Today, we had a very proud fur mommy moment and actually acted like we like each other for the first time in a while! Jean Luc, I’ve learned has some rather weird, (dare I say aggressive?) food habits that drive me insane, but I THINK we are starting to understand one another. (More to come about crazy aggressive food observations in a later post.)
Today, we tried a few new lessons I have put off to the side for winter work. There’s something to be said for patience AND the art of proper body movement. A trainer I found online is named Gary Lane. He really seems to know how to combine modern movement lessons, like those used in Dressage, with a gaited horse’s natural build. Gary Lane’s gaited horse techniques are short, easy, effective, and something we found success with on the first try. Most gated horse trainers would never tell you to have a horse trot over polls because it goes against the gate. However, Gary encourages this to help a horse with their natural carriage and build strength. Trotting over poles for the win!
The first few times John Luke knocked into every pole, but as I moved them closer, something I’d never tried, he was able to understand proper reach. About 1 1/2 feet apart was perfect for him to start lifting his leg up under him and really learn to stretch out. We kept our lesson very short. He responded better to walking over the pole, stop, praise. I know people recommend it all the time but after today I am a firm believer in praise, praise, praise!
What I did not know about Jean Luc was the fact that, for him praise means stopping. I mean, not like a slow down then let’s go again. I mean a full stop, count to 10 then move kind of reward. He also doesn’t like to repeat things once he has found success at them. He would prefer to do something right two or three times and then stop so that he knows he has been successful in his lesson. I tested this by coming back to things we started in the beginning of our lesson today. Sure enough, he retained the work. For future planning this just means I will need to have a very organized instruction set up prior to any work that we do if I want it to be the most effective for us.
Hopefully, in the coming weeks I can take a video. His before and after movements are impressive even to my untrained eye.
I truly want to muscel Jean-Luc up so that his gait will be easier for him. Any advice is welcome.
Today was the first day the weather finally broke and I was able really get some things done at the barn. One thing on my “to-do” list since shortly after Christmas was to add some serious swag to my saddle.
Finally, I (or really my horse husband), found a pad that fits this awkward shaped saddle! What’s more, it’s a Diamon Wool Half pad! Yay! Super pleased with the lengths and where it hits on this saddle.
Stateline tack also sold a sweet sheepskin saddle saver that I added today. Along with the seat saver, I added Tough1’s fleece stirrup covers.
Though I ran out of time before I could try these new components out, I am very optimistic. I dig the look I’ve created of Old World / New Practical Comfort. That would absolutely be our trail style If we were to put a name to it.
What are your “must haves” for trail comfort or upgrades for your rigging? #BoldlyGo
It is no secret that the past few days in the New Year can simply be described with one word - COLD! We have been in a spell for about a week now that’s not seen above 15 degrees ferinheight and maximum cold was -28 degrees.
Even as someone who has worked at -31 degrees a few years ago, for me, that’s cold. All that said, the critters are surprisingly enjoying frolicing in the frigid West Virginia Mountains.
It is truly amazing how horses are able to adapt to anything. The weather here hasn’t been wet and, when I go out to check on them, they never shiver or anything. Though the option to go inside exists for them, the herd just seems to figure it out for themselves. It is truly amazing.
Late December, before I left on a wild Mexican Christmas Vacation (story for another time), my Ferrier, Dan, popped off Jean-Lucas’s shoes and life been easy-peesy on the farm every since.
Aparently, in the New Year Jean- Luc has taken it upon himself to also work his way to the top of the herd, too. This blew mine and my BMs mind as we watched the most recent her dynamics. After thinking it through though, I attribute it to a very good motivated critter.
Winter calls for hay feeders and isolated places to eat. I would say, like a pound dog that guards his food, Jean-Luc is doing the same. Maybe?
Next week is calling for warmer temperatures and hopefully somewhat more normal barn routine. This brings into question, what’s your winter work consist of? What will you teach in the barn? How do you get through the colder months without stopping work altogether?
Looking forward to hearing! In the meantime. Stay warm and #BoldlyGo!
My name is Chelsey.
Generator's Cuevo Gold, or as he's known around this barn, "Jean-Luc Ponycard", was foaled in 2004 from Generator's Hurricane & Cheyenne's Little Bit.
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