tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:/posts Horse Haven 2017-01-02T19:24:12Z Noëlle Harris tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1118959 2016-12-30T15:02:42Z 2017-01-02T19:24:12Z Colic

In my last post about Ruby's injury I mentioned the vet had given me a couple of brochures on different illnesses and cares. I decided to write about one of them. The first one I picked was Colic.

Colic is a pain a horse has in his/her abdomen (belly). Colic is the number one killer of horses, although most cases are mild and can be treated medically simple. 

I was most interested in recognizing when a horse has Colic. There's a long list of different behaviors but I'll just write a few instead of all of them. 

  • Pawing
  • Kicking or biting at the belly
  • Turning towards the flank
  • Leaving food or being completely disinterested in food
  • Repeatedly rolling with grunting sounds
  • Rapid breathing and/or flared nostrils

These are just a few from the list, there are actually a lot of behaviors a horse can go though to show his/her discomfort. 

There are a few easy ways to check on the horse as well. In my last post about Ruby, I talked about checking the gum in the horse's mouth. By pressing a finger down on the gum (releasing) and then seeing how long until it turns back to it's normal color again (normal: 1-2 seconds). Another thing to check is if the gum is moist, tacky, or dry. And just checking the color of the gum (white, pale pink, dark pink, red, or bluish-purple).

Check the respiratory rate (breaths per minute), measured by watching the rise and fall of the flank with each breath. Checking the pulse and heart rate (beats per minute), measured over the heart (just behind or above the left elbow) or over an artery (at the sides of the fetlock or on the underside of the lower jaw). 

Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1117400 2016-12-22T03:21:06Z 2016-12-22T03:57:38Z Spot Light

Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1116827 2016-12-20T05:52:27Z 2016-12-20T20:29:43Z Ruby's Injury
Yesterday Sugar and Ruby had a disagreement and it ended up with Ruby seeing the vet. Since Mrs. Davis couldn't make it to the paddock to meet the vet, I went down. 

Here's how the fight started: Sugar was in the little shelter where both horses were eating from. Ruby was half in just eating along with Sugar until Sugar wanted to get out. Ruby was blocking her so she tried getting Ruby to move out of her way. Ruby didn't want to move because she still wanted to eat so she stayed. Sugar then took it a step further and got upset, felt trapped and started kicking. She smashed holes in the wall, turned and kicked Ruby several times around her left abdomen and flank. 

Ruby didn't have a lot of open wounds but she was a bit sore and she limped too. The vet showed me one way to tell how bad Ruby's injury was is by walking her around and then trotting her. If she didn't limp and show sign of soreness when she walked it wasn't too bad of an injury. They had her trot and I could see she was sore and uncomfortable. She didn't show much soreness walking as she did when trotting. If it was really bad when she walked, then it would be much worse than if she trotted. 

He also checked her teeth as well. He pressed down on her gum with his finger, turning it white, and then he let go and counted in seconds until it turned pink again (blood flow). I think it was about two seconds until it turned it's normal pink color again. If Ruby had lost a lot of blood or hadn't had water then it would take longer until it turned pink again.

He looked for sore spots by pressing down at different parts of her body to see how she reacted. Then he checked her heart beat. He shaved away hair around two spots where she had open wounds and cleaned them. Then he put some creamy stuff which I don't remember the name of. He injected in two places (don't remember the name of the stuff sadly), one in a vein on her neck and another in a muscle on the rump. He showed me the first shot he did on her neck. He showed me the blood that he sucked a bit of in the tube to make sure he got the vein. The second shot he wanted to make sure he didn't get any blood because he wanted to get in the muscle and not a vein. He showed me that he was standing on one side of Ruby and injected the needle on the other side so if Ruby kicked out she would kick out at the needle on that side and not hit him. She was calm and good and didn't move when he did it. Some horses would though it it was better to be on the safe side (literally). 

After that he showed me some medication to leave for Mrs. Davis to give Ruby. He also gave me brochures of different anatomy, medical and care of horses so I have that to read now! 

Took this picture of Ruby a day before:

Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1113240 2016-12-20T05:44:36Z 2016-12-20T19:40:07Z Unusual Sugar

This evening I went down to clean up the horses' paddock. After I finished, I decided to work with Sugar on C pattern back and forth along the fence. I noticed a few things that seemed unusual for her. First when I went out to catch her she ran away. Ruby is the one who runs away and it's rare for Sugar to even care when I walk up to her. I even went up to Ruby who did her usual start to run away but changes her mind and stands still to let me put her halter on. I didn't put the halter on but just wanted to know if she would change things up. She seemed normal to me but Sugar started acting up. When I walked to her she ran off and started bucking. I ended up standing still next to her hay and after awhile she walked to me. I reached out my hand to pat her and she was a little unsure at first. She did let me rub her all over which I did for a few minutes while she ate. She calmed down and seemed to be back to normal. When I put the halter on she started out with her usual ignore but at least she didn't argue. She really only ignores me if she's eating but only for a second or as long as she can sneak in before I make her listen. That's her lazy side. 

