Saturday, January 22, 2011

Another Journey Begins - The Ripple Effect

Part One

Most every day I speak to a couple different horse friends on the phone. We talk about the usual stuff and mostly how things are going with my horses and theirs. During the time when I just began working from BG and WF's facility, I was telling these friends all the things I thought I was learning about BG and what he seemed to know about horses.

One of those things BG had shown me was how to do what he calls boxing. I'd allowed him to try it on Legs to see if it would help get the horse deeper underneath himself. I had even tried it on Dandy to see if it would help with that horse too. It was an interesting concept and BG wanted to show me how far he could take it suggesting there were many variations that could be done so he was continuing to work with Legs before I rode the horse each day.

Not long after this started, one of my friends was having problems with her horse, Goldie. She decided that maybe BG was the man to fix them based on what I'd said so she called him. It was from BG that I learned the mare was coming to him for training.

The funny thing about her decision was at this time I really hadn't seen BG in the light of being a horse trainer I would consider for a show horse . He seemed to be more of a cowboy to me and the history he relayed was certainly cowboy. Not that there is anything wrong with a cowboy philosophy, it's just that cowboys do not usually do or even want to do show horses. For me, I saw BG as someone who loved horses and was probably good at starting them but not really a show horse trainer. Also there is a wide gap between finishing a horse and starting one, nothing I'd heard from BG told me he'd finished any type of horse.

Even WF had said to me BG was not "really" a trainer. Among other things she's said the man didn't even know his leads. . From what I'd seen the horses he was working with were not doing all that well in the ring and they sure didn't seem finished the way that I would want. While working along side him in an arena was one thing, training a horse for me would be another.

I was thinking there were probably better choices for my friend to send her horse to but I didn't express those thoughts. I'd already learned that people don't necessarily want to hear the trainer they've chosen might not cut it so I kept my mouth shut. There was the possibility with this mare's issues he might just surprise me. My friend wasn't looking for a finished show horse anyway. What she wanted was a safe horse to ride.

The mare had been returned to my friend after a failed lease/purchase option contract. The party and her trainer were having trouble with the mare rearing and also being naughty in the show ring. The amateur who had hoped to buy the mare was not equipped to deal with such a problem so the mare was returned after lengthy attempts to fix things to no avail.

Since my friend is also a breeder and pretty much in the same position as me with too many horses, she really needed to get this mare sold. Knowing the odds of getting that done with such an issue she'd decided the best thing to do was to get the rearing fixed.

Now with my friend's mare going to BG to be fixed it was going to be interesting to see what kind of skills BG really had. Although it would be important to note I never saw this mare under saddle before this time so there really was no frame of reference other than what we'd heard and what BG said.

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

What Next

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  1. I've never heard of "boxing", and I'm not sure how he planned on fixing the rearing issue--that's a tough one. Guess I'll just have to wait for the rest of the story.

  2. I can see where this might not be a good situation for your friend's mare. If BG wasn't capable of retraining her correctly and your friend brought her there because of you being there...this may certainly lead to a less than ideal situation for everyone concerned.

  3. Linda, I have talked about boxing before but have never described it. While I think it can be a helpful tool, I think it could be a helluva wreck in the wrong hands so I haven't gone into detail. It did help Legs but not sure it did anything for Dandy.

    The rest of the story won't tell specifics on training issues. It is really more the events and my thought process getting through this time. What happens with this mare is a part of that story and you'll be seeing how that came about soon.

    As far as training goes, I will say my input about this mare was she needed to go forward. That did turn out to be this mare's issue.

    Arlene, in hindsight you are very right but it won't exactly go how you are thinking. You will be surprised, as I was, where this one led. What happened surrounding this mare is a big part of the story.

  4. another interesting post- I'll be waiting for the rest of the story...

  5. I have an award for you over at my blog. Please don't feel obligated to do this if you already won or are just too busy!

  6. Thanks for the blanketing advice. I'm looking for what works for people so your thoughts are helpful. Thanks!

  7. Interested to read on.While I agree, most "cowboys" are not shgow trainers , the ones I know (and trust with my horses)are exactly the kind of guy I would send a horse with an issue too. Calm steady and thinking men ,these guys often find the trouble spot fairly easily , and also ,my trainer at least will take the animal out of the arena, and switch it up a bit(much like you do with Legs )SSeems to keep from overlaodign the hosrse mind.
    I suspect though BG is not exactly all that

  8. I'm curious if our 'boxing' methods are the same. I actually learned to use a boxing method from a reining horse trainer and he used it for a lot of different reasons-as you said, to get a horse to bring their hindquarter up under them better, as the beginning basis for a slide, to lighten up the front-end and teach a horse the beginning steps of a spin and for collection.

    Essentially it was riding a horse forward, gathering them up, stop, roll 1/4 turn, drive off in a straight line, gather up, stop, roll 1/4 turn, repeat.

    I like doing it with barrel and pole horses too. It helps teach them to drive off of the inside hind leg.

  9. Fantastyk, I'm hoping all this background stuff will help when we get to the heart of the issues of the last year.

    juliette, thanks for thinking of me.

    Annette, I hope you find something that works for you.

    fern, don't get me wrong. I have no problem seeing cowboys as a possible resource for fixing problems. Harvey Jacobs is certainly someone who would call himself a cowboy and he's a wonderful horseman. You are right about BG. He's no Harvey, that's for sure.

    BECG, Nope we're not talking about the same thing. I do the same exercise you're talking about and I've never heard it referred to as boxing. Very interesting.

    I've not posted specifics on BG's method because I thought it would be too easy for someone unskilled to really injure a horse. It is a method of groundwork. If you would still like to know, drop me an email and I'll explain for you.