Thursday, April 21, 2011

More about the Horses.........

I've already told the stories that caused the issues with Louie because he was taken to two shows before he was ready. Had the horse made it into the ring at the first show he would have never gone to the second one.

It was when I got to see the horse in the ring at that second show that I was able to see the horse was not using his shoulder properly. Then once I rode him after regionals was over and BG was cancelling many of our work days I got the chance to really ride him myself. Then I could see the horse didn't really understand going into the bit properly either and that's why Louie had not maintained a proper frame in the ring. The horse didn't really understand despite the fact BG and WF had said he was ready to be shown.

From what I have been able to tell in the limited work the horse has had since that time, I'm not sure if Louie's forward has been compromised by gimmicking him into a frame with those apertures of BG's. The obvious issue with the horse is the nerves he gets when he's taken to a strange place. Unitl the weather clears up enough for me to expand my work day to include Louie, I won't be able to know if there are other issues there as well. For now I can say the thing with his nerves is serious enough it's going to take some time. Whether that's time off or time working, is unknown yet.

The next thing I'm concerned about has to do with two horses, Vee and Percy. When we originally began working with Vee, the mare was already started under saddle but had not been worked on a regular basis. She knew enough to walk, trot, canter and had a pretty good whoa. She did not know her leads and had a little trouble picking up the left one.

We had people coming to look at Vee and so BG decided he wanted to keep her there to spend extra time working on that lead. Now that I think of it, that's an interesting concept for a man that couldn't tell if he was on the right lead or not but still Vee stayed to be ridden by BG. Instead of getting better, Vee got worse.

By the time I quit taking Vee over to be worked the mare had a chronic issue picking up that left lead. We had gone from maybe missing it on the first request and getting it on the second to maybe not getting it at all with multiple requests. The only way I could get the correct lead at that point was to bring her out of a very small circle and up into it.

Percy was started by BG. While BG pushed him to hard that first day, he had backed up when I'd told him to. Percy really looked like he was coming along just like the others.

However, I noticed in January when BG all of a sudden decided he was working my horses again, that Percy was struggling with his leads to the same extent as Vee. Watching BG try over and over again to get that left lead, I decided I was going to get BG off of Percy before the problem got worse.

I have no idea what caused this problem but it's clear both horses have it. I have started a number of these horses under saddle and never had such a problem. Each horse that has started off with a difficult way had come around with no issues except for these two worked by BG. Maybe when I figure out how to fix this I will have some kind of clues as to what caused it. In the meantime, I have two horses that started off like any baby horse getting the correct lead and have not gotten chronic about getting the wrong lead to the left.

The last horse with issues related to the time with BG is Tag. He was the first of my young horses that BG started and it went the smoothest. Issues with Tag didn't really start until about the time MD and GD added their second horse at the barn and began with the cross ties.

It was during that same week that BG went to put the crupper on Tag and the horse freaked out. BG's way to handle this was to never use the crupper again. I also began to notice if we took any kind of break with Tag he freaked at having the pad placed on his back and then, of course, the saddle too. It would take a few days before Tag would get comfortable with being saddled again. Part of his freaking out was pulling back and since then if anything startles the horse he pulls back when tied.

It's important to note the issues this horse has are probably the simplest of all to fix. I began working Tag exclusively without any help from BG before we ever quit working together and I've not seen any sign of these things since the first days. I'll post about what I did to fix them in a later post.

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

This is Scandalous Rhythm calling to his mom outside the ring. The horse got injured somehow having to do with this photo shoot

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  1. Beautiful picture again. He seems to have a worried look wondering where mom is. But still very proud.

  2. I agree that it is very interesting that the "trainer" couldn't tell what lead he was on. Boy that's something my sister who is a trainer is a real stickler about. She won't even let some if her students show if they can't figure out what lead the horse is on.
    Just another example of why BG must have been in it for the money.

  3. I would be so discouraged by all the issues you describe. It's a good thing you have so much experience to draw on in fixing them. Also, I'd be pissed, but then you've had so much to be angry about and have over come so much, that you're probably just glad to have all your horses away from him at this point.
    Gorgeous picture!

  4. Rhythm is a beautiful boy. I'd love to know how he's doing now. But we'll have to wait for that. I remember him and his new owner's story.

