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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Gus's First Ride...My Birthday...and a Cow Horse Clinic!

~I've never, ever worn anything else but britches.~
~Kate Buffalo 1901~

Last evening Gus had his first ride. It seems like it took us forever to get here, but slow is a lot better than rushing it too fast (in my opinion).

He's been coming along really well, and I thought he was ready a couple of weeks ago. But, he was really worried with me being above him. So, I did a lot of ponying with Colt. I could side up to Gus and pet him, lean on his saddle, move the off stirrup around, and just let him get used to me being above him...and it worked great! I've always used a broke horse to help me with the young ones, and Colt's working out really well in his new position as "best broke horse on the place."

After doing Gus's round pen work and drive lining, we were ready to move forward.

Ready to Step Up
Gus gets lots of pats around the rear end, I make sure his nose is turned toward me, so if he does move, it will be toward and around me not away from me (leaving me in the dirt).  I move the saddle around on him, slap the stirrups a few times, and put my foot into the stirrup. I do this on both sides of the horse...they have a left brain and a right brain and both brains need to be trained.

Preparing to Climb On
Starting with top left clockwise: Up and put my weight over his back (pat him,  move the stirrup on the off side, and bend his nose to the off side so he can see me). Swing my leg up to his rear and let it rest there (I want him to be OK with my boot or leg touching him when I mount or dismount). Do it all again from the off side. Lastly, swing the leg over and sit.
Once in the saddle, I keep my seat moving side to side so he knows I'm there. If I were to sit still and then move, he could be startled and then get scared...I want him to remember I'm up there at all times.

Gus Takes His First Steps
Clockwise again: I don't push too quickly...while he's still being calm, I dismount and tell him what a good boy he his confidence. Then I get back on again...still using the side to side motion to let him know I'm there. Sometimes that's where I'd quit for the first time on, but I felt good about asking for a step or two from Gus...and he obliged very quietly and confidently!

From his ground driving training, he knows left, right, stop and back. After asking him to take a few steps each direction, I hopped off...I call that a perfect first ride.

What a Good Boy!
Then Gus gets lots of praise for being such a good boy!

Now, we just go out and do it again today...and keep building up each day.

Ha! Did someone say birthday!! Why, yes I I'm 50 something...nothing's just another day. My Man left me a very sweet card at the computer this morning, and he's bring home Chinese take out I don't have to cook!!

Also, My Man is a very practical gift giver (usually it's something I ask for; and it's not jewelry LOL)...this year, I get a gate for the arena...and...a working cow horse clinic with National Reined Cow Horse Hall of Fame...Smoky Pritchett. That's tomorrow!! I'm really excited about that! I'll let you all know how that goes!


Java's Mom said...

Happy Birthday!! :)

mj said...

Enjoyed your "first Gus ride". How long would you say that that session took?
AND HAPPY Birthday!! Enjoy your clinic.
And finally, My birthday is Saturday, I'll be 60-something. On a side note ... I got a flash heater to bath the horses! Love it!

Sarah said...

Gus is such a good boy! I'm wanting to train Sky myself when the time comes, but I don't feel I know enough. All your clinic going to makes me want to go to some too. I bet I'd learn alot!
Happy Birthday! I like the sound of your gifts! I like to get things I can use and enjoy on a regular basis. Hope you have a wonderful day and a yummy dinner and then a relaxing evening. Happy Birthday to you!!

gtyyup said...

Thanks for the b-day wishes...blogger friends are some of the greatest!

mj~I try to keep sessions under an hour all together. Just the getting on last evening was probably 15 minutes max. Early Happy Birthday to the sound of your gift. I hear they work pretty good...let us know!

Sarah~I don't know how relaxing our evening will be...we've got to get the main line picked up out of the west field since they're going to cut hay Sat's always something! We'll probably have to re-heat dinner.

Shirley said...

First, Happy birthday from one 50-something to another! I like the gift too; my husband once bought me a fine anniversary present of enough corral panels to make a 50 ft. round pen.
Gus's first ride looks good, he seems relaxed and you are doing a great job on him.

AKPonyGirl said...

Happy Birthday. Looking forward to Pendleton this year. i maight actually make it!

Paty Jager said...

Happy Birthday! Gus is a handsome fellow. I need to do more of that with my horse that I ride so little!

Have fun at your clinic.

Vaquerogirl said...

Happy Birthday to you! I like practical presents too. An arena gate qualifies as a super duper gift!
Nice quiet ride on your pony Gus. Good Job!
I am super envious of your clinic with the Great Smokey Prichett though. I want to hear ALL about THAT!

froglander said...

Happy Birthday!!

