Back to Equine Basics

Today I was supposed to go to a horse event with Sara, but I decided it would be better to do lessons with both my horses. Lee was a good sport and drove me. A trailer I can pull is on my wish list!

Look! I’m on Drew!

Apache was annoying and ran off twice before coming to be haltered, which slowed things down. But I got his sweaty self groomed and made it to training. The idea was to figure out what I need to do to get him focused on me and my agenda.

We first did round pen work, and eventually got him quite attentive. Then I bravely got on and practiced getting him to walk quickly and not trot. (It hurt to trot, but I lived.) I’m going to keep doing those things next week to get him totally focused. It’s back to basics. I’m the mean mare.

No, she’s the mean mare.

Oh my, Apache was not yet done with learning who is boss. The trainer got on him to figure out his issues. And that she did. He did all his backing up, turning, and such, just like with me. He was not interested in going straight, staying on the fence, or anything.

It was fun watching the trainer patiently work with him, gently but firmly, until he figured out it was easier to do what she asked. Spurs helped.

She said the way I’d been taught to do the one-rein stop and make him yield his hindquarters actually gave him power. So I will learn new things and so will he. I’m so glad we did this.

Settle your ass down.

He is not bad hearted or untrainable, so I can keep working with him. That was good news. I was wondering if I was fooling myself investing in training him. No, we just have to go backwards and fix us both. Sigh.

Apache sure was sweaty when we were done.

Things were better with Drew, who is working so hard! He has to do all these exercises with his shoulders or haunches in. It’s really strengthening him, but isn’t easy. He keeps trying.

I back up a lot.

In fact, he is strong enough now that he can canter under saddle without falling down. I was so happy to see it! His back legs are so much stronger and coordinated!

Look at me go!

He’s where I hoped he would get during his initial training. And he is still so sweet.

Canter time

As you could see at the beginning of the post, I did get to ride him. Embarrassing thing was that both my hips cramped when I got on. I’m tired of hurting. I did get to learn his cues, which was fun. I’ll enjoy learning more. I’ll leave you with a movie of Drew practicing getting into the canter.

Go Drew!

So thankful that I have such good guidance on this journey.

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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