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. 

Lunging a horse

This is what I mean when I am talking about lunging:

(Picture by Noelle Harris)
The horse goes around the person in the middle. The person in the middle can tell the horse to walk, trot and lope. When getting the horse to trot, the horse must show respect towards the owner (the person in the middle). Not only is this teaching respect, but it is exercising the horse. Sometimes it's better to lunge the horse first before riding, because when you get on, the horse will listen better and won't be too jumpy with energy. It also helps the horse to understand you better when you lunge him first.

Scared horse

I watched a very fascinating video that Clinton Anderson did. He helped out with someone's horse and trained the horse to not be afraid. He helped the horse to trust his owner and know that his owner wouldn’t hurt him. Clinton also trained the horse by lunging. And in the end the horse was no longer shy or scared. 

The horse was first ridden to see how he was acting (jumpy and almost bucking). Then his saddle was taken off and with a halter, was lunged. He didn’t know how to lunge but he soon learned. Then he had a long lunge rope being put across his withers (shoulders) and back until he calmed down and got used to it. This was to get the horse to understand that his owner wasn’t going to hurt him. Then the rope was swiped across his neck and legs. Then Anderson made the owner lean on his horse and lay bare back to get him used to having a person on his back. And soon the horse was a very different horse than he was before!

To see the video click here —> 
(Video by DUhorseman youtube)

Lunging a lazy horse

Lunging is when a horse walks, trots, lopes or gallops around you in a circle; you are in the center of the arena, and they are moving around the inside perimeter.

When lunging a lazy horse, he will usually come to you without being asked but it’s ideal if he comes to you only when he’s told.  Or, he will be slower in his step and less respectful to you or to whoever is lunging him. In that case, you will have to make him go faster and keep him at it longer. He will learn more and will have more respect toward you.  Initially, he will slow down a lot without you asking him to, but he will learn from you the more you do it. 

Here is a bad habit Raleigh has, that I’m trying to change with lunging techniques: when I try to turn him to go the other way, he turns his back toward me. When lunging, all horses are not supposed have their back toward you. They are to turn with their front to the way you want him to go. When a horse shows his hindquarters towards you, that usually means disrespect. Raleigh isn’t trying to be disrespectful, he hasn’t learned lunging very well and doesn’t know he’s not supposed to do that. But he will learn the more lunging he gets. 
(Picture by Noelle Harris)

Marguerite Henry

Marguerite Henry is one of my favorite authors.  So I am going to talk about her. 

She was the youngest of five children and her mother and father where Louis and Anna Breithaupt. When Marguerite was the age of six she had a fever called ‘rheumatic’ fever. She had to stay in bed for six years! During that time, she mostly read books about animals, since she wasn’t allowed to go to school because she might get others sick. She loved reading and also became interested in writing when she got a writing desk for Christmas.

When she was the age of 11, she sold her first book. She was paid $12 (which now would be about $250) for the book she wrote called “Hide-and-Seek in Autumn Leaves” (which I have not read yet). She mostly wrote stories about animals like dogs, cats, birds, foxes (one of my favorite animals) and mules. But what she loved the most was horses! 

When she was older she married Sidney Crocker Henry. During their 64 years of marriage, Marguerite Henry owned many pets, most of which she wrote about and studied. She was looking for a illustrator to illustrate ‘Justin Morgan Had a Horse’ (which is a true and loving book). Marguerite Henry found two illustrators that she knew would be perfect for her books.  One was Will James and the other Wesley Dennis. But when she found out that Will James had passed away, she picked Wesley Dennis. Marguerite Henry and Wesley Dennis did 15 books together! Misty of Chincoteague, Justin Morgon Had a Horse and Brighty of the Grand Canyon, were all made into movies around 1947.

Marguerite Henry finished her last book, Brown Sunshine of Sawdust Valley, just before she died on November 26, 1997 at the age of 95. She died at home in Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego County.  I hope to read all of her books and then start my own story books like hers!    

