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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Help From DUH...

Help from DUH and NWC...

I ordered some new gear late Monday afternoon from the DUH website, and it arrived Wednesday by 3pm - That's pretty dang fast! Headstall, mecate reins, curb strap, twisted bit, slobber straps - all first class. (Love the mecate reins!)

My thanks go to Clint, the sales rep at DUH who was super helpful.

So, here's the deal with the twisted snaffle bit...

Max has been increasingly more difficult to flex, and he has always been hard to steer left and right. Here again, NWC members on the forum clued me in to what this was (See below) and ways to fix it. Thanks, y'all.

I got the twisted snaffle bit thinking maybe it'll help with Max leaning on the bit. I didn't even know what leaning on the bit was until I read someone's description on the NWC forum. Thanks to appyluvr96 for bringing it up on the forum in relation to her horse.

When I read her description it dawned on me (duh) that that was what Max was feeling like with all that getting hard to flex behavior and not wanting to steer left and right when I wanted to. I read some members suggestions on the NWC forum about using a twisted bit, and saw where CA suggested using a twisted snaffle until he lightens up. There were other good suggestions, too, that I tried, and that helped.

The first time I rode him in the new bit I can't say I noticed much difference. I felt like I was still doing a lot of bumping. And I don't want to do that. I want to be "light".

Then, the second time we rode in his new bit, I felt like a bit of progress was made.

By the third time we rode in the new bit, I could tell we had some lighter flexing and easier steering. As far as the steering goes, he doesn't seem to be tossing his head and fighting me so much when I steer left and right.

I think we're both happier about the new "light-er-ness"...

Have a good ride,

A Good Workout...


We had another good workout. We reviewed circle driving, backed two methods, tap the air and WWWW. Max did well.

We also did side-passing on the fence. We're getting better and better.

We worked on the take-off again in LFR-2 and the change of direction. He's getting better.

He did well with leading behind. I think we've got that one down.

We attempted leading beside. It was a little rocky at first. Then I tapped and Max took off. We'll work on staying in exactly the right position, but he did pretty well for the first time. Leading beside on the left was a little rockier, but he got it. We'll do it again tomorrow.

YAY! We tried turn and go again. I tried a couple of suggestions I got from NWC members on the forum when I explained the backing up problem I was having when I first introduced it. It was still not pretty at first - a lot of backing up. He finally found it! We did it lots of times. It was getting dark, but we couldn't stop right when he was just about to get it for good. We practiced a few more times and quit for the night. He was getting pretty smooth with it by the time we stopped. Good Boy.

And thanks to NWC members on the forum for helping me out!

It was another good workout...

Have a good ride,

Friday, February 24, 2012


I watched Leading Behind again.  We practiced it at a walk.  The trot wasn’t happening for us. 
Soooooo, I took that as a starting point and we practiced LB at the walk for two days.

To get the trot, Clinton Anderson says to move their feet in a circle then just turn and start jogging and let him come out of the circle behind your jog while his feet are still moving.

We walked with LB then I leaned forward and jogged – no trot from Max, so I spun around and moved him off into a lunge then changed directions, then changed directions again – then while his feet were moving I jogged off.  He stopped. 

Right away I moved him into a lunge, changed directions, then changed directions again. While his feet were still moving I turned and jogged off and lo and behold he trotted right behind me!  Hallelujah!  I kept trotting so he would get the idea that this is what I wanted then we stopped and rested. (I more than he.)

We rubbed and Good Boyed! 

Then, we did it again – Hallelujah! He trotted behind me.  We kept it up.  Whenever I led him around we practiced first walking then trotting. 


Just let me tell you right now – If you weren’t in shape before you started teaching this exercise, you’ll be in shape after a few days of the LB exercise.  It is definitely exercise. 

I rode for an hour.  We trotted and posted lots, and cantered several times.  He got a little snarky and tried to get all crazy and show me he was ready to stop.  So I ORS-ed him and then turned him in circles one way then the other –then rode for 15 more minutes.  It was the best ride I’ve had since the new year!!  GID-DEE-UP!!

