Sunday, May 31, 2015

Day 30 - Half Way Done With Intermediate!

Today we got to the ranch around 3:30 but didn't start work with Disco until we were done picking up some fencing from around the trash pile. When I got Disco I took him to the arena and haltered up Texas so I could swap out working with the two of them. I tied Texas up then went over and started working Disco, he was pretty loco at first but I was expecting that so I worked him for awhile first before we started some new exercises. My dad also trimmed him some today! He picked all his hooves but only his front left hoof really needed being trimmed bad so today we just did some on that one. We are just gonna do a little every day so he wont get tender footed and just working our way up to it. :) Disco was sorta confused at first and wanted to lay down... But that is pretty much the only thing he has done with his hooves being held for a long time. When he wouldn't lay down he acted like he wanted to cow kick but never really committed to it. He ended up letting us do it but we figured that we might try again after he had been worked, yeah that might go a little better. :) But we never did end up trimming any more so guess we will tomorrow! That was before I worked him so when I finished we all got our horses and worked on more intermediate! The first exercise we did was touch and rub, touch and rub nose, touch and rub poll, and touch and rub forequarters. He did perfect on touch and rub nose from the very first time we tried! On touch and rub nose the goal is t be able to touch is nose right about where the knots of your rope halter should be, and he should back up. I could already back him up across the arena so I went and got Texas and did the same thing. (of course he has done it before and has no trouble) I also went ahead and did the other stages of touch and rub since he knows it and would just breeze right through it. I then got Disco again then did touch and rub forequarters with him witch he also did no problem. But when I started touch and rub poll it didn't go so well... He would not drop his head no matter what amount of pressure I was using and to make it worse HE FELL ASLEEP!!!!! Some times it does not pay to be small... He would eventually drop his head a tiny bit ad I would release then try again but I did need some help cause I just wasn't getting the job done. So my dad came over to helped me out and we ended up getting him ok with dropping his head. We then moved on to changing eyes stage 1. In changing eyes stage one you make him move around you in a tight circle sorta like Circle Driving but without your stick on his neck and you face him, when you go to "change eyes" you step into his hindquarters and yield a 360 or so then step back, bring his front end through, go the other direction, and do the same thing until he understands and is doing it good and consistently. I am not to great at changing eyes so it was a little confusing for us both to do it correctly. We both had some trouble but at the end he was doing good. Then came Stage 2. Instead of yielding then changing directions, you yield his hindquarters, make a wider circle, bring his front end through, then yield his forequarters. He did pretty good at this first try but was kinda walking out of it so we had to go back, isolate the problem, then go work on it. Once we went back to the lesson he did much better and we went through that pretty quick. Then we worked on Circle Driving Transitions. You go just like circle driving but you leave the stick on the ground till you are ready to make a transition, when you are you put the stick in the air in front of his head and add pressure until he walks, stops, or backs up. He did not know what I wanted him to do at first but he it only took a few corrections before he would do whatever I asked. When we were done I desensitized him, did some run up and rub, and some more desensitizing to the plastic bag.. He did great on it all so then I took him back to his corral and went to un clog our feeder then get him some feed. When I walked up to him he whinnied to me 6 times! I love him so much and cant believe he was wild less than a month ago! Disco and Texas are the sweetest little guys on the planet!

He stood on my foot. (it really didn't hurt or i wouldn't have waited to take a picture)