    Anyway, BG is in no way shape or form to be called a trainer. This is one of my biggest gripes in the horse industry. So many people without a clue training horses and people when they don't know what they're doing. Anybody can bill themselves as a trainer and take the lives of innocent horses, children and adults down a very dangerous path. Okay, I'm taking a deep breath now and stopping the rant before I get rolling here.

    I'm sure you will figure out how to fix all of their problems when you have better weather and more time.

  5. I suspect aside from having a disconnected seat on a horse(not sittting loosely and deep enough to "feel " the lead BG, must also sit a little off. Esp to have 2 horse develope the same problem form his riding , if his balance isn't centered and his aids are heavy to one side ns not the other (something we all have to be aware of and work at ) it could skew the signal to the horse and they might actually find it easier to be ridden on the wrong lead than to overcome his balance(no idea if this makes sense in print , it is more about feel )

  6. You should be able to tell if you are on a correct lead, even before you lope off. Some horses are so smooth, that you can't tell if you are loping on the correct lead or not, but not young horses. And not if you are a trainer.

  7. Nicole, I'm not sure if that look is about his mother, who really is right there, or because of his injury. Poor guy. Most of the pics that day have that worried expression.

    Nicole, it's also interesting I wasn't put off because he didn't know them. Looking back at this I just can't believe I didn't see through this guy. I don't know if he's in it for money or to feel like a big shot.

    Carol, sometimes it's so overwhelming I don't know which end is up. The only reason I even posted this is because of all the work he claims he did. It's hard not to look at these horses and not be mad at myself for not seeing through this guy. The best part is that it's now over. I don't have to worry about him doing anymore damage to my horses. For that I am grateful.

    Arlene, I understand that Rhythm will be shown this year. I will try to track his progress.

    I think a lot of people get sucked in by "trainers" who are not trainers. I wish we had some way to register them like they do in Europe.

    fern, the fact there are two of them makes me think it has to do with his balance too. He says he has no feeling in one leg. That might be the reason. I'm glad I was able to spot it in Percy before it got as advanced as Vee. I think it will be easier to fix in him.

    HOAL, there's a lot about this that's hard for me to figure out. The biggest is how he can do such a good job of getting a horse to go forward in the long lines and then not seem to know squat about much else. He talks a good game but he sure doesn't know how to do what he talks in the saddle. I'll be shaking my head at myself a long time over this.

  8. That's an interesting thought- that maybe it's his riding affecting their performance.

    Rhythm looks lovely there.

  9. I don't know how you can do all that fixing by yourself! :( I'm overwhelmed just reading about all of it.

    I'm interested to hear how you retrained Tag out of pulling back when tied.

  10. FV, there's so much literature to support how we sit in the saddle affects how our horse moves, I guess it only makes sense that his lack of feeling in one leg could be affecting these green horses.

    Linda, I get overwhelmed thinking about it but if I don't do it, it won't get done. Whose goning to buy horses with obvious issues like this. I offered someone Vee at a screaming deal because the woman had the ability to fix this and it didn't happen because the woman thinks that there is a physical issue with Vee causing it. I firmly believe otherwise and guess I'm going to have to prove it. If my dream has any chance of surviving, these horses need to be fixed.

    Tag was actually quite easy to fix thanks to a trick I learned from Mike Neal. I will try to get some pictures to add to a post about it.

  11. For me it can be the right lead, but now that I know how to set the horse up and ask- neither one is a problem, no matter the gait leading up to it. Even still though, sometimes I manage to screw it up and blow it. But it is me, not the horse.

    The issue is obviously BG and has become habit. Luckily it is an easy fix, no special 'tools' needed. Hubby explains it far better than I can. Clearly and easy to understand. Drop me a line and I can have him help you out.

  12. As for BG not being able to tell the leads, I know a gal who calls herself a trainer and can't for the life of her, get her diagonals. Needless to say, she never gets past the intro classes in dressahge.*eyeroll*sigh*

  13. All I can say is I'm so glad you hav your horses away from this guy. And yes its a shame that trainers dont have to pass a special sort of exam or have agrading system. That way you at least know the level of knowledge they have. I hope the spring weather is allowing you to spend some special time with your horses and bringing a smile to your day

  14. It's amazing how much damage you can do by forcing them into a false frame. Ugh.

  15. Rhythm is a very handsome boy!!! I love those chromey chestnuts!!