Saturday, May 24, 2014

Ride 53 (much better cantering video!)

Today was an interesting ride!  I rode in the pasture again because I wanted hubby to get some better cantering videos.  I started out warming him up at a walk...

Before we even warmed up he already wanted a drink hehe.  I don't mind.  I want him to know drinking is a good thing and besides I got a picture for you guys this time!

While warming up I could immediately tell he was feeling sparky.  He walked slow for all of two minutes and then he was zooming around like he had rockets under his tail.  He immediately wanted to trot.  I could tell he remembered our high speed ride a few days ago lol.  He listened and stayed at a walk while we warmed up though.

Please ignore my position in the pictures and video.  I'm soooo out of practice!!  He looks awesome though!

When we started trotting I immediately lost my steering again and had to do some flexing to remind him to listen.... I can't wait to start teaching him to ride in the bit.  I really wanted to train him bitless, but I just have no idea how to make him soft in the bridle without a bit...  we need lessons sooooo bad!!!  Eight years without lessons is entirely too long!

Zep is still around... and refusing to shed out his winter coat lol.  Donkeys are soooo slow compared to horses.


This shows me losing his shoulder!  I have to teach him how to move his shoulders around.  I really need lessons so someone on the ground can yell at me to engage my core, get my elbow back, close my hand and point my toe forward.  If I rode better he would probably steer better.

Next we have the cantering video (sorry no pictures, didn't think about it).

If you watched it to the end you'll see that he got a little excited and started to crow hop (and my reins were too long!!!), but I was able to pull him out of it.  He definitely loves the faster speed!  Since he's getting too excited I'm going to stop cantering for a little while and work on our trot some more.  I'm very happy he's so willing to canter, but we need more steering before we do much more cantering.

After the crow hopping I was a little shook up (not sure why after watching the video), but my hubby told me to go again or I would lose my nerve and not want to canter again.  I asked him to trot toward the back of the pasture and without me asking he looped around trying to come back to the front of the pasture.  When I tried to get him to stop he sped up and took off with me... at the trot... yeah he didn't break out of the trot, but it still felt totally out of control. I had to run him into a corner to stop him.  WTH Chrome!!  So yeah we need a lot more trot work and stop work and steering work before we do anymore cantering.

After he "took off" with me I was a little pissed (but didn't take it out on him), so I took him to the front yard and trotted him... and trotted and trotted and trotted and trotted to teach him that he's only allowed to canter when I tell him to canter and to teach him he has to trot when and where I say to trot.  I've totally let him get away with being a spoiled brat and it's time to remind him that I make the decisions.  So I trotted him up and down the driveways and through the yard, making him stop when I said and turn when I said.  He actually did really well once he realized we weren't cantering again.  So since I was shaken I knew I had to canter again or I'd be scared of it again.  I started trotting up the driveway and he tried to duck off the side.  I circled him and made him trot straight up the driveway again.  The little shit did it again!!!!  Ducking out is such an annoying evasion!  I kicked him hard and made him trot again.  Then I asked him to canter up the driveway toward the road and he did... it was perfect.  Green horses are so confusing and frustrating.  We need lessons so bad lol.

Overall it was a good ride... it was just a reminder that he is still very green.  I've been riding him for two years, but he's only had 53 rides in those two years.  That's not a lot of riding.  Not to mention 90% of those rides were walk only.  So it's time to get to work on actually training the dingbat instead of goofing off.

After the ride we were both happy and getting along, so I'm not upset with how it went.  It ended on a good note (we spent some time discussing that stand still means STAND STILL!) with him obedient and me not scared so that's fine with me.  I just need to stop letting him get away with the small stuff because he thinks he gets to call the shots.  That's probably why he's so nervous on the road because I've just been a passenger.  Well no more!  I'm the driver now Chrome!

Spoiled brat actually had to sweat.  The ride was only forty minutes, but it was more trotting than we normally do and it was HOT!  I also noticed after I unsaddled him that he had a dry mark where there was a wrinkle in the saddle pad!  Oops!  Poor guy.  :(  I might need to switch back to the other one.  The white one I've been using is built more forward than the saddle so it doesn't fit quite right.  I'll probably go back to my square pad.  Also after the ride I tied him up and made him stand.  I think the evasions are because he thinks the sooner the ride ends the sooner he can graze in the yard.  So he's no longer getting to graze after our rides.  Grazing can happen before or a lot later after the ride.

I think that was everything.... I'm writing this a lot later after the ride than normal.  After the ride I was mucking out the barn and wrenched my back.... AGAIN!!!  I can barely walk and sitting is torture (I'm writing this laying down)... I really hope it's feeling better tomorrow.  This sucks having back problems again.  I need to start working out or stretching or something.  Well that's all for now. I need sleep!


