Little Bird

Private Babbling
Ad 2:
2008-11-21 19:03:09 (UTC)


After 3 yrs of not talking to Pokey's owner she's back to
attacking me on the internet.

Sent: 7/27/2005 3:41 PM
Okay, so this is long winded but I hope someone can get
something out of it. This is an idea of how my summer has
been going, outside of Camp.

For the past 6 weeks or so I decided to help some people
out with their horse(s). I usually don't go to other
people's houses to work their horse for a whole host of
reasons...Basicly, Momma & Daddy (the owners) like to spoil
their horses or handle them as pets and that causes a great
deal of strife when they see another person making "poor
little Pokey" work. Plus, if I need to change out a bit or
other peice of equipment I know I'll have it at my place
and 9 times out of 10 these backyard owners will not.

SOOOO....on about the 4th time I went out to work with
Pokey I decided to go ahead and try to ride him. I had been
doing ground work with him and was told by his owner that
they were too. I got on Pokey and he was a gem. He even
neck reigned so I decided that I would ride him the next
time I came out too, provided that his owner kept up the
ground work at least 3 times a week for 20 minutes a day.
I got on Pokey after lunging him for about 15-20 minutes.
He walked, he trotted, he was pretty good....except for
where he was trying to pull me over to his favorite tree or
pasture gate. (No, there was no arena or round pen here.)
After about 25-30 minutes of walk/trot I planned to canter
each way, cool him out and be done. Well, Pokey decided he
was going to run as fast as he could, fold in half and not
listen at all.
I gave him the benifit of the doubt. (He was an auction
horse who had been standing in their backyard for I dunno
how many years now...) I bailed off the bucking bronco, he
ran into the pasture, we caught him and I lunged him some
more. Then I rode him w/t/c each way, cooled him out and
put him away.

The next time I went to work him, pretty much the same
thing happend except that he was pulling me towards his
tree and pasture gate even worse. I got bucked off a second
time but that happend only when I had ridden thru about 4
bucking episodes. I figured if I stayed on he would give
up. I feel the reason I came off the second time is because
the reigns were so gross I kind of lost my grip (to bend
his head around, countering the bucking attack...) and I
was ridding in a synthetic saddle (not my number one
choice...) so the cards were stacked against me. Pokey was
harder to catch that time. He ran into the small paddock
(about the size of a big round pen). Every time the horse
went into a corner I would say "Whoa" and wait for him to
settle down. His owner came up on the other side of the
fence blowing kisses and talking baby talk to him. I told
the owner that this horse was taking full advantage of them
and she needed to put her foot down or let him come to my
house for training. There was no way I would be able to
make a safe ridding horse out of a spoiled little monster
like this.

(Before I got on Pokey that day I asked his owner to show
me what she had been doing with him. I knew it was getting
close to the end of my contract here so I wanted to give
her suggestions where I could. She took him into the work
area and lunged him about 2 1/2 minutes one way, stopped
him, let him switch directions REALLY FAST (raise your hand
if you know the pain associated w/getting your arm pulled
out of it's socket...) then lunged him for a little longer
the other way. I explained some of the lunge methods I
learned from Cherry Hill's books because the owner said it
was hard to keep balance and not be dizzy.)

SO we caught Pokey, changed his broken bridle and I rode
him in the pen for a good length of time. He was M A D.
Every second of that ride was a tantrum. It was miserable!
After about 20 minutes though he calmed down and I took him
back out to the area where he was to be worked. I w/t both
ways and decided to try and canter at least 5 strides &
call it a day. Well, you guessed it, Pokey went to bucking
again. This time I had no chance to control him. The bridle
fell apart in 3 places and he took off. This time he got
tangled in a dogs tie out cable w/the dog attatched.

When he was finaly caught I lunged him for several more
minutes and called it a day. His owner made excuses for him
all day long. Her diagnosis was that he only bucks when
he's asked to canter. She felt that he was going fine at
the w/t & that he was bucking because "he feels the girth
more". I told her that he only bucks when he gets to the
pasture gate or the area of his favorite tree. Oi!

I'm writting this for a few different reasons. 1) I know
it's an ideal situation for you to have the trainer come to
you BUT if you feel that insecure about a trainer you
shouldn't hire them anyway.In other words, if there's a
little voice in the back of your head telling you that your
horse will be abused in the hands of the person you're
using or interveiwing then find a different trainer. 2)
Review YOUR idea of abuse. Is it abuse to make the horse
mind? Are you looking for someone that's going to use harsh
methods or do you want someone that is teaching the horse
to learn on their own? 3)If you have the trainer come over
to your house don't interfere or "help" unless asked. (Of
course you should step in if the trainer does something you
don't approve of!) 4)Take the opprotunity to learn from the
trainer and go along with their training program. If you
had sent the horse out for training the horse would have
been worked several times a week. Don't expect a 30 day
mirical (ever!) when the trainer is seeing you once a week
for a little over a month. The whole reason you wanted the
trainer out was so that you could be involved in the
training so DO IT. 4) Don't buy horses, young or old, at
the auction because you feel sorry for it. If you're not a
ridder or trainer you should look for a horse being sold by
a private individual. When you're at an auction you tend to
bid out of emotion rather than common sense. 5) If you have
the trainer come out to work 1 horse, don't expect free
training or advice about the other 10 horses on your place.
Pay them accordingly. Alot of trainers out there don't have
insurance, they are single parents, they rent the property
they're on, they drive cars/trucks that need constant's not fair to try and get something for "nuthin".

Needless to say, Pokey's owners are not asking me to come
back to work with Pokey. I went to my next clients house
and while we were messing around on the internet client #1
e-mailed them some lame excuse as to why they couldn't have
me back. "It had nothing to do with the horse". I found it
very interesting that they e-mailed client #2 less than 30
minutes after I left but they didn't e-mail (or call) me
until a day later.

I've added client #1 to my prayer list because I believe if
they continue to try and ride Pokey w/o a trainer someone
will end up in the hospital.

(I had some great fun with client #2's yearling filly. We
were teaching her to load into the trailer and she threw
some pretty good tantrums but by the time I left that job
she was going in all by herself. I'm so proud of her! The
hard work really paid off.)