Chrome's Riding Diary 2012/2014

This is just a place for me to keep track of our rides.  I will also link them to the post so you can read, look at pictures or watch videos.  :)

Total Rides: 57
Total Time: 39 Hours 6 Minutes
Total Recorded Miles: 59.15 Miles
*Recorded miles were mostly on the road/most pasture ride distances weren't recorded

11 rides for a total of 10 hours and 10 minutes. 17.78 miles on the road.

12-29-14.  Halter/Reins.  Bareback.  2 minutes.

I was riding bareback for about two minutes when Chrome spooked and did a rollback. Being bareback I couldn't hang on. As I started to slip, barely hanging on by the rope on his halter he freaked and took off. We got a couple of strides and I fell. He ran to a tree and stood frozen under it like he was terrified.

12-25-14.  Bridle/5.5" French Link Snaffle.  Aussie Saddle.  1 hour 46 minutes.  3.98 miles.

About twenty minutes of the ride was spent standing around (circling when he didn't want to stand still) at the neighbor's house talking.  The rest of the time he was balky and spooky.... annoying, but I don't care because we have pictures of how cute he is!! Yes I dressed him up again hehe.  Most of the people that drove by stared at me like I was crazy, but some waved and had big smiles.  The kids loved it.  The guy who talked to us on our last road ride stopped to say Merry Christmas and to tell me that I did a good job with him.  Another lady who was out running said he's very pretty.  Neighbor girl said she loved the reins.  So I don't even care that he was a turd, because I had fun anyway.  :D  Oh I almost forgot, on our way home he was still weaving and being balky, so I let go of the reins to see where he would go.  He walked across the ditch into the treeline and stopped to poop.  LOL!  I guess he wants to keep our roads clean.  :D

12-21-14.  Bridle/5.5" French Link Snaffle.  Aussie Saddle.  1 hour 23 minutes.  3.80 miles.

He was so calm I was able to have my camera out to take fun pictures of our ride.  Yay!  Hubby came on his bike and the new bit seemed to work out well.  So we went down my favorite road (the field where the heavy equipment is where we had our first off property canter) to the big hill and then turned around and came back.  The reason for this was because I wanted to avoid as many horses as possible.  That worked out okay except I forgot about the horses that were moved right next to the road right before my favorite field....

On the way out they galloped up and he was a little on edge.  He had his head up and was trying to puff up and trot, but with a little convincing he stayed at a walk.  When we got past them, the two younger horses started trying to kill each other (just kidding they were playing), then of course Chrome got super balky.  That is so annoying.  I smacked him and we kept going.  The rest of the ride (including passing these guys on the way home) was great!

I cantered him out in the field again.  I look really fashion challenged (cus I am) in my sweat pants and white socks, but I still love it!!!  We had so much fun.  Look at his expression!  He never tried to crow hop at all. He even decided to lose his brakes and head for the road... but he quickly realized cantering on asphalt isn't exactly comfortable and he stopped.  I had my reins too long and was mildly terrified so I clung to the reins like a monkey instead of shortening them and asking him to slow down haha.  It all worked out though.  We had fun and no one died.  :D

12-20-14.  Bridle/5.5" French Link Snaffle.  Aussie Saddle.  47 minutes.  2.29 miles.

He was being very barn sour at first.  He did not want to go to the back pasture and was weaving back and forth.  Once we were back there he stopped being balky and did pretty well.  I was getting frustrated because he could NOT move in a straight line and kept throwing his shoulders all over the place.  I can't wait to take lessons so I can figure out how to control those shoulders.

When I realized I was getting frustrated I stopped him and then sat there breathing for a little while.  Then I started just randomly riding around the whole back pasture instead of trying to stay in the arena.  Then we did some cantering!  It was the most cantering we've done in the back pasture before and he did not feel out of control at all.  :D  I even cantered him from the back all the way to the front, which I've never done before (lots of obstacles).  He's such a good boy, there is just so much he (we) still need(s) to learn.

At one point I was trotting him around a corner in the arena and he started to canter.  I wish I had let him go because he was probably on the right lead and he almost never picks up the right lead!  However me, being me, reacted and brought him back to a trot.  I have to get rid of that knee jerk reaction.  The good news is he did not throw his head up like he did with the other bit!!!  That's great news!  It will take a few more rides before I know for sure what he thinks of it.

12-15-14.  Halter/reins.  Aussie Saddle.  1 hour 29 minutes.  4.74 miles.

Chrome was very excited and spooky because it was really windy.  He was really balky when passing other horses, swinging his neck back and forth to gawk.  That is so annoying.  I popped him with my reins and he paid attention better after that.  There really isn't much to say except that we cantered... by accident... because he spooked and bolted.  It was our biggest spook yet.  Hubby was riding his bike behind us, but I don't think that's what spooked him.  He shot forward, bouncing for several strides and then just smoothly kept on cantering.  It scared the snot out of me at first, but then the canter was actually really nice.  I stopped him and got ridiculed by hubby for squealing like a big chicken lol.  Other than that he was fine.  Just looky and balky.  Green horses can be so annoying sometimes.  

12-14-14.  Halter/reins.  Aussie Saddle.  1 hour 4 minutes.  1.39 miles.

The reason it was only 1.39 miles with an average speed of 1.28mph is because most of the time was spent standing at the neighbor's talking to her!  Chrome was a turd about not wanting to stand still because of the horses in the pasture right next to him, but I just did lateral flexes to keep him still (he even tried pawing at one point grr).  She fed him treats when he was good.  When I got cold I decided to ride back to the house (I was in a tank top because it was warm all day) and she followed me in her truck because the traffic was crazy busy and everyone was driving a million miles an hour.  I trotted all the way home (.25 mile) with her following.  Halfway there the crazy chestnut gelding went nuts in the pasture next to us, galloping and being a dork.  Chrome got a little up (when he wasn't trying to slam on the brakes) but he listened and trotted home.  

Then as soon as I walked into my driveway Chrome saw a wagon parked next to it that wasn't there when we left and he did a perfect roll back to face the opposite direction and started to take off, but hubby was standing in his way so he stopped and stood still.  He literally turned on a dime.  That was the hardest, fastest spin spook he's done with me and it about unseated me, but thank goodness for the poly (the tall part in front of my thigh) on the Aussie saddle I stayed on!!  The saddle shifted too because I forgot to tighten it the rest of the way.  If it had been a normal saddle and shifted that much I would have come off.  

I fixed the saddle and then spent a while trotting all around the yard.  We cantered at one point too and it was awesome.  I think he's finally decided to quit doing the crow hopping.... or maybe it's because he was in the halter?  I'll have to go back and look because I think he's only done it in the bridle!!  Interesting.... why didn't I realize that sooner?  He did drop into a trot at the car like he wanted to stop, but I asked him to canter and he picked up the other lead and kept going.

When he got warm and tired I slowed to a walk and cooled him out.  Then I untacked and put him up. 

12-13-14.  Halter/reins.  Bareback.  20 minutes.

Around eight thirty pm I remembered that today is 12-13-14 and that's the last time this will happen for a hundred years so I just had to ride Chrome since I had missed it the previous two years.  So even though it was dark outside (VERY dark because of the clouds) I went outside, put on my helmet, put his halter on and hopped on bareback.  We didn't do much because of the dark.  I rode for twenty minutes, but it was mostly posing for pictures and then trotting up and down the driveway a little and one short canter back to the pasture (I just realized I cantered bareback in the dark in a halter on a green horse when I couldn't even see the ground.... cool!!... or stupid haha) before calling it a night.  It was really weird at first because my eyes hadn't adjusted to the dark and I couldn't see the ground, so it felt like I was really close to the ground, like I was walking on my own feet.  It made balancing really weird at first.

I'm glad I got to ride today after all.  Today is just another day technically, but it's still cool to say I rode in the dark on 12-13-14.  I'm weird!

12-11-14.  Halter/reins.  Bareback.  39 minutes.  1.27 miles.

I started out riding in the yard.  At one point I trotted down the driveway and as soon as we went from the fine gravel to the coarse gravel he slammed on the brakes and walked slowly out onto the big rocks.... so his feet are sore apparently.  It's been muddy, nasty and soft here so I'm going to treat him for thrush and find something to toughen his soles back up.  He was totally fine on the small gravel, on dirt and on grass or leaves.  He had his big, ground eating walk and trot going there, so it's just the coarse gravel right now.  Normally he trots and gallops across it without a second thought so I know he's tender.  Dang wet weather! 

Since he was acting tender I didn't want to trot him on the driveway even though he acted totally fine on the fine gravel so I took him out into the pasture.  As soon as I asked him to go through the gate he balked.  He hates riding out there!  I guess it's boring because he lives out there.  So I tried to mix it up with walking, trotting, weaving around trees, going up and down the dirt hill, etc.  At one point I trotted him around the round pen for longer than we've probably ever trotted at one time lol.  He did awesome!  He never tried to stop or slow down.

The only issue in the pasture was his barn (gate) sour attitude.  He didn't want to go away from it and wanted to hurry back to it.  When he started bracing and trying to dictate our direction I did a one rein stop.  It only took once to remind him to listen to me.  After that he would brace sometimes, but he responded when I asked him to give through his jaw.  Yay!  I think the lateral flexion is a big success!  I didn't do any cantering and I didn't go into the back of the pasture because we were bareback and I was being a weenie (didn't want him to take off or something).  I probably could have after we had our flexion reminder and been fine, but I'm telling you I was feeling lazy.  I did have some major thigh burn going on with all of the bareback trotting though. 

So all in all he was a really good boy.  We were able to work through his issues about being ridden in the pasture and had fun.  I'm very glad I decided to go ahead and ride!

12-8-14.  Halter/reins.  Aussie Saddle.  1 hour 10 minutes.  2.96 miles.

OMG!  Chrome was acting so mellow in the pasture I honestly thought this would be a piece of cake, relaxing ride..... yeah right!  He was such a turd.  The first 1.91 miles was on the road and the rest was in the pasture.  The part on the road took approximately thirty minutes.  We went back to the gravel road hill, intending to go all the way to the end (it's a dead end), but when we got to the top of the hill there was fresh gravel really thick and no ditch to ride in, so we turned around and went back down.  At the bottom of the hill hubby asked what I wanted to do next and I was so frustrated I said I just wanted to go home.

