Greetings from The Horse Ranch !
Here’s what’s happening in the HR news! •
Article….Smooth Trot/Canter transitions—Ban the Bucking!
Special Earlybird Pricing on Camps High & Wild and 3 Month Horsemanship Course until Jan 30th
Horse Development Program set to go year round
New Q&A….Find out what to do about a horse that wants to buck & gallop up and down hills….
High & Wild Wilderness Adventure Hits YouTube!
Highlights from the Brazilian Lusitano Tour
Update on 2004 AQHA Stallion “Kwackin Me Up” ( Smart Chic Olena X Kwackin)
Glenns Book Review (Excerpted from Western Horse Review)
The New Poster Coming to a bulletin board near you!
HR Sale Horse— Horse— “Jewel “
The Horse Ranch Horse Development Program The Horse Ranch is happy to announce that we are now able to extend the Young Horse Development and Foundation Training schedule for our clients from just the winter months to year round. Ryon Hemingson with his family Nicky and Kennedy from Alberta have joined our operations, Ryon will be assisting with the ongoing development of the HR horses and the added help will give us the opportunity to assist the many people who have been patiently waiting for openings for outside horses. We are filling our 2008 spring, summer, and fall months now, if you have a young horse that you would like started, a challenging horse you would like help with, or one that you would like taken further in the stages program please contact us for further details. More about the HR Horse Development Program and what makes it unique on our website.
Q&A…(can be found in Western Horse Review) My nine-year-old TWH gelding has a problem going up and down hills. On the flat, he’s smooth and controllable at any gait. But the moment we approach a hill, he gets tense and tries to buck and gallop up. The same thing for going down; if I try to hold him back, he's dancing on his toes, pulling the bit out of my hands, and again, bucking! He’s tossed me out of the saddle twice now, once going down, and again, just yesterday, going up - because I wouldn't let him go faster than a walk. I've checked my tack, his saddle fits perfectly and has never given him rubs or pinching on withers or spine. I ride him with a 7 mm French-link snaffle – a very mild bit by comparison. This horse is in good physical condition, ridden three to four times per week for at least an hour each time. He’s not wearing shoes and has reasonably hard hooves. My husband thinks that the people who owned him before may have encouraged him to gallop up and down hills - which I find extremely dangerous. Please, if you have any ideas, let me know. I’m running out of courage to ride him in hilly areas because of the potential to get hurt again. -Rita Chavez:
Hello Rita Horses that feel the need to run up and down hills have what I call an impulsion problem. They are impulsive. If your horse has more go than whoa in a situation, their emotions have taken over and are overriding some, or all our requests. A horse with impulsion could go up or down the hill and stop at any time on or off the hill, without ever having to touch the reins. I often say, “If you feel the need to hold the reins even with little contact you’re probably not taking your horse for a ride, he is probably taking you for a ride.” It is a false sense of control. Earning your horses respect is the first step. This can be started on the ground then in the saddle. In a nutshell, can you move your horse’s feet any of them where you want them, quickly or slowly, a lot or a little. And how much effort does it take from you? Rarely is the problem what or where it appears in this case— hills. Hills are the object or situation that causes the existing problem to get big enough that we notice. Preparing your horse before the ride mentally and emotionally is the key. (Continued on Page 4)
Q&A continued Once you have arrived at the hill and find out, oops, not quite enough preparation, the advice I would give is get off, if you are going to get bucked off anyway and school your horse from the ground. Lead him up and down, teaching him to go at the speed you have set and we need to be sure to teach the horse to do so on a loose rein or line. And stop and back up whenever you ask. Then, transfer the same concept to the saddle. If the horse starts to change gait, stop, backup, and then go again. Going part way up or down and turning around and going the other direction will also help break the pattern. Hang in there until your horse can do the hill without the emotion. Trying to fix his impulsion problem at the hill is always more challenging than preparing them and getting them to where they are with you regardless of what is going on or where you are. Set some rules for your horse and yourself. I won’t pull on you and you don’t pull on me. Teach your horse to yield to pressure (your legs, rein, a horseman’s stick)… whatever tools you use. Get to where you ride more from your waist down than your waist up. Think “It’s not what I put between my horses lips but what I put between his ears”. I hope this helps you, good luck and enjoy your time with your horse.
