'll keep you all posted.

Here's a video I found of Ground Driving:

9 comments:

Ann from Montana said...

Good to have a plan and sounds like a sensible way to go for the best outcome.

I consulted a pro trainer (dog) with Karl when he was young for some behaviors that concerned me. My experience was that a set of eyes that did not have the emotional investment that I did was very helpful. Hope it works that way for you and Kenya!

Chris said...

Hang in there, Buck. I know nothing of the horse-training realm, but sounds like you have a good idea of where to go next. Good luck!

Daphne said...

I have never been comfortable standing at that distance behind a horse. I kept flinching watching the video.

I can't give you an opinion on this (or any) training method, I hope it works out for you. I do think you're on the right track with the consistency of a daily schedule - that makes a lot of sense.

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