September 8, 2012
Recently we were riding when Doc got stuck in the mud and we were really pleased to see how he handled getting out. Doc had been ridden into the water to get a drink and sank down on his front feet. Sensing a good opportunity to practice, he was asked to back up. We like a horse to be ready to slowly back out of an uncomfortable situation without getting real excited. Unexpectedly, his back feet slipped and left him up to his back hocks in the mud. The left rear leg sunk a little deeper causing him to twist. Front feet stuck and hind legs slipping under him is the kind of event that can turn real ugly really fast if your horse gets overly excited.
As soon as he slipped, he was asked to ” Whoa. ” He stood still and waited for the next que. Contrary to what probably felt safe to him, he was asked to go forward a little. To Doc, it likely seemed just the opposite of what needed to happen, but he calmly stepped forward breaking his front feet loose. He was then allowed to turn around to climb back to dry ground.
We were really pleased. He kept his head about him, maintained his training, and dealt with it like a trail horse should. Like we constantly repeat, you can’t plan for every contingency. Things happen sometimes and they happen fast. An experienced trail horse will work through it safely if allowed to do so.
September 6, 2012
Rain makes great training spots for your horse. We have been getting some rain in Bixby, just south of Tulsa that is much-needed for the pastures. It also aids with horse training by creating some mud holes and putting water back in the creeks. Personally, I like mud and have found it to be incredibly useful in working with horses for many years.
Mud can be dangerous if your horse isn’t under control or gets panicky. But with a horse that is under control, but who needs an attitude adjustment, mud presents a fine opportunity to work towards a mutual understanding and common ground. Riding in a mud hole requires your horse to think about what he is doing, i.e., staying on his feet. It quickly burns off that extra energy built up and leaves him ready to listen to what you want him to do.
A mud hole can be used to teach horses not to panic. Some horses get pretty excited as they sink down and try to escape, an understandable reaction. By continuing to ride, the horse learns to remain calm in an uncomfortable circumstance that gives the trainer a soft place to land if things go wrong.
So for now we have dirty horses for sale, but offer a free wash with every purchase!
September 4, 2012
Oolagah Lake offers a beautiful setting for trail riding year round. Located just outside Tulsa ( about an hour ), the lake provides recreational trail riders a convenient place to ride. The trail is called the Will Rogers Centennial Trail and operated by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. The trail head has easy parking right off the highway. The access makes it really simple to park, unload, and hit the trail in about 10 minutes. It’s a great place for day rides and camping is available for those who want to stay. The trail is 18 miles and can be ridden in a day.
The terrain is moderate and without a lot of pitfalls. There are one or two steep areas that new trail riders should and can avoid. There are also a few muddy, boggy areas when it is wet that make good training areas. Generally if you stay on the trail, it is a wonderful place for relaxing ride. It is doggone impossible to get lost as the lake is the boundary on one side and the other fenced or otherwise clearly private properties.
The trail riders we have run across over the years have been respectful, polite, and friendly. Usually not overly crowded, the trail lets you have some fresh air, sunshine, and a day away from the cares of the world. If you need a change, load up and give Oolagah a try. We think you’ ll like it.
September 2, 2012
We speak pretty plain. Some folks can appreciate it, others don’t. The simple truth is not everyone can train a horse. Sure the clinicians say otherwise and they are experts. Some are experts in training horses and others are experts in marketing. We have known a lot of cowboys and some pretty good trainers, they have a special ability that not everyone is given.
If you aren’t cut out to train your horse, stop trying and get one you can enjoy riding. I don’t teach 3rd Grade for a reason. I didn’t play basketball in school for a reason. There’s a lot of things in life I’m not good at doing and I accept it. Some people won’t accept they aren’t cut out to train a horse. It looks so simple.
A lesson learned years ago comes to mind. A ” professional ” is someone who does their job in such a way that it looks so easy that you can do it. ” But you can’t. A good horse trainer is doing thousands of tiny movements, gestures, and observations that many people never see while watching a training session. You can’t just read a book or watch a video and go do it. Sure there are exceptions and maybe you know someone who did. Chances are it wasn’t you. You’re reading this blog aren’t you! LOL!
We suggest if you want to trail ride, find a good horse for sale and get it. Horses are fun and meant to be enjoyed, not to create frustration in life. If you are spending all your time trying to teach the horse to do simple things and not succeeding, maybe it’s time to rethink things a little.
When my truck isn’t working, I can work on it for several days and walk where I need to go. Or I can take it to a good mechanic and in a few hours be driving. There is no false pride that keeps me from having my truck fixed. Horses on the other hand seem to have the opposite affect on a lot of people. They decide that horse training is so simple that anyone can do it or refuse to accept the fact they can’t do it. Hey if you enjoy training your horse, by all means keep it up. If you don’t and just want to hit the trails, then stop pretending you are a horse trainer. Find the horse you need and ride into the sunset!