Changing Eyes Stage 1 Day 1

Circle Driving Transitions Day 1

Run Up And Rub

Run Up And Rub

Slap n Tap

Desensitizing to Plastic Bags

Saturday May 30 - Prepping for First Hoof Trim


Preparing Disco for his first hoof trim -  I've been working up to it every day. Disco was not at all  interested the first time I attempted to lift a foot a couple weeks ago, backing away and jerking his foot away. But like everything else, it takes time and patience. Every day asking a little more, not getting greedy and expecting him to stand still, just rewarding the slightest try by releasing. You definitely can't force him to. A horses hindquarters are like a loaded double barrel shotgun, you better respect them when cleaning, trimming, shoeing etc. and be aware of your surroundings. Something as simple as another person walking by, dropping something, or anything that may cause alarm or even the horse to shift his weight could easily put your foot under his, and 1000 pounds can do a lot of damage. All our horses we train to lift their foot on their own by positioning yourself like you are going to pick up the hoof, but just say the word "foot" and up it comes, it sure saves my back on trim day. Yesterday Disco put all four up on the hoofjack, with no fuss, fronts are lifting on cue so far. I trim all our horses and only got kicked once by Starbuck, he was fussing and pulling away so I tried to pull back. Next thing I know I'm on my back 10 feet away and cant walk, with a football size bruise on my thigh. So yeah a little nervous about Disco's first trim! Hopefully I won't get a swift kick. -Dad

Friday, May 29, 2015

Day 28 - First Off Day

Today is Discos first day off of training. It rained ALL morning at our ranch so only my mom went on her way back from dropping off my brother. She actually just came back feeding Disco and sent us a picture of how muddy it was... Well I wasn't even muddy at all IT WAS COMPLETELY UNDER WATER!!! My mom said that when she went to get the feed out of our automatic feeder that she put up the ladder to get up but said she knew one of our horses would come over and hit the ladder, and sure enough Starbuck came over, hit the ladder, and it fell over. So now my mom was stuck at the top of the feeder... So she decided to try to get on Starbucks back and get down. That didn't go as planned.... She slid half way down and Starbuck moved leaving her just hanging there. But Starbuck walked back over and let her slide onto him then back down on the ground. THANKS STARB!


I'm beginning to think that mustangs are possibly the best breed of horse. If their predecessors were brought here, they were likely not only selected as capable for the journey and tasks, but had to survive the incredibly tough overseas or transcontinental journeys. Then, after escape or release, they had to then survive a foreign hostile environment. So, does it make sense that their offspring became not only hardened and tough, but extremely smart and adaptable?? In contrast to the overly inbreeded, stall fattened brats we pay big $$ for today? Dad

Day 26-27

Day 27 - Today We got to the ranch around 7:30 in the morning since my dad spent the night out there and we had to go help him dig some holes and build Discos fence. So I didn't wake up until about 9:00 but when I got up I looked over at our horses the looked over at Discos corral and it was open! I looked around for awhile then finally I looked down... There he was laying on the ground taking a nap... So I quickly got out, ran over to Disco, and started rubbing all over him. My parents said that he had already been asleep for at least 30 min. But idk how long we were together on the ground.

When he was FINALLY done napping my dad left to return the auger and I took Disco up to the front to see the rest of the horses and get some water. I did a lot of work with him up to the front, let him graze for a bit, then backed all the way to the arena from the front of the ranch nonstop! (His backing is getting a lot better) When we were at the arena I decided not to go in and do all my work outside, including jumps and logs. So today I decided to lunge him over the jump and just mix things up for him, Well... not much to say about that accept that he did so good and it was his first time ever!
When I was done doing the jump I did some more review then let him back loose in the arena. Not that long after he went to sleep again... So I went in with him and climbed al over him, rubbed on him, and at the end let him sleep with his head on my lap :) (He has a really Really REALLY heavy head!) Also one funny thing about when he sleeps is that he wants to lean on you if your behind him and that is the only way he will lay completely down! When he got up my mom had to take me and my brother to get our braces tightened... DARN! But anyways we got back around 4:30 or so and started work on Discos corral immediately, It took awhile but we finally finished it so I ran over to disco, grabbed his lead, clipped it on, and walked him out of the arena. All the other horses followed us and made Disco feel important like he was the leader of a parade! So I put Disco into his new home and unclipped his lead. When he was free we walked around for awhile and he followed us around pretty much everywhere! So I went and got him feed, my mom got him alfalfa, and my brother and dad went to get his water. He was totally SO happy! I love how he always whinnies to me when I walk up and he just follows me every where! He is so awesome!

