Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Approaching the Halfway Point of Training

Ruben in a moment of reflection.

Well, we are entering week 6 of training with the Mustang. Things are looking good. Saturday Ruben exposed him to the sound of gun shots using a friend's training pistol he uses in training his bird dogs. The mustang did great. He flinched the first two times and after that he was fine. Yesterday, Ruben worked him in the large arena. He is side passing prettier every day. He was introduced to jumps, barrels and a rope. I hope to be able to post a clip of the rope training. He stood like a bro after the first couple of twirls and then Ruben had him moving with the rope twirling and being thrown. Then again, Ruben exposed him to a twirling lead line on the second day of training. Next will be cattle and actual roping. Ruben's goal is to produce the most rounded horse for the eventual adopter in Madison.

At this point in the Mustang's training he has been exposed to or trained as follows:

  • Giving to pressure of the lead line and halter

  • Walk on the lead

  • Lateral flexing (always done before The 5 Essential Ground Exercises.)

  • The 5 Essential Ground Exercises: Moving the Front End, Rear End, Side passing, Backing and Stopping.

  • The 5 Essential Ground Exercises transferred to the saddle

  • The basic Piaffe, Passage on the ground

  • The Spanish Walk on the ground and in the saddle

  • Shooting

  • Roping

  • Jumping (inside the round pen and arena, not out of them)

  • He trailers, allows handling/cleaning of his feet, blankets, stands nicely for the farrier

  • Has performed in clinics inside large exposition halls with crowds and noises he was not accustomd to.

  • Exposed to several people petting and stimulating him at one time. (he is a glutton for attention/affection)

  • Has been out on the trail here at HWD

  • Been through Trail Rider Competition Trail in Boise, ID at the Horse Affairs

  • Was used to collect a loose horse and worked it (cornered it/penned it) so that it could be caught.

  • Stands well to be groomed. Again, likes the attention.

  • Is socialized with other horses

  • Exposed to non-equine species such as dogs or all sizes, in the yard and on the trail. Live llamas and deer mannequins in the trail course.

  • He stands for bicyclists and walks through tarp strips. He even tries to eat them if you stand there long enough.

I am simply amazed at how far this horse has come is such a short time!

We are still experiencing a few technical difficulties on transferring the video tapes to DVD. Luckily, we have a friend that is doing it for us, but there is a time lag in getting them recorded delivered and processed and back so we can post them here. We do appreciate the assistance Brian (BK Builders).

There are lots of comments coming into Horsemen's Western Dressage from former students and clients. They are asking how they can help out. It is very nice to hear them say they do a lot of this or that type riding and they are always complemented on their riding or their horses abilities. They tell Ruben, they have him to thank for that. I guess what goes around does eventually comes around. It is heart warming and rewarding to have people come back and are still appreciative after several years and to know they and their horses are still working together and doing great. That is Ruben's goal: To produce a light and responsive horse that is trained for the remainder of it's life.

Until next time (and hopefully with video's and pictures), happy trails. Be safe out there. Spring is coming, I swear it is, hang in there!

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