Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bad Reputation, Under Saddle!

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With the snow melting, it was time to get back to business with Bad Reputation. A few weeks ago, Darling climbed into the saddle for the first time and I led her a few steps around the pen, and we called it good. Yesterday, all saddled up, we asked the Cowboy before we headed out if he wanted to be there. Generally, he likes to tell me to wait for him before doing something stupid. A dyed in the wool quarter horse man, anything I do with a mustang would qualify as stupid.

Yes, he said, he wanted to be there before Darling climbed up, so off the three of us went.

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Rep was feeling a little frisky after having nearly 2 weeks in her stall. She's a lucky lady in that her stall is 10x30, but she still had a tiny little head toss when the Cowboy sent her around at the end of the lead rope prior to Darling getting on. After messing with her from the ground some, he had Darling bounce in the stirrup; first on the left side, then the right. On both sides, he made sure she laid across the saddle and patted Rep on the opposite side. Then quick as a wink, Darling was up in the saddle and the Cowboy sent Rep around in a few circles at a trot, first to the left, then to the right, while Darling kept one hand on the horn and the other held the reins down on Reps neck.

And that was it. Quick, painless, and easy as pie.

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Today, same routine. A few circles without a rider and the Cowboy slapping the reins around to see if he could get a reaction. He did...not much, though. Just a step back and a look to ask him what he was doing? Then Darling bounced in the stirrups, then up onto the filly's back. Trot, trot, trot, whoa, turn, trot, trot...whoa...unclip the snap and away she went on her own! The cowboy dictated the direction and set the pace. Darling sat light and relaxed in the saddle, this time two hands on the reins, listening to the Cowboy's directions, stopping, turning, going off at the trot, and then the Cowboy slapped the rope out there on Rep's behind and she picked up the pace to a lope! Was just a few strides, but it was enough, and she stayed quiet and relaxed and waited for whatever else was going to be asked of her. But that was about it. Another stop, another turn, and a whoa, good girl, time to dismount. Five minutes. That's enough for this baby girl. Just enough to put some basics onto her, so that she knows how to start and stop and turn left and right. Enough for her to know that she's safe. Good girl, Rep. Good training, Darling!

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9 comments:

Cheyenne said...

Good pictures, and a good post.

Shirley said...

Awesome- now for sure you need to change her name. She is going to make a darn nice saddle horse, and pretty doesn't hurt one bit.

shadowlake2005 said...

Excellent! What good trainer y'all are! Not many people would be able to do what you're doing, I think. You are a perfect team. Shirley has a point about her name, if you're ever going to try to sell her.

Allenspark Lodge said...

Did I miss something? How did she get that name?

Any of us who have worked with the wild ones can tell you they are thinkers. As long as you understand their language enough to know when you are pushing too hard, you will end up with a great partner for life! Looks like you are doing a great job and she is a beauty.
Bionic Cowgirl

Tracey said...

Allenspark, Bad Reputation is what they've got, yes? I'd hoped she'd be a cow eating machine and that I could turn her into a little cutter or cowhorse...but she's just way too laid back, I'm afraid. We just call her Rep or Repi for short, and I still LOVE the name. Just wish she'd had the spark to show off in a crowd.

And yes, she's going to make one nice little saddle horse, to be sure. Really wishing I'd not told those folks I'd sell her to them right now...but I did tell them I wanted to use her all summer, so maybe I'll end up doing that, eh?

Lea and her Mustangs said...

A really great start. She will be wonderful.

Crystal said...

She sure looks good, and What a nice job Darling did with her!

Margaret said...

...this is the first time with someone in the saddle? If so, pretty amazing!

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Sounds like you've made a really good start under saddle. I agree, Rep is fine but Bad should go. lol. However, I understand about the reason- Arabs have a bad rep too.