Disco decided to go into the cabin ;)
Day 26 - (from Dad)

   We decided it was time to fence in a new pasture for Disco to allow him to graze and roam freely. The BLM requires a small pen with high sturdy fences at first, but they can be turned out when gentled. Their definition of gentled is when the mustang is easily approached and haltered. Although it would be great to turn him out with the other four geldings, he proved on our first attempted turnout to be a very tough fighter, and there was certain to be injury or worse. So for now he has a nice green 1 acre pasture to himself with lots of trees and healthy grass, and can easily mingle with the others at the fenceline. I believe horses are healthiest and happiest when allowed to be at pasture with others 24/7, grazing naturally and allowing them to  participate in all of the social intricacies of a herd. Most horse illnesses such as equine colic or laminitis occur from being stalled, overfed or underfed, lack of exercise and interaction etc, basically all come from human intervention. We will likely wait until after the Extreme Mustang Makeover competition to turn him out with the rest of the horses, and given the amount of training and exposure to the rest of our herd it should be a far safer introduction.

   Except for the auger bit getting stuck twice deep in the soil which required a back-busting dig to remove, the two day chore of building pasture fence was hard work but a privilege to be working so hard for this amazing mustang and my daughter's journey together. During the day, I put the other horses in the arena, and let Disco out to do as he pleased. I was surprised and happy to see he never left my sight, always following me around whether I was cutting lumber with a chainsaw, banging nails with a hammer, he even followed me into the cabin. He is a very curious little guy, and responds with perked ears to his name now.

   I slept out on the deck for the night, the horses all gathered around sleeping by me, moon blazing through a few clouds with a cool breeze blowing, its really magical. A few times Disco would do a low winnie at me, I would get up and hang with him for a few minutes, give him a treat, until he walked off to graze. He is pretty talkative, and obviously likes his new human companions :) with no fear or uneasiness at all any more.

   After working hard at laying a solid foundation of groundwork skills while earning his respect and trust this month, and seeing the draw, athleticism and intelligence he possesses, its easy to see we can now move forward into more intricate training.

   FYI  all of this is training is being done by a 12 year old girl with very little experience. We are lifelong surfers and beach people with no horse background at all, and only got our first horse three years ago. It was a very frustrating and dangerous introduction to horses, but after learning about Clinton Anderson's Method, it became quite simple for even a complete beginner to safely and successfully train a horse. I highly recommend purchasing the Clinton Anderson Fundamentals Kit for any horse owner, it is by far the best and most complete information available.

   We started with Clinton Anderson's Colt Starting Kit:

Then completed Clinton Anderson Fundamentals:

Currently working on Clinton Anderson Intermediate:

   After completing Intermediate, we will do the Advanced Kit, followed by his Trick Training series. This should give us a very well trained horse, and allow us to be creative and have lots of fun choreographing a freestyle performance for the EMM event!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

DNA results!!!!

Today we finally got Disco's DNA results back from Texas A&M University! So Disco is three things... First he is a British Warmblood! Second he is a Quarter horse! and third he is a Western Europe Warmblood! WOW! I mean really WOW! He looks a lot like a warmblood if you look at him and a picture of one.

This is a Western Europe Warmblood.
This is a Quarter Horse.

This is a British Warmblood.

Here is some stuff I found about these horses.

Proto-Warmblood Ancestry: The term Warmblood should not imply that this breed category is simply the result of direct breeding between cold blooded and hot blooded breeds. It is thought that the Warmblood breed type which in roomed in continental Europe, descended from a wild, native proto-warmblood ancestor and possibly traces back to a wild prototype called the Forest Horse.Warmblood horses are a mix between hot-blooded animals (like the Arabian & Thoroughbred) and cold-blooded animals (most draft breeds). They may carry bloodlines of approved breeds as long as they meet the requirements of the type.

Western European warmbloods include the French Selle Fran├žais, Belgian Warmblood, Dutch Warmblood, Swiss Warmblood, Austrian Warmblood and Danish Warmblood.

The American Quarter Horse is an American breed of horse that excels at sprinting short distances. Its name came from its ability to outdistance other horse breeds in races of a quarter mile or less; some individuals have been clocked at speeds up to 55 mph (88.5 km/h). The American Quarter Horse is the most popular breed in the United States today, and the American Quarter Horse Association is the largest breed registry in the world, with more than 5 million American Quarter Horses registered.
The American Quarter Horse is well known both as a race horse and for its performance in rodeos, horse shows and as a working ranch horse. The compact body of the American Quarter Horse is well-suited to the intricate and speedy maneuvers required in reining, cutting, working cow horse, barrel racing, calf roping, and other western riding events, especially those involving live cattle. The American Quarter Horse is also shown in English disciplines, driving, and many other equestrian activities.

