Friday, January 28, 2011

An introduction to my non-curled curlies...

Hello everyone, I finally have found the time to sit down and blog!! It has been a busy month with my girls, Kaycee and Seal. Just a small amount of backround since this is my first year as a RAC rider, Kaycee was my first introduction to a curly horse. Although she is a non-curled curly, the personality and temperment are absolutely there. I purchased her a little over 2 years ago. I have been riding since I was very young, but had never trained my own horse. When I found Bitowy horses on line, I had NO idea what a fantastic experience I was headed for. With a huge amount of paitence and effort from both Don and Ellen, I was on my way to training my first horse. Over the last 2 years I have grown and learned in unmeasurable ways both with my horse and within myself. Of course, I made a large number of mistakes and a few pretty big holes in Kaycee! (Thank goodness for the forgiving animal that I have). Anyway, currently I am working on filling those holes, one of which, I had taught her to ignore the bit due to my subconscious fears causing me to have constant pressure in her mouth. Another one is allowing her to get away with spinning and bolting when on the end of a long line, and just re-establishing in no uncertain terms, I am the lead mare. The horses are out on one of our hills, (an 800 acre pasture), so I have been going out on the 4 wheeler on my days off and just doing the very basics with both girls. I expect them to come to me when I call and stand with me until I say they can go. Each time was better. Both Kaycee and Seal, (another non-curled curly), will come right to me when I call, (of course, I am not above some bribery).

Last Saturday my husband and I loaded up and headed down to our local horse club. The club has a large roping arena, a smaller warm up arena and a round pen. Paul headed to the big arena and Kaycee and I headed into the medium arena. I put her on the long line and discovered that she really did not think she was going to do what I was asking her to do, (canter on the long line)! WRONG! She soon discoverd that I was very serious and that my way was MUCH easier than her way. For the rest of the day, no matter what I asked, she was more than happy to comply. Once I was satisfied that she was listening to me and understanding me, I put the saddle and bridle on and went into the round pen to work on getting myself to stay out of her mouth and getting her to respond to the bit. At a walk, we were doing serpentines and roll backs, right turns, left turns and stopping, all around the entire round pen with only the slightest pressure on the bit. I had kept my hands down on her shoulders with the reins slack until I expected a response. Kudos to both of us, my confidence grew and her responsiveness increased, YAY!!

On Tuesday, I took both girls down to the club. I am just starting with Seal so with her it was all about the ground work. She learned about the long line walking and trotting and turning back in both directions, (previously it was loose in the round pen). She learned how to back from a distance and we practiced stopping and standing still, not walking up to me. We also worked on flexing, releasing the front end and the hind end. She did very well. Kaycee and I revisited the long line and she was fantastic. I have never had her so soft and supple in my hands. She went from a walk to trot to canter, back to walk, back to canter etc... There was no pulling, no testing of me and I was soooo pleased!! I saddled her and went into the medium arena, ( I was feeling brave), and we picked right up with my hands soft and her responding to the bit. I was feeling very confident by then and we even worked at the trot! After I put Seal up, Kaycee and I ventered OUT of the arena and walked and trotted all around the club grounds. It was a very good day and I can't wait to get out again.

I can't express the feelings I had at the end of the day and I know that most if not all of you have experienced the same feelings at some point in your horse careers. I am so thankful to be a part of this wonderful group of horses and people


  1. Wow Lisa...what a great and thorough job you did with both your horses!! Starting with the leadership in the pasture to the ground work and getting them tuned in before you ride etc. VERY awesome!!! Can you post a pic of your curlies for us next time? I'd love to see them!

  2. Wow I agree with Denise. And please, post pictures! I am curious!

  3. You make us look so GOOD and you make us proud of you! GOOD JOB!
    Ellen cheyenne, wy


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