He started out fine, even on the road while the neighbor horses galloped up to us.  Then they started following and then they took off running.  That's when he just about lost it.  He was prancing around, trying to trot, gawking, etc., but amazingly he didn't try to bolt or anything.  It's so hard to get his attention back on me in the halter though.  I did some lateral flexion (one rein stop) until he stopped trying to trot and prance and jig. 

Then as soon as we got to the end of their pasture he started balking again, as usual.  I kicked the snot out of him and we continued on our way.  Then we got to the same place where he spooked a long time ago.  He spooked today and almost spun all the way around back toward home.  I straightened him out and booted him along and he spooked again.  I could hear stuff moving so I think it was deer again.  He was eyeballing it after that... then a school bus was coming up behind us... I got him off in someone's yard and turned him to face the bus.  At this point I wanted to get OFF!  I haven't felt like that in a long time.  However I stayed on and he was totally fine with the bus.  So we continued on the way and he wanted to trot, dodge into the field and act spooky about trash cans...  in other words he was just full of it!!  There was also a LOT of traffic.  Wrong time of day to ride on the road.

We went to the gravel hill and started trotting up, then a car turned on the road of course, so I stopped him and let them pass.  Then I continued up.  Hubby biked almost all the way to the top.  I was amazed!  There is no way I could have done that.  At the top we saw the gravel, went back down and I decided to go back home.  There was a ton of traffic and he was still gawking and being stupid.  Every horse we passed had to neigh at us too.  Not sure what that was about.  He was a turd until we got to within sight of home and then he dropped his head and chilled out.  I was seething.  That's why I decided to work his butt in our arena when I got home.  If he was going to make me work that hard on the road I was going to make him work hard at home.

He was being barn sour in the arena, but a few flexions and the use of a stick as a riding crop got him over the balking and trying to turn around. Then he was totally fine of course, but my stupid jeans were riding up and I couldn't trot more than a few steps before I had to fix them.  I have to remember to wear breeches next time even if I think I'm only going to be walking out on the road.  I did canter him from the driveway to the pasture and again from the back pasture to the gate and he was perfect.  He has such an amazing canter.

The good news is Chrome has stopped expecting to be fed as soon as I untack him.  He just stands there asking me to scratch his head and then goes to his hay bale, ignoring his feed bucket.  Score!

So it wasn't a bad ride, just frustrating, but that's life with a green horse.  I'm just not used to all of this energy because I never used to ride in the cold weather.  

12-6-14.  Halter/reins.  Aussie Saddle.  1 hour 5 minutes.  3.35 miles.

Riding a green young horse in a halter out on public roads when it's cold, windy and he hasn't been ridden in a week is a little interesting!  Not to mention he's a fat hippo.... but apparently the camera loves him and removes weight instead of adding it.  He was totally chill while I was tacking him up so I really wasn't expecting him to be such a spitfire!

We went almost three quarters of a mile down the road and I was excited to see that with all of the rain the gravel road up the steep hill was soft!!  It's normally like concrete so I refuse to ride on it, but it was nice today, so I decided to do some hill sets to wear his butt out.  He wasn't being bad, just very energetic, a little spooky, balky around the neighbor horses, high headed, etc.  Just green horse behavior on a cold day. 

Hubby stood at the top (middle) of the hill in the curve so he could see if traffic was coming.  The hill is actually twice this high, but has an S curve in it and I don't feel comfortable going up there with the idiot teenagers who drive really fast down it.  We went up three times which totaled only about .15 of a mile.  It wasn't far, but it's fairly steep.  Steeper than it looks!  

After the hills we continued around the block, taking a short cut through a field.  I kept having to do lateral flexions when he was being balky and gawking over his shoulder or trying to turn around.  He quickly figured out that was no fun and at least stopped trying to turn around.

This is the field where we had a stalemate at a little dry creek bed that had a muddy spot and a puddle in it on a previous ride.  This time, because of all the rain it was full of water at least a foot deep.  Hubby rode his bike through it and got his feet absolutely soaked when he stalled out.  I felt really bad because it was so cold, but he's fine.  Then I asked Chrome to go through and he didn't hesitate at all.  He walked right out to the middle, slammed on the brakes and started pawing.  I mildly freaked out, yelled and kicked him forward.  He lunged forward, stumbled across those deep ruts and half trotted/half cantered about two strides (kind of like a huge spook forward-seriously wish he'd gotten it on video) and then stopped and looked around like he couldn't figure out why I was freaking out..... I hope he doesn't think there are alligators in there now!  I just really did not want to get soaked with that cold wind!

So we continued on and he was hyper all over again. Come on horse, didn't those hills wear you out at all??  We went by a neighbor's field of cattle.  He was feeding them and trying to catch a calf to put an ear tag on.  Chrome eyeballed them like they were really scary.  Silly horse.  My neighbor complimented him which was really cool because he's an older guy who I've known forever but he rarely ever talks.  We continued on and another herd of cattle followed us a long way.  When hubby was taking the video he zoomed forward on his bike and Chrome started to take off after him.  It caught me off guard because I had him on the buckle and I was watching the cows.  Pay attention while riding a green horse!!  It was fine though.  He was only trying to trot to catch  up.

When we got back on our road he finally calmed down and realized how tired he was.  He actually worked up a sweat amazingly!  So we had a fun ride.  I hope he isn't too sore tomorrow after doing the hills.  It's such a hard balance between strengthening his stifles and doing too much and making them sore.  :\  This horse is so complicated, but I love him.

P.S.  He really wasn't as bad as I'm making it sound.  He was just very forward, alert and excited. I never once felt afraid!! 

12-4-14.  Halter/reins.  Aussie Saddle.  25 minutes.

I got held up late at work, but I was determined to ride since it wasn't raining (finally!), but it got dark really quick. Chrome's larger French link bit should be here tomorrow or Saturday so I'm still riding in the halter for now.  We did some trotting and I even cantered him up the full length of the driveway three times with no crowhopping, head ducking or anything.  He actually can maintain a canter for more than three strides haha.  :) He was so relaxed and listened so well. 

12 rides for a total of 7.5 hours and one unknown time ride. 10.25 miles on the road.

11-29-14.  Halter/reins.  Aussie Saddle.  30 minutes.

We finally measured out a small dressage arena (two 20 meter circles) in the back pasture and put buckets with rocks in the corners and the middle of the long sides.  Chrome did fantastic for our first workout in the arena!  I only rode thirty minutes because he did such a good job.  He did step "outside" the arena a few times and he obviously is still learning about corners and circles, but I'm really impressed with the progress we made.  The weird thing is that being in an "arena" brought all of my lessons back to my mind.  I sat up, looked up (when I remembered) and used my head and shoulders to lead him where I wanted to go.  He was following my body cues way better than I ever realized he did.  Now he just needs to learn to follow the legs too.  There were points where he had a decent tempo and I was actually able to think about my own position (look up, shoulders back, hands up and together, elbows bent and legs... well they are hopeless).  I realized watching the video that I'm either gripping with my knee or posting off my stirrups and that's on reason my leg is swinging so bad.  I think once his tempo improves and my strength improves that it will get better.  :)

Hubby even pointed out that Chrome has a relaxed, swishy tail most of the time.  He only flicked it around a couple of times.  I did notice that the halter slides over into his eye though!  Oops!  I can't wait for my new bit to get here next week.  I think the halter in the eye and the wind blowing is why he had his ears back so much.  That wind was insane!!  It finally knocked the cell phone over, but I only rode for about three more minutes and then called it quits because he was such a good boy.  He was sweaty too.  Can you believe it's almost December and I'm riding in a tank top??  Gotta love our bipolar weather.  Actually I do love it when it's like this, but I'm not ready for it to go back to being cold again.

After I first mounted up, on the way to the back pasture Chrome was being VERY balky, so hubby got me a stick to use as a riding crop.  When he reached out to give it to me, Chrome took it instead.  I took his word for it and let him drop it on the ground.  I didn't need it for the ride, so Chrome was right.  Such a good boy.

At the beginning of the ride I had my husband take video of us trotting and we accidentally cantered.  It was our best canter yet and our first canter in the back of the pasture.  :)  Click here to read the post and watch the videos.

11-27-14.  Halter/reins.  Aussie Saddle.  1 hour.

This is a long post with lots of great information and videos, so go here to read it and watch them.  I also got a baseline video of our trot work so I can compare it later to see our progress.

11-25-14.  Bridleless and halter/reins.  Bareback.  25 minutes both rides combined.

I had plans to ride out on the road today, but I got held up at work and then when I got home we had to put out a bale of hay, so it got too late.  The cold drained the tractor battery so while I was waiting on hubby to jump it I crawled up on the fence and climbed on Chrome's back with no saddle, bridle or halter.  He was awesome.  I didn't have any steering, so I couldn't control where we went, but we walked around for a while and I did a lot of ducking under tree limbs LOL!!

I had to get off and open gates when the tractor finally started.  I let Chrome out in the yard so he would be out of the way while we moved hay.  He walked out in the yard, grazed for a minute and then bronco bucked in place for a second and went right back to grazing... oooookay!!  I'm so glad he waited to do that until I was off of him.  I have no idea what set that off.  So after doing hay and a few other chores I went out in full darkness and put a halter on Chrome to finish up our ride bareback.  I started riding in the pasture, but he was super energetic compared to earlier.  Like seriously I was having visions of the bronco bucking in my head, so I took him out into the front yard.

He was snotty for a few minutes because he wanted to go back out to his fresh bale of hay that he knew the donkey and goats were eating without him, but he settled down when I insisted.  I rode him through the trees in the circle again and we even did some walking pole bending.  At one point I finally took him up the driveway to the gate because he was looking for the neighbor horses.  He got really hesitant.  Then he spotted his own shadow on the gate (our light pole was behind us) and froze, his head in the air.  I finally asked him to turn around and he literally planted one hind foot and did a full 180 rollback.  I have never felt him spin on his haunches like that with me on his back.  It caught me off guard because I was bareback but I didn't fall off.  We walked back down the driveway as calm as could be.  I did a little trotting, but not much.

11-24-14.  Halter/reins.  Aussie Saddle.  35 minutes.

