New boy on the block

carthorse

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Another update if anyone's interested.

He's looking a lot trimmer now, though still with some weight to lose - it's interesting to see how different people's views are on correct weight for a cob! I've got a few saying he's too light, probably most saying he's just right, and a few including me who think he still has some to lose.

He's had another holiday while I've been away, and then I had a couple of lessons on him before bringing him home. He's coming on nicely, still green enough that he needs riding every step rather than saying that's right and being able to leave him alone because he'll maintain but with help he now can maintain it. I don't mind admitting the amount of leg needed on him in the school is a bit of a shock after nearly all of my school work being done on a very forward horse, but I'm getting the idea and I'm sure my legs will recover at some point 🤣 . He tries so hard though and is noticably more relaxed now, The heavy rain yesterday meant we used the indoor that is fully mirrored on two sides and once Luka got over his horror of them I found them very useful and was pleasantly surprised at how he looks when we get it right and not as horrified as I expected when it was going wrong.

I got my new steps today too :) He had to have a jolly good look at them to begin with and the first attempt I ended up having someone give me a hand as he was constantly pivoting away, Second time it probably took 10 minutes but he gave up and I got on unaided!!!! He's certainly calmer with them on the main yard, he wasn't tense just a bit awkward and still wanting to follow me with his nose which swings his quarters out. I think this will work though, and he did manage a carrot from my right hand once I was on (I have a feeling he may have learnt this on holiday as he didn't get it before) which hopefully will encourage him to wait and think of turning his neck to the right which will stop his quarters swinging out.
 

Skib

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I am glad you were on holiday and not way ill. About the leg. If you need leg to keep a young wriggly horse staright that is fine. But Rashid always said that contrary to the RS RI, a horse should continue in walk until you ask for something else. And can be taught that, if it is your intention. OH has just brought me an icecream cornet so cant find the reference but will be back. Tho I expect you know how.
 

carthorse

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I am glad you were on holiday and not way ill. About the leg. If you need leg to keep a young wriggly horse staright that is fine. But Rashid always said that contrary to the RS RI, a horse should continue in walk until you ask for something else. And can be taught that, if it is your intention. OH has just brought me an icecream cornet so cant find the reference but will be back. Tho I expect you know how.

Hi Skib. It's only an issue schooling, and truth told it isn't really an issue just lacking education. Straightness is less of an issue than bend where he needs support on the inside and also stopping falling through the outside shoulder all while keeping a balanced rhythmical pace. Of course a point will come when he'll be able to do it without the input, but that time isn't yet because he hasn't got enough control over himself in that type of work - I haven't had him 3 months yet and I've spent most of that hacking since realistically he'd done so little work in his entire life that he needed muscle and learning to balance with a rider over different ground. So his formal schooling is a few weeks, spread out. It just seems odd to me after riding horses that were very forward - some would say to a fault, particularly in Jim's case - but when dealing with greenies I must say this is a much safer option since if I make a mistake or something bothers him or he doesn't understand he isn't shooting off flat out! And even the guy I'm having the odd lesson with says he has a lovely attitude with his work and that's praise from him given what he normally works with.

Hacking he just keeps going, but then hacking is just asking for a straight line and he can do that now. When he can do more in the school I'm sure that the same will happen there, it's not as though he needs kicking round even now.
 
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Skib

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Just like to say about hacking. Our summer hacking lets us wander through shady woods winding in and out of the trees. It is excellent practice in walk for what our RI calls riding the whole length of the horse. There is also ducking under branches practice for the rider. Which I find hard in riding trot.
But not today. OH and I walked yesterday and there was so much surface water and lots more rain in the afternoon. Just on the track today and no canter. The ground will be very wet.
 

Skib

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@Skib when and why would you not ride the whole length of the horse?
To be honest, most of the time. I dont think my first two years of BHS approved lessons ever mentioned the back end of the horse. Then I moved to our long term RI who said that where the nose of the horse goes, the rest is likely to follow. Thus I was taught to ride with very much the minimalist style. To get the horse in a position where it could carry out what I wanted, then ask and leave the rest to the horse. Not to hamper the horse. But also the bone idle school of riding.
But then I have only rarely ridden a young horse. I hack and my present ride is the opposite of yours. But today I am well exhausted.
I felt that if I let her nap back to home or to the other horses she saw in the distance, I would never again feel in control of her out hacking solo. I dont know what you think? I won the argument but then got further tired as I trotted a lot and rode lots of transitions, just to have her moving and listening to me.
 
