Feb 022018

By Patty Wilber

I am happy to report that the backing therapy (getting off and backing her up if she sulls up and threatens to rear) has made a big change in Ms. Attitude’s, well, attitude.  She might still try to pull a thing or two, but I swear she has learned the phrase, “Don’t make me get off!”, because if I get off, she will be backing up, with alacrity.

The backing seems to really make her think and it doesn’t scare her.  I do not think this would have worked on LT or would work on Indy.  I think they would both take it very personally and fall apart.

Indy is dong well, too. She is getting sharper and smoother on her transitions and she is stopping.  Boy, we have a long way to go, though, since we lost  a lot of last year.

I took them both to Ed Krause’s work with cows last Saturday.

This was doubly fun because Leah and Janet were both there.   Janet took some pictures of me and I took some of her, too. We were there from 10 to 2.  Things haven’t changed, as Janet mentioned, from when we were kids (and didn’t know each other).  We still don’t want to get off our horses!

With Atti’s new outlook, we can step right into the arena and start warming up!  When the cow comes out she is happy to go to work.  If the cow is too slow, she stops trying to follow the cow and mentally wanders off.  She gets bored!  For a horse that was bred to be a halter horse, this is pretty darn cool.  Plus she is just cute, when she is not untying herself, stealing my jacket off the fence, eating the bubbler air hose or testing the hot wire to make sure it is still on (she chewed up the hot wire last time it glitched off).

Indy is 15.3. Ginormous compared to her sister LT who is barely 14.3. Indy is pretty light on her feet, and she does like to go for the cows!  I am really excited about how flat and free her turns with the cows are becoming.  She still wants to just doo dee doo meander after them after she turns, though, so we have a need, a need for speed.  I always had to try to dial that down in LT, so that is a huge difference between them.  Indy does like to mouth the bit all the time, though, and that is like LT.  (Atti holds the bit nice and quietly unless we are nearing the “Don’t make me get off!” point.)

Here are some pictures from Saturday.  Two that I took and Janet improved and two that Janet took that I then played with on the photo editor.  I think Janet has a fancier editor than I do.

Indy turning with her cow all by herself! It is a fun feeling with a lot of flow and flexibility.

Maybe not a super dynamic turn, but her head is low and she has her weight on her hind end, so her front end can come through.  Ed is helping create some movement with the cow.

Janet and Rowdy getting ready to cut.

Whoo hoo! No wonder we didn’t want to quit playing! Go Rowdy!

This weekend is another NM Buckskin Horse Association shaggy show.  That will be a test of our progress.  I have warned Atti, show or not, “Don’t make me get off!”




  • Doranna

    Ooh, wonderful pictures! Awesome riding!

    I used to use that phrase with Duncan when he was a challenging young man. The follow-through wasn’t backing up (though I might have tried that, had I thought of it). It was simply that I was getting off and would stand there ignoring him, with my back to him, and he hated that.

  • Patty

    I am getting a big kick out of picturing you with your back to Duncan ignoring him!

  • EMoonTX

    Great pictures. Love the first one of Indy turning with the cow…and you sitting there so balanced and so “with” her. (Not that you wouldn’t be, but the picture shows it at a critical moment.)

  • EMoonTX

    I did that once with Mocha…she doesn’t like it either. She’s got a very soft, very insinuating nose and it appeared by my elbow with a “please?” sort of attitude. But it turned out she was still not going to cooperate, so I left the area completely. Came back and she was ready to learn.

  • Patty

    Thanks! I think I am little stiff and could be flowing a little better! We had some really fun work on Friday–bunches of really smooth and easy (it is so easy when everything is right!) turns both ways. We have the show Sunday and I am looking for focus and fluidity (and alliteration!) in Indy and cooperation for Atti. We had a nice long trail ride today (Sat.) with a big group and both girls were really great, so I am hopeful!

  • Patty