I spent the ride doing things from a list I found, including goofy things like touching my toes (see above picture).  I got video of catching and tacking him up without a halter, mounting from the opposite side, opening and closing the gate and riding in his pasture.  I got pictures of checking the mail and touching his ears.  The new things I did from the list include around the world, using the horse trailer to get on, dismounting without using my hands, taking off and putting on my jacket and finding five ways to mount (from the left, from the right, from the horse trailer, plus one you just have to watch the video to see; the fifth was mounting bareback, but it was too dark to show up on video).  I also attempted standing on his back but he was moving too much and I have horrible balance.  It's in the video though and it's pretty funny.  I'll try again another day without my shoes so I can stand in the saddle instead of on his butt.

11-22-14.  Bridle with D-ring single jointed snaffle.  Aussie Saddle.  ? time.  4.24 miles.

The weather was perfect today (short sleeves in November!).  Hubby came along on his bike.  We went the direction of the dead end road, but bypassed it and kept going, then doubled back home.  Chrome was extremely balky around other horses, pretty spooky (for him - it's probably because we haven't gone in a new direction in a while), but otherwise he was good. 

There is a looooong hill that we doubled back on, so we ended up doing it three times (up and down both sides every time, not turning around at the top).  The hill from the bottom on one side to the bottom on the other side is a quarter of a mile, so the laps on the hill made up three quarters of a mile of our ride.  I think the long, steady slope will be great for his stifles if he'll ever learn to walk a straight line. 

We rode to the cemetery and turned around.  It was Chrome's first time there.  He looked around, but he wasn't spooked by the grave stones or anything.  On the way back we stopped to say hi to a neighbor's bull.  He kissed Chrome, tongue and all!!  

At one point hubby was looping his bike around behind us when Chrome slammed on the brakes.  Hubby ran his bike into Chrome's haunches and got his tail tangled in the handlebars.  It was hilarious!  No one was hurt.

11-19-14.  Halter/reins.  Aussie saddle.  1 hour.  2.5 miles.

I rode him down the road and he was forward, eager and willing.  :D  We mostly walked with a little bit of trotting.  I trotted him in the field and he wanted to canter SO BAD!  I didn't let him because I don't want him always thinking canter when we trot.  It was tempting thoughe.  I had him on the buckle (well it was a lead rope tied to both sides of his halter with no buckle, but you get the idea) pretty much the whole time.  The only time I had them short was when we trotted and when we got back home the mare across the street galloped to us, neighing and he wanted to stop and gawk. 

That was the only time he balked though.  The really great part is when we decided to turn around (because it was getting dark and we had no reflective gear) he didn't want to turn around!!  He really wanted to keep going.  I guess he likes trail (road) riding as much as I do. 

He was still a little reactive, but much calmer today (it was 50F).  It could have been the warmer temp or it could have been because I didn't yell at him (or anyone else) or yank on him.  Who knows?  The good news is that once again the saddle didn't seem to bother him and he wasn't sore when I palpated his back, even though this was the third day in a row being ridden.  His stifles were a little sticky, probably from doing so much trotting two days in a row.

11-18-14.  Halter/reins.  Aussie saddle and bareback.  30 minutes.

What I've decided is that he's sensitive!!! The differences from yesterday are that today it was easily ten degrees warmer (40sF) with no wind, I used only a halter so no bit and I used the fluffy fleece saddle pad. 

Okay so I put his halter on and got on bareback.  I walked him around a few minutes and then started trotting up and down the driveway and weaving around trees in the circle just like yesterday.  He was great.  Eager, forward, responsive, etc. 

My jacket has stupid things on it that get between my leg and the saddle or my leg and his back and it bruises!  I asked him to stop so I could tie the strings up to keep it from bruising us and he slammed on the brakes.  That was my first clue and I started paying attention.  Remember we were in a halter!

So after riding around at the trot for a while bareback I took him to the car, got off, stood around, pet him, etc.  Then I got back on bareback and rode him around.  He was exactly the same.  Forward walk and trot, slamming on the brakes when I asked him to walk or whoa.  I tried cantering bareback, but I was too nervous so he wouldn't do anything except trot really fast.....

Then I took him to the car and saddled him up, but I used the fleece pad this time instead of the thin one.  He shifted around a tiny bit when I tightened the girth, but not as bad as yesterday.  So I hopped on and he walked off as eager and forward as before.  I felt no difference at all between bareback and the saddle.  We walked and trotted around some more, then I tried cantering.

He wouldn't canter the first time and tried to stop at the car (which hubby says is my fault because I've stopped him there every time I've cantered before.... I never noticed that before).  So I tried again and he cantered, but he ducked his head.  I overreacted because I was gun shy from yesterday and jerked his head up.  He stuck his head straight in the air and tried to stop, but I remembered the comment saying if I let him stop he thinks it's okay so I pushed him on past the car and he cantered fine, but with his head in the air.

I cantered him several times after that and he still tried to stop at the car from habit, but he kept going when I asked him.  When I told him to slow down with a vocal cue and no rein pressure he still threw his head in the air.  :(  Also on our last canter I told my hubby that was good enough because he didn't try to buck and his nose wasn't way in the air.  Hubby said, "Aren't you going to praise him?"  Oops!!!  I wanted to cry when he said that.  I haven't been praising him because I've been so absorbed in whatever we are working on and in my own fear.  *fail!*

So what I've decided is stopping at the car is habit, the bucking was probably from the weather and feeling good and the overreactions and sensitivity is because he is terrified of getting yanked in the face.  :(  Yesterday the first time I asked him to canter he did it so easily and willingly with a great upward transition.  After he bucked and I yanked him up he was running into the canter with his head in the air. Today he was running into the canter with his head in the air. 

So I've decided to stop cantering him unless it happens naturally until I can get some lessons.  I don't want my fear of him bucking to ruin him to cantering and riding in general.  He's such a great horse.  I won't do that to him.  We will continue to trail ride and do some long trots, but the cantering will just stay on the back burner until I learn to quit yanking on his face out of fear.  My hubby is also convinced that me yelling at the dog yesterday is part of what had him so over reactive because I always yell at him when I yank him out of a crow hop.  Sigh.  Why did it take me this long to figure out the problem???

I'm still going to pay close attention to the weather, the saddle, my riding, etc. to make sure I'm not missing anymore clues.  I'm going to focus on making riding enjoyable for him again and I'm also going to stick with my plan of no feeding him after riding.  I'll also make sure I'm not stopping by the car all the time.  Yesterday was the first day that I had spent much time working him at the trot for long periods of time too because he is so energetic with the cooler weather.  He's normally so lazy, it's hard to not take advantage of his willingness to move!  I will make sure not to drill him though.

11-17-14.  Bridle with D-ring single jointed snaffle.  Aussie Saddle and bareback.  28 minutes. 

I rode in the yard.  I used my nice white dressage pad instead of my fleece pad and Chrome was a turd about having the girth tightened.  He would not stand still and was overreacting when I corrected him.  I also put a second pair of reins on my bridle, one to the bit and one to the noseband.  I rode him around the driveways and the circle in the middle of them, weaving in and out of trees.  He had a very forward walk and was feeling really energetic. He was listening great to the reins on his noseband.  I wasn't even holding the reins to the bit.  Then we did some trotting around the trees. It was so much fun because he was so forward!  Then my dog started barking at the neighbor... I yelled at the dog and Chrome slammed on the brakes.  I called Jackal and he slowly made his way to me.  As soon as I went back to riding, the stupid dog went right back to the fence and was barking!  Grr!  After two more times of calling him away I got frustrated, dismounted, chased the dog down (and scared Chrome by waving my arms around... oops, he's not normally so reactive).  Did I mention it was extremely windy today??  So I put the dog up.

When I got back on it went all downhill from there.  He was being balky and resistant.  When I cantered he went full on bronco (okay it was still crow hops, his legs weren't going out or up, but it was still huge bucks compared to what he normally does)... I think it's because I asked him to canter and he went eagerly, but when he got close to the car (where I tack up and untack) he tried to stop so I kept bumping him with me heels to keep him going.  About two strides past my car is when he started bucking.  Luckily I was able to stop him even with just the noseband reins.  I trotted him all over the place and tried again.  Same deal.  HORSE!!!!!  I wasn't scared, but he was starting to make me nervous because I didn't want it to become a habit, so I cantered again, but this time I said good boy before we reached my car... he took that to mean he could stop and slammed on the brakes.  I was getting really frustrated at this point, but since he didn't buck I called it quits on cantering.  So I started trotting him around again and he started major balking!!!!!! 

I finally had enough, got a tree branch and popped the crap out of him.  He shot forward like he was being launched from a cannon.  His tempo sucked, but he did stay trotting.  After he trotted for a while without trying to stop I asked him to walk, then I unsaddled him and got on bareback because I was worried maybe his back hurt from the thinner pad... he was still balking bareback a little, but once I got him going he dropped his head, lifted his back and relaxed a little.... so maybe it was partly the saddle???

The other thing is he was mugging me so bad!!!!!!  He doesn't normally do that, but on my last ride we found some persimmon trees alongside the road and I stupidly fed him some, so now all he can think about is getting fed.  Every time I said good boy or patted him on the neck he slammed on the brakes and started looking for treats.................  so yeah he won't get treats from the saddle unless we decide to start clicker training again.  The crazy thing is I haven't fed him any treats at all in months and months because I don't have any.  I ran out.  So yeah, feeding him persimmons one time is all it took to turn him into a turd.  Ugh!  So that's my fault.  I shouldn't be feeding treats without using the clicker because then he expects them all the time.  With the clicker I'm able to tell him yes you get a treat and the lack of a click means no treat. 

So I finally dismounted, got the mail and led him back to my car.... where I tied his butt to the light pole!  Then I sat in my car and watched him through the side mirror while I seethed and thought about everything that had happened...

