Thursday, August 07, 2008

speaking of Dusty

These are a few pics that JJ took last week when I was there. Dusty's an 11 year old (right?) Tennessee Walking Horse. His color is called Champagne. It looks a lot like Buckskin, which is what most people think he is.

I did some groundwork before I hopped on:

Worked on gaiting some, just going up and down the fenceline. It doesn't come easily to him. He naturally tends to trot rather than gait, so it's a matter of keeping contact with the reins and urging him forward at the same time. Feels strange to me. He's got a lousy trot though. Great canter! Unfortunately the pic caught him with his nose in the air looking like I'm really hauling back on him... I'm not!


Adventure Prone and Co. said...

I hate blog spot! I just spend half an hour responding to this post and lost the whole thing before it was published...errrr that pisses me off!

Adventure Prone and Co. said...

So what I was saying was along the lines of I think Shyla's problem is more her age, her size in relation to yours, and the type of riding you have been doing with her. Basically she's just not developed her muscles enough to allow her to lift her back (and you on it) to get collected and get her rear legs up under her. Remember that a lope starts with the outside rear leg which is where all of the power and coordination are generated from. If she can't do that, she is forced to use her front end, which will eventually become habit if not already, and yeah, of course it'll be rough. Watch the western pleasure horses on youtube...they all have nice big round butts which do all of the effortless work while loping and their font ends don't appear to be doing anything at all. Some things you might try: work her up hills, the old fashioned way of working out a horses rear end; work her in deep sand (incidentally I've read this can help the gait of a gaited horse too); and another thing to try might be a training harness, I'm not sure what it's called but I've heard to it referred to as a pasoa. It's basically a circingle (sp?) with a brichen, snaffle bit and head stall, and pully system which sets the horse's head correclty and forces the rear legs up under the body. See if you can find a friend that has one you can use in your round pen.

Adventure Prone and Co. said...

As far as the "mule", her name is Sara and she misses you too. I now suspec that she might be from gaited Jack stock because I swear I've gotten her into gait on several occasions. I just wish I knew something about gaited horses and how to bring out a gait. Maybe it's a blog topic I can research and experiment on in the next season!

Adventure Prone and Co. said...

As far as EZ boots. I've never used them, only heard the bad stories. The first time that they get sucked off in mud, or you have to bang on them with a hammer to get them off, you'll wish you had just put plates on. EZ boots are expensive, hard to fit, and you will still need to keep her feet carefully trimmed to make sure they consistently fit her.

Katherine Plumer said...

Dang Bry, doncha got no work to do this morning? ;-)

You can't entirely blame my big butt for Shylah's canter, she's rough for everyone, so it's not just me or my saddle, I've tried lots of combinations including bareback (eek!). My neighbor was the first to canter her when I started her training a couple years ago, and she was tiny!

I have commented before though that Shylah seems to be a front-wheel-drive horse. When on the hills up at JC's house, she seems to pull herself up rather than push with her butt.

You've seen Wilton... hills? What are those? ;-) Getting her back out to JJ's house and working in the plowed sandy fields might be good. Yes, I've heard that's good for gaited horses too, and I'll be taking Dusty out there as soon as he gets his feet trimmed.

Hey, you know I know Sara and I miss her too! I tell everyone how awesome she is. :-) I was just making a generalized mule statement, hence not using her name. Then again I don't know if all mules move like that, I just assumed!

Anonymous said...

I think Shylah is a premier example of what she was meant to be - a cart horse. A lot of work might help her development, but she doesn't have the conformation to be light on her feet. She's wise and slow and deliberate about where she puts her feet. And cute, she is undeniably cute. I had to chuckle at B's suggestion about hills also. We got no hills, unless you count the levee. It's a long way to get to a decent hill. I can tell you all how to get a gaited horse settled in its gaits, I spent 40 years on the things before I became useless. Support their mouth (a snaffle is best), push them up into the bit, into a fast walk. Use your legs to encourage a lateral movement. Long, gradual downhills are great for this if you have them. Heading back to the barn is a good time. Deep sand is not good, it will square the horse up into a trot. You use deep sand if you have a pacey horse and you need to square its gait. Dusty tends to foxtrot, so he starts out too square to start with. He doesn't trot well because that's not his natural gait. Sometimes it makes my butt ache wanting to ride him and push him up where he needs to be, but that's not going to happen. Any time you need to use him, Katherine, you know he's yours. Which reminds me, call about the truck. JJ

Katherine Plumer said...

Oh yeah, thanks for reminding me to remind you to call about the truck! ;-)

So I shouldn't take Dusty out in the fields? I thought that would help. Dang, I just really don't understand the difference between the gaits, I think that's my problem. I wish I could see someone else ride him while you point stuff out to me. My neighbor E is never home, and Dusty's probably too much horse for your neighbor B.

If you want to bring the boys over for a hoof trim next month that's fine. I'll email you the info. If you could get Dusty over here in late Sept he could go with Shylah and I up to JC's for adventures with bears and boulders.

The idea of having Shylah back out at your place for a few weeks is sorta tempting just to do some different work with her.

Adventure Prone and Co. said...

I'm not blaming Shyla on your big but, I'm just saying that she hasn't developed those muscles (through conformation or whatever) enough to be able to get her legs up under her. She just simply doesn't know it can be done, and can't do it. It would make sense that anyone getting on her would experience the same thing. What she needs is strengthening excercises for her loin muscles and her back muscles as a basis to support her mid section (and rider) so she can collect herself and get her legs under her. Then she needs work on her rear end so she can really be able to push off on beats one and two instead of letting beats two and three do all of the work. I don't buy that cart horse stuff either. There are too many Canadiens (of the few that exist) and other "cart horses" that are out there doing versatile stuff. I'm sure she would be great at pulling a cart, but I don't see why there's no reason she couldn't be expected to lope at a reasonable comfort level unless there's something about Canadiens that I just don't understand. Morgans are a similar build (influenced by Canadiens actually) and I see plenty of them loping along out around these parts. The fact that you got a nice lope out of her the other day helps prove my theory that as she developes she will get better.

Katherine Plumer said...

"I'm not blaming Shyla on your big but"

Lol lol lol. Nope, it's not her fault. ;-) That's genetics.

"The fact that you got a nice lope out of her the other day helps prove my theory that as she developes she will get better."

Yes, wait, that's exactly what I'm saying... it IS improving as she develops, levels out, gets more muscle, becomes fully mature, etc. Why do you and I sometimes end up arguing over the same side of something? :-)

Tell y'all what, I'll take a conformation pic of Shylah and some action photos some time and you can tell me what she's doing.