Skeet Rey Scott aka Whiskey

I’m trying. That is what counts! It’s been a hot minute since I responsible for riding a young one with just the basics! But I’m trying! Whiskey is a smart horse. He is also lazy. I love a lazy horse! Why? Because you can always speed one up but you can’t always slow one down! He likes to see if I’m going to “make him” do it. Whatever it is. Sunday, we argued over a muddy spot in the round pen. Granted, it was slick, deep and soul sucking mud. He would go through it without a rider but not with me on his back. In fact, he got half way into the mud and parked. Zero reaction. Kick and kick… nothing. No flinching. No movement. Uber frustrated, I decided to throw him in reverse. He would not go to the side but he did reverse. So I stepped off, put the halter on and made him do it lounging. Then I got back on and did a BUNCH of little roll backs getting him closer and closer to said mud. Finally he gave in and walked through it!!!! Yahoo! Next thing I did was ride to the gate, let us out of the round pen, and we rode around the front pasture aka the arena! He was soooo lazy. I could not get him to do anything but walk. However, he did go through the mud. He did let me open the gate from his back. He did stop and reverse with ease. He actually rode good. Just all at a walk!

Today, Tuesday, I decided to ride again. Y’all, I’m trying to ride as much as my body will allow! So I caught the little booger and proceeded to clean him up for our ride. Of course we did a few laps in the round pen and I decided to do the ground work with the mud puddle before getting on. Shocker, he went though it on first request today!!! So again, we went to the gate, let ourselves out and rode in the front! I decided we needed to trot and then I decided we could do some circles trotting! I haven’t really gotten him used to spurs yet. So I used my split rein to smack him when he flat refused to increase his speed. He is not afraid of that either! Success! We trotted and did some figure 8’s, worked around some random barrels and poles, and FINALLY got a sliding stop! I found the whoa button that works for him! Feet forward, butt down, shoulders back and WHOA. Slid a little then went right into reverse!!! We did that three times. I’m starting to remember little things like that. The cues I give to teach and ride!

I love my riding app. It shows my route pretty well. I had a W pattern set up and then just random barrels. Trot poles. And cones for my figure 8. However, we just started doing some big circles at the trot! I am super excited about how he handled the ride today! My brain is actually encouraging me to ride the way I ride. My gut says “what are you doing now? You are on a baby!!” But my brain says “dude, he is lazy and smart. Ride.” My body is appreciating the fact that we are moving again! It complains a little but it’s opening my hips back up and moving my spine. We have rain coming tomorrow. I will update y’all after our next ride!

Passing Through…

This is a totally random thought. I feel that it might help someone so I decided to post. Every single horse that you cross paths with, have an impact on your life. Starting from the ponies that you rode at the county fair and going to the top of the top horse you have ridden and bonded with, they all have helped shape whom you have become as a horse person.

Growing up, my grandma always had horses. They were not show horses or competitive in any way except for when it was feeding time! These horses lived at the Zanek Ranch. There was a welsh/quarter cross named princess. She had a foal that foundered as a weanling. The red headed welsh cross was named Princess. Oh my. Princess was from hell. She loved to tuck her nose between her legs and take off running! Under trees, down fence lines, jumping random stuff… all with her pony head between her legs so there was no pulling up on her face. She taught me about so many things. Mostly, she taught me to figure out how to get out of sticky situations. She also planted a seed of doubt when it comes to mares in general. Now Grandma Zanek only had mares. So I can’t say I ruled them all out! That pony from hell was finally sold at auction when she tried to decapitate me under the loading shed. I lived. I was 10. I was never ever going to ride her again. Too many tuck and roll situations with that one.

Grandma had one named Lady. Lady was a huge, thick built, palomino paint. Her famous trick was to drop and roll in any mud. Y’all, she was 16 hands and THICK. She would see a little puddle and stop to roll in it. Of course, all we rode in was grazing bits. This was before my formal education on bits and bitting! That mare loved to get wet and muddy! I loved to put people I didn’t like on her and ride her daughter Brandy. Brandy was a chocolate paint crossed with some Tennessee walker. Most called her mean. She was just disrespectful until you got through her head that she was going to mind. About the time I really got with Brandy, I had learned about snaffles. I was enrolled in English riding classes and learned all about bits. My Grandma had a bag of bits and I found a nice, well leveraged, snaffle to put on Brandy. Guess what? That mare didn’t fight me! Well, she tried a few times then realized that the bit was a good deterrent from her evil ways. I didn’t have to be mean. I just had to learn how the bit worked and use it the right way. I loved the fact that I was the only one whom truly enjoyed riding that mare! We could do anything! Mostly bareback. I learned that I had to show her what I wanted and then let her figure it out. Then I’d praise her. She was always fun!