So here is what I think.  He was great before I dismounted to put the dog up, so I think when we walked to the car he thought we were done.  When I got back on he got pissy.  He kept doing what I asked, but he wasn't eager and forward like he was before.  Then when I cantered him he started off eager, but tried to stop at the car and when I kicked him on he got frustrated and bucked.  I yanked him up and he stuck his nose in the air and stopped.  So the second time he was not as eager because he was expecting to get his face yanked off.  At the same spot he started bucking again and got his face yanked off.  The third time I told him good boy because I realized I was focusing too much on what he was doing wrong and not praising him. He took that to mean he could slam on the brakes by the car............ so he's basically being barn sour and because my tack is in the car that's his barn.  Annoying.  When I forced him to keep going (away from the car) he started balking.  Also the donkey and goats were galloping around at this point so he wanted to go out to the pasture and balked when I tried to get him to leave.  So I don't know.  This whole thing has me super confused.  His attitude once I tied him up makes me think he was just feeling good because it was cold and windy and then he thought we were done when I put the dog up.  When I get done riding him I always either let him graze in the yard or I put him in the pasture and feed him....

So my game plan is, STOP feeding him right after a ride and STOP letting him graze after a ride.  I'm going to start tying him up after riding so that he can think things over.  The barn sourness has gotten progressively worse the longer I've ignored this. He used to be more excited about leaving than he did about coming home.  I want that horse back!  I know he has fun when we are out, but then he starts thinking about grazing or getting fed and he just turns into a butt.  So along with tying him up I'm going to start practicing riding him, getting off, riding more, tying him up, riding more, etc.  When I get home from riding out on the road I'll ride him some more at the house so he doesn't think that as soon as we get home he's done.

While I was riding I was thinking maybe his back hurts, maybe it's the new saddle pad, maybe it's the two reins, maybe his feet hurt, maybe it's the bit, etc., but after thinking about it I think it's the sour attitude.  He was perfect before I got off to put the dog up.  So for now I'm going to work on that, but I'll still pay close attention to everything else.  I palpated his back as soon as I took the saddle off, before I got on bareback and didn't get a reaction at all.  Next ride I'm going to use my normal pad and only the one reins and see how that goes.  There were too many variables in this ride (reins, pad, wind, dog, etc.) to determine the exact cause easily.

11-15-14.  Bridle with D-ring single jointed snaffle.  Aussie Saddle.  1 hour 17 minutes.  3.96 miles.

As soon as we appeared on the road the seven horses across the street came galloping up and I stayed on!  Chrome was excited, but he walked.  True to form, the turd started balking as soon as we left the horses behind.  Dork.  He listened really well though and kept walking when I asked.  We saw the alpacas again.  I could feel him suck back like he wanted to spook when they first walked up, but he held his ground.  Good boy!

Then we had our first off property canter... totally by accident.  I was trotting him down the field we always trot in, but I got up in two point (because it's fun lol).  He decided to canter and I let him.  It was so cool!  Then I had to get out of the field onto the road because they are building a house and there was digging in the area.  I didn't want him to sink in a hole I couldn't see.  Once we were past that part I got back in the field and cantered again! 

I feel horrible because I corrected him again for putting his head down!! ARGH I have to stop doing that!  It seriously feels like he's trying to put his head down to crow hop, but when watching the video back I can see he was actually using his body like he needs to... after I corrected him he was an inverted mess.  :(  I really need lessons so someone on the ground can tell me what's going on so I'll stop doing that.  I've managed to stop correcting him at home, but away from home in an open field my nerves got the best of me.  Hopefully next time, now that I'm reassured he won't do anything, I'll be able to let go and give him a good ride instead of being so tense.  It was a blast though!!!

We also had our biggest spook yet.  We were walking along on the buckle.  I had one hand in my pocket trying to warm it up.  A deer was bedded down right by the road, jumped up and ran off into the brush.  Chrome startled in place, then jumped sideways and then tried to take off (at a trot lol).  It was a scramble to get my hand out of my pocket and get my reins short, but he only went about two strides before he stopped (and wanted to turn and face it lol).  He's such a good boy.  I'm so glad he's sensible about his spooks.

I think that's all.. oh I did ride him down that big hill that I got off and walked down last time when I rode with the other girls.  He was totally fine.  Great ride! 

11-9-14.  Bridle with D-ring single jointed snaffle.  Bareback.  25 minutes.

We just walked and trotted around the yard.  I was weaving him between the fire we had burning, the tractor, the log splitter (that was running), the four wheeler, the wheel barrow, etc.  He did great.  He eyeballed a few things, but he never spooked or refused to go.  We also walked around out in the woods. 

The interesting part is I asked my hubby to get on behind me because Chrome has never been ridden double and I wanted to see how he would do.  I lined him up next to the bumper of my car and hubby slid on behind me... but he had his foot on the bumper... and I asked Chrome to walk away... and hubby grabbed the car (I have rails on top) and let himself be dragged off LOL!!  I asked him why he did that and he said he didn't want to put too much weight on Chrome's back!  I told him that when I did the calculations of my weight along with my tack I was only 15% of Chrome's weight, so with the two of us we would still be under 30% which is the top weight a horse should be asked to carry.  So I asked him to get back on.  He did and I asked Chrome to walk off.  He walked about six steps and then stopped.  He had his head up and his ears back (until a neighbor horse neighed and he looked over there lol), but he wasn't scared.  He was just confused by all the extra weight I think.  Hubby was pushing me painfully up against Chrome's withers so I asked him to slide off.  His back was hurting too so I wasn't going to ask him to stay on long.  So it was only six steps, but technically Chrome has carried two people now hehehe.  He's such a good boy to put up with all the weird stuff I do.  I slid back to sit on his hindquarters and he didn't care.  Then I got back in the normal spot and laid backward with my head on his hindquarters.  Then I leaned forward with my arms around his neck.  My dad laughed because Chrome likes to duck his head when I do that and I have to hang on so I don't slide up his neck hehe.  Then I laid back again and rubbed his neck with my shoes, so he reached around and nibbled on them. He's so silly. 

11-6-14.  Bridle with D-ring single jointed snaffle.  Bareback.  40 minutes.

After bridling him I led him to the fence and climbed on him bareback while he stood perfectly still.  It was very windy and a bit cool, so he was fairly energetic.  We walked around out in the pasture, then I had to work on having him stand still because he wanted to walk to the gate leading to the yard.  He hates being out in the pasture.  Too boring I guess.  When he refused to stand still I just did a one rein stop.  He eventually figured out it wasn't worth it and he stood on a loose rein.

Then I walked him to the gate and opened it from his back!!!!!  The gate is built like this |___| so there is no walking around the gate.  I had to stick his head over the gate, lean forward, unwrap the chain, pull the pin and then turn him sideways and pull it loose.  Then I had to move him over (he hasn't learned to sidepass, guess we need to do that) and pulled the gate further open.  I did that until I had the gate open far enough to squeeze through without hanging my knees on either side.  I walked him through, then had him face the gate, leaned forward to grab it and had him back up while I pulled it closed.  Then I walked him up next to the pin and chain (there are no bars on the outside so he can just stand parallel to it on that side) and secured the gate.  Good boy! 

We rode around in the yard where he is much happier.  After warming up I did some trotting and then some cantering (second time cantering him bareback).  He was great!  He spooked forward once when a tree limb fell behind him in the woods, he refused to walk through a puddle (but we worked on it until he did) and he did not like the gas grill my parents were cooking their supper on.  

11-2-14.  Halter/reins.  Aussie saddle.  40 minutes.

I jumped Chrome for the first time.  He was feeling very energetic because it was cold and the mare across the street was alone and neighing (her buddies were at a rodeo).  The above picture shows us standing at our front gate so you can see how close their pasture is!  It's literally right across the road.  Jumping was totally not planned.  I had mentioned jumping him over some trees we have laying in the yard and hubby jokingly said he wouldn't do it.  So as I was coming back down the driveway I looked over at the tree and thought... heck I'll do it!!  He totally jumped it!

After each jump he trotted away except one he actually cantered away from and he even trotted over once without jumping when it got boring.  We jumped them about six times I think.  The first tree was only fourteen inches high and the second one was sixteen inches.  After jumping we did some cantering.  The first canter he started on the left lead and then did a simple change into a right lead... I wonder why?  The left lead felt weird so maybe he was cross cantering?  I couldn't tell.  His cantering is getting much stronger and he's able to sustain it longer!  I cantered him the entire length of the driveway at one point.

Other than jumping and cantering we also did some exploring through our trees, which I never do in the summer because of ticks. It was so much fun picking paths and having him step over all the fallen saplings.  I also got my final two point (four minutes) while he grazed.

10 rides for a total of 8.5 hours (one ride unknown time) and 18.49 miles on the road.

10-31-14.  Bridle with D-ring single jointed snaffle.  Aussie Saddle.  1 hour and 30 minutes. 4.75 miles.

I rode Chrome on Halloween.  We went down a dead end road where he's never been before and he did great.  Hubby came along on his bike.  We went down a road he's never been down, past horses he's never seen before and he was on the buckle!  Proof in the picture above.  It was freezing cold and windy.  On the way home when going by the pasture with the mules and the foal and pony we trotted!  At one point we were trotting and hubby was riding his bike next to us so close we could have held hands.  It was the coolest thing ever! Chrome is not bothered by the bike at all!  We trotted over half a mile all combined (in the grass, not on asphalt).  When we were about a mile from home he balked after passing the last of the neighbor horses (that he's seen a million times).  He did not want to go, so I popped him on the neck with my reins and he jumped in the air he was so startled.  He did not balk again, so I'm hoping I got my point across and he will stop doing that.  He was perfect for everything else! 

10-29-14.  Bridle with D-ring single jointed snaffle.  Aussie Saddle.  2 hours. 4.24 miles.

This was his first ride on the road with other horses and he did great!  He's never met either of these two horses either.  The girl keeping her horses next door (we will call her B) had agreed to ride today after I got off work, so I tacked up and rode over there.  There was another girl there and we all three sat around talking for forty five minutes or so.  Chrome was very excited, giraffe necking over the fence to see the horses and pawing impatiently at first... then he fell asleep!  The other girl wanted to ride so B put her on the dark bay mare and she got on her chestnut gelding bareback with only a halter and lead rope because she didn't have a spare saddle or bridle with her!  Girl has guts!  So we trooped off down the road.

Chrome was back to being very excited and up.  He wanted to constantly sniff the other horses, but I kept him away from them (for the most part).  Nobody got grouchy and no one got bit or kicked.  Yay!  For his first time ever riding on the road with other horses (and second time ever riding with other horses at all) I am so proud of him!  I can forgive his excitement because I was actually pretty excited to have someone to ride with too LOL!

