Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Great Day

"Dusty, she's making me work today"  "You're doing great Grady, it's fun, really, you'll see!"

The weather was just perfect Saturday (66F-19 C) sunny with unclouded blue skies and no wind.  The best type of weather for riding and working with the horses. 

Miss Dusty was once again a star at the mounting block.  I could get used to this!  We didn’t do much, some walk, trot and bending exercises.  She was excellent and listening to every cue.  The thing I like about her is I never really have to work hard at cues. With the slightest bit of leg, rein, body position or sometimes just thinking what I want she does it.  This reinforces, in my mind anyway, that all the slow work we did at the beginning of her training has had a good effect on her learning experience and attitude towards working. 

In the beginning of her training I thought we would never be done walking. With patience and persistence we took one step at a time and she progressed.  Dusty was never overwhelmed with something she couldn’t do.  If she didn’t understand or got stuck with an exercise I broke it down into smaller pieces and then put it together when she was ready. Dusty is the first horse I’ve trained this way.  Over the years there have been too many trainers and their way of thinking. In other words there were a lot of mistakes made training horses and me too. 

I’m comfortable now with taking as long as it takes to have a mutually satisfying relationship with a horse in training.  The slow approach has worked for us, as I’m sure it would with any horse.  Dusty is a wonderful horse and I’m lucky to have her as my riding partner.

Until next time
Quote for Today
You cannot train a horse with shouts and expect it to obey a whisper.
    - Dagobert D. Runes


  1. Glad you and Dusty are able to pick right up where you left off. Your horses are lucky indeed!
    We're in it for the long haul as well. :D

  2. Good for you and Dusty! It's nice when you can apply all the good things you have learned and have them work. Trainers don't always know what is best for you and your horse. 66! It was 33 here. Berlin still has hives so she has been on vacation. Hopefully this to shall pass.

  3. Dusty sounds very pleasant - now that she stands for mounting. Going slowly in a horse's training generally gets you there faster in the end, and with a better result.

  4. it's so awesome when you reach this point with a horse!
    - The Equestrian Vagabond

  5. That sounds like a really nice partnership. It must be very rewarding to be able to realize and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Good girl Dusty! It also sounds like a perfect Autumn day, good to get out and enjoy it.

  6. "Over the years there have been too many trainers and their way of thinking. In other words there were a lot of mistakes made training horses and me too."
    Yeah. I like this... the other thing trainers did for me/us was put pressure on us to compete. Sometimes a goal is a good thing, but sometimes it can push horse & rider out of their comfort zone way too soon.

  7. Aren't days like that just about perfect? And in regards to the horsemanship - I am with you 100%. "The slower you go, the faster you'll get there". RH

  8. Slow is fast when you do not have to go back and fix mistakes that have escalated. Little mistakes are just part of the learning process. ;)

  9. A long time ago you posted about teaching a horse to stand still at the mounting block. Would you be so kind as to respond with a link to that post? My mare who used stand still has started stepping back as soon as I step up to the block.

    1. Hi Judith,

      I've been there with Dusty and know how frustrating this behavior can be. I actually got the link from Carson at the 7MSN. A link to her post is included in my post on mounting. Good luck!

  10. What a good girl Dusty is and what a good horse person you are!!! Slow is the only way - and small steps! Hooray for a perfect day and a perfect Dusty! She is a happy horse and grateful to have you as her person.

  11. I've Got The Ear To Ear On!! Just Soo Lovely To Read About All This Progress In Partnership! You've Done Such A Beautiful Job With Her.

    I Sure Wish It Would Have Been Must My Sister Then Me, To Be My Mares Trainers. She'd Maybe Like Arena Work(Without Bad Memories) But We've Made Huge Successes In "Trailssage"!

    Hope November Treats You Again...With Some Perfectly Great Riding Days!!!

  12. Love the photo. So agree about going slowly and carefully. It lasts forever when done that way.

  13. Everyone always nags me about going slow, but you know what? Unless they already came to me with problems, all my animals are very well behaved and willing.

    That is great that Dusty is so responsive to your cues. Harley is like that. Extremely light and I also feel that sometimes he responds just as I am simply thinking the thought. That's my favorite kind of horse to ride.


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