Jul 272018

Chapter 17 of Callie’s Star coming soon!!

By Patty Wilber

I like starting horses.  At least I think I like it.

I have a had a bunch of easy ones over the years and a few rough ones more recently, and it made me question myself.

Question marks! https://pixabay.com/en/road-sign-attention-right-of-way-63983/

Maybe I have lost my touch?

Maybe I have lost my nerve?

Maybe I am too old?

Maybe maybe maybe.

I was worrying that I was progressing too slowly.

So, finally, I went back and looked at my notes from 10-ish years ago.

My old notes say I usually spent two to four weeks on ground work. (because I want the horse to know me enough and and be confident enough to be calm when I  do get on.) I did 34 ground work sessions on my fine mare Penny back in 2009. I spent 10 days on Cannon, one of my current in-progress starts.

I usually have them loping between 10 and 20 rides. Lucy’s sister, Ali, was loping in eight days of ground work and five rides back in 2006, Penny was loping in 10 rides in 2009 and Cannon in 11, this month.

I usually have them out on trail in 15 rides. Check for the current bunch.

I usually have them opening gates in 15 rides.

So, it turns out,  I have not lost my touch. (And my scientist-self likes that I have DATA to support my conclusion!)

I feel a whole lot better.

On the current docket, I am finishing up two three-year olds now (future barrel racing or roping stars) and in 20+ rides they are past the unpredictable stage into real progress!

Atti (10 days ground work, loping day 8), who I started in September 2017, at two, just marked a 72* in a ranch riding class at the Paint show last weekend.  She was a joy to ride! That is a long way from her lack of cooperation show self back in her earlier days!

For the near future, there is Lucy, two youngsters on the waitlist, and High AF (yup, AF)  our partnership (with Atti’s mom Judith) yearling  for next year (when he will be two)!

I have been dinking around with Lucy.  She will get a lot of ground work because while I don’t actually want to ride her until the fall, I just want to play with her in between my paying horses! Here are some pictures!

Bareback pad, no biggie.

A few days later, saddle, snoozer. No reaction when I put it on, no discomfort, distress or bucking when she lunged with it!

EWWW! what is this thing?!! (She did get used to the bit after a little while.)

  • For Ranch Riding, a 70 means you did everything just right, Above 70 means you did some things really well! Yay 72!