Thursday, May 21, 2009

Patience...where do I buy some?

This post might be more of a rant, so be forewarned...

I've ridden Vaquero 3 times this week, and my hope was that frequent riding would straighten out some of the problems we've been having. Or maybe not...

(1) He isn't tracking "straight" when I ride him. He wants to sort of side-pass while going forward. I've straightened him out some by riding with my hands spread apart and working on him "riding between the reins", and by constantly adjusting him with my legs. But it's annoying. This horse is 14 years old, and riding straight is a beginner lesson. This horse should know how to do this by now.

(2) He has no back up. When I ask him to back up, in the manner I've backed up dozens of other horses, he gets hot under the collar and rears, about 1-2 feet off the ground. I can understand having to "refresh" a horse's backing ability, but to have to teach it de novo is freaking ridiculous. He did the same thing when I asked him to back when I was driving him from the ground, so obviously, he just does NOT get it. Rather than risk my life and limb, I'm going to have to commit to driving him from the ground until he does get it. I cannot stand a horse that won't back.

(3) His attitude kind of sucks. He gets frustrated when trying to learn something new, and he not only reared a little yesterday when trying to learn to back up, he bucked a little when I turned him away from home when the homestead was in sight. Granted, I could barely tell he bucked, but the "attitude" was there. I spun him hard in place, and normally, I would have backed him as many as 100 yards if that's what it took to get his head straight, BUT HE DOESN'T BACK UP! In contrast, when Woody (my QH) was having to be broken of "prancing" back to the barn, I backed him up for probably 50 yards NUMEROUS times, and he NEVER offered to do anything stupid. He would just sigh and get a little bothered. Thats a much more reasonable attitude.

I know, I know...There are no problem horses, only problem riders, and I'm sure I'M the one that needs to slow down and get more patient...The horse needs to be shown the "easy" way out and only learns on the release, etc, etc. Yeah yeah, I know. I'll try to pick up a pound or two of patience on the way home, but right now I'm pissed and frustrated.


Unknown said...

After having worked with such balanced horses as Woody and Spirit I think it's not a bad thing to have a more difficult horse to challenge you.

That's not to say you'll choose to keep Vaquero, but the lessons you learn from dealing with him wil serve you well. At least that's what I feel after my time with Canyon. I've learned to work through issues most people would bail on.

At the end of the day I may decide he's not going to work, but as of now, I can honestly say i've made real progress with him. He no longer goes to 10 when spooked, he's gaining confidence. He's no Spirit, but he's come a long way.

And it took a YEAR and a HALF.

The most important thing I had to learn to do was to be the calm center of the universe. No anger. No fear. Calm.

It's a decent lesson to learn.

Time for some meditation. :D

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I just popped over here to say THANK YOU for what you said over at Horse Centric's blog. You spoke to me and gave me confidance in my decision to find a new home for my horse.

I've received a bit of flack and cold shoulders about my consideration to sell my mare and find a horse better suited to my abilities, after two serious injuries caused by her.

But I'm not going to let strangers give me guilt trips about me 'failing to take care of my horse, because I'm afraid of her and want to sell her'.

That comment came from someone who just got her first horse a couple years ago, and only started riding this year.

How can anyone truly understand what you're going through if they aren't walking in your own shoes?

Some people treat their horses as pets and believe that only they are able to provide the best home for their horse. Those same thoughts are what cause hoarders to keep so many animals and not find homes for them.

I've waited over 30 years to own my first horse and to fulfill my dreams. I don't see why a mistake I made due to an unethical horse dealer's dishonesty should destroy my dreams, even though that mistake has already cost me much pain, frustration and agony...and disappointment.

And it's not just about me, it's about my family and kids. I want then to enjoy horses, too. But I can't even trust my horse around my family. Like others have told me, there are willing, gentle, baby-sitter type horses out there. Horses that are patient, calm, non-spooky teachers.

You sound like someone who knows what they're talking about from years spent around horses, and I just wanted to say thanks for speaking up on 'Breathe's' blog and making me feel better and more confidant about what I know in my heart and mind, that I need to do.

Have a great week,