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    Hervey Bay
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    Horses of courses, Boxing, Muay Thai, Kung Fu, Australian Pythons, my pets, spirituality.

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  1. I ride 3 horses, about an hour to an hour and a half each, 5-6 days per week, training in 3 different disciplines. I also do my homework. However I was hoping to be able to interact a little with other members.
  2. I'm finding it remarkably quiet in QS world since I rejoined.
  3. Ranger, Zeppelin and I are back on board after I've had to deal with some complicated health issues. That's me I'm referring to, not the boys. The boys are as healthy as....yep. Brought Zeppelin back into full time riding, he's doing well - even if he does take 40 seconds to do a barrel-round these days.....funny old man. Ranger is good, looking the best he ever has. We have a guest in the paddock, a little white Arab named Girly who belongs to my farrier. I was going to ride her in an Endurance ride this weekend, but the doctor put the stops on that idea. Oh well. We all hope everyone is well and enjoying their lessons. Zen went on to a feedlot/mustering home where he is an invaluable worker, but has lost quite a few of the station riders! Oh well, he's happy, they're happy. He's leading a productive life, that's the main thing. Look forward to continuing training. Love to all, Wendy, Zeppelin and Ranger. xXx
  4. Okay, this will be the last entry about Zen. Today was the end of his journey with me, and I only have myself to blame. It's been many years since I've fallen for a crooked line, but I did this time apparently. I began to suspect so yesterday. When Zen was so perfect in the square yard with everything INCLUDING catching, it was niggling in the back of my mind that maybe he's one of THOSE horses which you very occasionally hear about that are perfect in the yard, but totally agoraphobic. It's usually a thing restricted to Dressage/Arena horses. It only took 10 minutes to catch him today, so I was pretty pleased about that. I took him over to the tack and began to saddle him up. There was a subtle show of nervousness when I threw the saddle on, but I just noted it and kept going. When I tightened the girth the second time he scooted backwards, also noted, but he was alright with the next couple of progressive tightenings. Time to mount up. I put on a helmet, something I only do with horses I don't know. He was fine to mount, but as soon as I asked him forward he panicked. He spun, he scooted, he would have bucked had I given him his head. Great.....he's coldbacked, I thought to myself. I decided it was best to see what else was there while I was in the foolhardy mood! I got him walking quite calmly and took him to a nice flat area. Yes, he is most definitely cattle trained - he can turn on a dime and do everything desirable for that type of work. However when I asked him to trot he almost had a heart seizure and went into the most rushed, terrified trot I've ever seen on a horse. It was the same on the other side. Hmmmmm, an obviously experienced stockhorse but terrified of SOMETHING. I asked him over the stream, which he jumped calmly and willingly, but as soon as he'd gathered himself on the otherside - he bolted. And man, can he run!!!!! we had gone up the hill and turned before I found somewhere safe enough to one rein him. He actually seemed grateful to be forced to stop. He was heaving - utter panic. I jumped off him because my bravado had run it's full course by now!!! He threw his head into my arms to say sorry, and I knew he had not meant any of it maliciously. However, my personal rule is that I will not have a bolter. Not under any circumstances. A scoot forward is one thing. A full on bolt is quite another. I felt so sorry for him, and I am still wondering what could have happened to make an obviously talented horse into a scatter-brained wreck. Walking back to the tacking area, Ranger trotted straight up to me. I stopped to pat him and he sniffed my face. I think he was checking to see if I was okay or not. He glared at Zen then walked off a little ways, and I went to untack. When I was finished, Zen just stood there looking at me. I walked off a little way and he followed me. All I could do was give him a pat and tell him that he might be a nice horse, but he's not a good horse. However, he's safe with me til I can figure out what to do with him. I saddled Ranger up and went for a real ride. Even he played up a bit today, mostly in canter. BUT I did manage to get 3 consecutive left hand circuits out of him, which is a first! Perhaps it's the super-moon, perhaps the horse is nuts or perhaps I'm getting stupider as I get older. I dunno, but either way, it's the end of the line for me and Zen as a team. Life's too short to spend it in a wheelchair. Wendy.