I only had a short while before the sun went down and I had to walk home so I led her to the fence to do a short session of the sending lesson (C pattern). She did alright as leading goes but heard her breathing was a little husky and her nose a little runny. I thought she was starting with little cold. She does the exercise much better than Ruby does (surprisingly) and did it fine until she tripped her hind legs a little while turning to yield her hind quarters. Usually something little like this doesn't bother her very much and we get back on track in a second. This time she overreacted and reared up. I had to calm her down again and could hear her breathing in a husky tone but louder. I only sent her about 5 times back and forth. 

I sent her again and this time she started taking over my personal space so I had to correct her and after 3 times we got going fine. I didn't want to worry her so I ended the lesson soon after. I didn't work with her on anything else or Ruby for that matter. Ruby was acting wonderfully and let me come up to her even when I had a halter in my hand. I was planning on jumping on her bareback for fun and to desensitize her but the sun was going down so I spent a little longer with both of the horses just on loving all over them. 

Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1108473 2016-12-20T05:41:18Z 2016-12-20T05:41:19Z Follow The Fence

In my last post I mentioned I did a exercise called 'Follow the Fence'. I'm teaching the horse to literally follow along the fence in a straight line at any gait. The first time I really experienced this was when I was getting riding lessons years ago on a horse named Trigger, a palomino who used to be a cattle horse. That was to help me ride more than it helped the horse. Trigger did it fine enough, it was me who was practicing riding the horse at a walk and trot. My teacher was getting me used to going from a walk to trot and back down again. I was learning how to post. 

I had tried following the fence with Raleigh and he did okay. He was an older horse and a bossy boy but not enough to get wild and actually hurt me. He was more on the lazy side so everything was more slow with him unless it involved standing around or eating.

Last Saturday I did Follow the Fence for the first time with Ruby. 

In the DVD, Clinton was showing how to teach the horse to stay along the fence line and not sway off. It was my first time teaching it to Ruby and at the end of the lesson (which wasn't very long) she did so well! I didn't do it at a walk but trotted her around the arena along the fence. She of course started turning her own way away from the fence. 

Clinton said to imagine or even draw a line in the sand about 15 feet away from the fence for starters. Than start at a trot (It could be done at a walk but it's not really necessary) and trot along the fence. Every time the horse starts to go away from the fence let him until he crosses the line of 15 feet. As soon as he does steer him right back to the fence and don't let go until he's along the fence again. The more this is practiced you can make the line closer and closer to the fence. Start farther away at the beginning, like 15 feet, 10 feet, 5 feet until you don't have to anymore because the horse no longer strays off. 

Here is something I drew to show you:

I did this with Ruby and at first she did stray a lot and wanted to follow Sugar as well. But soon I got her to stay along the fence and rarely did she want to go off again. This doesn't have to be done at a trot, it could be done at any other gait as well. Trotting is the best for me since walking is too slow and cantering I'm still getting used to, but I bet the next time I ride I can do cantering as well. Sadly it started raining again and there goes the problem of only outdoor arenas. 

Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1108214 2016-12-20T05:37:35Z 2016-12-20T05:37:57Z What Happens in the Arena

Last Saturday I rode with Ruby and Sugar's owner, Mrs. Davis. I rode Ruby and she rode Sugar. We first groomed them in the paddock, I braided Ruby's tail, then we walked them to the big arena. They both have sticky feet when we walk them alone to the arenas but since she walked both of them at the same time they didn't stop once. 

Surprisingly, Sugar was the more energetic one but then, I've been working with Ruby much more. Before saddling up we let them run around in the arena first while we got the tack out. They ran pretty well and were starting to sweat. They rolled in the sand, but Sugar chose a spot to roll right next to the fence. When she rolled over toward the fence her leg got caught between the rails. It wasn't really caught badly at all but every time she tried rolling the way she would put her legs out between the fence so she couldn't roll over. She only tried once or twice and than laid there and didn't move. Mrs. Davis and I waited to see if she could figure out how to get out herself but she's didn't budge. In fact she looked so relaxed she looked like she was going to sleep. We waited a little while longer and then Mrs. Davis went around the outside to her to encourage her to get up. Ruby didn't help very much by galloping around but it didn't get Sugar excited at all, nor did she seem to notice. So since nothing happened I walked to her from the inside. She moved her head a little to see me approaching toward her head. Mrs. Davis couldn't reach Sugar very well to do much but we moved her legs out and I was able to push her over onto her other side. After that she got up fine and started racing Ruby around again, so she wasn't hurt. Mrs. Davis was very worried about her but was relieved to see Sugar was fine. 