The next thing I know Chrome is striding out, walking way faster than the other two!!!!  He totally left them behind!  We got so far ahead we had to yell to talk (I eventually circled him when we got too far ahead because part of the fun of riding with other people is talking and laughing)!  The chestnut gelding is about the same height as Chrome and is an Appendix, so I was blown away that Chrome out walked him like that!  The dark bay Quarter horse mare was a total slow poke, but her rider stayed on her phone (on the internet, not talking) most of the time so it wasn't a big deal lol.  Now I seriously want to ride with some Tennessee Walkers to see if Chrome can keep up!  They used to smoke us when I was a kid out on the trails with my Appy mare.  :D

We also passed the alpacas for the first time (this was a totally new road he's never been on).  Chrome stopped and stared, but then he spotted the horse in the pasture next door and totally ignored the Alpacas.  

This was the first time we'd taken this loop and it has a huge hill on it.  He was great going up and even trotted once, but I got off to go downhill because I had no idea if he would get too much momentum going and start trotting or trip.  He was great and it gave me a chance to stretch out my painful knee.  The hilarious thing is that even with me on foot we were walking twice as fast as the other two!!  

The last bit of this loop shares the same road with the field of bulldozers as our other loop.  We did some trotting out there!  He trotted with two other horses trotting!!!  He was very strong and I could tell he wanted to go, but he stayed at a trot.  :D  He even stood still next to the bay mare while B loped some circles on her gelding.  He watched them, but never moved an inch.  So proud of him!  There were even times during the ride when the bay mare would be behind us and B would ride into the ditch and lope away on her gelding.  Chrome wanted to go, but he kept walking!!!!

He only spooked twice.  Once was on my way to her field at the very beginning of the ride.  I have no idea what it was over (but we were going by the "Junk Lady's" house so there was plenty to spook at), but it was just an in place spook.  The second time was more like a flinch and I don't know what it was either.  He did look at some stuff like signs, trailers and a yard full of crap for a yard sale. 

I'll be honest and tell you he was NOT on the buckle for this ride and he was very strong at times, but he was never unmanageable or dangerous and my arms are not sore so it's not like he was pulling on me.  He was just an excited giraffe almost the whole time.  Toward the end of the ride when it was dark he did finally drop his head and slow down to walk behind the other two.  :)

When we got home he was walking as fast down our driveway as he did when we left.  He didn't sweat and didn't seem tired or sore at all.  

10-27-14.  Bridle with D-ring single jointed snaffle.  Aussie Saddle.  1 hour and 20 minutes. 4 miles.

Hubby came along on his bicycle.  We went around the block again, but in the other direction.  Chrome was balky from the second I mounted.  I figured he was a little sore or maybe even a little sour since this being ridden frequently is a new thing for him.  He gawked at the horses across the street as they galloped to him from across the field, but he didn't try to trot.  When we rode by the horses they didn't follow us so he went right back to balking.  He was balky for probably half the ride.  We had a bunch of guys on two four wheelers pass us, coming from behind and he was fine.  They slowed down because hubby rode his bike down the middle of the road.  Then after half a mile or so they were coming back, but they came down a hill and then turned back toward us.  Apparently them coming down a hill first or maybe coming from in front of us made them scarier, because Chrome's head shot into the sky and he froze.  He flinched when they went by, but he didn't spook.  

At the halfway point he could smell some horses he's never seen before.  He started neighing and trotting.  I was able to wrestle him back into a walk.  He tried to break gait a few more times, but he eventually gave up since I had a death grip on him.  It's sooooo annoying that he did so amazing and now he's pulling every single green horse stunt he can think of.  Oh well, that's life with baby horses.

We rode by the horses and I got him back into a field.  I asked him to trot for the first time of the ride and he launched eagerly into a forward trot.  We trotted the length of the field and then I walked him to the water crossing where he balked last time.  He walked down the ruts, through the mud and by the water with no hesitation.  Then he turned around and walked back through!  Good boy!  Then I trotted him back to the road and he got so floaty it felt like he wanted to canter for a second.

I walked him for a while down the road (on the buckle) before I was able to get off in a field again.  I walked through the boggy part, but when we got to the field where the dozer was I trotted the full length of it which turned out to be a quarter of a mile.  :D  There was a second dozer too that was bigger than the first one and he glanced at it because it was different, but he wasn't worried.  

Once back on the road I walked him the rest of the way home, then I bypassed our driveway and went around the corner to where the girl was feeding the horses across the street.  He started balking again when I went by the driveway.  He even flat out put on the brakes and would not move!  I had to kick him as hard as I could as far back on his flank as I could reach to get him to go.  We talked a minute and then turned and walked back home (big, happy walk again).  I got off at the driveway and hand walked him back to my car to untack (I keep my saddles in my car) and he was out walking me!!  I couldn't keep up, so he apparently isn't horribly sore.  His walk feels a lot faster when leading him (and I'm a fast walker) then when riding him for some reason.  I think he's just over the "new" of it and it's "work" now!  Spoiled, baby horse!  

P.S.  I'm still super proud of him for mostly keeping his cool around other horses and that I felt confident enough to ride it out instead of dismounting.  It's nice to not have to get off all the time anymore.  I'm also super proud of him for trotting the entire distance of the field calmly and for walking on the buckle whenever he couldn't see or smell horses.  I'm proud of him for walking through the ditch that we got stuck at last time.  So there are still a lot of positives about the ride!  Mostly our confidence.  I think he'll be better next time since we've gone both directions now and he knows they both lead home.  :)  This was also the third day in a row I've ridden him even though yesterday was bareback and only fifteen minutes.  He is definitely getting tomorrow off!!  

10-26-14.  Halter/reins.  Bareback.  15 minutes.

I hopped on to see if he was sore after all of the trotting we did the day before and he wasn't.  Then I rode him around and over hay tarps (yellow/white thing in the above picture) he'd never seen before.  He thought it was fun!  Then I cantered him bareback for the first time (in only a halter)!  He ducked his head and I jerked him up thinking he was crowhopping, but he wasn't.  I have to break that habit.  When he rounds his back to canter bareback it feels like he's rounding it to buck...  We cantered twice and it was so much fun!

10-25-14.  Bridle with D-ring single jointed snaffle.  Aussie Saddle.  ? time. 2 miles.

The ride was only two miles but we trotted at least half of it, including through an unfamiliar field by the heavy equipment pictured above (he was gawking at horses, not the dozer).  He was awesome!  So forward and eager.  He spooked only once and that's because hubby turned his bike sharply toward Chrome, causing him to jerk away, but he corrected his course and we kept going.  He didn't spook at anything else!  He was alert and gawking at horses (they are everywhere!), but no spooking.  The best part is after trotting I could drop the reins and ride completely calmly on the buckle at a walk.  

10-22-14.  Bridle with D-ring single jointed snaffle.  Aussie Saddle.  1 hour 5 minutes.  3.5 miles.

I rode Chrome around the block (3.5 miles) for the first time!  We even did the first half alone before hubby showed up on his bike to finish the ride with us.  I led him to the neighbor's driveway so the neighbor horses weren't visible and then mounted up.  I didn't have to dismount for the rest of the ride.  We hit a stalemate at a muddy spot in a creekbed that he didn't want to cross.  He went down a slope with 10 inch ruts but refused to walk through a half inch of mud.  We stood there for ten minutes where I wouldn't let him turn away from the mud but he refused to walk through it.  Then hubby showed up and led us through no problem.... baby horses!  He spooked at birds and squirrels a few times, but completely ignored traffic and I even rode him past the three neighbor horses galloping up to us.  He was fine with hubby's bike next to him, behind him, even circling him.  When he rode ahead of us Chrome even tried to trot to catch up.  :)

10-20-14.  Bridle with D-ring single jointed snaffle.  Aussie Saddle.  15-20 minutes or so.

This was Chrome's first ride ever with another horse.  He'd never met her before either.  This mare's owner is leasing the land across the street from us and she agreed to ride over to see how he would react to another horse.  When he first saw her walking up the driveway his head shot straight into the air and he froze.  When I finally convinced him to walk he started to jig, but I scolded him and he walked, straining against the reins.  He sniffed noses with her and then followed her into the yard.  He was being pushy so I put the rope halter on him and hubby led us around a bit until he calmed down, then he turned us loose and we were on our own.  He did great!  He followed her around at the walk, steering, stopping, etc.  Then they stood next to each other (above pic) for ten minutes while we talked.  He did try to paw while we were standing still.  That was the only sign he was "up".

10-17-14.  Bridle with D-ring single jointed snaffle.  Aussie Saddle.  40 minutes.

Posted this picture so my readers could critique 
my position since I've never done two point before.

I took it easy on this ride since he's not used to riding two days in a row, with mostly standing (for pictures to critique my two point) and walking.  

10-16-14.  Bridle with D-ring single jointed snaffle.  Aussie Saddle.  40 minutes.

I tried my two point again and got a time of four minutes and two seconds.  The difference was that my calves hadn't been cramping at night anymore like they did the first time.  I practiced two point at the walk and trot some more, let him lick on the salt block for seven minutes and I finally managed to canter him again, resisting the urge to pull his head up helped and he didn't even try to crow hop.  I also started trotting a lot earlier.  Approximately twenty five minutes of the ride was spent at the walk and trot.  We only cantered a few times.

10-5-14.  Bridle with D-ring single jointed snaffle.  Aussie Saddle.  40 minutes.

I got my two point baseline for 2pointober (measly 2 minutes and 6 seconds) then practiced two point at the walk and trot while holding on to his mane for balance.  I spent the whole month of October with my stirrups several holes higher than normal.  Then I tried cantering three times.  He crowhopped the first time, only cantered a couple of stride the second time and wouldn't canter the third time.  In the post I blamed his stifles, but now I'm thinking it might be the bit.  More on that later.

1 ride for a total of  55 minutes.  1.56 miles on the road.

9-29-14.  Bridle with D-ring single jointed snaffle.  Aussie Saddle.  55 minutes.  1.56 miles.