  5. Today was a mixed bag of surprises, to say the least. Off I went to the paddock and by the time I'd lifted the back door of the car, the boys were all at the gate waiting for their hay treat. Zenny hung back a bit, but I had hopes that he'd let me walk up straight away. No such luck. But it was only 10 minutes before he stood still and I got to about 15 ft from him. Then the extraordinary happened. He came to me! I was so happy, I just can't explain what an amazing feeling that was! I'd just started to rub him when from out of nowhere Ranger charged him and scared him off.................oh brother, my heart just sank to the ground. I called Ranger a few things in Martian, then went off after Zenny on the endless bum-stare. He went over the dam to the other side of the paddock (great), then back (great) then back again! I was so peeved off I was thinking about giving up on him. But in another 30 minutes he'd calmed down and I had him again. That was it.....lessons in the square yard today. No excuses. So off we went risking life and limb to walk through a paddock containing 3 horses which is between my paddock and the square yard. Said 3 horses can be quite aggressive and have had a go at Ranger and I before, and they did not disappoint today. I was in no mood for dalliances, so every time I looked at them I looked as predator-like as I could, and that was enough to give them pause for thought. Zenny flipped out at first, but soon realized I would protect him and was happy enough then. I was trying to estimate how long it might take me in the square yard, and if I might need to finish the lessons tomorrow, but I needn't have worried. Surprise number 2 for the day is that Zenny is text-book perfect in the square yard! Not only to catch (tried it about 40 times from every angle!) but to hindquarter yield, forequarter yield (non-existent yesterday) and step sideways. He yielded super lightly (phase 1) from nose AND chest. Well it's nearly 12 pm now, and I'm still scratching my head here. WHY? Why is he mediocre at things in the paddock, but super-horse on those same tasks in the square yard??????? This has all got me stumped. So I took him back to the paddock after about 45 minutes and I let him off near the other guys. I hadn't got 8 ft away when he took off as if he couldn't bear to look at me another second! What's with this horse?? He's a square yard angel and a paddock devil! He's one weird little dude! Oh well, I will ponder this conundrum over breakfast tomorrow and head back out. I'm riding him in the paddock tomorrow, so I hope he's not the same split-personality under saddle as on the ground. When I test rode him we HAD to do it in the vendor's square yard as it had rained so much it was the only dryish, non-slushy piece of ground on the property. I hope I'm not in for any unwanted surprises, but I guess we'll soon see. One thing for sure - he hasn't got a nasty bone in his body. That's half the battle. As Parelli always says - you can train a horse to do pretty much anything, but you can't train character. Good character and a kind, even temperament has to already be there, ya just can't 'upload' it. And he sure has it, so that's good. As for Ranger.....well......he wouldn't speak to me after that because I went mad at him. I think he wants a divorce. Cheers, Wendy
  7. Hi people, Today I feel pretty good about my decision. I went to the paddock about 11 and it only took 20 minutes to catch Zenny..........it's improving every day. I had a terrific day with him and it was sunny and a nice temperature into the bargain. I didn't take him to the square yard, but stayed in the paddock and did the first Lesson of QS with him. I can tell he's been flogged, he's a bit head and ear shy. So I worked on that too. I can tell that although he's great under saddle, he's had no groundwork as such done with him, BUT he picks his feet up like a dream just as he did at the vendor's, and even though he's a bit wary of the savvy stick and string, he accepted it more calmly in a short period of time. He has good ground manners, but totally traditional stock trained. Stand still, have feet done, get a bit of a brush, then RIDE. So he has no idea what yielding is really, except his backing from the nose is fair, and hind quarters not too bad - a bit sticky. Backing from chest, side yield and forequarter yield are non-existant! Oh well, things to work on. Then I shared some lunch with him, gave him some hay and groomed him. I measured him properly with my stick - he's actually 15.3hh, just one of those horses who 'looks bigger', so the vendor's forgiven for saying 16. It is pretty close. Tried my saddle on him which had the added benefit of teaching him that not everytime a saddle goes on does it mean WORK. Fits as if made for him! Pretty chuffed about that, I love my Syd Hill but I'll definitely have a look at the QS one when I can. Poor old Zenny is bottom of the pecking order well and truly - the others are cunning enough to see me acting as the lead mare and have decided to 'help' me. They boss him round wholesale now. Oh well, they'll sort it out! He ties fine and is terrific to lead, so I feel my first impressions of him are correct. He actually has 3 black hooves and 1 that's half and half, and his feet are in good order except for a big sand crack down the front of the near side fore. The vendor shod him after this happened as he realized working on dry, stony ground everyday will damage the hardest of hooves. Der........ Zeppelin is yet to get in with Zenny, but they seem to talk over the fence okay. So long as Zenny plays smart and stays subservient to Zeppelin, he will get on great. Okay........post more tomorrow in this continuing saga! Cheers, Wendy.