I've had the same problem with Ruby in the round pen. The first time it happened I was alone so I was worried. It was actually easier to get her to roll over the right way but I felt like panicking especially since she wasn't my horse and  I started thinking of everything bad that could be happening. What was amazing about it was they just lay very calmly (too calmly) and waited for someone to help them instead of panicking and kicking which would have ended up in a disaster! 

Sugar looked completely fine so we saddled both of them and got on. We thought about doing some ground work first but we did a little in the paddock before bringing them up and since I usually work so much on the ground work before riding, we thought it was better just to get on straight away. We did do some desensitizing and I trotted Ruby around before mounting. When we were both on, we worked on flexing and a bunch of other exercises we've been learning from the Clinton Anderson Method. For the first part we walked them around  and practiced flexing, stopping and backing up. We did a little cruising and they wanted to follow each other. We worked together on the different exercises, one of us would do a lesson while the other would correct them if they saw anything out of place. Then we kind of did our own thing and I noticed Ruby and Sugar weren't so crazy about being together anymore. 

I worked on what's called 'Follow the Fence'. I've been watching the DVDs on that and this was my first time working Ruby on it. I did this after I did cruising with Ruby at a trot. Follow the fence is where I was teaching Ruby to go at a walk, trot or canter along the fence to keep a straight line unless we were turning in the corners. At first she kept going off the fence but soon I got her to stay along the fence very fast. We were doing it at a trot and once in a while changing directions. That worked out SO well and Ruby understood very quickly. 

I practiced my cantering as well since I had a fear of doing it with not so good balance. My fear was that I wouldn't have any control over her. So I started overcoming my fear by cantering her in a circle so I could stop her with a one rein stop. Another problem was she also needed to get better with her cantering. When riding, she always goes at a fast canter which gets me a little scared. I had to practice her cantering so she would conserve her energy and go at a nice canter. It was hard for me as a beginner with a horse that would go too fast when I wasn't very ready yet. When I had riding lesson years ago, I was only taught how to ride at a walk and a little bit at a trot. I learned posting which was really hard at first but now it's simple. I never got to ride cantering even though my teacher said I should practice it whenever I go riding for awhile. I did canter Raleigh but had no control at all since it was more of a run than a canter and I did it at one end of the arena and let me run to the other with always a little fear in me but it was so much fun for some reason so I did it more. I wasn't too scared since I knew Raleigh was going to the gate...every time. And he was an old boy so I didn't think he was ever going to buck me off. He seem to have joy in rubbing my leg against and a few other terrible tricks that I didn't know how to get rid of at the time. 

Anyway, by going in a circle, I was able to control Ruby better and it was helping with my balance the more I did it. She also didn't start out so fast as much. I got her to canter in a circle and then I would stop her and let her rest before trying it again. I worked her a lot, more than I thought because Mrs. Davis could see how drenched in sweat she was so we stopped and went to unsaddle them. I wasn't paying too much attention to what Sugar and Mrs. Davis were doing when I was cantering Ruby but she didn't looked as worked out as Ruby did. We took both of the horses to graze for awhile and then back to the paddock for the night. I helped put the tack back and fed a couple of other horses I was caring for at the moment. 

Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1116564 2016-12-19T06:27:03Z 2016-12-19T16:36:00Z Dad's Birthday!
As a gift for my dad I drew him this picture:

I got it printed and framed for him:

Here is the photo my dad took awhile back of our house across a hill. The little girl is my little sister:
Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1106642 2016-12-10T00:44:18Z 2016-12-10T06:34:30Z Learning Mistakes

Yesterday I watched more of the Fundamental DVDs on ground work. I needed to watch the one of the C pattern because I have had trouble with Ruby on that. The problem was, she kept trying to walk into me instead of what I wanted her to do, which is walk or trot in front of me to one side and yield her hindquarters. 

I watched the videos and found where one of my problems was answered. I'm supposed to tap her shoulder and keep added pressure until she does what I want her to do. I did do that only I quit way too soon. Every time she walk towards me I would quit the tapping and try to lead her back to where she was supposed to be. That was not at all what I was supposed to do! This time when she came to me I added the pressure to whacking and that made her move away from me. She started backing up and I remembered in the DVD Clinton said to follow when the horse does this and not take the pressure away until she goes forward. I only had to follow her a little way and kept my hand up to ask her and my stick whacking her until she went forward and dropped my pressure. Then I yield her hind quarters and asked her to go again. I'm still very clumsy with the stick and rope but I'm getting used to it. 

