Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Tough Tuff Day

Tuff says, "Who me? Whatd I do??"

So I know its been awhile since I've blogged last! Its been raining nearly every day the past few weeks. SO ANNOYING! Finally got a clear day that I had nothing else to do on, so I went out to brush Tuff and work with him a bit. I knew he'd be a hairy shedding beast because I haven't brushed him since they started shedding.

I was right! I got all my gear together and tied him to the hitching post and got to work. The little BIL came out and he got on one side with a curry comb and I got on the other and away we went for about 10-15 mins straight, and still was getting a lot off! But we did get most of it...for now, lol. I can't wait till he's all slicked out. I think hes going to be just as white as he was last summer if not whiter. (thats a weird looking word...)

So he was okay for most of that, more fidgety then I'd like, and wanting to get into everything. He has gotten a little annoying with his feet too, well mostly just fronts, but he's always had a hard time balancing himself. He was pretty good though.

So I had brought out the surcingle because I was wanting to ground drive him for the second time. As I was putting his pad and that on, and then his bitless bridle, I was thinking, maybe I should be getting him hooked up to the lunge line instead and letting him get some of this energy out. Because I could tell he just was in one of those fidgety "I'm not listening!!!" moods. But I decided to just see how things went first.

So I walked him around a bit just to make sure the surcingle wasn't going to bother him, then back to the post. Hooked up his lines and then drove him back up the slight hill over towards the main part of the yard (where I was driving him in the video I have of it) and he was going at a pretty good clip. Which meant our stops were very slow in coming (like last time). But the thing that most annoyed me was he wouldn't be STILL. I'd ask him to woah, he would woah and IMMEDIATELY take off walking again. We did this dozens of times. I was getting so frustrated. I thought eventually, hes going to get that I want him to wait on my cue. He's gonna get it!! But finally I just took the lines off, unbuckled the reins from the surcingle and made his butt work around in a little circle around me. And I mean WORK IT. He was loping a few strides sometimes I had him going so good.

Boy was he surprised! He was defenitely paying attention to me NOW! We did that both sides for a bit and I also made him hustle backwards a few times, and then I let him rest, adjusted his pad and such, like nothing had happend. Then I got the lines and put them back on. We had moved away from them a bit and I told him to woah, went and got one, then the other, and guess what?? HE DIDN'T MOVE. Eureka! ;)

So lets just say after his come to Jesus moment, we had a much better go of it. He was stopping quite well, and was STANDING until I told him to go off again, which I did very clearly with loud clicks and WALLLKKK and a wave of the reins on one side. So he knows exactly what means go. Of course he wasn't perfect he would take a step or act like he was going to move a few times, but the thing is when I said woah and pulled on the reins he STOPPED. And stood. A lot of times when I would halt him he would stop and cock a foot, I liked that, that meant he was relaxed and going to wait. Thank youuuuu. Why couldn't he have done that to begin with, geesh.

I think that at first he was thinking "oh, I'm out here by myself and I can just waltz around and do whatever I want, no one is controlling me! Ladee da.....mmm, grass, ohhh, I want to go here, or here, not there. Why do I need to stand still?? Thats no fun! Whats this over here??" Sigh. Terrible 2 year olds!!! (Tuff turns 2 in less then a month! April 29th!)

Sooo, I was a little dissapointed, but he did work out of his stupid moment, so thats good. But I don't want to have to whip his butt around every time just to get him to listen and respect me. Maybe he will get it soon and that wont be necessary.

The surcingle was a lot of help, kept the reins out of the way and also kept my lines up out of the way of his hooves! I think it also helped with the turning cues being more precise. Its not snug on him yet, but it tightens enough to stay in place good enough. He did well with it, thats the first time I've had that on him and done any work in it. No issues at all with that.

So after he did a few good stops and walked around calmly I was happy with that and took him back to the tie post. He stood like a good boy there, better then he has in a long time, and I untied him and put him back in the pasture before he decided to do otherwise! lol

So in conclusion: not a bad session, but not a 'good' one either. Just a learning experience I guess. I feel a little worried I got a little harsh with him a few times, I have a hard time controlling my temper at times, but I did my best and I think he was okay. I tried to be my best impession of mugwump, lol, I love her training methods and whenever I work with horses now I strive to emulate her. Go read her blog if you don't already! Mugwump Chronicles

I wanted to go ride Daisy but I was kind of tired and down about the session with Tuff, so didn't want to bring my bad attitude out there. Besides I think we will be moving them into their spring pasture soon (the one where there is a nice area to ride in! Thats where we did our lope last year) so I might wait till then. I found plans yesterday for jump making! Can't wait to get one put together and pop her over it! (pop will probably be the key word, a pop from the crop! haha) That over there will be a much better place to do jumping. I hope she (the owner) doesn't mind if I have one set up there, I don't know why she would though...she seems like a nice older lady.

I think I will have the hubby put jump cups at the 1ft and 2ft marks. Lord knows neither of us needs to go any higher then that!! I'm not going to spend the money on actual jump cups so I found a design they use for dog agility jumps that I will prolly use. Or something similar. Its out of pvc pipe. I will def have to adjust the design, but its a good idea to start with.

Anybody have ideas for homemade jump cups?? I've heard of the detergent/bottle type...little ugly though, lol.

Anyway, no pics of our session! I had my camera but I was definitely not in the mood to document! So theres one at top, and heres another, of him the other day. Still very fuzzy!




Oh, ps! I went on another ride with the mother the Sat before last. Had fun! It was a lot less windy and a lot less cold! The horses were still raring to go though! Even Cisco, he usually poops out about 10 mins in, but not that day! We had fun though and went a bit farther then before. And spent a lot less time in the round pen, haha. Heres a few pics:


Dixies mane I braided! Hers is the perfect length and thickness for it. I did Tuffs like this yesterday but his isnt as thick so it didn't look near as good.

And heres us, my meme took the picture for us :)



And here is Ditzy dog cooling off in the pond afterwards, hehe, she followed us.

Ta ta!
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