Grandma had an older retired barrel horse named Cheka. Now this mare would not tolerate a saddle. She also hated men. She would do pretty much anything for me, my grandma and a handful of other females. Put a man on her, she was going to run to the fence, slam on the front brakes and dump them quick! I used to sneak off in the woods with her on foot and climb on her back then ride all over just to slide off her and hand walk her back to the house so no one would “know” I rode her. Yeah, I’m pretty sure they knew by the bareback butt I sported! She taught me kindness. She also taught me a lot about balance and going fast bareback. Let’s just say that she lit a fire inside me for speed!

The lesson horse I rode in my English lessons was named Toto. Yup! He was 17+ hands high and a bit dull. He would love to balk at random things in the arena that he has seen a million times. He taught me to have a sticky seat and to pay attention to his body language! No way was I wanting to fall off that giant! I never did! I got to open him up from time to time when the instructor wasn’t paying attention! He was FAST and could jump! I learned really quick how to be sticky in the saddle! He also taught me that just because he was the c-string (yeah not even the b-string) of the stables, he had something to give! He gave it to me! Gah I miss him!

Now I could go through all of the rest of the horses that I have learned something from since I was 12. I’m now 44. There have been a LOT of horses!!! I learned that off the track horses need a lot of love and patience! I learned that blown up horses may need a totally different approach to anything due to the fact that they have literally been run into the ground. I learned that studs can be awesome to ride but to always be aware of the y gene that motivates them from time to time. I learned when to have soft hands. When you might need to have more contact. When you should not just jump on one because you think you can ride it. I learned when you have to trust your own skills and trust your horse. I have learned a lot about what makes this horse or that horse tick. But… EVERY SINGLE HORSE has taught me something. They have given to me what I gave to them. They have shown me what I am capable of, good or bad. They have literally shown me who I am. So cheers to all of the horses that have been a part of my life. They have made me me. Some have given me scars, scar tissue and possibly broken me in some way. Then they have rebuilt me. They have made me strong and soft at the same time. They have shown me their souls and stolen my heart. They are all a part of me wether they are from my past or future. So here is to the horses that shaped me, saved me, and built me.

Whiskey and Self Preservation

Whiskey is home from the trainer! Back in the day, I would have trained him myself. The older I get, the more my brain reflects on what I can handle, what I need to handle and what I need to contract out. It seems that self preservation only increases with age! So I contracted out the first 60 days on my colt! He was gone a while but he came home with that 60 day foundation! Thank you Lord!

Even though he has been ridden, I’m still taking my time to get to know him. So far, I have been on his back 3 times! Today, I ventured out of the round pen and I have to say, I felt comfortable with that! He is a smart kid. He has a lot of personality and seems to like me! This is great news because I kinda like him too. He is smooth and athletic! Today was a nice warm day so I decided we needed to ride!

Now only having 60 days is not ideal for someone like me. I like them a little more polished. I like one that will drop when you say whoa. I like one that responds to leg with the slightest touch. I like one that I can drive into the bit and collect them and he isn’t quite there yet. But we made big strides today! We worked on a simple cue I use to ask one to turn. I use a “shhhhh” command. I teach it from the ground and most of the time it take a bit of work to get them there under saddle. Not for Whiskey! At the end of our ride, I had him turning a barrel or pole with just the shhhh command! I love it!

We will be working on his stop next ride. He stops when you say whoa but it’s a four feet plant for a stop. I just prefer one to stop on their hind end first. It takes time for that. And first we have to get collected in the bridle. He collects but doesn’t really drive into the bit. I have some tricks so we shall see what works for him.

He is a hair lazy. I love lazy colts! You can always speed one up. I like that he is constantly checking with me to see if I’m happy with what he is doing. He seems to really want to make me happy. I haven’t put spurs on him yet simply because I don’t feel comfortable enough yet. However, I have used my split rein to lightly pop his shoulder when he broke down from a trot to a walk. He seems to like that better than me kicking and that is good because kicking hurts my knee! I have a lot of hopes and dreams for this one. I have a feeling our progress will continue with each ride. He is smart. He has already figured out things that I do differently from the trainer and accepted that. With just THREE rides! I hope to continue to ride him on a regular basis and get him to the point that we can lope circles outside of the round pen collected and with him staying in frame. Time in the saddle is what we both need now. My self preservation will keep me from rushing things. And that is ok. We don’t need to be in a hurry. I rather work as a team and build the bond together with him.

I didn’t think he would be my next barrel horse but the more I ride him, the more I feel like he can do anything I ask of him. He is cow bred with some all around on the dam side. He has a stride that will make him a good runner! So we shall move forward of work on polishing this Diamond to get him to his full potential! I hope to keep this blog going on his progress! We have rain coming tomorrow and the farrier is due. So, I might not have much to report this week. However, I will do the best I can to sneak in training around the rain! May the Lord keep me safe and be with us every step of the way!