Cover Shot Dixie's photograph of this beautiful Lusitano Stallion was selected by the International Andalusian and Lusitano Horse Association to appear on the cover of their 2008 Stallion directory. www.thehorseranch.com
So You Want To Be A Colt Starter?
Smooth Trot/Canter Transitions in the Young Horse How do I get smooth, relaxed and snappy upward transitions from walk to trot or trot to canter without the tail swish, kicking out or bucking? On the average I get asked about this 10 to 20 times a month depending on the time of year so I thought it might be a good subject to talk about. If you have rode many horses you have experienced it first hand and some of the questions I suggest people to ask themselves can lead to many possibilities. Questions such as: Can you get the transitions online and in a round pen both directions and both leads using similar phases? •
Are you rewarding the smallest try such as speeding up?
Are you riding with intent and life, squeeze with legs all the way to your heels, cluck twice, put rhythm in horseman’s string, touch hindquarters with string keeping the rhythm. •
Are you matching the horse’s movement?
Are you matching the horses weight as they prepare for the transitions?
Are you cantering with the horse and taking an active role?
(Continued on Page 6)
(Smooth Trot/Canter Transitions—Continued from Page 6) •
Are you offering a feel to the horse and feeling back to get the information whether to ask for more or reward and try again and or let him think about it and leave it until tomorrow?
1. All the riding transitions can be prepared for on the ground online using a 12 ft. line for the walk and trot and then a 22ft. line for the canter and in a round pen at liberty. Too short of rope makes it difficult for many horses to make it into the canter to begin with. Asking for the transition in either of these situations you keep the approach the same as above, using consistent phases, if he speeds up reward the try, give the horse time to understand your phases on the ground and that you are asking them to move forward quicker. 2. As the rider you have to take an active roll and match the horse’s movement to make it as clear and comfortable for them as possible. From trot to canter for example we must match the horses weight at the trot and then change with the horse as he prepares to canter by tipping slightly back to put weight over the hind. Squeeze your legs and encourage your horse forward and ride with more life. Staying in time and moving with the horse is most important. Bouncing or getting ahead or behind the movement can upset or worry the horse. Think in terms that you are going to canter as well, not just the horse will carry you at the canter. Take an active roll so the horse can feel your intention and you feel back from the horse to know whether he is going to make it this time or maybe he is getting worried and he needs to be rewarded for speeding up and the next time you can ask for the transition. Maybe he needs to think on it and get a fresh start the next day. This of course is reading the horse and I’m talking more from the perspective of a young horse’s first transitions, which done properly can make other things much easier in the future, but done wrong create lots of problem solving issues later. Many older horses that have been ridden for awhile end up with these problems, and will also benefit from these techniques. (Continued on Page 7)
(Smooth Trot/Canter Transitions-Continued from Page 7) 3. Be sure your walk/trot transitions are smooth and snappy before going to trot canter transitions.You should be able to get the walk trot transition snappily before moving to the canter. 4. If you are getting no results and you have been doing all of the above you can up the phases by clucking or kissing twice which your horse should understand from the round pen and 22 foot line preparation as another request to canter. If still no result I put life in the end of my Mecate Rein or horsemanâ€™s string swinging it from side to side until it touches the hind quarters. Ride with intent, squeeze, cluck twice, put life in your horsemanâ€™s string and spank. Remember he might not get the canter but reward the speed up by releasing all phases and allowing them to walk if they need to. 5. Ride with strong leadership and make the decisions first before they get made for you. Part of this once again is being able to read the horse and feel what is going on, for example once youâ€™ve got the canter and you feel him start to tense/speed up or his back end get lighter and higher do something before he does. That something might be an indirect rein to take away the canter, or it might be a little less, a direct rein to put in a turn or two or three and then come down to a trot and ask again. (Continued on Page 8)