Today I did the same exercise with about the same results but maybe a little better but for one thing: she wasn't yielding her hind quarters well enough. So I'll go back and watch the DVD again. 

Yesterday and today I did the same exercise work. I started with desensitizing and that was very short because we had no problem there, she almost fell asleep. I then worked with some neck flexing which also gave me no issues. I did backing up, that she always does too slowly. She really doesn't like backing up but I still make her do it and will hurry her if she starts stopping. Then I worked with the C pattern and after that I did yielding the hind quarters. Something else I did was trying to get on her back bareback. Since she's so tall I use a mounting block or anything else to get on her. Of course with the saddle on it's very easy for me to use the stirrups and swing on but bareback is a different matter. I don't like using mounting blocks because I feel so little doing it even though people older than me always do. I practiced jumping on her and I'm able to get on her now. I might miss the first jump or two but I'm able to at least. I loved how she just stood there and dozed while I looked like a idiot trying to get on her back. 

At the end before mucking the paddock I took her out and let her graze. Then I put her back, mucked the paddock and jumped on her again without the halter or any tack. I just sat on her back while she grazed and walked around. 

I took this picture while I sat on her back:

Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1105629 2016-12-10T00:40:47Z 2016-12-10T06:48:52Z Halter Means Work Yesterday I went down to see Ruby and Sugar. It was mostly to catch up on cleaning, but also to work a little with Ruby as well. The cleaning was a lot but I got that all over with and then I got the halter out. I've noticed something that I never really thought of even though I've been told it. Some horses, Ruby especially, will run away from you when you have the halter out because they know what that means. I learned from Clinton that I need to change it up all the time so they don't think it's work for them as soon as they see the halter. Also another thing In learned is that I want the horse to wish he was with me instead of not with me. What I mean by that is I made it uncomfortable for Ruby to be away from me and made it relaxing to be with me. 

I had the handy stick (stick and string/whip) with me and as soon as Ruby saw me with the halter she started turning away. She does this all the time but recently I found a solution! Before I tell you what answer is I'll tell you what I've tried coming up with previously. 

A few times in the past, I used a treat to make her follow me to the halter so I could put it on. That, I can see now, was a very stupid idea but very common. This doesn't work as I found out very quickly. For one it takes forever to get her to follow me like that. It's nothing like getting a dog following you, they'll do it ten times faster and they don't seem to mind getting caught very much in the end. Ruby takes her time and sometimes doesn't follow me at all. Or I'll give her a treat and she'll just eat it and decide she might follow me for a few steps for another one. Anyway, some horses might follow all the way and others like Ruby won't bother, but they always end up knowing exactly what they're getting into and will outsmart us. 

The first time it might work, the second and third might too but it doesn't take long before they get that we're tricking them. And of course I've read from one of Clinton's magazine and videos saying that horses quickly recognize our habit. This is another reason I didn't work Ruby this time. I'm learning that I have to keep changing it up so the horse doesn't know what we're going to be doing when I take the halter out. And another thing is that it's not good to keep doing the same exact lesson over and over again. If they've already learned it, you don't need to keep doing it over and over every day because they'll get bored of it and might start fighting back. It's important to keep it up, but also start something new to learn as well.  Don't work so much on what they've already completed, or they're not going anywhere but backwards. It's important as well not to work them on too many different exercises at once; they will get confused and frustrated. 

Back to the dumb tricks I tried using with Ruby to let me put her halter on. The biggest problem I had was that I was basically begging her to let me put her halter on. A recent trick I did was that I used her fly mask and would put that on her and lead her to the halter. That worked better but that wasn't the answer to the problem. In the end she outsmarted me again. She would let me put the fly mask on thankfully, but she wouldn't literally budge after that.

The real answer was much better. I made it difficult for her when she chose not to come to me. When she came to me I released the pressure and rubbed her. I had the handy stick, halter and lunge line. When she saw me she started turning away. I didn't beg her to stay but told her "fine, if you want to run away from me then I'll help you with that". So I pointed in the hair as if I was going to lunge her and if she didn't move to a trot I whipped the ground with the handy stick. I have been doing this for awhile so now every time I come out it takes her less time to come to me. When I put pressure on her she starts off in the paddock and then finds she doesn't like working and turns and walks to me. Sometimes she turns and comes to me too fast, and a little threateningly, so I make her back up with increasing pressure and then drop it as soon as she obeys. I like it better when she walks with licking lips and head low to me. For the rest of the time I did desensitizing with the handy stick and lunge line, then we just both relaxed and I hugged/rubbed all over her. She was peaceful and dozing while I just loved on her. At the end I wanted her not to run off as soon as I took the halter off. I didn't think she would this time but I took the halter off and held her around her neck. Then I led her around the paddock for awhile, stood still and let her loose with Sugar. She did walk away but only for a few steps so it looks like she's improving. 