In the picture below, I drew the horses from several of Marguerite Henry's books.
(Picture by Noelle Harris)

Chincoteague island story

The following story is a summary of what I read in a book written by Marguerite Henry:

Chinicoteague is a small island next to bigger island called Assateague. Both islands are in Virginia, and every year something amazing happens! A long time ago, a Spanish galleon ship was wrecked in a storm. On the galleon were ponies.  Some of the ponies died but the stronger ponies swam to shore. Every human aboard drowned and only those few ponies who swam ashore were saved. After many years they became wild herds that ran free on Chinicoteague Island. And even today they still run free on the very same island. So every year the people who lived on Assateague island would have a huge roundup on Chincoteaugue Island.  They would drive them into the river that ran between Chincoteague and Assateague island. The horses swam from Chincoteague to Assateague where they were put into a huge pen. Then the foals and mothers were separated. Then the foals (after they calmed down) were auctioned off. Thousands of people came to see them swim across the river and some would buy a colt or filly. Then, later, if there were foals not auctioned off, they were sent back to Chincoteague Island with the older ponies. 

(Picture by Noelle Harris)

There was once a pony that nobody could catch and so she always remained free. She was called ‘Phantom’.
One year, a young boy named Paul caught Phantom.  This was his first time as the roundup cowboy. The reason he was able to catch her was because Phantom had a young filly that was later named ‘Misty’ by Paul and his sister. The Phantom had to go slow and easy because she couldn't leave Misty. So Paul captured both Phantom and Misty. Phantom and Misty were bought by Paul and his sister and they took very good care of them.  Phantom was a very prize winning pony! She won many races and was the star of the two islands. But she never seemed happy.  Paul and his sister knew she felt homesick. They set her free back on the island Chincoteague. As for Misty, she was the real pony that was loved by not only the island but many other people in the United States. She seemed to belong on the ranch where Paul and his sister lived with their grandparents. Misty didn’t follow her mother’s dreams of being free but was the happiest pony that ever lived!

When Misty grew up she became (like her mother) a good racer. But one stormy night when she was soon to have a foal, there a huge flood that flooded the whole island. Most of the people had to go to the main land by helicopters. But sadly hundreds of ponies died out of cold, fright and drowning. At least most of the wild horses did. Misty’s ranch was on a high hill but most of it was flooded as well. So the Beebe family (Paul, his sister, and their grandparents) had to move Misty to a dry place. They kept Misty at the house while they went to the mainland to escape the flood. They all knew that Misty might foal while they were gone. When they went back to check on her, she was fine.  She had her foal, which they named Stormy. 

If you want to know more you can read the books by one of my favorite authors, Marguerite Henry. Not all of her books are about Chincoteague island and Misty.  Others are about how some breeds existed (Justin Morgan had a Horse or King of the Wind.) If you want books about Misty, try Misty of Chincoteague, Sea Star Orphan of Chincoteague, Misty’s Twilight or Stormy, Misty’s Foal. If you want to see all of the books she wrote try googling ‘books by Marguerite Henry’. I love them! I have read most of her books and hopefully will read the rest! 

Bad teeth

Yesterday when I went down to the EQ center I found that Raleigh was gone. I guessed Mrs. Elliott must have taken him to the equine dentist to get his teeth done. (And I was right because Mrs Fenwick came down to feed her horses and she told me that Raleigh was at the dentist). 

I also found out that Raleigh’s teeth were long and that would jab him in his gums. When horses' teeth grow too long, they need to go to the dentist to get them filed. Raleigh needed the filling down badly, because not only did he have long teeth but he had pointy sharp teeth. I wouldn’t be able to ride him because he can’t have a bit in his mouth when he has his teeth in a bad condition like that.
The ‘canine tooth’ was very long and sharp on Raleigh. Raleigh’s canine tooth is a tooth that is a part of a gap in the horses teeth. 
(Picture by Noelle Harris)