Looks like Gus is doing great! Do you have some sort of noseband on him along with halter and headstall? I'm hoping to get back to riding Cody more regularly and have pondered a noseband.

Good luck with Gus :)

Linda said...

Happy Birthday you young thing you!!!! Good job with Gus....and at your age too ;) (snicker)

gtyyup said... scored with the 50' round pen! You & Ted and John & I need to meet...I think we got a lot in common! We will one of these days.

AKPonyGirl~Pendleton...YES!! I'll send you my cell phone via've got to contact me if you look forward to meeting you!

Paty~Bring your pony next time you come out to water...we can ride, and I'd be happy to help if you need.

Vaquerogirl~Actually I'm pretty nervous...he's so good and I'm just a rookie. It's part of the Annual Shelman Family Horse Sale It's just a couple of hours, but I hoping to get some good tips on my two-rein. We'll get to work the herd and work on any part of the reining we want. It's limited to 10 riders and so far there's just a few...should be GOOD!

Froglander~I've got a nose band on him to help him hold the bit and not gap his mouth so bad. It seems to be helping...I've used it before on other colts that were mouth gappers. Once he's over it, I'll not use it. You'll be riding dressage right? That's part of the English that why you are thinking of using one? Or is there and issue?

Maia said...

Hey,fifty is the new thirty. We're in the prime. I love your training tips. Your Gus and my foal to be share some of the same bloodlines, so I'm interested in how he progresses. Well done,

Rhonda said...

Happy birthday, and I hope you had a great day! (Mine was the 17th.) :)

I really enjoyed seeing your pictures showing your training with Gus. I also like your using Colt to do some ponying. Best wishes, and I look forward to more! I also look forward to how tomorrow goes. Have a great time!

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Happy Birthday.

Still starting colts? You go cowgirl!

I'm excited to get a couple of mine going and one I just dread. I just have to get the inside of my house done so I can concentrate on the horses again.

Gus looks really good.

Ed said...

A Very Happy B-Day!!!! Gus looks fantastic..:-)

Oregon Equestrian said...

Slow and easy makes for a happy horse. They let you know how much they can handle with each lesson.

Hey, the A&E section of The Oregonian has a good story about a rodeo family at:

Have to expose us city folks to the good life on the "other side" of the mountains.

Happy 50th!

CTG Ponies said...

Happy Birthday! Yay for you and Gus! He's such a handsome fella.

froglander said...

Was just curious to see if his mouth stayed more shut if he'd listen to turning better. He gives to the bit at a standstill, I can ground drive him around just fine (even make him walk through puddles, lol) it's probably just that I'm not used to riding a youngster and he's like driving a car without power steering, lol.

The Wife said...

Happy Birthday!!! And Gus looks great!

CCC said...

We baked you a birthday cake.
If you get a tummy ache
And moan and groan and moan
Don't forget we told you so.
Birthday Song, Three Stooges

Life begins at 50! or is that 60? My dad said after 80 life doesn't get easier, you just get used to it. My theory: If we're going to live to be 150 (my personal goal) we're only 1/3 done. Happy Birthday.

Anonymous said...

A very happy belated birthday to ya. :)

Celeste said...

Well done Gus! Good Job:) I am sure Colt feels very important and grown-up now being the 'lead horse.'

Happy Birthday, hope you enjoyed the Chinese take-out.

Oregontribal1 said...

Happy belated birthday! I get so caught up in all the other blogs I forget to check on the ones in my "vicinity" aka in Oregon.....
Gus is looking to be a sharp guy, I am glad that you are brave enough to start him and look forward to cheering you both on when he is "finished" is there such a thing? I don't think our four legged friends are ever finished as we keep learning new things every day. Keep up the good work. Teresa

Rising Rainbow said...

Happy Birthday! And good for Gus, looks like he took things really well. AND good for you wearing a helmet! I always wear one too starting young horses.

gowestferalwoman said...

Oh Happy belated birthday! And many more fun rides to you!

A cow clinic? I cannot wait to see what you bring back to us !

Faithful said...

You do so good with your reading about how well they come along! And Best wishes for a Happy birthday..remember... wemmen are like a fine wine.. we only get better with age!

gtyyup said...

froglander~I'll say he's sort of listening better. Each horse has their time frame. Lots of the steering will just come with time and consistency. Also, forward movement from the hip helps too.

Oregontribal1~no...there is nothing such as a 'finished' horse...everything's a work in progress!

Faithful~I have to admit that Gus isn't a mustang...he's a Quarter Horse. But, I don't do anything different with the mustangs once they're gentled...then they're just regular horses.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Happy Birthday you young thing! I enjoyed your horse training photos! :)

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