Sunday, 30 May 2010

Did we miss something?

Do you think we are getting to a point in horsemanship where there is not a lot left to say? We've been around the houses, tried this and tried that, and realised that the best thing to do is just get on and do it.

I had this idea that I'd get my two riding horses used to ponying each other, so that I could carry my tent, cooker and food on one, and ride the other. We could swap jobs and take turns, or at least they could. So I got the two horses out and tacked Sam up. He was a bit restless and twitchy so I rode him around a bit and then asked Sarah to put a rope on Splodge and hand it to me. Sam saw the rope and kind of squirmed away sideways like he'd seen some kind of a snake. 'What's with this horse' I thought to myself. One day he can do anything and the next day he's scared of a rope. Anyway, we carried on and he got the hang of it. Splodge had her ears back like she was saying, 'Piss off Sam, you can't lead me about'.

A couple of minutes later we'd all got the idea and Sam was going the best he's ever gone. We were all going together as easy as it could be. I love Sam!

You know the trouble with late twentieth/early twenty first century leisure horsemanship - we lack a job. It's a bit like western society - it's just got a bit too much time on its hands, and it thinks just that bit too much.


andrea said...

Good point about lacking a job. Riders aside, horse breeds developed for their jobs. Now they're bred more for how they look in the halter ring. (Then again, what's wrong with a little eye candy she says, putting another Clive Owen movie in the DVD player.)

jill said...

Yes! We are so caught up in doing it right, that we never really get around to just doing the thing we need done.
Lately, I've just been doing, and it's working out better then pussy footing around so much.
Not that I'm trying to overface my horse, but at some point you have to just face up and get on with things.

One Red Horse said...

Sometimes folks comment with surprise that I can lead my horses two at a time or tie both up close together. My comment - they know they have a job to do.

Tom said...

Andrea - I've not heard of this Clive Allen. What breed of horse is he and what is his job exactly?

Jill - Yep Jill, I reckon you're right. getting on with it is pretty helpful to the horse.

One Red Horse - Thanks for commenting. I agree, it feels really good having horses that just get on with stuff like that.

glenatron said...

When we're riding with Steve he'll use dragging a rope as a good way to get the feel of shoulder in, as most horses will be wanting to bend around and eyeball the rope, without having to struggle through the cues for it. Once you know what it feels like when it's working, it's much easier to build that in.

I'm planning to do as much groundwork from horseback as possible when I have another horse to work- in terms of getting things done with the horse I'm working it shouldn't make much difference but it kind of gets my horse worked for free into the deal...

June said...

I'm pretty sure that's true. The polo ponies have a job, they are pretty clear about what it is, and they are about the easiest horses to deal with in my experience.

I see lots of leisure horses that don't really know what their job is as they don't have a routine. They get pulled out of the field a few times a month but the rest of the time they are mostly left to their own devices. Their job is a bit of a mystery to them and can be quite exciting, often to the owner's horror!

We've had a few new ones arrive recently. We normally just get on and ride them the same day they arrive or the next day and they just get on and do their job. I hear people saying they need a few weeks to settle in before you ask them to do stuff, but my reckoning is they know their job and if that stays constant, then at least something in their lives is constant and they settle in much more quickly.

We do ponying with them quite a lot, bringing them in from the field, riding one and exercising another. That's routine for them and they seem to relax and quite enjoy just jogging along together.