Home Current News News Archive Shop/Advertise Ridecamp Classified Events Learn/AERC
Endurance.Net Home Ridecamp Archives
[Archives Index]   [Date Index]   [Thread Index]   [Author Index]   [Subject Index]

[RC] Calming and training - Jena Williams

You guys are a gas! I have to thank this forum for all I have learned over the last few months about training and throw in my own anecdote about "calming" agents.

My greeny bucked me off last February and was not ridden for many months because I didn't have anyone to ride with and I was afraid to ride him out alone. I hired a Lyons trainer to come out a few times and she taught me some exercises that we could do to lighten him up and keep him focused on me in stressful situations. But being sensative, and the last expereinces with riding being bad (poor saddle fit, and me flying) he was a wreck and you could not even hardly lead him out on the road infront of my house (dirt, rural road).

So we went for walks. And I bought some calm and cool. I gave him some, drank a beer (I had developed as many issues as he had) and we rode at a walk up and down the street for about a month to build up our confidence and trust in each other again. I bought a new saddle, and found a riding buddy who was willing to go slow with me. We now ride out together, "drug" free, but still with his "security blanket", the 24 year old gelding Eddie. (I think it is hilirious how Temba will walk out in front confident and relaxed with that old horse plodding along behind him! Then when its too much, new trail, more speed, whatever, he will slow down and duck behind, tucking his head right in Ed's butt, like a toddler hiding from the world!)

So what is my point? The calming agents have there place, IMHO, and they helped us work through a tough spot. However, they can not replace slow patient training and most of all, knowing and listening to your horse. (Thank you all for hammering that in to me) I have learned to recognize what my horse can take and stay "with me", and to get off when he "checks out" because he is on emotional overload. Training a horse to carry a rider, and do what you say, is contradictory to his natural insticts. If they get put in situations that are more than their emotional maturity can handle they will revert to instict. Calming agents may suppress it, but they are still not with you emotionally. That is not a safe situation, and I have vowed never to ride in that again. I will continue to introduce my horse to the separate elements of endurance in baby steps until he can calmly enjoy a ride with me.

Jena and Temba (we cantered! yeah! practicing "leapfrog" and being left behind now)

MSN 8: Get 6 months for $9.95/month. http://join.msn.com/?page=dept/dialup


Ridecamp is a service of Endurance Net, http://www.endurance.net.
Information, Policy, Disclaimer: http://www.endurance.net/Ridecamp
Subscribe/Unsubscribe http://www.endurance.net/ridecamp/logon.asp

Ride Long and Ride Safe!!