  8. Thanks Vicki! I sure will have a look at them. Meanwhile, my Syd Hill fits him very well, so it's not desperate and I'd rather save for something good than some cheap bit of junk! I never buy cheap saddles anymore - learned the painful way!
  9. I'm so happy for you guys. Those special moments when our horses truly allow us to KNOW them. It's like they say "I live in your world all the time. Now, because you care for me, I'll let you into my world to see what it's like. Trust me...here we go." Very precious. Well done! Cheers, Wendy
  10. Hi People...... Been away for a few days from the forum sorting out horse 'stuff'. Actually ended up calling the new boy Zen in honour of my sister's 13 year old Border Collie who she had to have euthanized a few days due to advanced Brain Cancer. It was a very sad occasion, Zen seemed to be part of the family for so long. As for the horse, Zen, he arrived Tuesday as planned and I put him in the paddock with Ranger, Scorch and DeAgo. Now, I knew he could be a bit hard to catch, but I was not prepared for an unsuccessful attempt of over 5 hours the next day. I tried everything I know, nothing worked. By 3 o'clock I resorted to hay like his prior owner does. Nope. He was having none of it. I decided to call it a day and regroup - yes, I know I let him have a win. Now, bear in mind the paddock is 30 acres and hilly. I couldn't find answers appropriate to the situation on the forum that night. By yesterday morning I was starting to panic - wondering what i should do. I wrote to a guy I know who is pretty 'old school' and he told me what he'd do. I resolved to try it and have a win, no matter what it took. I went off to the paddock armed with lunch and plenty to drink....it was going to be a long day. Well, by lunch time I was as hungry as a horse after walking without pause up hilland down dale for 2 hours. But there was one horse who wasn't hungry - Ranger! While I'd been busy following Zen relentlessly, Ranger had been busy getting into my backpack and eating my lunch!! Apple - gone. Banana -gone. Ham and salad wrap - ever so carefully stripped of it's gladwrap and gone....besides the ham (Zeppelin would have eaten that too if he'd done it!) Bottle of soft drink - tossed. Chips - thought about but in too hard basket. There was a tandoori chicken wrap left at the bottom I was saving for afternoon tea....obviously I'd shooed him off before he managed to get to it. Ohhhhhh, just great. Besides that though, I learned a valuable tip from the horses themselves during that 20 minute break, and it proved worthy when I added it to what I was already doing. Off I went again for an hour or so, had to get my asthma puffer, then back to it. During the last hour when I made real headway I tried a few things of my own and quickly progressed to.....SUCCESS! I did it! Finally, I walked up to him, rubbed him, both sides of the neck, then face. Then I did the hardest thing ever, I left the paddock. I figure he needs to know that he's NOT going to be worked all day every time a human approaches him. Today I tried again. It was spitting when I got to the paddock, I thought it wouldpass - lucky I had my Driz-a-bone! In the rain (can't really stop once you start this method) it only took about 50 minutes to get the results. This time the approach was on the off-side, so now both sides have been successful Once again I rubbed him, this time stood in front and patted his face, changed sides for the rub, went back tothe off side for a last rub and cuddle, then walked away. I'm hoping tomorrow will bring even better results. I may halter him and take him up to the square yard for some QS as the forecast is fine. However - none of this is what has made me feel bad tonight. In fact I've been pretty chuffed with my efforts so far. No, it's the guy I wrote to who gave me the advice. He got into me for buying a hard to catch horse. He got into me for buying a grey horse. I also copped it for buying a horse with light hooves, a horse with Percheron in it (get to that