Archive for May, 2003

PostHeaderIcon JR’s Journal- JR the Tall is a Guard Horse

May 27, 2003
 I was out in the pasture yesterday. The horses were across the lake. I walked way over there to see them and to trim some nasty saplings growing around the lake.The dogs came with me…as they always do. Cricket,our black dog, just got her 25lbs of hair removed in her yearly summer trim. She turned into a small short haired dog with a cute little bandana. JR saw me and started walking towards me to say HI. Then he started running to me. “WOW,” I thought, “He’s really happy to see me!” His focus had changed to Cricket. JR was in full pursuit of the strange black dog, and Cricket was running for her life! He chased little Cricket ALL the WAY around the lake. She barely escaped thru the gate.JR didn’t recognize Cricket as a small short haired dog! He was protecting the herd!

I didn’t realize that JR was the pasture guard!

Cricket didn’t come back into the pasture on that day.


PostHeaderIcon JR’s Journal – Susan’s Big Blank Duh Look

JR and I were in a combined L2 and L3 clinic today doing just lovely.

We do have a horse in the clinic that tends to get upset when another horse
comes near him or touches him. I knew that from being in an earlier clinic
with him…but I got too close.

All of sudden we heard the squeal, the back up to kick, only we were too
close. The horse whirled and then the head snaked at us. Ears pinned and
teeth barred. The horse went in for the big bite and back up.
In a few hours after the dust settled, maybe in real time it was a
millisecond, I saw that the horse had my reins in his mouth. He was pulling
on my reins.

I sat there with a dumbfounded look on my face. DUH! After a few more
hours which might have been millisecond #2, the other rider slapped her horse with her mecate and he dropped the rein.

JR and I went running to JENNY! Jenny told me that when things go bad like
that, get off the horse! You have no idea what is going to happen…and
anything could happen. My best bet would have been to quickly get off.

I made my face go DUH again with a big blank look so everyone could see what a quick thinker I had been when danger started.

A lesson learned.

Why does this horse do this? It’s not because he is dominant and hates other
horses. It’s because he’s scared of other horses and puts on this great act,
so no one will know it.

During the rest of the clinic, we worked on those fears. First, we put him
near other horses and when he snaked his head and started after a horse, he
got to canter for a long time. He got to do flying lead changes. It took
two times before he settled down in a group of horses.

Next, some of the riders with a treat in their pocket came over and fed him.
Wow…that was a great surprise for him.

Lastly, we stood next to him and petted him with a carrot stick. His whole
attitude had drastically changed when the clinic was over. Not to say that
he was cured…but Jenny gave the owner some things to do at home to further work on this.

whew..Ok, here it is again…The big Blank look with open mouth…Duh

PostHeaderIcon Velvet – Flying Lead Changes

This is a post from the woman (me) who had given up on FLC as Velvet would never do them consistently…in 5 years.

This is a post from the woman (me) who was shocked to discover that Velvet had passed the L2 Flying Change Lead task the other day while in a group lesson.

Here’s a another shocker:  I decided to work on the L3 task…counter
canter. You must canter once around an arena or area in a counter canter.
Velvet has been making great improvement in her ability to counter canter.
Last year we were a ruderless ship while going around a corner at the counter canter, inspiring a lot of quiet screams from the passenger (me).

SO…I tell her to counter canter and as we go around a corner, she does a
flying lead change. Huh? I say. Then we did a figure 8 to try and get back
into the counter-canter mode again. Nope, we did a flying lead change in the
middle. Huh? sez I.

I will set this up so that she can’t do a flying lead change. On the next figure 8 trip into the middle, I told her to go diagonally through the center. There was none of that come through the middle looking the way you’re going and then changing your focus. Nope, we just went on a nice diagonal through the middle with my focus straight ahead.

Yep…as soon as she figured it out that we were going a different direction …flying lead change!

GOOD GAD!!!! She’s become a gaited reining horse!

I leaped out of the saddle, ripped the saddle off her back and took her to
the treat place in the barn. Velvet and I have tried for 5 years to do flying
lead changes!  She was rewarded greatly for her effort that night.

Counter canter will come later!


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