Saturday, May 19, 2012

Hobby Horse Blog Hop

Here are the rules:
Answer one or all of the prompts. Link back to Living a Dream's post. Visit other blogs. And don't forget to ask a question of everyone else!

Dreaming (lucky duck) got to see Buck and attend a demo! So the Blog Hop is Buck related, fun!

1. As Buck was working with a horse and throwing a rope so it touched the horse all over its body, and tickled its legs, Buck commented that we must prepare our horses for the unthinkable. What 'unthinkable(s)' have you tried to prepare your horse to deal with, and how did you proceed?

I always start off desensitizing horses with a rope, similar to how Buck uses it. Around their barrel, flanks, cinch area, and then tossing it around them. I like my horses to not be scared on trail, or to be spookish around cars. My horses live in stalls next to a busy road, and I love it. Traffic doesn't scare them one bit. I like them to be able to carry a flag, and for plastic bags to not be terrifying. 

2. Buck suggested that his assistant "rub bald spots" on the horse. He asked us to think about how a mare would comfort her foal by nuzzling and licking him, and how that might feel. In addition to rubbing your horse, have you found ways to comfort him/her when he or she is tense or needs reassurance?

I talk to my horses a lot. I stroke their necks, and I know that my voice is reassuring for them.  

3. When asked how to make a horse stand still, Buck replied that you really can't. He suggested that the rider "use the energy for a worthy cause" and make the horse move his feet; make the horse 'do' something. Then, after doing that for a time, the horse might be more inclined to stand still. Does your horse stand willingly? What types of exercises might you ask your horse to perform instead of standing still?

I like side passing, tracking, gymkhana, pleasure. I mean the fundamentals of riding, turning, responding to leg pressure. I love Buck's philosophy about using the horse's energy. You can't force a horse to do anything.  

My question.... Do you let your horse hand graze?

I used to let Roxy hand graze. And now her ground manners are awful. She is always trying to graze, so she is on very strict orders to never hand graze. If she is wearing a halter, bridle, or is being worked she is not to eat anything. It just spills over into other terrible ground manner issues. 

Gideon is in the same boat as Roxy. He will probably never be allowed to hand graze his entire life. 

Dolly on the other hand has great ground manners. She has earned the right to hand graze all that she wants. (note how that was not 'whenever' she wants ;) )


  1. I did allow Shy to hand graze and it is causing me some trouble. . .I used to do it more since she lived outside on a dry lot and did not get grass. But know that she is on grass, I do it less. We are fighting the diving for grass battle. . .she is pretty good going in and out to the pasture, but she was driving me nuts at the show!

  2. I really enjoyed reading your responses. Buck was very insistent that people touch the horses in the cinch area, with a rope, foot or hands, so the horse accepts being saddled.

    I agree about the positive aspect of having traffic near our horses. My pasture is on a fairly busy road. The horses ignore just about anything going down the road.

    In my opinion there is nothing worse that trying to walk a horse and having him pull down to grab grass. It is one of few things that will set me on edge with the horses,
    I rarely hand graze. When I do, I touch their manes, just in front of their withers, when I have decided they can graze. This was something I did with a horse I owned in HS. He learned... and it was so much nicer to deal with him when he waited for me to tell him he could graze.