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update on Newt
#1
Hey gang, thought I'd give you an update on how we've been doing lately. Remember those creeps that took us on an advanced trail ride, we rolled down a hill and I broke my wrist, thumb and little finger? Well, that didn't stop me from "horsing" around! I figured it would be good to work on round pen routines and what ever else I could do. Still having no luck in finding anyone to train me, I bought a short whip and began free-lunging in the round pen with the advice I received from those of you on this site. I worked with Newt no only on round work, but also combined these exercises with hand signs and voice commands. We worked on walking, trotting, and some loping. I also took it one step further and taught him a very fine slow trot. I worked him on hand signs only; I worked him on voice commands only; I worked him on body language only; All three at once - 10 laps one way, 10 laps the other, over and over, every day for 6 weeks. Not being able to hoist a saddle on him as I douldn't use my right hand at all, I put the lead line on and we went for walks every day, first around the complex then out on the rode, each day my goal was to show him or teach him something new. I learned his body language, he began to become familiar with mine; he learned my dog was part of this threesome, and I noticed he began to also acquaint her with comfort. I introduced him to everything on our walks: cars, trailers, every horse there, the bulls, gates - all kinds of gates; doors, plastic barrels and chairs; playground equipment, hoses, noises, smells (like a campfire and welding smoke), swishy things, round things, little things, big things; scarecrows, machinery, scarey things, sudden movements, getting bumped from behind, underneath, on top and in front. Going here, there, anywhere I could - wide places, narrow places, places that twisted and turned. Other pens, other corrals, new trails, I even worked him in the round pen on day, training him something new while two dogs were splashing, barking, and playing in the muddy water puddle in the middle while he worked in a circle around them. It was great having those dogs there as a fantastic distraction for him, and he paid attention to me at the same time, fully congnizant of the dogs so as not to step on them at any time. Newt also learned the lesson I was teaching. He did great!! I've touched his ears, his legs, his belly, his tale, mane - been a royal pest and he tolerates all. It has been a real blessing to learn who he is, and understand HIS communication. My whole thought with this training was that I hoped he would understand I was his and he would be able to understood me a bit better - maybe perhaps he'd take better care of me when I got back in the saddle.

I rode him this past weekend because I just got my cast off - yay! This was the first time since I broke my hand in that scarey fall many weeks ago. Was I nervous - a bit, yes!! I tried extrremely hard to be relaxed in the saddle. All those at the stable kinda gathered around the round pen for this first ride - it was like a show - and we astounded them all, we did! He was fantastic!! Not only did we ride in the round pen, but also in the arena and even about a mile down the road and back. Newt never got nervous, never tossed his head once, never danced, got nervous, jittery, or even crow hopped. He responded to the very slightest touch of hand on the reins, the slightest cue with my leg, and with all voice commands. He was gentle, and it felt like magic. No one could believe he was the same horse - he is just really calm, loves to be around me, and I can definately see that he IS happy. The best part - when I drove up a few days ago and he nickered and came to the gate. For cool!

Anyway, he'll probably be just like a dog when we're through, but it was quite a great feeling for me to know I had made such a difference with my own training plan and you folks for guidance. Thanks for all of your encouragement. Everyone is astounded he is the same horse, it's actually quite entertaining to hear them talk about "the way he used to be such a wild boy owned by a black-and-blue green gal". Ha!
What do you think of us now? [Big Grin]
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#2
Congratulations, you should be proud of both you and newt. It sounds like you impressed the stable as well.
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#3
[clap]

Well done! I'm glad your cast is off and you're getting to ride. It sounds like maybe the fall was a blessing in disguise. You've come a long way and you should be proud of yourself and Newt.
Karen ~ Trails  
  &
Joe Paint Gelding
Paoli, IN

"My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sun and neigh in the night."
[Image: th_horse-galloping.gif]  

~~~~~~
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#4
Yes, sounds like you & Newt benefited from the break...oops, maybe that wasn't the best way to put it!!

Congrats on your progress! You showed them!!

EZ2SPOT
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#5
Now that's exactly what I meant by ground work. I think if all of us who have horses would/could just take six weeks to do what you have done we would all have a much better relationship with our horse(s).

Good work. Don't forget to keep it up in addition to your riding.

Congratulations.
Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
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#6
Way to go! Sounds like you are making good progress. I'm sure you realize now that it just takes a lot of time and work. Take it slow and easy, don't put too much pressure on either him or you until you are sure both can handle it. I'm a firm believer that it's best to avoid a blow-up altogether, rather than push him past his point of tolerance and then try to go back and fix the damage caused by his meltdown. It will take a long time before he is completely solid, so just keep working at it at your own pace, and don't worry about any comments from the "peanut gallery". You're doing great!
"You learn a thing a day, you store up smart" - Festus Haggen

"A man’s soul can’t be hidden,
From the creatures in his care." -
Hard Candy Cowboy by Debra Meyer


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#7
Wow that is soo great you and Newt have bonded sooo!!!! I bet you were soo proud of him when you rode him for the first time since your accident and with everyone watching!!! What a great story, Thanks!!!
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#8
That is so great to hear!
Keep up the groundwork. Youre bond & confidence, as well as his, will only grow.
Ride safe, return safe.

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#9
Good for you and Newt!!! Isn't it a GREAT feeling to bond with your horse! Plus when they run to greet you!!! There is nothing like that feeling[Big Grin]....it makes you feel loved and like you really and truly have established a partnership! Keep up the GREAT work I am so happy for the both of you!!!
Atrayou
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#10
Rock on! [dude] Way to show 'em!

'plash (sound of dogs in a puddle[Smile])
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