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carthorse

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@Skib that was some pretty shabby teaching and must have been very frustrating.

On an established horse the riding should at least look minimalist, and there's a lot to be said for explaining what you want and then letting the horse get on with his job, if the rider looks like they're working hard the chances are one or both parties don't know what they're doing - of course you can be working very hard without it being obvious!

It sounds like you did the right thing today. Is this the same mare that was being difficult and nappy before? You ride for fun not to have battles and end up exhausted, if I were you I'd be asking them to give me a different horse because this isn't fair on you.


The moveable mounting block worked again today! It took quite a few goes then all of a sudden he just gave up and stood :)
 
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carthorse

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This seems to be turning into a bit of a diary thread.

I was so pleased with him today. First of all it only took 5 minutes to get on him without any help. Now I know that sounds a long time, but it's actually only a few messed up attempts and block moves though there was a slight panic from me when he put a foot on the bottom step - no Luka that's really not how a mounting block works
😱
. When I was on it was plenty of fuss, praise and pieces of carrots - yes I managed to teach him about treats from the saddle - before I asked him to walk on. It went slightly wrong at that point since he was quite happy standing getting fuss and treats and calmly (good) ignored all requests or orders to move on except for shifting his feet into a more secure position
🙄
. So I decided rather than kick, which I always feels makes me less secure, to give an upwards nudge with my heel. That did NOT go down well and he bounced up off all four then bucked! Cue a loud no, pony club kick and what is politely termed positive riding forward. I now know he doesn't like that particular cue, and thinking back I bet that's what I did in my lesson when he bucked - ah well, I live and learn. Something tells me he probably won't be a horse I;l want to wear spurs on when his schooling is better and some finesse could be used.

Once he'd stomped his way off the yard we hadn't gone very far at all before he was totally forgiven. A very big lorry with tarp sides came round a blind bend at a speed too fast for it's size. We were quite a way back but I immediately asked him to stop - and asked, and asked - but he kept coming. Do I somehow have hi viz that acts as an invisibility cloak? He was big enough that there's no way even a small car could have gone past him even if he'd pulled to the side of the road, common sense says he shouldn't have been on that road in the first place. He eventually stopped with the front of his cab level with the only driveway I could get into and poor Luka was shaking. I moved him sidewards into it, not least so I could keep an eye on the driver because I wasn't sure he wasn't going to go before we were properly in. I was so pleased with Luka, it would have been understandable if he'd played up at that.

He was good for the rest of the ride and we had a nice steady trot up a long hill which made him puff a bit more than he should - we both need to get fitter, though I suspect in his case the big net full of haylage before he was ridden may have been a factor. A girth I bought a couple of weeks after I got him and couldn't even get to meet now does up on the 4th hole on both sides and standing back to look at him I'd say he now needs to tone up rather than lose much more weight, hence the haylage and I've started adding some high fibre nuts to his Happy Hoof. Ideally I'd have him on a bit more grass instead but that isn't an option.

I had to laugh at him turning him out. He's travelled a few times now and had been so good about the lorry under saddle, but a 3.5 ton box with the ramp down near the gate caused the most ridiculous snorting, sidling and prancing
🤣
. I opened the gate with him on the end of the rope doing all sorts of interesting things, at which point he walked calmly through without a second look. I must try to find out what the stallion was, some days I wouldn't be surprised to find he was another very chunky unregistered Welsh though realistically he's got too much feather for there not to be something else in there.
 
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Huggy

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This seems to be turning into a bit of a diary thread.

I was so pleased with him today. First of all it only took 5 minutes to get on him without any help. Now I know that sounds a long time, but it's actually only a few messed up attempts and block moves though there was a slight panic from me when he put a foot on the bottom step - no Luka that's really not how a mounting block works
😱
. When I was on it was plenty of fuss, praise and pieces of carrots - yes I managed to teach him about treats from the saddle - before I asked him to walk on. It went slightly wrong at that point since he was quite happy standing getting fuss and treats and calmly (good) ignored all requests or orders to move on except for shifting his feet into a more secure position
🙄
. So I decided rather than kick, which I always feels makes me less secure, to give an upwards nudge with my heel. That did NOT go down well and he bounced up off all four then bucked! Cue a loud no, pony club kick and what is politely termed positive riding forward. I now know he doesn't like that particular cue, and thinking back I bet that's what I did in my lesson when he bucked - ah well, I live and learn. Something tells me he probably won't be a horse I;l want to wear spurs on when his schooling is better and some finesse could be used.