in a minute), a horse ridden by a stockman, a horse with no breeding. There were about 20 things which I should have known "bloody better" than. I feel like crap. But I trust my instincts. I was right with Zeppelin and I was right with Ranger (even afterthis same guy had told me to sell Ranger). I've only just gotten my self-confidence back enough to even attempt to ride again and what he said to me has rattled me.I didn't stop riding because of some horse mis-hap. I stopped because life had beaten every single shred of confidence out of me. I stopped riding. I stopped everything. I couldn't go to the shops even, alone. I was a total mess. So it's been a hard road back. The bad thing is that this guy is a very successful horseman, veryexperienced. He's made me doubt my myself really, I suppose. I knew Zen was a bit hard to catch, I watched the vendor catch him, but he is so good at other stuff I was willing to work on it. I didn't know how hard he'd be with a new owner. He's still worth it, and I'm proud that I've succeeded twice now. I'm proud that I figured stuff out from observing the horses. But it's never good enough for some people I guess. I'll try again tomorrow and this time I'll do some groundwork with him, and more catching lessons in the square yard. Post again tomorrow. Oh, PS. Zen isn't a Stocky x Percheron. He's an Anglo Arab. Exactly what I wanted to start with! As soon as I saw the tail carriage and the 'floating trot', I knew.My daughter (who knows her Arabs) confirmed it as soon as she saw his picture. Shetold me what to look for in his back, and it's just as she says. Ah well, it's a fact that to a stockman like his prior owner - everything is a Stockhorse x SOMETHING! I didn't look at his breed too carefully when I rode him, I must admit. I was too enamoured with his abilities under saddle! Cheers, Wendy
  11. Thank you Shane and Bindy. Taking it all into consideration. It really is a beautiful saddle Shane - awesome design, close contact too by looks of it. Thanks and cheers, Wendy
  12. Hi all! Looking into a new saddle for new horse who is too wide for my Syd Hill Suprema stock. I will be doing some team penning, campdraft, trail and some endurance on this boy. There are two schools of thought regarding the right saddle for these sports - Swinging Fender vs. Western. Any thoughts or experiences guys that can help me make a decision? I've ridden in both, don't have a preference between them really, but want the safest one for fast work. Much appreciated. Cheers, Wendy.
  13. Stick to your guns Claire! I think you are doing the right thing. With the right handler, the horse can reach her full potential. I guess just make sure you ask some, er, clever questions of an enquirer so you know they know what they're talking about. I can't tell you how many horses I advertised as 'suited to experienced rider', or 'suitable for intermediate adult', and when the enquirers rocked up it was obvious from the outset that mum in the dress was buying horse for starry-eyed 11 year old in jodhpurs and boots standing next to her....or worse, up prances 'experienced' (usually) teenage girl who leans forward in the saddle in fetal position and is too terrified to put heels on! It's tragic to see this over and over. It got to the stage I'd take one look at how they mounted and just say, "Love, get off, go home, and get some lessons". I was not going to be responsible for an educated horse putting it over a rank novice. I applaud you for your strict honesty - and whilst some people won't appreciate it, (they are often in the above classifications anyway), most will. I got a bit of a reputation for being a hard-arse with people, but nobody has EVER accused me of being dodgy or dishonest. In the horse world, that's quite a feat. If you can sleep at night knowing you did the best by the horse, and your level best to correctly match him to the right person, you are a good horse person and can have a clear conscience. Do what you are doing - bugger the nay-sayers! Cheers, Wendy.