I rode Chrome to a neighbor's house because she had never met him.  It had been a while since Chrome had been ridden, but he did great.  When we turned down the gravel road leading to her house he got looky and excited because he's never gone that way and there are a lot of horses down that road.  We got halfway by the first pasture with two crazy horses in it and he just had a big floaty walk and his ears in my teeth, but then I finally had to get off because the horses in the next field were nuts!  He was very strong, ignoring me, had his tail flipped over his back and I just didn't want to risk it.  When we got to my friend's house her two horses were grazing and ignoring him so he just stood there and stared.  

Six rides for a total of  4 hour and 25 minutes.  5.41 miles on road.

7-28-14.  Bridle with D-ring single jointed snaffle.  Aussie Saddle.  30 minutes.

I rode in the yard.  We worked on whoa first and then moved on to walk, trot, whoa transitions.  Finally I decided to try cantering.  He would only hold it one stride and then on the last try his stifle gave out so I quit.  

6-24-14.  Sidepull.  Bareback.  35 minutes.

I rode in the pasture while hubby was brushhogging.  Chrome was a little up and wanted to trot, but he listened well.  After he licked on the salt block for seven straight minutes I took him to the pond to see if he wanted a drink.  After he drank on a whim I asked him to walk into the water and he walked right in!!  I've never been able to get him to walk into the pond with me on his back up until that point.  He started pawing so I turned him around to get out of the pond, but he laid down.  I kicked him to get him to stand up and when he stood the blanket slipped and I got dunked, camera and all.  

6-15-14.  Bridle with D-ring single jointed snaffle.  Aussie Saddle. 50 minutes. 2.13 miles.

This was our first solo ride on the road while hubby was at work.  We went in a direction without horses and went past the point where Chrome had ever been before so it was new territory.  He was looky, but didn't spook.  I stopped to get the above picture and when I turned him around he chose to keep going instead of turning back for home.  We turned around because there were kids driving stupid crazy on the road.  He immediately dropped his head and snorted.  He was nervous, but he did it well. It was obvious when he relaxed on the way home though.  The epic part of this ride is that it was the first time I rode Chrome out on the roads alone and completely forgot he was a green horse!  When we were almost home he did spook/scoot forward because a little dog barked behind him.

7-9-14.  Sidepull.  Bareback.  1 hour.

I rode around in the yard waiting on the farrier (she got hung up in traffic).  We just worked on walking and a little trotting.

7-4-14.  Bridle with D-ring single jointed snaffle.  Aussie Saddle.  ? minutes (approx. 1 hour).  2.78 miles.

We started out solo going down the road.  He was being balky and trying to turn around which was annoying.  Once we got past our property he gave up and walked on, but it was at a crawl.  Before we got to unfamiliar territory hubby showed up, saying he was worried about holiday traffic so he was going to keep an eye on us.  At the one mile mark he spotted a horse and planted his feet.  I got off and led him. I had to correct him at one point for shouldering into me!  Turd!  At one point after turning around I was leading Chrome and heard sirens.  An ambulance was coming up from behind us so I trotted Chrome into the ditch.  Luckily they didn't have their sirens on and he was totally fine. When we got past the horses I got back on and rode back home.  When we got close to home the mosquitoes started eating us alive so we trotted the rest of the way home.  He was great.  

7-3-14.  Bridle with D-ring single jointed snaffle.  Aussie Saddle.  30 minutes. Half a mile on road.

I rode a short way down the road, but a neighbor was yelling at a guy walking down the road so I turned around and went back.  We piddled around while the concrete crew worked on our porch. 

Three rides for a total of  1 hour and 5 minutes.

6-14-14.  Sidepull/Bridleless.  Bareback.  15 minutes.

I rode in the pasture.  I used the sidepull to ride away from my hubby, then took it off (from his back) and threw it aside, then rode bareback and bridleless to the gate.  At one point I yelled at the donkey for trying to kill the dog.  Chrome curled his head, lifted his back and started to crow hop.  I yelled at him, grabbed his mane at the top of his neck and then he extended trotted to the gate.... bareback and bridleless!!  It was mildly (totally) terrifying, but also the coolest thing ever!

6-11-14.  Bridle with D-ring single jointed snaffle.  Aussie Saddle.  25 minutes.

I rode in the yard and he started off with the weaving and trying to turn around crap because he wanted to go graze.  I eventually kicked him forward and that helped.  Then we worked on the beginnings of half halt.  We even did walk, trot, whoa transitions and he was great!  I also worked on having him stand still while I dropped the reins, picked them up, dropped them, etc because he had gotten in the habit of walking off when I would gather my reins.  

6-5-14.  Bridle with D-ring single jointed snaffle.  Bareback.  25 minutes.

I rode in the yard and a little bit on the road in front of the house.  This was our first ride with the bit.  My back was hurting so we did all walk with two short trots.  We worked on steering and circles and he was great.  He couldn't brace with the bit like he could the bitless bridle.  

Six rides for a total of  3 hours and 56 minutes. 5.66 miles on road.

5-24-14.  Sidepull.  Aussie Saddle.  40 minutes.

I rode in the pasture.  He remembered our fast ride and was very zoomy.  We warmed up at the walk and then as soon as we started trotting I lost my steering again and had to do lateral flexion.  We did more cantering and got more video.  He crowhopped in the canter and scared me.  Hubby told me to canter again or he would be getting away with it and I would be scared.  I tried cantering him again, but he just trotted really fast, veered back toward the barn and ran away with me at the trot.  I had no control for steering or stopping (why didn't I do the one rein stop duh??).  So I took him into the yard and made him trot and trot and trot and trot and stop and steer and trot.  

5-21-14.  Sidepull.  Aussie Saddle.  1 hour.

I rode in the pasture and the yard.  I warmed him up for ten minutes, then worked on trotting intervals for twenty minutes.  During that time he broke into a canter by accident so I tried again.  It was awesome.  I cantered him about six times for five or six strides each.  I also got it on video!

5-19-14.  Sidepull.  Aussie Saddle.  40 minutes. 2 miles.

This was our first for real solo ride!  We went the same route as last time.  He only spooked once.  He was weaving and couldn't walk straight on the way out, so I did some lateral flexion and some serpentines.  On the way back he was much straighter obviously.  I trotted him up to the driveway and then past it and he did great.

5-11-14.  Sidepull.  Aussie Saddle.  40 minutes. 2 miles.

This was our first (sort of) solo ride on the road!  Hubby was in his car following us so he could help if I needed it.  Chrome didn't know it was him, so he thought we were along and he was spooking at everything!  It was hilarious.  Read the post for more details.  We also did two long trots.

5-4-14.  Sidepull.  Aussie Saddle.  36 minutes.  1.66 miles.

I rode out on the road for the first time in a long time.  Hubby went with us, but we went past the neighbor horses without me getting off or hubby having the grab the reins!  We also trotted on the road for the first time!

5-1-14.  Sidepull.  Bareback.  ? minutes (short so maybe 20 minutes?).

I rode in the yard again.  He was rusty because it had been so long.  We worked on steering and stopping.  He even trotted through some 90 degree turns and was able to maintain it.  

Six rides for a total of  1 hour and 45 minutes.

3-23-14.  Sidepull.  Bareback.  10 minutes.

I rode in the yard again.  I did a warm up and then tried trotting him to see if he was still acting tender.  He was much better and hubby said there was nothing wrong with him.  He was acting balky going away from grass and eager toward it so I'm thinking he's just a bit sour because I've been letting him graze a lot.

3-21-14.  Sidepull.  Bareback.  15 minutes.

I rode in the yard for a few minutes but he was acting tender and hesitant so I kept the ride short.

3-19-14.  Sidepull.  Bareback.  20 minutes.

I rode in the yard.  His stifles were sticky and even locked once at the walk so we did a long warm up.  Then we weaved through trees to work on steering.  Then I worked with him on standing still and flexion.  Once he figured out how to lower his head I asked him to back up and he did it perfectly.  

3-18-14.  Sidepull.  Bareback.  20 minutes.

I rode in the pasture and worked on some stuff I learned while auditing a clinic.  I worked on steering him and riding him like an adult horse instead of with a wide, opening rein.  I also tried catching his outside shoulder around turns and he did it a couple of times.  He trotted eagerly off from a light squeeze with my calf.  I didn't do much trotting because the pasture was muddy and super slick!

3-13-14.  Sidepull.  Bareback.  20 minutes.

I rode a short way up the road and he was hesitant, tense and slow.  When we turned around (because hubby was walking the dog and the neighbor dogs were going nuts) he extended his walk, lowered his head and snorted.  As a test I walked him past the driveway, went a short ways and then turned and came back.  He did great and was not balky in that direction. 

3-11-14.  Sidepull.  Bareback.  20 minutes.

I just rode him around the yard.

One ride for a total of  30 minutes.

2-16-14.  Sidepull.  Bareback.  30 minutes.

I just rode him around the yard and then a short way up the road with hubby.  He is much happier out on the road than in the yard.

One ride for a total of  20 minutes.

1-1-14.  Sidepull.  Bareback.  20 minutes.

I just rode him around the yard at a walk.

Total Rides: 27
Total Time: 9 Hours 36 Minutes

Four rides for a total of 1 hour and 50 minutes.

11-29-13.  Sidepull.  Treeless Saddle.  30 minutes.

Chrome's stifle was sticky before the ride, but he warmed up out of it.  I rode him in the pasture and he was being buddy sour.  We worked on walking and trotting and he did well.   I also figured out the reason for my swinging leg is because I wasn't keeping my leg on, but it's difficult with such long legs and such a narrow horse.

11-23-13.  Sidepull.  Aussie Saddle.  25 minutes.

Hubby rode Chrome!!  They did great.  I also share a video of me trotting Chrome (eek my eq is scary!) and ask for suggestions on stopping my leg from swinging in the Aussie saddle.  

11-19-13.  Sidepull.  Bareback.  35 minutes.

I rode out on the road while hubby walked Faran.  Chrome spooked for the first time and I caught it on video!  He spooked at leaves rustling but he was great about everything else.  Vehicles, dogs, etc. nothing bothered him.  We stood talking to a neighbor for ten minutes and he was impatient, but he did a bit better at standing still.  He did try backing up a lot.  

11-7-13.  Sidepull.  Bareback.  20 minutes.