We also found out what my brothers horse Lucky is.... he is a mix between a Shetland Pony, a Welsh Pony, and a Carriage Horse. That was the least most expected thing ever! Well we always did call him a mutant miniature so I guess now he really is one. :D

This is a Welsh Pony.
This is a Carriage Horse.

This is a Shetland Pony.

Here is some stuff about these breeds.

While there is some anthropological evidence that horses were ridden before they were driven, the most unequivocal evidence of domestication and use of the horse as a driving animal are the Sintashta chariot burials in the southern Urals, circa 2000 BC. However, shortly thereafter, the expansion of the domestic horse throughout Europe was little short of explosive. In the space of possibly 500 years, there is evidence of horse-drawn chariots in Greece, Egypt, and Mesopotamia. By another 500 years, the horse-drawn chariot had spread to China.

The Shetland pony is a breed of pony originating in the Shetland Isles. Shetlands range in size from a minimum height of approximately 28 inches (7.0 hands; 71.12 cm) to an official maximum height of 11 hands (44 inches, 112 cm) at the withers (11.2 hands (46 inches, 117 cm) for American Shetlands). Shetland ponies have heavy coats, short legs and are considered quite intelligent. They are a very strong breed of pony, used for riding, driving, and pack purposes.

Shetland ponies originated in the Shetland Isles, located northeast of mainland Scotland. Small horses have been kept on the Shetland Isles since the Bronze Age. People who lived on the islands probably later crossed the native stock with ponies imported by Norse settlers. Shetland ponies also were probably influenced by the Celtic Pony, brought to the islands by settlers between 2000 and 1000 BCE.[citation needed] The harsh climate and scarce food developed the ponies into extremely hardy animals.Shetland ponies were first used for pulling carts, carrying peat, coal and other items, and plowing farm land. Then, as the Industrial Revolution increased the need for coal in the mid-19th century, thousands of Shetland ponies traveled to mainland Britain to be pit ponies, working underground hauling coal, often for their entire (often short) lives. Coal mines in the eastern United States also imported some of these animals. The last pony mine in the United States closed in 1971.[1]

The Welsh Pony designates a group of four related types of pony and horse native to Wales: the Welsh mountain pony (Section A), the Welsh pony (Section B), the Welsh pony of cob type (Section C), and the Welsh Cob (Section D). All sections of Welsh ponies and Welsh cobs are sure-footed with sound feet, dense bone, and are very hardy. The ponies should have a well-laid back shoulder, deep chest, short back, well-sprung rib cage and strong hindquarters. Their legs should be clean with good bone, short cannons and correct hocks. They exhibit the substance, stamina and soundness of their ancestral bloodstock.
The Section A pony has a small head, large eyes, sloping shoulders, short back and short legs.
The Welsh Pony has a small pony head, long neck, long sloping shoulders, deep girth, muscular back and quarters.
The Section C Welsh Pony is similar in appearance to the section D mountain pony. The breed has a quality head, long neck, strong shoulders, deep girth, muscular back and quarters.
The Welsh Section D, Welsh Cob is of similar appearance to the section C pony. The breed has a quality head, long neck, strong shoulders, deep girth, muscular back and quarters.
There are four different sections of the Welsh pony breed. They are divided by their size. The Welsh Mountain Pony (Section A) may not exceed 12.2 hands in the US or 12 hands high in the United Kingdom.
The Welsh Pony of Riding Type (Section B) is the second division within the Welsh pony registry. Section B horses are taller than the closely related Welsh mountain pony (Section A) with a maximum height of 13.2 hands high in the UK and 14.2 hands high in the U.S.
The Welsh pony of Cob Type (Section C) should be no taller than 13.2 hands.
The Welsh Cob (Section D) is the largest-sized animal within the Welsh pony and cob breed registries, and is no shorter than 13.2 hands. Under some organization rules there may be no upper height limit, others require they not be over 14.2 hands high.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

