Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Great ride on Vaquero...

After two terrible rides on Vaquero, I was getting very frustrated with my fire-breathing paso fino. I admit, I had been losing my cool with him the last few times, and our rides had been a disaster. But I sought advice from the good folks at americanpasofinos.com, and set about adjusting my attitude.

I worked him on the ground yesterday, and we just focused on little movements, and just relaxing with each other. We did some deep breathing with each other (seriously) and just tried to be pleasant with one another.

Today, I did much the same, but I went on a trial ride. But before going anywhere, I just sat on him and rewarded him for relaxing and just standing in one spot. For about 10 minutes, we just stood there until he stopped quivering and we reached a state of zen like tranquility (seriously).

We then went out on the trail, and he was uncharacteristically calm. Or was it me? Even James, riding with me, commented on how calm we both were.

We had a great ride, and I enjoyed his silky smooth gait. We stopped several times and refocused our energy to that zen like place, before we would tackle a section of the trail.

It was awesome. Best trail ride on Vaquero in months.

Yes, I know. It was me. I just needed to calm myself, find my center, and share that peace with my slightly neurotic horse so he could perform at his best. When he is "on", he is the best ride I have. I just want to get that ride from him consistently.

Damn, I'm really tired of that expression "there are no problem horses, only problem riders". It's always true!

Want to see some video of me and Vaquero? Go to youtube.com and search "1234vaquero".


Unknown said...


Okay, how many times do you have to learn this one? Horses are emotional sponges, and if you are too intense they only have one way to react to that.

I'm glad you had such an obvious confirmation.

Time for some yoga, doc.

Seriously though, it's a dance, firmness with calmness, peace with direction. Have you looked at that Whitney link I sent you? I really think it would change the way you round pen too...

Trailrider said...

Well, I agree with you. But this horse is also a little more than high strung, and this is fairly common with the breed, I am discovering. So it's a new challenge to find a higher level of calmness than has previously been required of me.

Unknown said...

Sort of like Canyon. Getting stronger didn't work in many occasions (although nothing I did really worked, so I'll surrender that point). I think also you've had two alpha horses (Spirit and Woody) and those required something different than Vaquero, who doesn't strike me as a high ranking horse (herd wise).

Trailrider said...

Couldn't agree with you more...I had come to the same conclusion. I had two horses in Spirit and Woody that could not be given an inch and ride better when ridden firmly. Vaquero is a middle to bottom ranking herd member, and I've learned that pasos are excitable enough already that rough handling does not go over well with them.