I rode in the pasture with just me and Chrome.  He was a little rusty, forgot how to steer and was being balky.  He also kept veering toward his pasture buddies.  I tried to ride him in the pond, but that was a no go.  He also managed to drag me through some tree limbs due to a misunderstanding and then went off the steep end of the dirt pile.  Other than that he did great.

Two rides for a total of 37 minutes.

9-22-13.  Sidepull.  27 minutes.

My husband walked with us on foot for a short ride down the road, but he didn't have to grab the reins or anything.  Chrome was so good!  He was very excited, but completely under control.  I never once felt like he would bolt or do anything dangerous, so I'm hoping solo trail rides will be in our future soon.  It was just a short ride to the neighbor's house where we stopped to chat for a few minutes.  Chrome was sooooo impatient while we were talking!!!  I need to work on his standing still again.  I think part of it was boredom and part of it was because he's so itchy from his sweet itch.  When he's moving he can ignore it, but when standing still all he has to think about is itching.  I can totally related.  The mosquitoes have been biting me like crazy this year.  He was walking circles, swinging his head all over the place and even tried pawing at one point!  I distracted him by making him walk through a mud puddle that he wasn't too excited about walking through lol.  We eventually went over it.  :)  The ride was around 27 minutes long, but most of it was standing around in the neighbor's yard.

9-4-13.  Bareback.  Sidepull.  10 minutes.

It was only for ten minutes since it's been a while.  Chrome was being pushy and bratty.... vacation needs to end soon lol.  The huge horse flies were out too so that was probably part of his problem. After I walked him around some on the driveway (away from the apple tree that he is currently obsessed with because the ripe apples are falling and it smells soooo sweet!) he was paying attention so we trotted around a little bit.  Then we walked up on the porch, tapped on my brother's window and surprised him with smiles (Chrome did his smile perfectly) hehe.  He thought it was funny. 

One ride for a total of 20 minutes.

6-18-13.  Bareback.  Sidepull.  20 minutes.

Chrome wanted to graze a few times, but I reminded him not to.  He was also veering back toward the pasture if I wasn't holding the reins (like in the pic above), which is so annoying.  One of the things I always loved about him is that he's not barn sour..... but the flies were bothering him so maybe he was just wanting to seek shelter.  When we went up the driveway he was fine.  We both want to trail ride so bad!

We just piddled around playing in the duck pond and Chrome learned to pull apples off of the tree.  

Ten rides for a total of 3 hours and 54 minutes.

5-27-13.  Aussie Saddle.  Sidepull.  30 minutes.  Clicker.

Chrome was a good boy.  I tried practicing the posting trot, but it didn't go well because of the saddle.  We had a surprise during the ride.  A tree limb fell!  I was riding away from the tree when the limb started cracking.  At the sound of cracking Chrome's head popped up and he tucked his butt, but he didn't break stride.  Then it crashed to the ground a second later and he did that again, then stopped when I asked.  Such a good boy!  It scared the crap out of me so I'm happy he stayed so calm.

Before quitting I decided to try something fun first.... cantering!  Chrome cantered.... okay fine he crow hopped three whole stride before dropping back down to a perfectly calm, relaxed walk LOL!  He had no clue what I was asking!!!  I wish the video weren't blurry because he had his neck curled, his back hunched and his butt tucked and looked super cute crow hopping along LOL!  The thing that made me happy though is that I was laughing and wasn't scared at all!  He wasn't being mean or trying to throw me, he was just confused and surprised.  :)  I probably won't try again until we do some in hand work and he knows the cue for canter.

I used the clicker for our trot transitions, but ran out of hay pellets within a few minutes and finished the ride without it.

5-22-13.  Bareback.  Sidepull.  25 minutes.

Second one is a video still.

One of my friends came over and took pictures of me riding Chrome.  :D  We didn't really work on anything other than standing around and posing for about 25 minutes.  I did some trotting too because I wanted videos (which she hasn't sent to me yet), but I did get to see them.  When I first asked him to trot he leaped forward into a trot and dropped his head.  I said "Eh eh eh!" because I thought he was crowhopping or misbehaving, but after watching the video I realized he wasn't misbehaving and was just trotting really big!  I wish I hadn't scolded him!  This is why I can't wait to start taking lessons lol.  I need eyes on the ground.

5-19-13.  Sidepull. 15 minutes.  Chrome's birthday!

To make it interesting I decided to do some "obstacles" around the yard, some we've done before, some we haven't, and my husband playfully scored us hehe.  The obstacles included things like walking over logs, rocks, culverts, walking through water, hindquarter yields and trotting up and down the driveway without breaking into a walk at all.  We've done all of those before (well he hasn't stepped over the  rocks before, they are big ones sitting on edge making a border), but we added some new ones, such as walking under the Wisteria which is hanging on half of a trampoline frame standing up, so it's like a flower covered archway.  We also walked between our grapes and blackberries that are on trellises (it was very narrow, the plants were touching us from both sides).  Also we trotted over one of the fallen trees for the first time (we've always walked)!  It's only about ten inches high, but he sort of hopped.  Not really a jump, but it was still fun.  The second time he trotted over without even breaking stride.  

The last obstacle was totally the best one ever!  We have two plum trees growing near the pasture and our dumb chickens have decided they like roosting in it instead of going into their hen house at night, soooo..... I parked Chrome near the tree and my husband spooked the chickens so they flew right over us!!  Chrome's head popped up, but he never moved!  He's such a good boy!!!!!  I knew he would do awesome because he's used to ducks (we have close to twenty Muscovy ducks) flying around over his head every day.  :)  He didn't know the chickens were up there though so it surprised him, but he did great.  I love this horse!!  So it was a short but fun ride.  Oh and my husband gave us a score of 100 or better for all obstacles and we earned bonus points for doing things twice or goofing off lol.  I didn't tally our score but it was probably somewhere around one hundred kabillion points.  :D

5-17-13.  Bareback.  Sidepull.  20 minutes.

I finally figured out why he was balking!  He was even balking on the driveway, so it wasn't grass.  It's because his legs itch!  When on the driveway I finally gave him the reins when he balked instead of pulling his head up and he started chewing on his leg.  It's either bug bites or sweet itch.  We practiced standing in the grass with me not even holding the reins and he stood perfectly still.  He didn't even try to graze.  Then I had my left hand on the reins at the buckle and took my cell phone out of my pocket with my right hand and he spooked!  It was the first time he's spooked while I was on him.  Something from the neighbor's yard behind us spooked him, but all he did was jump forward (and boy does he have some JUMP when he wants to!) and trotted off.  He stopped when I told him to and everything was fine.  It startled me though because I wasn't paying attention, had the reins by the buckle and we were bareback... good reminder to pay attention while on horseback!!  He is such a good boy though. 

5-15-13.  Bareback.  Sidepull.  25 minutes.

He was being balky in the grass again, but wasn't trying to dive down to eat it.  Still moving out great on the driveway.  We worked on trotting, whoa and standing still.  He did great!  We worked on backing and yielding his haunches a little bit.  

5-13-13.  Bareback.  Sidepull.  25 minutes.

It was late, past his supper time.  We were riding in the pasture and he was being very barn sour.  Balking when moving away from the barn and walking fast when moving toward the barn.  So annoying!  Once again we worked on weaving through trees, stepping over fallen limbs, climbing up and down the dirt pile, etc. to keep him busy.  I even took him out to the back of the pasture where it's open and worked on trotting.  He was getting better about trotting half circles (we've only worked on straight lines since the first trot in the round pen), but it was difficult because he was being so balky.  When he didn't respond to a light calf squeeze I would kick him with my heels.  He quickly figured that out!  

5-11-13.  Bareback.  Sidepull.  20 minutes.

He was being balky when we walked on the grass because he wanted to graze, but walked out great on the driveway.  We worked on his trot and he did great. My dad said he has a great trot.  He stood perfectly still when my husband drove a truck and 16 foot trailer within two or three feet of him.  I also pulled the wagon out of my husband's way from Chrome's back.  It bumped his leg so he turned away from it, but I think he was just yielding from it.  He didn't seem at all scared of it.  

5-9-13.  Aussie Saddle.  Sidepull.  24 minutes.

We rode out on the road for the second time!  He was such a good boy.  He was so eager to be out on the road.  I think he is bored with riding in the yard too.  My husband was with us again and we had the halter on him again.  He only spooked once... if you could call it a spook.  He was eyeballing something as he circled around it, but he never broke from the walk.  When we reached the neighbor's horses (who were galloping around) I got off and walked with him because I didn't know how he would act.  He was excited but fine.  I rode him on the way back home when we went by them again.  My husband held the rope just to be safe, but there was always slack in it.  Chrome tried to trot once because he was so excited, but he calmly slowed to a walk when I asked him to.  He even relaxed and lowered his head, even with the other horses galloping around.  

5-7-13.  Aussie Saddle.  Sidepull. 25 minutes.

I spent part of the ride working on my position and then we worked on holding the trot for longer.  He tries to drop back down to a walk whenever he wants to, but I light nudge is enough to keep him going.  He was great.  Very light off my cues.  I even practiced turning him by holding the buckle and using two fingers on the other hand to lightly cue him to turn.  It was exaggerated, but I wanted to make myself lighten up with my cues so he doesn't get dull.  After trotted around I was able to drop back to a walk and drop the reins on his neck with him walking along like an angel.  This boy is so perfect!  I also practiced mounting from the ground a couple of times and he was great.

5-5-13.  Bareback.  Sidepull.  Clicker.  25 minutes.

I used the clicker to work on teaching Chrome to approach things he was wary about.  My husband was using an air impact on the truck the day before so Chrome was treating the truck like it was a monster.  With clicker I had him approaching it.  Then we worked on standing still (he walked off when I tried to mount and I fell off, but landed on my feet) and backing up.  That was the first time I've ever asked him to back up with me on his back.  He dropped his head and backed with a medium to light pressure on the reins.  Good boy!  He still backs crooked sometimes.  Then we worked on yielding his haunches.  It was hard!  I did eventually get him to yield in one direction, then called it quits because of his locking stifles.  Then we worked on trotting, but my treat pouch bouncing startled him and he dropped back to a walk.  When I held the pouch still he trotted.  Once I clicked for the trot that's all he wanted to do, but he easily dropped to a walk and stopped when I asked.    At one point his trot got floaty and he felt like he would break into the canter, but I clicked him at the trot.  On his third trot I let go of the pouch while we were trotting.  He hesitated (think big half halt), but I clucked and he kept trotting.  