I lay down next to her and under her as well. This picture I took of her I went a little in front of her and lay partly down for the picture:

Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1113152 2016-12-05T22:08:40Z 2016-12-07T17:37:51Z Frozen Search

Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1102860 2016-12-01T05:07:33Z 2016-12-01T21:48:14Z A Softer Horse

It's been raining a lot recently so I haven't been able to do riding or much ground work. I really wished I had an indoor arena to use! I won't have much chance to work with Ruby unless the weather changes for a few sunny days once in awhile. I don't like to work on windy days almost more than rainy ones, depending on how thick it rains. When it's windy it's harder for me to keep the horse's attention with everything blowing around, especially a certain big loud willow tree (Sugar especially is scared of that tree when it's windy). They also seem to have more energy too. 

For this post I decided to watch one of his videos so I could write about it. I did it through YouTube instead of the DVDs so you could see it too:

This is a really interesting video for me. I don't think I've watched all the Fundamental DVDs and haven't seen all these bending, flexing and turning exercises before. Actually I know most of these aren't in the Fundamentals but Sarah was able to teach me a new one including others I learned already. 

Flexing different body parts:

  1. Head and Neck
  2. Poll
  3. Shoulders
  4. Rib Cage
  5. Hindquarters 

  1. Head and Neck - Lateral Flexion

Get your horse soft laterally both left and right

  1. Poll - Vertical Flexion 

Get your horse soft vertically

  1. Shoulder Control

Always follow head and neck - able to move independently

  1. Rib Cage

Get your horse to move their rib cage with leg pressure

  1. Hindquarters

Move your horse’s hindquarters in a 350 degree angle

Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1111786 2016-11-29T21:26:34Z 2016-11-30T14:55:21Z Pen Art

Some of my recent art with my new pens!

Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1110956 2016-11-26T04:10:11Z 2016-11-27T21:23:15Z Baby Cheetah

Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1110730 2016-11-25T01:52:13Z 2016-11-25T16:45:40Z Buttons

I drew one of Mrs. Davis' dogs, Buttons. 

Finished picture below:


As you can see I didn't get it just like the photo, but I had to change it a little to make it look right.  

Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1109519 2016-11-20T18:43:22Z 2016-11-21T22:38:16Z Little Drawings

Some little drawings I did on trips or just at home. 

This one I painted at home before bed.

The cats I used pens and the grasshopper I painted. I drew them for a friend, I was visiting her family at the time I drew them. The cats are hers and the grasshopper is from a picture she took of one while back that looked really cool. 

This one I drew a week ago in church. 

This Arab I drew with pens at home. 
Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1107241 2016-11-12T02:17:22Z 2016-11-18T23:42:15Z Drawing

Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1103559 2016-11-01T21:14:59Z 2016-11-02T20:05:27Z Gold Legend

This one took me awhile to finish. It's very hard for me to know how long it takes me to draw my art. I'm guessing around two and a half hours but I really don't know because this one I would stop for most of the day and continue at night or the next day so I didn't do it all in one sitting of course. 

Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1104407 2016-11-01T04:10:35Z 2016-11-01T23:44:52Z Pen Art

I bought new pens to try out! I've never tried this kind of art before but I was inspired by one of my favorite artists Aaron Blaise. He did some amazing Inktober art work that I had to get some of the same pens he had to try it out myself!!

Here's the first art piece I did with my new pens! :D

FaberCastell Pitt Pen B Gray Tones, Gelly Roll white pen, Pitt Big Brush Pen and 101 white, Strathmore Toned Sketch Book.

Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1101822 2016-10-28T03:29:23Z 2016-10-28T18:42:33Z Christmas House

This is a picture of one of my friends' house for christmas. 

Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1101798 2016-10-25T02:36:14Z 2016-10-30T21:57:33Z My Birthday

I haven't been working very much with the horses recently. The weather started getting colder and it's harder for me to work with Ruby in the rain (especially riding). I've also been busy with daily stuff and my birthday which was on October 23 along with my twin brother Nicholas. We're finally 15 now! I'm very excited about the presents my family and friends got me! I can never think of anything I want when it comes to my birthday but this time. I had my eyes on Clinton Anderson stuff. I got a Clinton Anderson cowboy hat which unfortunately was a little too small but I'll be able to return that one for a size up. I got a Clinton Anderson vest and hoodie that are so cool!!! I'll be able to wear that all winter! Here is a picture of me (without the hoodie though). I do have my Clinton Anderson halter and lunge line:

Besides that I got a lot of edible gifts from friends and we had two different days of soccer which we played till the lights were turned off. :D
Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1100625 2016-10-25T01:18:24Z 2016-10-25T01:18:34Z Finding Surprises and Solving the Problem

