Thursday, March 31, 2011

He's Got It!!!!

Gizmo got it! If I ever questioned it before, today he has me convinced that he understands direct turns. They were so light. I think I was applying 5 or 6 ozs. to the rein before. Today, for some reason, I was so light (maybe I got it too!). He turned so willingly. I think he may have understood it before but not as clearly. Woo Hoo, we are going somewhere and it feels wonderful. On the other hand, his backup is terrible. I go through the phases and I get one step. Then repeat. I think it is a left brain "I'm not doing it" thing. I even think he's laughing at me everytime I start the procedure. Yesterday I got smart or savvy and became the leader that he needed. I added the carrot stick to his chest with a tap, Tap, TAP. He have me a couple of steps, but we never made real progress. Today it was the same. After about 40 min. of 9 step backup, I opened the gate (while on horseback of course) and positioned him to go through the gate backwards. Low and behold, that punk backed up with no stick and hardly any of anything. I immediately got off, gave him some lovin, and unsaddled him. So what do I do now? Tomorrow I'll start by going through the gate again first then trying it in the arena. I know it'll happen, but it was like watching paint dry. I am proud of myself though. I feel progress that I am in charge of. If I can't influence my husband or kids, why not the horse. Love it!!!! I'm one happy girl! Savvy On!

Sunday, March 27, 2011


I have to brag! I pulled my new 4 horse trailer, all by myself, to my friends house this week. I brought Gizmo because I thought he needed to experience being alone with me somewhere else. Well he did great. When he got unconfident as the other horses got further away, I made him think by giving him tasks to work on. We were also able to work on liberty for the first time in a real round pen. He did everything he was supposed to do. We played all seven games, even circling game! It really pumped me up because I'm am seeing progress. It seems like I was stuck for awhile, but now we are moving forward and it feels great. I need to get those auditions going. I bought a new card for my camcorder and I will get my friends to tape me soon. I promise!

Getting Somewhere

Okay, I'm finally seeing improvement in Giz's direct turns. I'm just saying!!!! It hit me when I started working on something else. This past week I have been working on walk to halt transitions and then trot to halt. The problem I'm running across is his backup. When he overshoots the cone I try doing the 9 step backup until he is even with the cone. His backup with hackamore was great, but he is having trouble understanding it with the snaffle. Thats okay, I'll keep working on it. I'd say I have been doing it for about 4 days in a row. I get one step back at a time then I have to start over. Yesterday, a couple of times, he started backing when I just lifted the reins, but he is not getting it like I think he should. The reason I know this is because it doesn't always work. I am definately rewarding the slightess try. When I get that step backwards I release immediately. He'll get it, i'm sure of it. I definately have to give it at least seven day, right? At the end of yesterdays session, he was starting to put two and two together about stopping at the cone. I quit when I got a couple in a row. Then I took him in the woods. He was a little RB but it was very manageable. We did HQ yields, disengagements, and transitions the whole way. When we got back to the barn I unbribled him and he kept his head in the perfect position for me to take off the bridle. I was so proud as he is 10 ft. tall. Anyway, it makes me feel like he's getting somewhere. He was definately relaxed and I know that is a good thing. I rode for almost 3 hours. Then I met Bugg and Joey at the marina for some jambalaya. It was delish! Oh, by the way, FTR is improving also, yeah!!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011


We worked on FTR, indirect and direct turns, and stopping off of my seat. He needs more practice on FTR and direct turns. At the end of the session we worked on backing. His backing was so good with the hackamore, but it has not followed over to the snaffle. He was acting introverted so I went slowly and did the nine step backup. I must of did it twenty times before I think he put the motions into thought. He licked and chewed everytime though! I was always sure he was going to do it the next time, but he didn’t. I will work on it today to keep it fresh in his mind. Don’t think I’ll have time to ride Can Do. Stopping needs a little work also!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Polite Refusals or Misunderstanding?

I’m just not sure if Gizmo is politely ignoring my requests or he doesn’t understand them. What is so hard about a direct turn? I kind of think he isn’t understanding me because he goes intoverted when he is unconfident and that is what he did yesterday. He gets all quiet and stuff if that makes any sense. Kind of like shutting down internally. I can just tell when he is "all about it". I’m going to keep on, because I think he will get it soon. He’s got too!!!!! When I first started online level one he did the same thing. Today we worked on stopping. Towards the end of the lesson he was stopping a little better. His backing is broken! He backed well with the hackamore, so we have lots of work to do. Wish I had an instructor in my pocket!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Perfect Day

Can Do is improving! Me and my friends, Sandy and Nancy, had a play day today. We started about 10 and finished at 3. All three horses jumped over the barrels. Can Do was still unconfident about it, but I gave her an "A" for effort. Sandy's horse, Tuff, went over it like he had been doing it for years. I didn't see much pinned ears the entire day from Can Do, she "caught me" every time I wanted her to be haltered, and her draw is improving. After lunch we saddled up and went for a trail ride. The horses behaved so well. The weather was as perfect as you could get. What a perfect day!!!