Once he'd stomped his way off the yard we hadn't gone very far at all before he was totally forgiven. A very big lorry with tarp sides came round a blind bend at a speed too fast for it's size. We were quite a way back but I immediately asked him to stop - and asked, and asked - but he kept coming. Do I somehow have hi viz that acts as an invisibility cloak? He was big enough that there's no way even a small car could have gone past him even if he'd pulled to the side of the road, common sense says he shouldn't have been on that road in the first place. He eventually stopped with the front of his cab level with the only driveway I could get into and poor Luka was shaking. I moved him sidewards into it, not least so I could keep an eye on the driver because I wasn't sure he wasn't going to go before we were properly in. I was so pleased with Luka, it would have been understandable if he'd played up at that.

He was good for the rest of the ride and we had a nice steady trot up a long hill which made him puff a bit more than he should - we both need to get fitter, though I suspect in his case the big net full of haylage before he was ridden may have been a factor. A girth I bought a couple of weeks after I got him and couldn't even get to meet now does up on the 4th hole on both sides and standing back to look at him I'd say he now needs to tone up rather than lose much more weight, hence the haylage and I've started adding some high fibre nuts to his Happy Hoof. Ideally I'd have him on a bit more grass instead but that isn't an option.

I had to laugh at him turning him out. He's travelled a few times now and had been so good about the lorry under saddle, but a 3.5 ton box with the ramp down near the gate caused the most ridiculous snorting, sidling and prancing
🤣
. I opened the gate with him on the end of the rope doing all sorts of interesting things, at which point he walked calmly through without a second look. I must try to find out what the stallion was, some days I wouldn't be surprised to find he was another very chunky unregistered Welsh though realistically he's got too much feather for there not to be something else in there.
Well, what a cracker he's turning out to be! Well done Luka 👏
 
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carthorse

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@Huggy he's such a nice person that he's a pleasure to be with. I wish I'd somehow got him when he was a youngster because I think that with consistent calm handling at a young age he'd have been a terribly easy lad who would have taken everything in his stride - though still with some dancing and snorting just to pretend he could be fierce if he wanted to be 🤣.
 

Skib

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About moving off from the block. I dont know if this is any help. For a transiton from a prolonged stand and wait in halt at the block, to moving off. Same technic if one stops to talk to the RI for a bit and then want the horse to move again. But our RI always says one first needs to loosen the poll. A tiny touch with your finger on one rein and then maybe on the other, It seems to remind the horse it is being ridden and it then listens to the gentle cue to walk forward.
 

carthorse

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About moving off from the block. I dont know if this is any help. For a transiton from a prolonged stand and wait in halt at the block, to moving off. Same technic if one stops to talk to the RI for a bit and then want the horse to move again. But our RI always says one first needs to loosen the poll. A tiny touch with your finger on one rein and then maybe on the other, It seems to remind the horse it is being ridden and it then listens to the gentle cue to walk forward.

He knew he was being ridden, he just wanted to stay where he was a bit longer being told he was good. It's the first time it's happened and since he seems to be a pretty quick learner I don't expect it to happen again given that he was told off for doing the wrong thing and then praised when he got his act together. Personally I try never to use a rein aid before a leg aid so I wouldn't use your RI's technique on principal.
 

carthorse

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@Jane&Ziggy I was somewhat less enamoured with his Welsh antics today - why buy a kite when you can have a cob? It started when I turned him out this morning after he'd come in for some haylage, he saw trailers and boxes with ramps down and had an absolute melt down alternating between freezing on the spot snorting and shaking and then taking a few steps to repeat. The steps were impressive if you like a natural passage with a very clear moment of suspension between the diagonals and plenty of height off the ground but as a leading pace it left a bit to be desired! He soon had most of the yard looking on in amazement/horror while keeping a considerable distance 🤣 . We got out eventually and he pranced off down the paddock to tell his friend how terrifying life was while still keeping a wary eye on the gateway while I went back to some slightly shocked friends. I thought tonight he'd have got over himself, but I was treated to a repeat performance. Maybe tomorrow , , ,
 
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