In my last post I said I was having trouble backing Ruby. I went down to muck the paddock and clean the trough and had a little time left over to play around with the horses. I brushed and combed Ruby and Sugar and then took out the stick and string. I used the stick and string to back up both of the horses. Sugar, of course, did a great job but Ruby wasn't any better. I worked a little with her and had to make the level of pressure higher on her until she moved. I think it was because I was afraid of scaring her if I got the pressure higher and she found out I was so she became disrespectful. This time though I took it a few steps further and surprised her that I was really able to get rough with her if she doesn't listen to me. In fact after that she started responding faster! I hope I'll be tough enough to do it when we're outside the paddock. I think I feel worried not wanting anything to go wrong and then mess up showing Ruby loopholes where she can boss me around. 

For some reason I pointed her off as if to lunge her but of course I was in a wide rectangle shaped paddock with her off lead so she could run off if she chose to. But she surprised me! She trotted a circle around me as if I had a invisible lunge line or she was following the fence line of the round pen. I just went along with it very pleased and wasn't sure how she'd react if I tried changing her direction. She tried coming to me without me asking, like she did in the round pen and I was afraid she'd go to her bossy pushy self again. I asked her to back up and she did and then I pointed her off again without any problem. I was only able to do this a very short time because my time ran out. It was also dark the whole time I got her to lunge for me so I thought it would be harder for her to see my body language. 

But I was very impressed with her that night! And hopefully I'll see what she does again if I lunge her freely today. :D

Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1100341 2016-10-25T01:15:26Z 2016-10-25T01:15:53Z From Terrible to Show Off

Yesterday my grandpa came down to watch me ride and show him different exercises of the Clinton Anderson Method. I gave myself an hour to get Ruby ready and mostly have time to lunge her before riding. It took awhile to get her to the round pen; in fact it was pretty bad. I feel like I'm getting stuck a lot on what to do. Every time she gets her 'sticky feet' I either back her up or try the C pattern. But now I can barely back her up that day. When I tried, she would shake her head and it takes a lot of effort to get her to take a few steps back. I've also noticed she gets mad and even takes a few steps forward. I feel very bad that I can't fix this, and hopefully can watch the DVDs more to find answers to the problem. When I try the C Pattern she starts making it a bad habit of turning to face me and pinning her ears back. 

When I did finally get her to the round pen I saddled her. I left her training halter on without the bridle and started the lunging. At first it was going well, in fact a little better start off then I expected of her. In a previous day she nosed the ground lay down to roll. I had to get her back up because she had her saddle on and she wasn't too happy about that. This time she started nosing the ground but I kept her moving so she couldn't stop to lay down. For the first part she kept trying to nose the ground to find a good place to roll but I kept her moving and changing directions. She soon forgot but not long after I had another problem. When I changed her directions she was turned to face me and stop. If I try to point her back and keep her lunging she actually comes forward into my face trying to move me! Only once she struck a little which made me take a step back in surprise but I guess I started getting mad because I made her back up and didn't stop until she was touching the fence. I did start with a little pressure at first to warn her but I had to increase it. When I had her backed all the way I pointed her off and this time she obeyed. Unfortunately she did it two more times and I had to back her all the way before I could start again. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong and why Ruby is behaving badly. I do notice that she keeps cutting the circle and sometimes almost completely in half where she gets too close to me. When that happens she even goes right up to the fence and stop with her hindquarters in my direction and then when I want her to move she chooses the opposite direction I wanted her to go. This is signs of showing a lot of disrespect to me, I just need more knowledge in what to do before they become bad habits or I end up getting hurt. 

When my grandpa came down I ended her lunging and put her bridle on for riding. I thought today was going to be a bad time for me with Ruby acting up that day when I'm trying to show off Ruby to my Grandpa. I've also noticed it's getting bit by bit a little hard for me to put her bridle on. But I thinks it's because I'm not having her head low for me like Sarah taught me and Ruby's getting worse about it. But that's not as bad as it sounds. I remember Raleigh being the hardest horse for me to put the bit in his mouth. 

I expected Ruby to be as bad as when she was on the ground to be the same in the saddle. Nothing of the kind! She did great! As soon as I got in the saddle she didn't show any signs of misbehaving and stood patient while I talked to my Grandpa. In fact I talked a lot, almost the whole time. I think Ruby was happy enough to stand still and if she got impatient and started pawing the ground, I made her move her feet and then stood still again. I know she liked staying where my Grandpa was because that's where I had her stay still so I got talk to him. I knew she would be wanted to go there/near the gate so I had her moving her feet, trotting or cantering near Grandpa/the gate and then rested her at the farthest end. I talked a lot during that time and explained a lot, too, showing my Grandpa different exercises. Ruby did so well with the riding and showed me she could move when I wanted her and stop and stand still when I wanted that. She did show off her stops almost too well. When I had her cantering or trotting freely to where she chose where to go I kept my hands away from the reins. Then when I sat back in the saddle she stopped very fast. Even her backing up was showing off of how well and fast she could back up with very light pressure. Her backing up on the ground wasn't very good, I know Sugar is a champ compared to her but in the saddle she's amazingly soft and easy. 