(Smooth Trot/Canter Transitions-Continued from page 7) 6. There is another thing to check and that is the fit and placement of the saddle. Poor fitting or placement of the saddle can make a horse resistant to move out. Having said that I have seen many horses cantering around with saddles that fit very poorly, and the placement is not helping the situation either, but the horse is cantering nevertheless. 7. No two horses are the same and some will put up with much more than others. Fortunately for us the vast majority of horses are very forgiving and we get away with more than we realize. Occasionally you run into one that puts up with very little disharmony, or lack of feel, timing or understanding from the rider or handler. These are the ones that cause you to learn the most if the gap isnâ€™t too big between the riders knowledge and where it needs to be for that particular horse. They cause you to develop more skills and knowledge. If the gap is too big these are the horses that get blamed and sold for meat or get left in the pasture. The less our knowledge the more of these horses we seem to run into. Good luck and enjoy the time with your horse. Glenn Stewart and High & Wild Horsemanship hits YouTube! Check out this clip of the High & Wild Wilderness Adventures at http://thehorseranch.com/ Or if you are on YouTube search Glenn Stewart horses and it will come up. In 2008 we are offering 3 High & Wild Trips - including the all new Colt Starting, Young Horse Development & Problem Solving Week 1. Details are on the website at www.thehorseranch.com, Earlybird Pricing in effect until Jan 30th. www.thehorseranch.com
Book Reviews & Special Memories The Western Horse Review magazine asked Glenn if he would do a review of a favorite horse-related book that had influenced his life in some way, from a horsemanship or life point of view. The following is his contribution. “My belief in life is that we can all get along together if we try to understand one another.” Ray Hunt wrote these words in his book “Think Harmony with Horses – An In-depth Study of Horse/Man Relationship.” What I’ve carried from this book is that if you consider the other persons perspective, and present your ideas in such a way that is honoring and makes sense to them things will pretty much always work out. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a horse, a child, a banker or a nation.
In November, we visited Brazil where Glenn was invited to do some Colt Starting demonstrations. We visited “the best of the best” Ranches in the ABPSL (Brazilian Association of Pure Sangue Lusitanos), and saw horses and places that exceeded our wildest dreams. One of the places we went to was the largest Lusitano Ranch in the Brazil, home to more than 600+ purebreds. Every ranch we went to rolled out the red carpet for us, we became connoisseurs of the “Caprinha” an exquisite and exceedingly powerful Brazilian drink made from Cachaça, pure cane sugar, and limes. Several of the ranches also treated us to the “Barbeque” every kind of meat imaginable cooked on skewers over an open fire – undoubtedly among the best meat I’ve ever tasted. We were given special exhibitions by Rogerio S. Clementino with the horse "Nilo Vo” and Pia Aragao, both of the International Dressage Contest and 2007 Pan Am American Games. Glenn had the opportunity to ride many wonderful Lusitanos, and also Working Equitation Champion "Navarro AJR".
He was given a lesson in the art of the "GARROCHAâ€?, A bamboo pole used in a series of precise equine maneuvers. The Brazilians were incredibly generous and hospitable, and we were given a glimpse of a Brazil I think very few visitors ever bear witness to. Especially for horse lovers! Coincidentally, each ranch we visited was more a wonder than the last one. We would be driven up to a high wall with a locked gate and think surely this place canâ€™t be as amazing as the last one, and then our imaginations would be blown away. We saw things such as coliseum style riding areas reminiscent of the roman days, miles of hand split quartz paving stones, viewing areas resplendent with granite, teak and leather, lit by massive crystal chandeliers. Sometimes we would relax in areas such as these, with white attired servers bringing an endless supply of Caprinhas and appetizers, all the while our eyes were feasted on Lusitano after lovely Lusitano being presented. At other times we were in open air viewing areas where a gentle breeze would drift across your face reminding you of the freedoms awarded by the climate of Brazil. If you were able to tear your eyes from the horses you would see things such as brilliant sunsets or sudden violent rain showers over emerald green fields of mare and foals. We fell in love with the huge hearted Lusitano, for their combination of exuberance and bravery yet ability to remain calm and level headed all at once. It is easy to see why they were chosen at one time for warfare and bullfighting. Such an impressive overall picture is presented of how much they have to offer in mind and body - seemingly effortless for them to access. Many of the Lusitanos displayed the more traditional noble head, sometimes within the breed believed to be an indicator of desirable confirmation traits. It was interesting to both of us how the typical pictures in our minds eye expanded beyond what we considered the norm of beauty in horses. For us, this is the start of a many-faceted love affair with these gifted creatures.
Kwackin Me Up
This is a recent picture of Kwackin Me up by Smart Chic Olena X Kwackin. His full sister Smart Crackin Chic was the Champion of the 2006 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity. Kwackin Me up will compete this winter at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Reined Cowhorse Show. Breedings offered at www.thehorseranch.com under Stallions.
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