Today was the first ride in 90 days on Tempest. We got a beautiful
day between rain storms and cold weather. Soni, our daughter,
came over for some wood so I asked if she wanted to go for a
ride. Soni is a good rider and rides very much like I do.
Soni rode Plenty and I rode Tempest. I lounged Tempest without
a saddle. Her tail would be the indicator. It started out nearly
straight up in the air. I started her to the right. She walked
a few circles, so I clucked to her and she trotted out. After
a few more circles with everything looking good, I clucked and
she went into a lope. She looked good, was under control and
was on the correct lead. It didn't take much encouragement to
keep her at the lope, tail still straight up in the air. She
went to the right probably five minutes.
I think Tempest is more natural at being on the correct lead
than Plenty. Both will take the correct lead but Plenty will
drop her hind lead when going to the right at a certain place.
Tempest, on the other hand, will hold it all the way around in
either direction. She is a shorter coupled horse than Plenty
and I think that is the main reason. Tempest was out of air and
still going so I asked her to stop by saying whoa. I asked her
to come to the center of the circle and stand. It is comfortable
there and she can catch her air. After a few minutes, I asked
her to circle to the left. Tempest did pretty well to the left,
but her tail was still high in the air.
I have been wanting to make an observation about her and training
by using exhaustion. This filly will not respond like many will
by using exhaustion. I could have lounged her until dark and
she would not have given up. So, what do we do with one like
that? Simple, if exhaustion will not work to get the edge off,
all you do is take the air out of them. Exhaustion won't work
because they are full of adrenaline and it is pumping throughout
their body. We would be faced with this situation whether we
were riding or lounging. What do we do?
If working on the ground, take the air out and bring them to
the center of the circle and let them stand quietly. Rub them
on the head, pat them on the neck. Make it a good place to be.
If they want to wiggle, take hold of them and don't let them
move. Now, this shouldn't be a problem because we have been tying
her for long periods of time and she knows how to stand still.
So, reward her in the center by making it the comfortable place
This is important. Remember, a horse is a creature of habit,
they want to be comfortable and keep it simple. Make it easy
for them to be a success, build their self confidence because
it will pay off somewhere on the trail.
I saddled Tempest and tied her outside to stand while Gail lounged
and prepared Plenty. While Tempest was waiting, about 20 minutes,
Gail lounged Plenty and she was ready in about 5 minutes so I
saddled her and tied her up. Tempest recovered and has had time
to think about life, relax and she just stood still in the safe
Recovered now, Gail lounged her a second time for about 10 minutes
and everything went fine. I was anxious to see what Tempest would
do when I bridled her. She stood, waited to be bridled and was
ready. NOW, would she stand still while I mounted? YES! she did.
We stood talking to Soni and Tempest was perfect. She never offered
to move. Finally, I asked her to move out.