Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Little Attitude Adjustment

Part 1

Because the Arabian horse has been acting so reactive since he can home, I knew better than to just get on Storm when he was focused on Rhet in the back field. Just because the the red horse was currently quiet didn't mean he'd stay that way if there was any kind of outburst from Rhet. I knew it was only a matter of time before Rhet kicked up his heels and returned to play and I sure didnt want it happening when I was in a vulnerable position.

With all the rain my round pen is no longer useable taking away my only real place to lunge. Still I decided I would bit the horse up and try to find some place in the yard where Storm could stretch his legs and deal with his preoccupation with the colt. I thought it would be a lot less stressful for both of us for the horse to learn to deal with his distractions in this manner.

Storm wasn't sure what to think about being bited up. Although I used to do that with him before I sold him, I knew he hadn't had to deal with it the whole two years he was gone. It was going to be another reintroduction I expected to be met with resistance.

I figure the more ways I can find for Storm to deal with things he doesn't want to do without me in the saddle, the safer I'll be and the easier it will be for the horse to figure things out. I knew the confinement that he'd feel being bited up would probably trigger that attitude I'd been seeing. I could kill two birds with one stone by working the horse this way. We'd be able to teach the horse he needed to pay attention when worked and we'd deal with the temper tantrums too.

I started off with the reins tied more loosely than I'd do with a horse used to this procedure because I didn't want the horse to feel clostrophobic. Still I wanted him to be asking for some semblance of frame so that he'd learn the release was in relaxing and rolling over. In order to do this, the horse would have to turn his attention to what he was doing instead of focusing on Rhet.

As soon as the reins were tied, I sent the horse off around me. Storm immediately fought against the reins and stomped his feet as he went off in a small circle. With all of this resistance the horse hit the bit and he hit it hard. It only took a couple of times for the expression on his face to change from anger and frustration to intense concentrastion as the horse tried to figure out how to find some relief.

Of course, his relief came right along with the change in his mood. As long as the horse was thinking about what he was being asked, everything when fine. Only when he got distracted by Rhet's movements and changed his frame did the horse have problems. In a very short amount of time I had a soft, supple, complient horse regardless of what Rhet was doing across the yard.

Once I'd heard the deep sigh telling me the horse was finally relaxed, I readjusted the reins and sent the horse off in the other direction. Only for a brief moment did Storm try to fight the change. Then he fell right back in to the soft response I was awaiting. That was all I wanted so I called for a "Whoa!"

Storm figured this exercise out so easily, I decided I'd go ahead and ride him to see what kind of carry over I had. Untying the reins and peeling his halter off, the horse stood like a rock. He was a way different horse than I'd been seeing but I knew better than to think this thing was all over. I knew there would be more stuff with Storm.

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

The Ride

Visit Blog Village and vote daily for this blog Here They are now measuring the rankings by votes out, so if you find my blog on the site, please click that link too to improve my rankings. TY


  1. Are you talking about side reins here? just curious,I like to let them fight out some battles from the ground as well

  2. fern, yupe, I guess side reins would be the right description.

  3. what a great idea to let him figure it out without risking your neck: )

    good boy storm!


  4. Way to get creative and keep yourself safe. I hope it did the trick.