Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider

Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider
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Friday, September 10, 2010

Duster’s First Saddling

September 10, 2010

Duster is my 2 year old, out of Starlet, a Deck of Stars mare, and by Duke, my stud who is a son of Good Asset. Starlet’s mother, Skipa, was our first 4-H horse, who taught each of our kids how to ride and lope, about grooming and showmanship, and how to be really relaxed around horses. Skipa was your typical perfect first horse. Starlet was from my 2nd group of foals, which was already 15 years ago. Duke was out of an older show mare, a Boston Mac granddaughter, and he was very easy to start as a 2 year old. He has an awesome, deep strided lope.

Duster is like his mother. He knows his own mind. And he pushes others around, even the older geldings. Oh, he needs an attitude adjustment. And it needs to be this fall, at 2 ½, rather than next spring, when he is older, and stronger. He is pushy, because everyone but me thinks that his mother, Starlet, is pushy. I’m not sure how Starlet got to be that way, as Skipa was a sweetheart, but I’m sure at her age, she knew she was boss, and she was able to spread the word without being nasty about it. So that was how Starlet learned to be a boss. And Duster learned to be a boss, or so he thinks. His number is up.

Duster was handled this summer by one of my older, past 4-H kids. She really likes Duster, so she groomed, and led him around. And she taught him to lunge. But he hasn’t had any consistent work since July. I needed to wait until the days weren’t quite so hot before I worked the younger horses. They take a lot of energy, leading, lunging and saddling. That doesn’t sound hard, until you work a horse who needs to learn these lessons. I just don’t want to sweat that much, so I wait until cooler days.

I had the vet coming out to palpate mares, and while I was waiting, I brought Duster up to the barn. His mane was a mess. After I groomed him, I took the scissors to his mane. I knew that tangled mess was a lot of dead hair, and I wasn’t going to be able to comb through it. He has his daddy’s mane. Thick and long. I cut a very long show mane, then took the scissors and snipped up through the mane, so there wasn’t quite a straight line. I hope the mane looks better next spring.

Both Starlet and Goldie are in foal!  Both mares are Deck of Stars mares and are bred to Duke.

Duster was standing well. The vet wasn’t there yet, so I rubbed him with the saddle pad. He didn’t care. I went to get the little barrel saddle, which was lighter for me to lift on and off. I put it on Duster, and he didn’t care. I thought, well, he is standing quiet, I’ll just snug it up while he is tied here. He didn’t care that the cinch touched his belly, but then we groomed him there all summer. He didn’t care when the cinch got a little tighter, so I snugged it up enough that the saddle wouldn’t slip when he moved around. He didn’t care. I left him stand there for about 10 minutes, and he just stood there hanging his head. I tightened the saddle one more time and left him stand a little longer.

I didn’t want to rush him, and he stood quiet for about 1.2 hour, so I unsaddled him and put him back out to pasture. The next time, I’ll saddle him, let him stand awhile, and then lunge him with the saddle on. I hope he doesn’t have much buck in him!

Duster seems to be saying, "are we done yet? I've been standing tied awhile."

Keep watching for updates on Duster’s training. I’m planning on taking him to the Peter Campbell clinic next month. I want him lunging quietly with the saddle on. I wonder if he’ll stay quiet enough for me to be riding him by then.


txtrigger said...

Ahhh, but hot weather makes it tough on naughty young horses too. lol Hopefully you will not have a "naughty" one and he will be a good boy for his training

Tammy said...

I can't believe he is old enough to saddle! Seems like only yesterday.... he looks GREAT!


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