  1. I hope your back gets back to normal soon. Anytime you start a new activity with a horse, he's going to act up and try different stunts. Letting him make the mistakes is all a part of the learning process for him. Gabbrielle has just now, at the age of 8, started learning to canter under saddle, and she did a full-on bronc buck with my trainer on her. He ignored the buck and just made her run harder and do more turns. I'm not recommending you do that with Chrome since you say he still needs work on his steering and whoa, but just letting you know how my trainer dealt with it. His attitude was along the lines of, "If you are going to behave badly, I'll put you to work." When the horse does what he asks, he lets him rest. You two look good at the canter. Chrome's strides look big and comfy.

  2. Actually, you two look pretty good for where you are in your training. He is forward, which is usually the most difficult part of teaching a young horse to move. I would suggest you find a bit that fits his mouth well and begin working in the round pen. Remember, babies can make even the best riders look off balance.

    I couldn't tell how big the round pen is, but if it's a 60 ft you might start working him in fairly loose side reins and a bit, so he figures out how to give to the pressure. If the round pen is big enough, you can w/t/c in it. Round penning takes away the distractions for Chrome and limits the space in which he believes he can expand. I would work him in the round pen first and then take him out to ride. (Rather than doing one thing over the other.)

    Overall, he looks really good. The more consistent the work, the better he will become. And although I was mostly watching the horse move, you looked good. Crowhopping can be scary and you both stayed on and stopped the buck.

  3. I think you're doing really well. I never did get up the nerve to canter on my youngster and sent him to a trainer and then my sister took over riding him! Yeah, I'm a life long bundle of nerves! I've loved how you've taken your time with Chrome. He's looking really good.

  4. Aww thank you guys!! You are all so sweet!!

    NuzMuz, I've been thinking about it a lot and I think the crow hopping was just excitement. If I'd been riding a trained horse I would have done like your trainer and made him/her work, but I think making Chrome stop actually worked for him because he was doing it out of excitement. He likes cantering, so making him trot instead was sort of like putting him to work... does that make any sense? I could be wrong, but that's the feeling I'm sort of getting about it. :)

    Karen, my round pen is sixty feet. It's not set up as a round pen right now, but I could move it back out to a flat spot and set it back up. The problem is that circles are BAD for his stifles. That's why I haven't used the round pen yet. I'm trying to strengthen his stifles before I do circles.... so yeah I am doing it all backwards, but I don't really have a choice. That's why I'm going to put the cantering aside for right now. I'm going to keep working on his stifle exercises (stepping over the hay bales, cavaletti, backing uphill, etc.). Once his stifles are stronger I will go back to circles. Hopefully by then I'll have some side reins so I can teach him about contact. I forgot to mention in the post, but at the walk when we were warming up his stifle gave out twice. I think the softer, slick surface is causing it. It never happens on the asphalt. That screams to be that his stifles still aren't strong enough. I have to get them stronger before we can take lessons too because that will be a lot of circles in a sand arena. So we will keep plugging along.

    Story, I was beginning to think I wouldn't have to guts to canter him either. If we hadn't done it totally by accident I still wouldn't have lol. I'm glad we finally did though. Now I'm just going to take a break on it and work on riding in the bit, trotting, steering, stopping, etc. He just needs a lot of work on going where I say, when I say at the speed I say. I've let him call the shots for too long. :) Good thing he's such a sweetheart lol!!

    My back is still very sore this morning. I'll keep you guys updated on how it's going. I might just have to work him in hand tomorrow if it's not better. Then he gets his teeth done Tuesday and will get a few days off because I have to go out of town again. So hopefully I'll be better by then. :)

  5. You go girl! I must say you are braver than I! My current mount is 26 now...I have ridden a few green ponies in my time but there were a few incidents that really shook me up so I now stick to the schoolmaster lol

  6. I think that you did well. The crow hopping might have happened because your hands went wide and he curled and then didn't know where to go.

    I think that you handled it well. I agree about the round pen. I think if it's 60 feet and you do endless cantering it should be fine for his stifles.

  7. Teresa I think you're right!!! When I was watching the video (over and over and over) I kept thinking... what am I doing with my hand??? And as soon as my hand went wide his head ducked.... I wonder why I did that... the reins are long so I may have been trying to adjust where or how they were laying. I'll have to pay attention to that better next time because I think you're right. I knew there was something going on with my hands, but I couldn't figure out what lol. Thanks for commenting!

    P.S. I don't think my back is going to be better enough to ride tomorrow so I might set up the round pen and see how it goes. :)


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