Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday's Discussion: What's your training issue?


Remember the little rescued chestnut Arabian mare that I posted a few weeks ago, wondering where she came from (since it's obvious to me she's a very nice horse?) Just wanted to update you all that she is on a foster-to-adopt situation with a 14 year old girl. They are pictured at left at the beach last weekend. I hear she was a superstar about it. How much happier of an ending can you get for a horse who was almost a sandwich in France?

I know this may be a little hard to follow but I thought it'd be a fun thread anyway. We have some really fantastic trainers here - I've already seen this blog to be a wealth of information and often I learn things myself that prove valuable. As we all know, no matter how long you have been doing this, you are always learning. So I'm thinking that today we should all post our current training issues with our horses, and see who has a great solution/tactic that we haven't thought of yet. Remember to post some history so those responding have the big picture!

Here's mine. I have a three year old who is coming along great except for one thing. He is just the biggest wuss on earth about having his girth tightened. You would think I was killing him. Every time, we go through the same things...he lunges forward or runs backward no matter how slowly and gently I do it. I reprimand him, of course, but it is hard to tighten an English girth while simultaneously reminding a solidly built, 16.2 horse that HO means you stop moving your feet. I need a third arm and it would help if it were three feet long. :-) Now we have a new behavior - kicking out. He's not kicking at me, but he's kicking backward and any kicking is not acceptable. Again, not the easiest trick to (a) hold the horse (b) tighten an English girth (c) keep the saddle from going flying and (d) visit the wrath of Hell upon the Bad Horsie for his unacceptable equine behavior.

Obviously I've looked for soreness and haven't found anything, nor has he been worked hard enough in any way to be sore. All we are doing is light longeing and ground work with tack on, and then I lean on him from both sides, hop in each stirrup, the usual green horse stuff. He is very quiet to deal with once the girth is tight, and shows no soreness/discomfort/pissy behavior once it is, he just deeply resents the process. I am using a fleece lined girth with elastic on both ends. I can't be much kinder to him. Thoughts/strategies? As for history, he's never had a bad experience with anything - he's had a totally abuse-free, wonderful life - but he also hasn't been asked to do much more than stand for the farrier and lead like a gentleman prior to the past six weeks.

All right, what is your current training issue with your horse? Let's hear them!

On other news:

The poor little skinny pony has been upgraded by readers of this blog, along with another mare in the same condition. Here is the thread on the message board. I am sending a huge round of virtual applause to 2manyminis, GitanosMommy and NCCatnip for showing, yet again, that the good horsepeople of the world really will use their own time, effort and money to help horses in need. I personally think this pony is going to turn out way cuter than any of us can envision at the moment, and I will be positively gleeful if he winds up being someone's show pony. (Last year, a friend of mine rescued a $500 pony from a kill buyer. Another friend and I got pony broke and started over X's and resold for $2500. Pony resold several months thereafter for $8000. Pony, who was almost pony sandwich, is now an A circuit pony. I love it when that happens!)

For today's Friday rescue horse, I thought it would be great to show a horse that the Friends of Barbaro on the Alex Brown board bailed out that was genuinely rescued and not just used as a way to $cam money off of kindhearted folks on the Internet! Johnny B Quick is a well bred 1996 Thoroughbred gelding who was rescued from an auction in poor condition by Celtic Rein Equine Rescue.

He turned out to be sound and a lovely riding horse, and is currently available for lease to someone in Harford or Baltimore County, Maryland.

Cool, huh? A rescue that took your money AND USED IT TO REHAB THE HORSE! Wow!

Isn't he beautiful?

Have a great weekend with your horses!