Five rides for a total of 1 hour and 40 minutes.

4-28-13.  Aussie saddle.  Sidepull.  20 minutes.  

We went on our first road ride at our new home!  My husband was walking with us (taking pictures for me!).  We had the halter and lead rope on Chrome just in case I needed help.  He only had to grab the rope once when we went by a pasture with two horses in it.  Chrome gets really excited when he sees other horses.  As soon as we were past them he dropped his head and we rode on the buckle again.  

4-26-13.  20 minutes.

Chrome was being naughty while we rode out in the pasture, trying to turn back to the barn every time I got distracted, so I practiced circling trees, going over fallen trees, climbing the dirt pile, etc. to keep him busy.  When we tried to go through a dark, narrow spot he sucked back and tried to turn around (not really spinning though), but I nudged him and tapped him with the whip and he lowered his head and walked right through.  He's still being lazy so I have to carry the whip.  

4-24.13.  Sidepull.  20 minutes.

Chrome was full of himself and giving everything the hairy eyeball.  He saw a stump, froze with his head up in the air and tried to spin to go back to the pasture, but I was able to easily stop him and he walked by the stump.  He has started to try to walk off while mounting, but he does good standing still while I'm on him (although if he gets really bored he will try to paw the air).  Riding around the yard is boring!

4-22-13.  Bareback.  Sidepull.  25 minutes.

We rode around the yard and then chased my dad on the four wheeler.  He tried to canter, but he caught me off guard when he ducked his head so I pulled him up before he could canter.  We worked on the trot more and had fun.

4-5-13.  Bareback.  Sidepull.  15 minutes.

His transitions have improved immensely due to the longeing work we've done.  His trot cue was perfect.  It was so big I had to grab his mane to hold on.  His downward transitions were perfect too.  He had better tempo on straight lines.  This was our first time riding completely alone with no other human there and we were riding in his five acre pasture.  

Two rides for a total of 35 minutes.

3-18-13.  Aussie saddle and bareback.  Sidepull.  Clicker.  20 minutes.

We trotted under saddle for the first time (well okay we had trotted three or four strides two or three other times).  We were in the round pen and he had trouble maintaining the trot on a circle.  So out of shape!  We started with the saddle, but he was being balky so I pulled it off.  He was no different bareback, so I don't think the saddle had anything to do with it.  

3-8-13.  Bareback.  Sidepull.  Approx. 15 minutes. We just piddled around and he was lazy!

One ride for a total of 15 minutes.

Ride 15
2-14-13.  Aussie Saddle.  Sidepull.  Approx. 15 minutes.

Chrome was being balky (maybe saddle didn't fit?) so I used a pine limb as a crop (need to find mine).  Even with the crop he still walked slow and kept wanting to stop on his own.  We walked through mud puddles several times and he did really well.  Steering is a little better, but it still takes a strong pull.

Two rides for a total of 25 minutes.

Ride 14
1-19-13.  Bareback.  Sidepull.  Approx. 15 minutes.

 We just piddled around a little.  He offered standing on his pedestal and lateral flexion for treats, but I didn't have any.  I turned sideways on his back and then backwards.  Walking around while sitting backwards feels so weird!  I used to do that all the time.  On the way back out to the barn I swung the lead rope at his haunches and asked him to trot.  We trotted five or six steps away from the house, toward the barn.

Ride 13
1-14-13.  Bareback.  Sidepull.  Clicker.  10 minutes.

Chrome works MUCH better when I use the clicker!!  I worked on lateral flexion first and it definitely helped our steering.  I asked my husband to lead him (he was hesitant about the mud, i.e. balking) so I could click for an energetic walk.  Then we asked for a trot.  He didn't know what we were asking for at first, but eventually he trotted.  I could tell he got his cue from my husband jogging though and had no clue I was asking him to trot.  We only trotted a few strides each time.  The second time he figured it out faster, but was more hesitant.  The third time he eagerly trotted off!  After that I clicked for walking so he wouldn't get too excited. 

Twelve rides total.
Total Time: Approx. 2.5 to 3 hours.

Ride 12
12-25-12.  Bareback with saddle pad because he was wet.  Sidepull.  Approx. 10 minutes.

I rode Chrome in the snow for the first time ever and on Christmas day!   Chrome wanted to go into the trees to get out of the falling snow so we practiced steering (getting much better!), ducking limbs, walking down narrow trails, etc.  He is going to make a spectacular trail horse I can already tell! 

Ride Eleven
11-13-12.  Bareback.  Sidepull.  Not sure how long... maybe 20 or 30 minutes?

My husband sat on Chrome for a minute.  That was the first time someone else has been on his back.  He was so relaxed I thought he would fall asleep lol.  I rode Chrome on the road for the first time!  My husband led us at first, but turned us loose when we realized he was going to be fine.  I had a lot of trouble steering so we didn't go far.  He was energetic and excited, but calm.  On the way home he dropped his head and slowed down like he wasn't ready to go home lol.  Chrome was so unconcerned about being out on the road that he was playing with his rope.  :)

Once back out in the pasture Chrome kept trying to wander off into the pasture, so I finally let him just to see what he wanted.  He wanted to poop and pee!  There are a lot of horses who refuse to pee while being ridden so I was pleased that he was relaxed enough to do so.  We rode around more in the pasture and he was great!

Ride Ten
8-9-12.  Aussie Saddle.  Sidepull.  Clicker.  Not sure how long, but it was under 30 minutes.

This was Chrome's first time being ridden in a saddle.  He hadn't worn the saddle in a while so I jogged around with him a bit to make sure he didn't want to buck.  He was fine so I got on.  He was relaxed with his head down while walking around, but he was also alert and energetic.  At one point he was acting googly eyed at the ducks, but he never spooked.  I even stood in the stirrups with my arms in the air and he was fine.  We didn't work on anything specific, just walked around to see how he liked the saddle.

Ride Nine
6-19-12.  Bareback.  Sidepull.  Clicker.  Not sure how long.

This is what I wrote in the post:  "Keep in mind while shooting this video I was not using clicker training, we were just goofing off.  :D  I did some clicker work with him after I put the camera away (since I only have two hands lol).  He did fantastic.  He offered a long and low frame the entire time.  He was walking out really well and only got stuck once I think.  Almost as soon as I put my leg on him and said walk on he started walking again.  Good boy!  We also chased the donkey (at a walk of course), ran into Faran and ran into the round pen (didn't hurt my leg thank goodness lol).  We still have to work on steering eventually lol.  For now I'm focusing on forward, forward, forward!"

Ride Eight
6-14-12.  Bareback.  Sidepull.  Clicker.  10 minutes.

This is what I wrote in the post:  "I rode him out in the open on the thirty acres of lease land for the second time and I didn't try to steer at all this time.   In fact I had the reins by the buckle and just let them rest on his withers the whole time.  We worked on walking forward with energy in a long and low frame.  He was a rock star!!  I love this horse!

He was so energetic, enthusiastic and eager to please.  :D  He got confused at one point and kept backing up (because we worked on backing in hand with the cordeo recently), but other than that he got it all right.  I alternated between clicking after only a step or two and waiting to click after six or seven steps.  The early clicks were for the really prompt, energetic walk transitions and the long clicks were for walking forward energetically with his head down in a long and low frame.  He figured it out so fast!"

Ride Seven
6-12-12.  Bareback.   Sidepull.  15 minutes.

This is what I wrote in the post:  "Yesterday's ride was our first time riding out in the open on the thirty acres we lease.  I put Chrome's bitless bridle on, climbed on bareback and off we went (with no clicker/treats).  My husband was handwalking Faran so we sort of just followed them around.  Chrome kept wanting to go off on his own explorations, but I gently guided him back after Faran.  He also sometimes would just stop and not want to move.  I noticed he does not like going up and down slopes.  I guess because it feels weird or maybe he doesn't have the muscles for it yet or maybe I weigh too much for him right now . . . not sure.  When he acted uncomfortable going downhill I would just guide him so that he was walking the slope instead of going up or down.  He was trotting, galloping, bucking and playing later on just fine so I know he's not lame or anything.  I think it's just because he's not used to carrying weight.  So anyway, I only rode for fifteen minutes and he did awesome.  :)"

Ride Six
6-5-12.  Bareback.  Sidepull.  Less than 15 minutes.

This is what I wrote in the post:  "I'm trying to work on only one criteria at a time, such as go, then whoa, then steering, etc. When he seems to understand one thing and I move on to the next it's like he's completely forgotten the first thing he learned . . . which makes it difficult to do anything considering the first thing we worked on was go! You can't do much riding if he doesn't want to walk."

Ride Five
5-31-12.  Bareback with blanket.  Sidepull.  10 minutes.

I rode without the clicker to show the difference in how he acts.  He started out walking forward energetically, but when he got zero feedback (no click) he stalled out and was confused.  He didn't understand what I wanted and he was bored.  I realized after the ride that he was limping a little too.  I can watch the video to remember what happened.

Ride Four
5-26-12.  Bareback with blanket. Sidepull.  Clicker.  Not sure how long.

Chrome did great.  We worked on having him lower his head with me on his back for the first time and then started doing it while he walked.  He responded energetically to my walk on cue.  He was even steering just a little.  At one point he trotted downhill with me a couple of strides, catching me so off guard that I squealed like a little girl lol.  We worked on whoa a little, but he was slow to respond and didn't seem to catch on very quickly.

Ride Three
5-22-12.  Bareback.  Sidepull.  Just a few minutes.

I just sat on him for pictures, which is why I don't have a helmet on.

Ride One and Two
5-19-12.  Bareback.  Halter/Reins for 1st.  Sidepull for 2nd.  Clicker for 2nd.  10 minutes each.

 Both rides are on video at the link above.  The first one I was led around and when we knew he was fine I let him walk around with me wherever he wanted to go.  The second one I used the clicker.  It was very disorganized while I tried to figure out how to feed him lol.  Just watch the videos.  :)

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