Monday, December 28, 2009


I was dreading having to ride today. Zoey has been just terrible to ride. She just does not want to go forward, then kicks out or bucks when the leg or a tap of the whip is applied. I knew I had to get her through it one way or another.

I have been figuring that she has ulcers due to her drastic change in attitude. After talking to my vet again he is ordering Cimetidine for me. As soon as I get it Zoey will be put on a round of it. In the meantime I will give Zoey a dousing of Pepto Bismol before I ride. This will coat her stomach long enough to ride. This is what I did tonight before I rode.

She still was not cooperating, to the point she refused to move at all. I did not want this to turn into a huge training issue, so I dismounted and worked her in hand. While standing on one side of her i held the reins so I could have contact with both sides. I then tapped her on her side with the whip. Her immediate reaction was to kick out with her hind leg. Since I was on the ground I had a faster reflex I was able to give her one good smack with the whip. She then leapt forward for which she was greatly praised for. I then was able to trot her in hand while gently giving her a tap with the whip. Zoey did not kick out again and went forward in both directions.

I then remounted to try and ride her again. As soon as I put my leg on she went forward. I gave her a tap and she responded by going forward. I rode her for about 15 minutes like this with no stopping, kicking out or bucking. I even asked for a few strides of canter which she did. I was pleased so I was able to end on a very good note.

Now I don't know whether it was the ground work or the Pepto really started working or a combination of the two. Either way I'm happy tonight.

Tomorrow is supposed to be very cold so I'll see if I will ride.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


An unplanned dismount is never something you want to do. Well it happened to me Monday night in my lesson. It wasn't anything spectacular. Zoey let out a big buck that unseated me after giving her a light tap with my whip. I couldn't get back in the saddle so I slid to the ground.

I did though have to let Zoey know that bucking like that was unacceptable. I jumped up immediately and backed her the width of the arena tapping her front legs with my whip. I then walked her from the ground lightly tapping her on her sides with the whip. She would kick out but I continued with the tapping. This was to get her to respect the whip not to scare her by any means.

She only tried once more when I put my leg on to buck. I was very quick with my reflexes and made her walk in a very small volte while lightly tapping her with the whip. By riding the small volte it is very hard for a horse to buck because they are constantly moving and turning.

For the past couple of weeks she hasn't been that forward and bucking when I put my leg on. I talked too my vet about the possibility of ulcers. He suggested to have a massage done on her to make sure that she doesn't have a sore back. She does become tight in the back at times, but I don't think it is that. I have asked a friend to massage her this weekend to see if she can find anything. In the mean time I'm using the thumper on her and she really enjoys that.

On Sunday she also let out a big buck that only unseated me slightly. I did though crunch my left hand into her neck at the whithers during the buck. I think my pinkie finger is broken. Not too serious as I can move it even though it is swollen and bruised. As it is my left hand I don't have a lot a feeling in it any ways. Not going to have a doctor look at it because there is not much they can do about it anyways.

Hopefully I can find a solution to her bucking soon so her training can continue. It's always something with a horse, never a dull moment.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Why not canter?

This one has me boggled at times as to why some riders think that the trot has to be perfect before the can canter the horse. This really seems to be the case with horses that are green. There is no reason that after a horse has had 30 days under saddle that canter can't be done. This is not to say that the horse is to be cantered for the entire ride or for long stretches. It should be added into the workout so that the balance will improve.

My philosophy has been the canter improves the trot. You can trot all you want but it won't improve the quality of the canter. This is why after the horse has had a canter the trot is more forward and rounder.

The canter is more natural to the horse than the trot. When horses are turned out they will mainly walk or canter not trot.

The only way the horse is to become balanced at the canter is to canter. It won't happen over night, but with each ride it will improve. Canter trot canter transitions are great for this. The canter will not magically be perfect without working on it so canter on!


I had such a great ride tonight. It wasn't perfect but Zoey was really working well. The trot was so nice at the end. Balanced and forward with a perfect square halt at the end.

Spiraling in and out went very well. She was carrying herself balanced on the outside rein. She does become opinionated at times but that is OK. I would rather have that than no personality at all.

The lengthening at the trot was the best she has done. no running or throwing her head up. Half pass and shoulder-in on the center line was very good.

It's the canter that is still the big issue. Going to the left is good. It's when I ask for the canter transition on the right is where she gets frustrated. Her small bucks and kicking out does not bother me any more. My seat has improved so much over the last 4 months that I have impressed myself.

With work the canter will get better. At least I don't have to teach the canter like I had to with Curzon. That took a long time. I thought he would never get it.

I have to work more on my core strength. I have to kick my butt and do more yoga. I do love doing the yoga though.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Balance at the Canter

The balance at the canter is Zoey's main problem.

Since I have not been able to work her properly for over a week It is almost like starting over again. It is going to take a lot of work to get her balanced but I know I can do it. Once she stops leaping around lie a frog and puts her mind to the work at hand her canter stride is nice. She just needs to canter more.

My training philosophy is to work on the canter more. Just working on the trot will not improve the canter. Where as work at the canter will improve the trot.

Oh the trials and tribulations of training a young horse. I love it.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Cooooooooold Day

As the sun went down it got colder. When I got to the barn it was a lot colder than I thought it was. I knew I should have ridden earlier. I let Zoey have a good run in the arena as the turnout has been limited because of the weather. Boy did she need it as she ran around letting out a few good bucks. I knew she was done when she trotted and cantered quietly.

I did get to the barn earlier at 3:30 but received a call to teach a lesson at WES at the last minute. No problem as the barn was less than 5 minutes away. So it as off to teach the lesson then also make arrangements to clip some horses next Friday.

Tomorrow it is off to another barn for a new teaching gig. I hope I get it. I need some more regular lessons to teach. This time of year it is hard to get new clients so I'll take some hours at a riding school.

I have been also looking at putting an ad in a popular magazine. Gotta work on the funds for that.

So much for riding today. I'm also glad the hives are gone that Zoey's has had for a week. Me and the barn manager thought they were from the hay as the last batch had a lot of weeds in it.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Poor Zoey has had hives for the last few days. They are mainly on her neck and flank areas. The only area that has me concerned are the ones around her throat. A vet might be coming to the barn tomorrow so I'll buy some drugs to get rid off them.

So because of this I haven't really been able to ride her very much.