Have a good ride,

Monday, January 30, 2012

Leading Behind...

We're Back!  Click back to the first few posts to see how I came to use Clinton Anderson's DownUnder Horsemanship method in order to train me to handle Max on the ground and to gain confidence in the saddle.

Leading Behind…

Max and I kept practicing through the holidays.  Yesterday we started on the Leading Behind lesson.  Max is fine with the walking and stopping, but he is refusing to trot when I jog.  At first I tried bump, bump, bumping the rope (This is not what I learned on CA’s dvd.)  I don’t know why I did it.  It didn’t work.

I abandoned the trotting part and went back to reinforcing the walking and stopping part.  He did very well.

Then, we practiced side-passing down the fence line.

Moving down the fence to the right (left foot crossing over right foot) he did pretty well.  Moving down the fence to the left (right foot over left foot) was not smooth or pretty.  We had lots of corrections to make all down the fence.  We practiced each way a few times.  It did get better each way with practice.

Max is now doing Lungeing for Respect Stage 2 pretty darn well.  We have come a long way on this one.

I need to work on getting him to roll back on his hind feet and make that 180 degree turn.  He’s almost there but he keeps trying to come forward about halfway through the change of direction.  I’ll watch that LFR-2 segment again this week.

But tonight I’m watching that Leading Behind segment again...

Have a good ride,

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Last Post of the Year Unless...

**********Click back to the first few posts in August to see how Max and I came to use Clinton Anderson’s Downunder Horsemanship method to train me in handling Max on the ground and to regain my confidence in the saddle.


            We’re still practicing Lungeing for Respect – Stage 2.  We’re getting pretty good at it.  Max understands what to do.  He turns better when changing from clockwise to counter-clockwise.  He is reluctant to make a smooth turn and change to going clockwise.  We keep working on it.

            We’re also still practicing side-passing.  Here again, he’s better at it going to the left than going to the right.  We’ll keep working.

            Due to weather and Christmas activities, I haven’t ridden much.  I’m still getting in at least one ride a week.  That isn’t helping me in making progress in the saddle, but it keeps my confidence up.

            Max and I will keep practicing our groundwork until after January first, and then start making progress again.

            So, this will be the last post of the year unless….........we somehow make big progress between now and January 1st…

            Have a good ride

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Keeping Up...

 ***Click back to the first few posts in August to read how Max and I came to use Clinton Anderson's Downunder Horsemanship method to train me to work with Max on the ground and to help me regain confidence in the saddle...


I’m way behind.  Thanksgiving and Christmas activities are tops on my list until the new year, so I’m working in short sessions with Max when possible.  Most days we can get in a bit of practice.  We’re not learning new skills, but we’re practicing the ones we know.  And…we can both use the practice.

            We’ve had some interesting sessions practicing lungeing for respect-stage 2 this week.  Some days I think he’s got it, then we go out the next day, and we’re all but starting over.  Other days he seems to remember right away what we’re trying to do.  I think that’s a product of just flat not having long enough sessions to practice doing it the right way after the concept is gotten.  But… we’ll get it, eventually, even through our short sessions.

            I have not watched disc 4 in Gaining Respect and Control on the Ground–Series 2 yet.  I’m really shootin’ for watching that this weekend.  If I get to it, fine.  If not, that’s okay, too.  We’ll just keep improving on our previously learned skills.

            We’ve also been practicing side-passing down the fence.  Again, we’re coming along slowly.  But there’s small improvement week to week. 

            I’ve only gotten in one ride this week.  I plan to ride a couple more times before the end of the week.  It was a good ride.  We didn’t do anything but walk and trot.  He acted like he’d forgotten how to back up.  So, we worked on that a little.  He remembered.  It was only about a forty-five minute ride. 

            If I can watch the last disc on GRCG-2 this coming weekend, we’ll be able to add  some new skills to work on before the end of the year.
If not, we’ll be just practicing our skills and keeping up…

Have a good ride,


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How Did We Get to This Point...?

New Post coming later this week...


To read how Max and I got to this point in our training with Clinton Anderson's Downunder Horsemanship method click back to the first few posts...