Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Chuck Kraft Clinic - Part 2

Part 1

I must have been out of it when I did the first post in this series on the Chuck Craft clinic with the Arabian horses. Reading it back over, I find I left out the one thing he did that was "new" to me that I thought I might like to try.

Chuck Kraft had a 22 foot rope with a ring on the end of it similar to the 25 foot rope that Mike Neal used in his "belly band theory." Only with this Arabian horse Chuck Kraft used the rope to teach the horse about pressure around the girth area.

The Arabian horse still was wearing his rope halter and 12 foot lead. Chuck Kraft put the long rope around the horse's trunk threading the end through the ring. Then, still holding the lead and now the end of the 22 foot rope, he moved the horse around him in a circle. Randomly he pulled the rope around the horse's midsection snug so the horse could get used to being "squeezed" in the middle.

If the horse got frightened, Chuck let the pressure off letting the horse know everything was ok...... this squeezing thing wasn't going to eat him! By applying the pressure and removing it over and over Chuck Kraft was able to desensitize the horse

Once he had the Arabian horse used to the pressure around the girth, Chuck Kraft moved the rope back further where a back cinch would be. He continued on in the same manner teaching the horse about the pressure. He also worked further back in the flank so the horse would be prepared if the back cinch ever broke and flopped around out of place.

I've always desensitized my horses in the girth area while they were standing still. Then I have an old, beat-up kids saddle that I use. I put it on the horse and leave the cinch fairly loose and walk the horse around gradually tightening up the cinch from time to time getting them used to that hugging that the saddle causes.

The idea of using the long rope with the ring so the horse can get used to the pressure while trotting and loping, looks like something I will try. I firmly believe the more steps that can be added to teach the horse something, the easier it is for the horse and in the long run, it's easier (and safer) for me.

Now I would move on to Chuck working with the second Arabian horse, however, life jumped up and stung me again! Can you believe that? Yesterday, I didn't even get a look at the culprit and I had no idea what type of bee actually stung me. I thought it was an isolated incident.

Turns out that there is a nest down inside one of my plants. I was trying to prune this plant so obviously I was disturbing the little buggers nest. Today these little black and white striped hornets can swarming out at me. I'm lucky I managed to escape with only one more sting.

This time I was stung on my right wrist and it's swelled up like a balloon and almost to my elbow. But that's not what bothers me. These are really painful stings and somehow they affect the muscle and cause spasms.
They hurt so much, the one sting last night kept waking me up with sharp shooting pains in my arm. Now the one in my wrist is doing the same kind of thing. I hope I manage to get some sleep tonight.

I'm having a photo shoot on Saturday with three of my Arabian horses and I have lots of preparation to get done. I'm normally not such a woos....but these stings are miserable!! So I'm going to give tell you a bit of history about this second horse for now and post about what happened to him at the clinic tomorrow. This second Arabian horse has a particularly interesting history.

The horse is a very nice chestnut half Arabian gelding with lots of chrome. His other half I believe is quarter horse. The gelding is sired by national champion Khadraj NA who has sired some great show horses. This young horse definitely has to look of a national caliber western pleasure horse. The question is does he have the mind.

The people who own this horse also owned his full brother at one time. That horse didn't work out because he turned out to be too much horse for the woman rider. The horse was traded to Rod Powell who won a national western pleasure championship on him who them sold him to another client in their barn.

This woman feels a certain amount of disappointment this horse didn't work out for her. She and her husband both were really hoping this second horse would work out better.

This second horse the people bought recently thinking he would work out for the woman to show in western pleasure. He is a yearling and was running free in a herd of 100 horses when they found him. He had no training what so ever.

They took him to a big name trainer because they weren't qualified to deal with a wild young horse. However, it turned out the horse seemed to be much wilder than anyone expected.

After a short time with the BNT, he called Bret Corey to see if Bret's daughter, Kelsey, might be willing to do some work with the horse. Kelsey is into Parelli and even though the BNT had scoffed at the thought, after seeing Kelsey working with some horses, he thought maybe she could do something with this delinquent young gelding.

The BNT said he could "fix" this horse but just really didn't have the time nor the inclination. To be quite honest the horse was rearing, striking and kicking. They had not been able to get his feet trimmed even with the aid of drugs. The now 70 something trainer just didn't want to be messing with such a horse at his age.

The BNT was calling the horse "Killer." His registered name just happens to be Khriminal. Shannon Armstrong always said: "Be careful what you name a horse, it might just live up to its name." Well, Khriminal must have heard what Shannon said because he was definitely trying to live up to his name. Kelsey Corey was Khriminal's last hope. All parties concerned certainly felt if the horse couldn't be fixed, the killer is where he would end up.

To be continued...........


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  1. Oh eeeekkkk! Hornets! Yikes, I hope you call someone out to remove them a.s.a.p. I loath hornets and yellow jackets, they're viscous, aggressive things that just don't quit.

    I do the rope around the middle thing all the time and it does work great with the horses. My stallion didn't bat an eye the first time I cinched him up and I cinched him up tight that first time. In fact, I think he took a nap. Anything that can help is a good thing. :)

    I can't wait for part 3.

  2. You poor thing, another darned hornet got you!!! That's two too many! Get a can of Raid and give them a good dose of that!

  3. OM Gosh MiKael
    I am not allergic to bees stings fortunately but my daughter is and every time she gets zapped the reaction is worse. To have a second go round with the little varmints is certainly no fun, hope the anithistamines etc. help out. The bugs love me I am always covered in chigger, fly or other unidentified bumps and lumps and now havea liquid I put on them to help reduce swelling and control the itching LOL.

    Am reading these posts with interest because it sounds like this gelding may be a bit like Taxes, although he has quietened down considerably and is much easier now that he has been gelded.

    Zap that nest of hornets with something so you dont get stung again!!!!

    Thinking of you, I am shooting a show away from home this weekend so will be away Friday and Saturday night. ((((Hugs))))

    Hope Lindsay is getting stronger each day.


  4. Yikes, sorry about another sting! Too bad about that young "living up to his name". Hope that Kelsy can help.

  5. Good grief! So sorry you got stung again. That hive needs to GO! Hope you get some relief, soon.

    P.S. I'm in love with the horse in this post! It's Storm, right? Gorgeous photo of him! Looks so dreamy!

  6. Ouch!!!! Sounds painful. Good luck dealing with everything despite the stings.

  7. Oh MiKael - I know how you feel, having just been attacked by wasps. My hand and arm swelled up like a balloon too up to my elbow. When I went to the doctor, he gave me prednisone and warned me that any time I get stung by a wasp, the only thing that will reduce the swelling is steroids so I'm to go as fast as i can to a doctor to get some. I hope it won't ever happen again - I have felt your pain and the itching was horrible too! I hope you feel better soon.

  8. You are not being a woos. In fact, I'm worried about you.

    Get someone else to come deal with the nest. It sounds like you are allergic, which will only get worse and can kill you!

    Drop everything and go to your doctor. You might need to keep an Epi-Pen and prednisone on hand to prevent anaphylactic shock. (My daughter has to have these around because of her nut allergy.) If she has a reaction, she is to use the Epi-Pen, benadryl and prednisone right away. I've been told we have 15 minutes to get to the hospital.

    Bee stings can be as bad. Please, please -- make sure you are safe!

    I'm so sorry you are suffering with this. You are such a trooper. Be a good boss to yourself and take some time off.