Mustang

Mustangs are one of the most wildest horses in the world. 'Mustang' in Spanish means running wild. It all started when a bunch of Spanish moor horses where brought to Mexico by Captain Cortez. There were no horses in America until he brought his Spanish moor horses. Some of the younger moor horses were restless. These horses weren't very good to be war horses. Some of them started to wander away from their owners and make herds of their own in the valleys. They weren't missed much (partly because they weren't very good for war horses). They kept on wandering and starting their own herds. The Spanish called them Mustangs (running wild). These Mustangs changed from their Spanish moor ways into wild Mustangs. Soon there were spots and patches of different colors mixed into the Mustangs, instead of just the plain coat color of the moor horses. 

Indians were afraid of the Spanish and of their horses. The Indians were made into slaves and they were very scared of the 'monsters' (Spanish riders). But then they started to notice that the riders and horses where not one thing. They watched closely how the Spanish mounted and dismounted their horses. Some of the Indians even wanted to ride these horses and some ran away on the Spanish moor horses. Soon, many Indians learned that horses were their friends. The Indians found many of the wandering Mustangs and used them for many things. They became better riders than the Spanish themselves! They often rounded up wild horses and then herd out a Mustang that would catch their eye.

When the settlers moved in they also started rounding up the Mustangs. The Mustangs were usually used for cutting, but when there were mustangs that couldn't be broke, they were often used for rodeos. As soon as a rider would get himself into the saddle, the Mustang would go mad, bucking, kicking, swinging around to the right and left. And he would soon buck off his rider sending him into the dust!

Later they would round the horses with planes. They would be driven into a corral to be used for rodeo buckers, cow ponies, or worst of all, meat. But sometimes some lucky Mustangs would escape and run wild again. 

(Picture by Noelle Harris)

Is it harder to scoop poop after it rained?

Mostly, yes it is harder to scoop poop after it has rained because the poop gets more muddy and will mix with the dirt that turns into mud. This makes it much harder to scoop it up while trying not to get the mud as well. Also when the ground is made mostly of pebbles, it's difficult to scoop. The poop will get muddy-like and mix with the pebbles which is harder than the mud because pebbles are much harder to get out. 

After raining it's very hard to scoop poop!

Sunny days are much easier to scoop poop! 


Manus

A horse’s 'manus' (hand) is the knee and down. Below the knee is there forecannon. Under that is there Fetlock (ankle). And right under the fetlock is the pastern. Then the Coronet which connects the hoof to the pastern. I talked about the rest of the hoof in my other blog (http://horsehaven.posthaven.com/toe-quarter-heel-and-more-of-the-hoof). 

The manus/hand starts from the knee down. Here is a picture to show you what I mean. (Pic below)

Videos of riding and lessons

This first video was when I was learning how to put on a bridle and saddle. They were both easier than I thought. This is also one of my first times putting on a bridle. But now I know how to put on a bridle and saddle very easily!


I usually walk or trot and very little loping. 

This video is of the last time I rode Raleigh. I am trying to get used to trotting and steering at the same time. I am getting better at trotting but steering when Raleigh's trotting is one of the hardest things to do.  Also, when I was trotting Raleigh I experienced loping! That was a little scary for me. I was trying to get him to trot but he bolted into a lope instead and I was kind of scared when he did since I hardly ever loped before!

How to saddle up a horse

A few days ago I got lessons on how to put on a saddle from my teacher. It was easier than I thought but still not too easy. And so today I am going to show you how to put on a saddle:

  1. First groom the horse before you put anything on. 
  2. Then put the blanket on and make sure you have the blanket over the withers. 
  3. When that's done lift the saddle on top. 
  4. Then make sure the girth strap is nice and tight. 
(Art by Noelle Harris)
Then check everything and see that nothing is off. Slip off the halter and put the bridle on. To do this: 
  1. First hold the bridle by the top and with the other hand stick your fingers in the horse's mouth so the horse will open its mouth for you. 
  2. Then when the horse's mouth is open slip the bit in and as soon as that is in, slip the top of the bridle over the horse's ears. 
  3. Then strap the throat strap loosely under the horse's throat. 
(Art by Noelle Harris)
Then you're ready to go! But always, before you get on the horse, make sure to check girth strap one more time.
And, it's best to lunge the horse before riding so the horse will be a little tired out and won't have so much energy. 
(Art by Noelle Harris)

Knowing how to put the different tack things on the horse.