May 22-25

    Tuesday May 25 - Today we first went to tractor supply and mccoys to get some wood because we are going to expand Discos corral since there is no grass left and its a mud pit... We didn't get to the ranch until about 6:00 again but it still gave us plenty of time to do stuff. I walked over to his corral and he did his usual two whinnies when he saw me. I put his halter on and did C - Patterns, Backing, and Leading with him up to the front gate so we could wash all the mud off his cut. He stood there pretty good while we washed his hind leg and rubbed everything off of it. When we finished washing him my mom put some vetricyn on him but when we where done he picked up his leg, reached back and licked it all off... So maybe that didn't work out so great...Disco... Disco: O_o What?! We took him back to the arena and I did some Circle driving before we started doing our new exercises... Today we started doing intermediate!!! We did - Changing Sides, run up and rub, and desensitizing to the plastic bag... He did great on changing sides and pretty good on run up and rub but when we got out the plastic bag he completely freaked out! I first walked away from him flapping the bag while he followed me, showing him that I am not attacking him. Then faced him while I walked away flapping the bag. He was doing good so I walked up next to him and started flapping the bag on the ground, he wasn't so sure about it at first but ended up standing fine. So I started rubbing the air space around him, He didn't like that one bit so I stuck with it for awhile. When he accepted that I moved on and started rubbing him with the stick pretending that the bags where not there. He was a little twitchy but stood still until I got out of position and the wind blew the bag and made it touch his other side, as soon as that happened he just went crazy but I went back right after and did it again. He did good so I went to the other side, he was a little twitchy at first but after I did both sides he was fine. I was able to do pretty much everything with him, flap it all over his body, rub it all over his body, rub and flap his belly with it, rub and flap it on his legs, rub and flap his face, and pretty much what ever you can think of! When I was finished I got Texas and did some laying him down again, he did really good! On the first time I only had to say Bang twice! Disco is getting so good! 25 Days down and about 100 left to go! ;D


Monday May 24 -
 Yesterday I did some work with Disco up to the front then gave him some water while my dad was refilling his. When I got him back to the arena I tied him up and went to get my other horse Texas so I could teach him the lay down. When he was I the arena I got the hobble and long line then clipped him up, it was gonna take more than just me so we all had to help with him. (he is alpha so laying down is the last thing he wants to do even though he is very submissive) It's a good thing that it wasn't just
me doing it cause he put up a good fight! He was
rearing, jumping up in the air and doing things I never knew they could do like rearing on one leg... When he finally bowed we released all the pressure and just let him think, for some reason he was walking backwards with his hind leg and dragging his front. :I It didn't take him long to figure it out so he flopped and I rubbed him all over. But just a little after he went down Disco got tangled up in his lead again... and got another rope burn in the same place as the last one... So Disco had the rest of the day off since you could tell he was hurting. We did laying down with Tex 2 more times then let him go and took Disco to his corral. His cue to lay down is "Bang" and on the second time he already looked at me when I said it and thought about going down but we had to apply some pressure still to remind him.

    Sunday May 23 - Sunday my dad picked me up from my friends house then went to the ranch right after. We didn't get to the ranch till about 6:30 so we didn't have much time to get everything done. Me and Disco did some C - Patterns around the ranch then went over to the arena and did some review of a lot of stuff. I also did some leading at the trot with him for my first time!

    Saturday May 22 - Melia is spending the night at her friend Gia's house, so I get to go "take care" of Disco :) My first time to have him to myself, so I decided to review all of the Fundamentals groundwork exercises and see where she and Disco stood. What a respectful and intelligent little fella Disco is! We breezed through lessons the entire evening like he had done it all his life! I'm not sure if all mustangs are like this, but if they are people are really missing out! Three weeks into training, and we are already going to start Intermediate.  Melia is doing such a great job, partly because of having the Clinton Anderson training kits, but its awesome to see her character appearing on this daily challenge, so patient yet determined, never losing her temper or showing emotions. I'm really impressed and proud!!  -Dad

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Day 19-21 - Beach Day!

