I will post all of these entries, starting with this post, under a new heading on the top of the bar, as Horse training.
I have decided as one of my Lenten vows to work with Colonel every day, thru’ Lent. He is a coming 3 year old gelding we raised. He is out of Plumb Pepinic by Smart Little Pepinic / DrySilver Scotch.
On the bottom side, his Dam is Flips Dusty Socks by Flipmia / Cool Lassie.
His registered name is Plumb Dusty Colonel. I call him Colonel, pronounced kur a nell, like Sargent Shultz pronounced it on Hogan’s Hero’s TV show, years ago. “Colonel Klink!” With a decidedly German accent. 😉
Like the character of Sargent Shultz on the show, “he knows NOTHINGK!”
Well, that isn’t quite true. He is sort of halter broke and knows to come to grain in a bucket. Kind of an easy going dude. Doesn’t seem to let much ruffle his feathers. So I decided that I wanted to try to train him myself, with coaching and encouragement from some others. I had promisd to send him to Brad, this spring, along with his half sister, for Brad to start. When I told Brad of my plans he was encouraging and said he would help me in any way he could. Little does he know, he may have bite off more than he can chew!
Me also, perhaps.
I have always liked using a hackamore set up. Well made rawhide bosal and a mecate set up, to start horses. When Chance was breaking colts for people, he started many of them this way and some with a ring or broken moth snaffle. (Not the kind with shanks, which really are not a snaffle anyway. To be a snaffle, there can be no shanks so there is no leverage with one. It is a bit that is to be used primarily with just one rein at a time.)
A bosal is very similar, but there are some people whom I admire, who say a bosal is still different. Or at least they use it slightly different. They hold that the bosal is used much like the bit that will go in the horses mouth at a later date, so the signals, or cues, are much the same. Kind of like teaching a person to drive a pickup with a four speed instead of a tractor, so when they get in a race car with a four speed, they will be doing the same things and not have to re-learn a different way or set of skills. It supposedly transfers the knowledge over to the pupil, or in this case, horse, better.
In the past I have sent my young horses off to several of these young guys around this country who are great horse hands and they always return a very nice horse who will do all anyone would ask of it, at that point in their training. But…they have used a snaffle or bosal, in the way most would use a snaffle. I have never had a problem switching them over to a bosal after I get them back, if they were started in the snaffle. But I am now learning that some of the cues they were taught are slightly different than what I want to use, so in order to improve myself and hopefully, help the horse and not have him have to re-learn these subtle cues, I am going to attempt to just do it myself. I will try and write on here every day as to what we worked on and how it went.
I have been keeping Colonel in with a couple horses I have close and been graining every day. I have played with him a couple times in the last few days. Today we started getting serious.
I sorted Col off into a corral by himself and let him have a little grain. I haltered him and we did have a little session about him wanting to turn his butt to me when I went to catch him. No big deal, I just made it easier for him to stand and let me approach him from the front, where I carefully put the halter on and adjusted it so it fit snug but not too tight.
I had noticed his feet needed trimming, so while he was interested in his grain, I cleaned and trimmed his right front foot. Evidently I have done this to him at some time in the past as he was very good to let me hold his foot. When got to his left front foot, his grain was gone and he didn’t want to let me hold his foot as well as the other, but he didn’t really fight. So I tied him by the halter rope, high with a quick release knot and cleaned and trimmed that front foot. At some point further along I will trim his back feet.
I then got a soft cotton rope about 3/4 inch and used it to hobble his front feet. He took it well and when I asked him to move his front feet from side to side, did not get too excited. I then got a pad and a saddle. I had the cinches tied up and the pad was soft, but firm. When I went to “sack him out” with the pad, he did show more reaction! There is some fire n there. 🙂 Nothing to extreme, but it was a good thing I did it. By the time I was done he stood very quietly. So I went and picked up the saddle, let him smell it a bit and then set it on his back. I didn’t flop it, I didn’t drop it, I, in the words of some of these guys, “set it on him like I was putting my hat on my head”. I wiggled it and then walked to the other side, let down the cincha’s and adjusted them to fit him and then walked back over and snugged up the front cinch and then the back one. He took all that real well. I was going to unhobble him, but decided that the corral I was in wasn’t the best place to do that if he got too excited. So I uncinched, pulled the saddle and pad off and re-set it again a couple times, went to the other side and did the same, then took the saddle and pad off that side and put it away. I came back and unhobbled him and fussed over him and scratched his ears. He wanted to pull away from me as I was taking the halter off so I worked on that and showed him to stay with me and lower his head. When he accepted all that well I just turned and walked away. The first real session went well.