Hanging In There

I don't think I am communicating correctly to Gizmo. He just doesn't get direct turns. I am using phases of eyes, leg, rein, then carrot stick. I have just recently started riding with carrot stick so maybe after a couple of sessions he will understand. He really isn't refusing in an ugly way, he just keeps on his track and either ignores my ques or doen't understand them. I will keep at it though. I remember starting new things with him on the ground and it taking a while to sink in.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

On the Trail

Had a great ride today. The weather was awesome. Practiced FTR, indirect and direct turns, corners game, and clover leaf. She is stopping sometimes at "X" even when I’m not asking for her to do so. A couple of times we made it through "X" without an attempt to stop and she definately stopped when I quit riding. After I was interupted two times by a phone call from my son (nicknamed Bugg), I decided to take her out on the trail. Just a nice leisurely walk. Not! She couldn’t pass a threshold to go past the back of the pasture. This is where we always have trouble. I hung it there with her and did a couple of fig. 8’s and my son showed up. He thought it was funny that she followed him around and zigged when he zigged and zagged when he zagged. That turned into a follow me on the trail game. It was awesome.Can Do followed Bugg all over the trails. He would take off jogging and Can Do would trot. We even loped a couple of times. She forgot all obout thesholds. I think I’m going to pay him to jog the trails so I can trail ride every day. I wish he’d ride with me, but isn’t interested in horses (he tells me everyday). I thanked Bugg for making me and Can Do’s day. I know she had as much fun as me. Bugg had fun too! Everyone wins!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Trail Walking

Giz and I went for a trail walk today. We started out with driving in zone 3 and it turned into a yah-hoooo party. All I have to say is that I’m glad I was on the ground. This is the second time in a week that this big-time lefty turned into a right brained maniac. How interesting! So, I played with the horse that showed up and we were off again behaving, with a little munchies every now and then. It turned out nice and pleasant. At the end we were doing figure 8’s around trees and gait changes. Good, but still needs a little work. One more stop at the log on the way to the barn was rewarded by a jump. He really put effort into that for me.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Direct Turns

I am so excited today because I feel like Gizmo is finally making some progress with his direct turns. I think I maybe over did it though, because he is over shooting them. He turns, then keeps in the turn too long, even though i’m straightening up my hips. That is okay i guess, but he is finally understanding what I want. His indirect turns are so nice. He still plays with that bit when I first put it in his mouth. Yesterday I coated it with molasses. That big ol’ left brain horse spooked yesterday when I was on his back. First time he did that! Jordan was washing out an ice chest in the driveway, and he couldn’t figure it out. It had to be some kind of wild animal getting ready to strike at him. We did lateral flexion and some turns on the rail and he was fine. I felt his heart pumping throught to saddle though. If he throws me I might just land on the moon! Now that I have to sadde from the right (according to Kelly) my technique is terrible. The saddle never lands on the pad. Poor horse! He just stands there though. I will start trying to throw it up on our arena fence and build my muscles. Getting those phases is a challenge for me also. I catch myself using the rein sometimes before I should. I find it hard to do more than one thing at a time on the ground, on the horse it is really tough. Riding with reins, carrot stick, and neck string is blowing my mind. Then throw in all of the phases and whew! I'll get it though. My friend Connie (who recently moved up to Heaven) will be there to give me my black string! I can't wait to see her again.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Riding was nothing special today. Don't mean that in a bad way! Our session was short, but that is okay. I tend to keep going and going and going. I just love riding! We are in the teaching stages still for both him and I. With that said, I can’t expect the moon. I’m expecting a little improvement every day. I find it hard to read him sometimes because he flips introvert/extrovert. That is funny because my other horse, Can Do, flips LB/RB. All I can say is "experience gained". I am not getting enthusiasm with freestyle, but it took me 2 years to get it on the ground. I still think he doesn't understand my phases and that is my problem not his. I'm working on being exact in my requests. They posted some new videos on pconnect and I think they will help me a lot.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Can Do

Freestyle and online today. I made a new game by putting 3 telephone posts radiating from a center. We played circling game, maintaining gait and direction, change of direction, stop at the pole, straddle the pole then sideways off of it. She did well, still a little clumsy. We did a very short figure 8 and weave. I'm trying not to get the ugly ears. She is starting to understand some of the patterns better. We did the question box for the first time since clinic. I went slowly and stopped in center for a while then tried to mix it up. She got it, then she didn't. We never got into a trot, but that is okay.


Gizmo's online circles are getting so good since Kelly's clinic. I am trying to use my energy up and energy down. We are moving and shakin. Since the clinic I have started riding him in the country bridle. He mouthed it a little in the beginning, but soon kept his mouth quiet. My swinging of that heavy saddle from the right needs some improvement! Gizmo isn't giving me direct turns like i would like. His indirect are there. He also needs to practice stopping. He isn't picking up when I quit riding. It very well be me that is making it hard on him. From experience, I know that when I first start something new it is always like that. I know he and I will get better. His halt in the hackamore was pretty good, but we must progress. Can't stay in the hackamore forever!