Check below for a slideshow of our beach day!
Sorry I have not been posting for a few days, its cause I have just been super tired when we get back from training Disco. Thursday we didn't get to the ranch until 6:30 because it ha been raining all day so we assumed it would be a mud pit. But that's no excuse for skipping a day so we went anyways. When we got there it had hardly rained at all! Just enough to keep the dust down and the arena was perfect for training! We started out with loading a couple times then haltered up Texas so my dad could work with him while I was doing stuff with Disco. We pretty much just did review and a lot of backing and circle driving! He s getting much better at the back up but still bends a little on his left side. I think he is going to have a really pretty back up cause he is already starting to dip his head and he picks up his feet really well! Friday we didn't start until late again but I did get a chance to start brushing out his tail. :) But I think its gonna take a bit longer than I thought it would to untangle all of that! We only worked on review and did some more tying up with him. I also figured out two snacks he likes, Sun chips and lemon drops. He tosses his head up and down sometimes when he eats them and he also finally figured out treats and completely loves them! Yesterday I woke up and my parents were gone so I asked my brother where they were and he said they went to pick up the horses! (only Texas, Lucky, and Disco) So they got here about a hour later with the horses and we didn't waste any time getting out of the house and into the truck. Soon we were there and we quickly jumped out of the truck and ran to the back of the trailer to get Disco out. (and the others) We opened up the trailer and I went in, grabbed Discos lead and walked him out. He wasn't to hesitant to get on the sand and pretty much jumped right out! Once he got out I had only been walking him around minute or two before he stuffed him nose in the sand and rolled. When he got back up I walked him around and just sorta let him sniff the place out, when ever he found something new he stopped, sniffed it, then picked it up, shook it around and threw it! He is a silly little guy and is a little like our horse Comanche who eats concrete, little Bible pages, used ear plugs, dirty baby wipes, and baby food off a spoon! He also sneaks into the feed room were we used to board our horses and open up the bags and tubs and stuff himself, not to mention one time he snuck into the show tack room one day and made a lot of people not so happy with him! :b (I think you can guess what happened to the tack...) So when we were done walking him around we took him up to the sand dunes and played around up there for awhile before taking him down to the waters edge. When we took him over to the water he was fine with it until a wave would come and he would completely freak out! We tried walking him back and forth along to waters edge for awhile until he would finally walk in the wet sand. Then we tried leading him into the water and just taking little baby steps until we got closer. But we again learned that being sneaky is no way to act around any horse, sure it might work but its gonna take a whole lot longer! So finally when we only had about an hour of daylight left we went up to the soft sand, worked him REALLY hard then quickly took him over to the water and let him rest. It only took him two times to figure t out and by he third time he was already swimming! Well we passed our goal of knee deep! We also worked Texas and Lucky while that was all going on and when we took a break to eat pizza :D When my dad first lunged Tex over too the water he about jumped in his lap! But it only took him that one pass to remember what it was. Lol! Two police officers also came up to us and looked at our horses, Texas made a new friend too :) he was licking one of the guys arms and scratching on him. Seams like every day is the best day yet with him!

Click on picure to view Disco Goes To The Beach Slideshow!!

"Heart attacks are free so give your horse one." - Clinton Anderson.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Day 17-18 - Preparation and Tick Spray

Yesterday we got to the ranch around 6:00 but my mom and brother had to leave cause Micah had a SMASH meeting ( it's a RC airplane club, SMASH stands for Small Model Aircraft Society of Harlingen). After they left me and my dad gave Disco his food then went straight to work. First we did the logs then moved on over to the trailer and loaded and unloaded him a few times. When we where done we desensitized him then walked him up to the front to wash him. We first started walking around him with the hose like we where just watering the grass. When he got calm and relaxed we let him play with the hose for a bit then took it away, we did approach and retreat for quite some time then finally moved along and started to spray him withers and back. He didn't react all that bad, he just slowly walked around for a while then stood still and relaxed. We didn't bother messing with his head cause it wasn't really nessiccary yet. We did this mostly just to prepare for Tick Spray which was the next day... When we where done we went back over to the arena and my dad worked him for awhile before he realized that he had gotten carried away. :) But really how could you not? This little guy is a quick learner and likes to have a job to do. When my dad was done I hopped in the arena and desensitized him then started doing his first real lesson of Circle Driving. He wasn't doing great at first but he caught on pretty quick (considering how long we did that lesson for). In Circle Driving what you do is walk in a tight circle, hold your string a sticks length away from the snap, put your stick on the top of his neck, have him go in a circle around you trotting, when you are ready to change directions you just walk straight through his hind end and not go around it. To change directions you change hands step through his hind end and bring his front end through but never stop walking the whole time! We did this exercise for at least 45 minutes and it was already pitch black when we stopped (and we don't have any arena lights yet). When I was done I walked him out of the arena then backed him from the roundpen into his corral. He was so good when we finished and just wanted to stay with you the you the whole time!