Soon I will know how to put on a saddle and a bridle so I could ride Raleigh by myself. There are a few things I know I should know:

  • How to tie a horse: there are some ways on how to tie up a horse. A normal knot won’t do because if the horse is in danger (like if there’s a fire starting near by) then you want to tie the horse so that you could easily untie him as fast as you can. I don’t know what this type of tie is called but I see lots of other people do it. To me it reminds me of a braid but much faster and not as pretty. I think Mrs. Elliot showed me once but I forgot. This tie is very interesting, the horse cannot get away from it. It stops the horse if he tries to get away from it, but all you have to do to untie is really easy. You pull the other end of the rope and it comes undone. Usually I just loop the rope around the fence/pole so that way I can undo it and so can Raleigh. Some people will do this too but it’s not that much of a good idea with Raleigh. Raleigh starts to try and eat the grass and since he can undo the rope he just eats when he’s supposed to be tied up. So what I do now is I loop the rope more than just once so that he can’t pull away from it, although I'm not very fast on untying it. So that is one thing I get to hopefully learn from my teacher.
  • The other thing is putting the saddle on the horse. I have put a saddle on before, but with the help of other people. To me there are so many straps and things that it's hard for me to remember. 
  • The last thing is the bridle. So far I think I know how to put the bridle on. But some bridles are different than others. And they get confusing to me. But mrs. Elliot has the bridles that I can put on so at least there’s one thing that I think I can do. 
There may be more things I should know. I already know how to groom the horse (brush him, clean hoofs and things like that). I know how to put the halter and the training halter on. And of course, I know how to use the different lead ropes. I can lunge him and do other training things for the horse. And lastly, I know the thing I first worked on, scooping the poop! (which isn’t that bad)

Here is a picture that I drew of a horse saddled up!
(Art by Noelle Harris)

Lunging Lessons

Today I got lunging lessons from Mrs Fenwick down at the EQ center. This was what I really needed! Raleigh himself didn’t really understand lunging yet but he could do it and so can any other horse.

The biggest reason it wasn't working for me when I tried it before was that I wasn’t being hard enough on him. I was being too easy on him and letting him do what he wanted to. This means we are both unhappy. :(
(Art by Noelle Harris)
 He wasn’t being respectful enough and I didn’t understand the lunging too well. But now I can understand it much better. And I also learned that I could even whip him (lightly at first) if he really didn’t listen. At the end of everything he did seem different toward me. And he was more respectful and followed me as well, knowing that if he wasn’t with me (where he could rest), he would have to work again. And he would gladly follow me! But if he didn’t and told me to “get lost” I would have to make him work until he wanted very badly to be with me. As he learned, I learned, and this way it was very useful. Over time, he listened very well to me! (Much more than I expected!) 

By the end he was very tired and he stood still while I brushed him, instead of walking off and trying to eat some more grass. Mrs. Fenwick said I should not let him eat for a little while so he could think about the lunging and work he just did. And I’m glad he understood better than I thought, because I will hopefully lunge him every day or every other day! Mrs. Fenwick said this will help him and his owner, Mrs. Elliot. Mrs. Elliot has trouble on getting him to stop and getting him to lope. I can make him do it on the ground easier and this will help him to learn and obey when riding! So this will be helping me (by learning), Raleigh (by respecting and listening to commands) and Mrs Elliot (by riding better and being happy on the ride without fights of trying to get him to lope or stop).