So sometimes she turns from terrible to show off. I just hope I can learn more with the ground work. It's kind of strange to me that she's getting better in the saddle but worse on the ground considering that I've been working so much on the ground work and so little in the saddle. 

Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1099633 2016-10-25T00:31:30Z 2016-10-25T00:31:30Z Cold Sunday

Last Sunday I went down to have a nice ride on Ruby. Unfortunately it started raining and Ruby had enough energy to decide to argue with me. Colder weather effects horses and I often see them running around and bucking, which is really cool to watch. 

Like I said when I was leading Ruby, he started acting up and even tried nipping me when I backed her up. She wanted to graze on the way and when I didn't allow her she got a little upset. It started raining harder so I changed plans and walked her back to the paddock. Instead I had her back up and follow me around the paddock for a little while. After that I cleaned the paddock and headed for home. 

I would have worked with her more, most likely without riding and just ground work if it wasn't Sunday. I'm not sure about the rain though, I'd think if it was heavy enough it wouldn't work as well since she'd barely be able to pay attention. And, she might be friskier and uncooperative.

Today (Monday), I went down again but not to ride. It's about the same weather, cloudy and at the end it started raining. I came down to clean the paddock and then worked a little with Ruby who followed me around while I was cleaning. I kept her in the paddock and instead of putting on any halter or rope I got the whip/stick and string and had her following me around. When we stopped I desensitized her and if she got too much into my space I backed her up. She was very lovable that day and stayed close to me been interested in everything I did. At the end before I left I opened the gate part way and let her graze on the grass there, keeping the space out between us so she couldn't walk out. 

Sugar stayed in the shed most of the time and I came to her once in awhile to rub her. So most of the time I spent there, I loved on them. I love it when Ruby follows me! 

Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1096953 2016-10-25T00:21:55Z 2016-10-25T00:21:55Z C Pattern, Scary Things and Ups and Downs

One exercise I learned from Sarah regarding the Clinton Anderson Method is the C pattern. The C pattern is basically having the horse walk, trot or canter back and forth in front of you in a half circle. I can also move forward and have the horse going back and forth moving forward as well. 

Clinton uses the C pattern to get a horse used to a scary object. I've also seen it done when a horse is scared to get into the trailer. Yesterday I worked with Ruby on the C pattern up and down a path. I was originally going to lunge her and work with some other exercises in the round pen or arena but they were being used by other people and their horses. 

Like I said in my earlier post, there have been a lot of deer recently! A herd was grazing around the round pen and Amber (13 year old girl) was riding her horse Athena (one of the horses I usually care for when she's gone) in the round pen. Athena was getting jumpy around the deer. 

I remember when I took Sugar to be lunged she did the same, if not worse. It was hard to get her attention at first because she would keep snorting with her ears pricked prancing back and forth. I think she was more curios than scared but she did cut the circle when I lunged her at the part nearest to the deer. 

I'm becoming more aware of objects (usually colorful, moving and especially the ones that make sounds) and other animals that I never think about but now do when I'm with a horse. If it's like a vehicle I feel they might spook at I'll try to turn them so they could see it and try to do something like the C pattern, keeping their feet moving helps them take their mind off of it. A lot of the time I don't care too much about the Equestrian people when they drive their cars/trucks by because they usually go slow around someone leading or riding a horse. Also most of the time the horses recognize the cars because they come by often. There are the people who drive by to walk there dogs in the a field by the EQ center. They drive much faster and in the past Sugar has often been spooked by them. I do admit I feel much more comfortable around Ruby more than Sugar sometimes. But Sugar is a lot easier to lead most of the time and much better at backing up. 

Anyway, back to what I did that day. I took Ruby to a field near by and practiced the C pattern on the way there. I'm still very clumsy with the stick and rope when I switch hands. When we got to the field she got really frisky and made it harder to control her. I lunged her around and kept her changing directions. She kept coming in too close and tried turning to face me too many times. When I got her moving again she would shake her head and do little jump like kicks with her hind legs. I constantly had to get her out of my personal space; she became very pushy. I got her going well in the end but it's been awhile since I took her to that field. In fact she hasn't been there since she got back from Nevada. I used to take her there a lot before she left and she did better then. She is always testing me and I'm learning how to respond in the right way. Also, she isn't the most patient horse when I get clumsy with my tools. When I tangle up my tools or drop one of them, Sugar just stops and lazies around. Ruby, on the other hand, takes this as a chance to get into my space. I usually prefer Sugar's way. I don't often get that clumsy at all, so far the C pattern and one of the backing up methods are rated the hardest to keep track of my tools on my list. lol!

Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1096620 2016-10-25T00:15:17Z 2016-10-25T00:15:17Z Working On Ruby

The other day I worked with Ruby on most of the exercises that I've been learning. When I led her towards the barn and arena she got sticky feet (she stands still and doesn't want to move) as she usually does at a certain point. I had her trot back and forth in front of me while moving her towards the round pen. I also backed her up and finally got her there. But she wasn't as bad as before. I was afraid at first that she might spook at a bunch of deer who were grazing around the barn and arenas. I knew Sugar gets uneasy around them but Ruby barely noticed them. There seem to be a lot more deer recently, and I saw a lot of bucks, does and little fawns. 

When I got her into the round pen, I let her roll around on the ground first. I went to the barn for a helmet and reins. I decided that I was going to ride her bareback and practice a few exercises on her back. First I lunged her and let her pick the speed. Most of the time if I don't start changing her direction, she starts getting herself worked up. She will start tossing her head and adding speed and if she's really mad she'll buck a few times. Besides tossing her head, none of that happened this time. She's getting over being mad when we start and changing her direction really helps. She calms down and finds a comfortable gait without tripping herself or using up all her energy like she does when she's upset. I'm just talking of the bad times; it happens when she's grumpy but having calmed down she enjoys it more. 

At the end of the lunging (which went great!), I had her come in the middle with me. I spiraled and then came back to the center where I rubbed her all over. I'm telling her that with me she gets rest, if she left me then I would have her work again. Sometimes in the past with Sugar or Ruby they might come in and then decide they want to leave me. As soon as they 'disconnect' I make them work again. I could tell they regret it because they would try to come back in and make small circles to get closer to me where they found out that meant rest. I don't want them to come in on their own but instead to come when I ask them. So after a little bit I let them come in and see if they'll follow me. They usually never try it again and we both enjoy the rubbing I give her. 

When I was in the middle with Ruby I did some desensitizing with the stick and string and then the lunge line. This one doesn't have movement but my arm and the string or rope being tossed over their back, around their legs, around their neck and whipped on the ground. 

After that I did flexing; 

Lunging for respect stage 1 and 2;

And a couple different backing up methods.

Then I got on her bareback and practiced one rein stops, backing up, and more flexing but on her back this time. Another time I'll try the obstacles but I got her back to her paddock with no problems. Sugar came to the gate but I got her to back up (which was hard to do while holding on to Ruby) but then she didn't seem to care much and walked away. I don't like how Ruby walks off when I take off her halter. She's always too eager to leave so I stood with her a little longer and then I had her walk with me around the paddock. I took off the lead and had her follow me without touching her. I backed her up and then took off her halter. That's when Sugar became a little bossy.  It looks like she knew I wouldn't allow her to approach Ruby so she pretended not to care until I let Ruby go. When she does this I'll turn around and work with her in the paddock or have her backing up.

Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1094445 2016-10-25T00:05:31Z 2016-10-25T00:05:31Z Another Morning

This morning I woke early again to go down to the horses. I got there to feed Rose and Cody and then I went to Ruby and Sugar's paddock. Mrs. Davis came down to feed them so we got there around the same time. 

She fed them and I scooped and groomed while they ate. I actually didn't take Ruby out like I planned but instead worked a little with Sugar in the paddock. Mrs. Davis was working with her while I scooped and then she had to go so I took over. I did lunging with her, and noticed every time I started with her or changed her direction she would back up instead. Every time I tried turning her away so she could trot in a circle she would back away from me. In one way, this was great that she could back up so well, but I wasn't asking her that and didn't want it either. I did learn that if I tapped her shoulders, I was able to get her the right way. Only sometimes she was too far away for my stick to reach her. So I worked with her a little closer and that worked well. 

I have to go back and watch the DVDs to get the full answer. I especially want to know how far away I am supposed to stand.   

Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1100374 2016-10-20T05:19:42Z 2016-10-20T16:42:08Z Rusted Iron

I forgot to take pictures in between times so I only have two step to step pictures. 

Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1099317 2016-10-17T02:46:42Z 2016-10-17T02:46:42Z Cold Anger

Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1099049 2016-10-16T02:31:53Z 2016-10-17T17:13:52Z Cold Fall Nights

Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1098595 2016-10-14T02:10:27Z 2016-10-14T23:08:03Z Storm's Coming

Harris Family