Circle driving.

Can you guess what exercise this is?

Today we got to the ranch at about 11:30 and gave Disco his food then went and got Comanche. After we had them both haltered up we loaded Comanche into the trailer then went ahead and put Disco in with him, they where both fine with being in there with each other so we took Disco out then my dad drove the trailer (With manche in it) up to the front. I was doing C pattern up to the front gate with Disco, he did great and it was my first time doing it with him! When we where up at the front I gave Disco to my dad so he could wash him while I turned on the generator to simulate the noises that would be at Tick Spray. He didn't care at all about the noise and never moved a mussel while my dad washed him. When we finished we walked Comanche to the roundpen and put him in there (had to put him in the roundpen cause we where going to take Disco and Comanche together and didn't want manch to go crazy out in the pasture and try to jump the fence or something) then put Disco into his corral. We walked back up to the front then loaded Texas, Lucky, and Starbuck so we could go to Tick Spray with them first since we don't have room for them all. They did great at Tick Spray and we where out of there in no time at all! When we got back to the ranch we lot those horses go then brought Disco and Comanche back up to the front and desensitized Disco again to the hose and as much noise as we could. When we finished we loaded them up and where on our way for Discos big day! We got there about 35 minutes later, unloaded them and started desensitizing Disco to all the new stuff and did some light work with him. Another person got there at the same time so we let them go first to give Disco time to relax and get used to everything. It didn't take them long to finish the 3 horses that the other people had so we had Comanche go first. Manch acted good so when he was done we tied him up (We always use Clintons aussie tie rings when ever we tie our horses up no matter what) to the other side of the fence so Disco would be calmer. I got Disco and asked him to lead up onto the concrete wash rack that was there, we didn't think he would go up on there cause he has never been on concrete and we don't have any at our ranch to work with. But as usual he just walked right up and didn't care a bit about it. When we had him all hooked up I stepped back and the person who works there came up with the hose and started to spray the ground with it first then went ahead and sprayed him. Disco only pulled back once at the very beginning but the rest of the time he was fine. The people who work there even said he was better than most of the horses they get. We added Disco to our list and got him a pass then loaded back up and headed home! When we got back I put him in his corral and let him take a little break before we started working him. Disco has now graduated from being a mustang! After our break I got Disco, took him to the arena and started doing some turn and draw, flexing, and desensitizing. We got out my new banner that I just received the other day from MHF (Mustang Heritage Foundation) and hung it on the arena fence. Disco wasn't to sure about it at first but he soon figured it out and was fine. To get him used to it I did sending in front of it to get his mind off it and on me. when I quit him he couldn't care less about the banner and just wanted to stick with me. When I was done with that I moved on and did some Circle Driving with him. He protested at first but it didn't last long (only about 2 seconds on each side then he was over it). While I was doing Circle Driving my brother was flying his new R/C Airplane (Albatross and desensitizing Disco to it. When we where done I put him up, gave him a scoop of feed, half a scoop of alfalfa pellets, a few alfalfa cubes, 3 treats, and 2 flakes of alfalfa. He was so happy but half asleep when he was eating. My dad also did some ponying and rode Texas for awhile. My dad said Texas was running so fast that he reminded him of the SpaceX Dragon abort test liftoff!

SpaceX Abort Test... or is it Texas Fullabeens?!?!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Day 15-16 - Trailer Loaded!!

