Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Rocky Mountain Horse Expo 2013

We will be at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo, giving some demonstrations, and show casing my thoughts and ideas on problem prevention & solving, along with trailer loading, which gives me a chance highlight some of the nuances that allow or head off a forward understood and willing progression. Speaking of and operating with a feel, timing, & balance, to fit the horses needs to achieve the unity between the horse and human. So many times I'm told by someone that their horse will do this or that, what ever that is, to see that the horse is doing this or that, but the horse is still troubled, or reluctant, or  somewhere else mentally, not feeling of, or for use, and the transition isn't understood to its fullest potential. I will be pointing out to you the slightest changes & slightest tries,. Being fully aware, that just because a horse changed, doesn't always mean they tried, or at least tried the thing we were looking for. Know that last sentence can mean a verity of things, depending on how you perceive a horse. The horse is always trying to find that pleasant, kind of a pleasing place. So come down and say hello, I'm really looking forward to visiting with old Friends and meeting new ones, And while we have the horses there we won't have to talk in   theory, we can work from where the facts are. P.S. The horse I'm riding is a Peptoboonesmal stallion, of Starlight farms in Bennett Colorado. Notice he's not troubled. He's let down working from a feel, and in no way concerned about the mares feelings, that I'm preparing to ride. When I see pictures like these, it makes me happy to be where I'm at, and eager to learn more.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Willing Communication Equals Safety

           When you have a willing communication, that is understood you have something that is united, between the human and the horse. I heard a major clinician wanting a horse to be obedient. That is as primitive as it gets, as far as I'm concerned. Obedience is what you are looking for when you haven't prepared the horse to the position for a transition. You end up punishing the horse for what it did. I want to replace the thing that I don't want the horse to do, for something the horse and the human can both get some good from. The horse may run into there own pressure as they get off coarse, making the wrong thing a chore, and come off of that pressure, and find balance that is mental, physical, and emotional. Willing communication is a product of a understanding of a horses movements and thoughts and how one influences the other. And understanding are responsibility to the horse in any, and all situations. Feel, Timing, & Balance are components I use to keep me centered, and promote a willing communication, that develops a trust  and confidence that prepares the horse for the unimaginable.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Safe Tack & Fit

I have seen a lot of accidents over the years, and so many of them could have and would have been preventable, with proactive thought and planning. There's thinking a head and then planning a head. So I'm going to share with you some ways to plan ahead proactively. Our tack is a place we can start. Ill maintained tack, has forwarded to many opportunities, for me to see accidents, that were preventable. Clean well oiled and saddle soaped tack, gives use a chance to inspect high wear areas of our tack. Any place that leather is folded an goes around something like stirrups, over the bars of the saddle, inspect for dirt and debris, along with any iron oxidation transfer to the leather, needs cleaned and conditioned, and inspect for excessive wear or dry cracking. Keep in mind that leather has gone through a tanning process, and the hide doesn't get the nutrients it needs to stay soft like it did from the body when it was skin on the animal, so we need to help that process for the longevity of our tack. I have tack that is used everyday and some of it is 60 yrs. old. Pay particular attention to areas were the condition of the leather is dry, thin , cut, dry cracked. check places that are sewn or riveted and exposed to high wear areas, like saddle skirts, stirrup leathers, covered stirrups, skirts and sheep skin lining. Check cinch hobbles, leather cinch's front or back, English or western. Check breast collar and breast collar tugs. Check doubled and sewn leather headstalls, and reins. Try not to use brand new tack on long trips, and if you have to, check it often to make sure it's not making your horse sore. Taking time and care to do these few things will only make you and your horses life much easier and safer which can only be better.

I've talked some about the leather tack but there are other material we use like nylon webbing, wool, felt, rope material to name some. I want to keep these materials soft and clean also, along with disinfected, they can hold bacteria. Embedded with dirt and sweat it can change how these materials were intended to function, and cause hot spots, pressure spots under the saddle blanket, it can chafe a horse in the cinch area to name somethings. I use bleach at 1 cup per gal. to kill any bacteria that may be present. Keep in mind I ride a lot of horses a month, and this is something I'm pretty careful with. Being a private owner this part isn't nearly as likely. As far as cleaning these types of tack I use Woolite or ez-all like we use to wash our horses, that is horse friendly and medicated, that's pretty hard to bet.

How are tack fits is important as well. We want our saddle to fit properly. Every horse and every saddle is different. We have seven saddles that we use everyday, and we ride all types of horses from 700pds. to huge, low withered to high withered, round backed, and even good backed. Most of the time I don't have to be overly careful which saddle I use, I can make any adjustments that are required with the addition or deletion of saddle pads or types. But with the saddles I have I can pick one to fit a particular horse better. With proper saddle fit then we can move on to cinching the saddle. Leather latigo's are the only part of the leather I don't condition, I inspect them regular, and with them inspections if there is any problems I replace them no questions asked. I don't oil them, for it makes them sticky and hard to adjust, and that makes an undo just on the horse. When I'm cinching my horse, I cinch to fit the situation, and the horse I'm on at the time, and what I'm doing. If I'm on a good backed horse on the flats I'll cinch looser, if I'm going to rope something I will cinch up a little more to fit the horse I'm on and what I'm going rope. Trail riding I will will cinch up more or less, again to fit the horse and terrain. I don't want my saddle moving around to much soring my horse up. Sometimes we do more harm, then good by not cinching snug enough. This is again one of those places I've seen a multitude of preventable accidents. If your using a back cinch. Cinch it up to a soft contact, and more as it becomes necessary, like going down steep grades, roping and facing big stock. If you rope bigger stock and you know your back cinch isn't appropriately adjusted, don't face up stay faced away. Cinching Properly saves the the horse from other tack becoming ill fitting, like breast collars, martingales, cruppers and the like. This support equipment is just that support, we start over working collar tugs, cruppers and these sort of thing they can cut into a horse and maybe fail. Again preventable accident. Center your saddle on your saddle pad, try not to let the edge of the saddle pad end up under the pressure spots of the saddle and cause sores. I hope I've lent you some assistance in these areas, If you have a more specific question, feel free ask.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Balance is a combination of a physical and mental things along with the timing and feel working together to create a balance. Working with horses on the ground or on there back is a very physical sport or activity. It requires quit a bite physical balance and athleticism and equal levels of mental balance. With timing & feel working together the horse and human are in balance and have a balance between the horse and human. It's important to keep the horse interested in you and whats going on, if the horse isn't interested in what we are doing they will end up doing something or not doing something to get us to operate from where they are instead of the horse operating from where the human is. But on the flip side, we get to requiring more from the horse than they have the coordination or understanding to give us at the particular time, that would give the human and the horse an imbalance. And again that would go under the timing part we have mentioned. There is a mental and emotional balance required by the human to help the horse be in balance and to stay in balance with what we are asking of the horse. As a horse is learning how to fit the human it is a great deal of help if we have the physical balance to support and fit the horse so he doesn't have to work at what the human is asking any harder then what is necessary. These things that I've been talking about may seem and sound pretty basic, but you would be surprised at the number of horses and people that I work with that any one or more or all three of these things are the creator of a miss communication between the horse and human, and more over they a lot of the factors behind the things that I was missing 20 yrs. ago, and as you and I get these things cleared up it will create a greater balance between the horse and human. Feel free to give me your thoughts.