What Raleigh is most scared of:

Raleigh seems not to be scared of anything. In fact, when I try to whip the rope on the ground he always looks bored. He would walk across any tarp and not care at all (most horses get scared when they get near a tarp). It’s only when I jump at him unexpectedly that he jumps a little. But that of course is normal and not really a bad habit. The only thing that did scare him or make him uneasy was when I put my hands on his back and jump up and down. He would walk away every time. So I practiced on this and now he doesn’t get scared in the least. When I got on him he would just stand there lazily (which is very good).  As long as I keep my feet together and lay along his back, he won’t care. And even if he really did buck or get jumpy I could slip off and I heard that a horse would never buck backwards so I’ll be pretty safe. But I know of course he wouldn’t get jumpy unless something really surprises him.

Mrs. Elliot told me that she once sent him to a horse trainer to see what he was most afraid of, in order to fix that problem. He wasn’t really afraid of anything and didn’t need the training that much, but once when the trainer went on a trail ride with him something did make him buck and run off. This was because there was a deer or some other wild animal that darted across nearby. That scared him and he bucked off his rider and ran off. But other than that, I don’t think he is scared of much.

Besides the other problems he has (not going far from his paddock, trotting when not asked and not stopping when asked), he would be the perfect horse! And still in a way he is!

How to teach a horse to trust you

I really needed lunging lessons! The reason was because Raleigh seemed now not to go around me as he should. He stands there and no matter what I do, he won’t do anything. Although sometimes without expecting it I would jump at him and he would start going. But then he would always stop after about five seconds.  I know I must have been doing something wrong and I didn’t want to give up because I am not supposed to let him win so easily. So I am going to get two lessons with my teacher and the other with Mrs Fenwick (The first person who I knew down at the EQ center). So while I’m waiting I have decided on working the other training for Raleigh instead of the lunging.

Horses need to learn to not be afraid. When they're afraid, they can kick or buck, which can hurt the rider or people around him. The method is to try and scare him. That may seem weird or mean to try and scare him but I’m not hurting him. And the reason I am trying to find a way to scare him is that anything that scares him I need to keep doing until he knows that it's crazy to be scared of it. For example, horses are afraid of the trainer whipping the rope on the ground, or waving her hands in the air, or even the sight or sound of plastic bags. 

Here's what to do to help a horse overcome fear: when whipping the rope on the ground, this makes a horse scared.  Hold on the lead rope and keep whipping the rope on the ground until he finally stands still and relaxes himself. This teaches him that you aren’t going to harm him so he shouldn’t be so scared and jumpy around you. You could get hurt by a horse that gets scared thinking you were going to whip him but really you just dropped the rope.

I learned these things from Clinton Anderson. And another thing I did with Raleigh was climb up on his back with my legs straight along his back, not putting my legs apart and on each side of him, but laying flat on his back with my head on his mane near the withers. Then I rub him all over, which also tells him that no matter what, I will never really harm him. Then I push myself back, rub him some more push myself back, rub him some more until I slide off to the hind quarters. This is something else I learned from Clinton Anderson. I only did this once because he was shedding in this time of season. And I was FULL of hair! It did take me some time to finally get most of the hair off! But at least that worked out perfectly!
(Art by Noelle Harris)
(This method is also use for getting young horses used to you being on there back before riding for the first time).

Toe, Quarter, Heel and more of the hoof

I did this yesterday during my school work.

(Picture by Noelle Harris)

Skin, Coronet, Periople, Toe, Quarter and Heel are parts of the horse's hoof.

I didn't know that there was three sections on a horse's hoof. I heard that there was a toe, but now I know where it is. Not only that but the quarter and heel. I have never heard of the coronet or the periople at all before. But awhile back I found out what they are. They are pretty useful sometimes and it was interesting to look at Raleigh's hoof.