Yesterday we got to the ranch late around 6:00. Yesterday we just reviewed most of the things that we had done and he really is doing amazing at everything! We didn't have a lot of time so we didn't do anything new. (* see note from Dad below) We left at just about 9:15 when it was already dark. Today we had to drop my dad and brother off at the ranch so me and my mom could go get some more alfalfa for Disco. We dropped them off at about 4:00 and got back around 6:30. When we got there my dad was walking Disco around the pasture already desensitizing him and letting him graze. So today was the big day... time to start trailer loading. So my dad jumped on the back of the truck and we had Disco follow us over to where we moved the trailer (in a wide open area this time). First I started lunging over the logs then worked my way to the trailer, went over to get in position, then sent him into the trailer. HOW?!?! UMMM..... WHAT?!?! DID HE REALLY JUST...HUH???? He went into the trailer without a care in the world! He just hopped right in, turned around and stood there looking at me. So I went in with him and rubbed all over him before asking him to get out and do it again. The second time he just went right in again but... he didn't really want to get out :) but we did get him out and thought well lets mix it up a bit for him. So I just stood in one place, send him from side to side, then shortened up on the lead and asked him to get in. No fuss... So we changed it again, I did some leading around the trailer then brought him back, walked up to the trailer, stopped right before it and pointed him in. Again he did it no problems. Well then I bet you can't do this! I jumped up into the trailer backed up and started combing the rope to draw him in. WHAT?!?!?!? NOT POSSIBLE!!! ok... proved me wrong... He passed all the tests first time. Now we just didn't know what to do. We thought that this would have taken all day but it really only took a few minutes! So I decided to do some more review and took him to the roundpen and started working. He walked all the way up to me at the end and even followed me around without the lead! I was able to do everything in the roundpen without a lead today. So I took him out and walked over to our deck cause my dad had finished dinner. When we where done I found Discos favorite treat... Ice cubes! When we where ready to leave we put Disco back in his corral and gave him his scoop of feed and 2 flakes of alfalfa. We are already ready to start going places now! BEST DAY EVER!

Going over the logs.

Picking up his feet.

Working him outside the trailer. 

Sending into the trailer. (First time)

 Resting him inside the trailer.

"The majority of horse "problems" aren't really problems at all; they are really just symptoms of a cause. Ninety-five percent of all the problems you will ever have to deal with as a horse owner will fix themselves if you do the groundwork and earn your horse's respect.

Most people think that their horse's problem (biting, bucking, rearing, pawing, trailer loading etc.) is the real issue, but it's not. What most people think is a problem is nothing more than a symptom of a cause. But people get so focused on the horse's bad behavior that they can't see what is actually causing it.

For instance, take a cinchy horse. A horse that pins his ears, snaps at you or cow kicks when you pull up the girth is nothing more than a disrespectful horse. When you get the horse's respect, he'll stop all of his disrespectful behavior because cinchiness is nothing more than a symptom of a cause.

You might say "I'm new to horses. I don't understand where my problem is coming from. I don't know if it's lack of respect, of if it's a fear-based issue."

Here's the good news-it doesn't really matter. as long as you do the groundwork, you'll actually be working on both categories.
The sensitizing exercises (moving the horse's feet forwards, backwards, left and right) gets the horse respectful and teaches him to use the thinking side of his brain because he is constantly having to move his feet and change directions. The desensitizing exercises will teach the horse not to be fearful by exposing him to various types of objects that move and make noise. If you build a solid foundation, a lot of problems will just disappear.

The reality is if you just start the Downunder Horsemanship Method your horse will tell you where your problems are. If it's a lack of respect, he will give you resistance when you go to move his feet. If it's a fear-based problem he will react badly when you work on any desensitizing exercise. If you just start the Method, he will tell you where he needs you to help him and spend more time. You just have to be willing to listen and put in some effort, that's all."  - Clinton Anderson

Trailer Loading first time!!

*In training a horse, repetition is essential. Being consistent in your lessons, training as many consecutive days as possible, having clear and consistent body language, being rhythmic in your pressure, desensitizing and pauses, repeating lessons over and over then moving the same lesson to a different location etc. Success depends greatly on laying this solid consistent foundation, its hard work. After two weeks of daily groundwork, Disco has become safe and respectful, great job Melia!!