  14. Hi Neighhhhhbors, Well the humiliation never ends in this family!! Zeppelin told me that he heard on the hay-vine that mum's got another horse! Some old grey nag from some backwater somewhere......apparently not even registered! Ugh! Can you imagine it?! Like, his parents weren't even married, so you know what THAT makes him........simply SCANDALOUS in our opinion! Mum reckons she's putting him in here with me apparently........well, she needn't think I'M talking to it! NEVER! And when Zeppelin comes in here he'll just sort him RIGHT OUT!!!!! Oh, and she goes and gives him some fancy-pants name like Marengo as if that will cover up for his NOBODY status. It WON"T!! I am descended from esteemed USA race horses, and Zeppelin from top ASH lines .......so a fancy name isn't going to make grey-boy a SOMEBODY! So what if he side passes, backs, neck reins, stays on a beast, spins, rollbacks, hind quarter yields and turns on a dime? So what if he's got no vices and is as fit as a fiddle? Without blue blood - he's a street urchin. And the price she paid for him! That says it all really, you get what you pay for MUM. I've got a busy day planned, I'm going to eat. And sleep. Then have a drink. Then eat. Then maybe a bit of flemen. Then eat. That's my day sorted.....how about you guys out there? We were supposed to go to the practice day today so I could meet other horses....but oh NO, mum can't afford to hire a float because she blew her $$ on dear darling Marengo!! Zeppelin and I reckon mum's stupid......I mean that silly horse is GREY! He's ancient! Why doesn't he dye his hair for pity's sake and have some dignity? GREY! Yuck! I pull all Zeppy's greys out over the fence each afternoon, then he bites me because I don't have any yet............although mum said she's noticing my 'few white hairs' on the forehead are getting more. I like it like that, it makes me debonaire. Zeppelin still styles his forelock so that half swings in his eyes and he flicks the other half back jauntily behind one ear. It's a bit 70's really, but he's quite venerable and tells me he was once Cleopatra's horse. I still think he could be making it up, but he's such an old grouch that it's probably true. Anyway, *yawn*, hate to be rude, but I've been up for about 2 hours now - - - time for a nap. Hey...mum finally found my rug, hehe, I stood on it when I was getting up and ripped it to shreds. LOL! It was the one she bought two years ago and it's sooooooooooo yesterday! I'm not wearing it, NO WAY! I want one with Peace signs all over it but you-know-who says someone will pinch it. Like, as if I'd care - she could just buy me another one! She gets heaps of that 'money' out of that wall in town - it just gives it to her - so I don't know why she's always whingeing about how much we cost her. DREARY!!!! oKAY GUYS, Over and out, Ranger Xx
  15. That's the way girl.......you go for it! Yep, I know what you mean by 'wanting it too much'!! Have you tried a bit of reverse psychology on yourself? Sounds silly, but it's worked for me many times. Instead of anticipating how great it will be to achieve a certain thing, I convince my mind (coz your mind does not know the difference between reality - whether you've actually done it - or BS.....that's how visualization works.) that I already know how to do that thing, and not only can I do it but I am SOOOOOO bored with doing it everyday, it's just an every day thing. So, with canter, it'd be like "Oh brother, here we go again, c'mon horsey we've got to canter AGAIN today...sorry 'bout this I know it's repetitive. Here we go"....... You have to sort of 'baffle yourself with bull! Might not work the first time, but don't give up. If you watch a clip with someone cantering, say to yourself..."oh yes, that's how I do it too", or "I usually roll a bit more than that"......you get the idea. You turn a 'future moment' into a 'present reality'. It's all in the self-talk sometimes, I learned that at Martial Arts and if I hadn't used it 15 months ago when I returned to training, I would never have been able to get through. The mind is a VERY strange thing, so, use it's tricks against it! All's fair in love and mind-war!! Hope it helps a bit. Costs nothing to try it. Best of luck and keep us posted! Wendy
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