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Novels for Horse-Lovers

The Tipped Z Ranch books feature fictional stories but real horsemanship.

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This morning Steen and I had a very good session. Last night, I made him a rope halter and today when I put it on him I felt like it helped a lot with communication. I felt he was a lot more responsive in the arena and that he focused on me a lot more fully today than he ever has. I tried out a technique using a wall and a longe whip which really helped with the standing issue, and in general he seemed a lot less bored and restive than he has in the past. But the very exciting news awaited me when I got home from work just after 5. Brian had thoughtfully unpacked and set up on the coffee table my brand new very own endurance saddle and pad. I sat in it (usin...

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Ground Work

Novels for Horse-Lovers

The Tipped Z Ranch books feature fictional stories but real horsemanship.

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Today Steen came to me as I approached again, even though he was in a lush, grassy pasture because the mud is finally drying out. We walked up to the barn and he got a little balky at the sight of the hitching post, but I coaxed him into the barn and let him loose in the indoor arena. He trotted around sniffing at things for a while and discovered he could sniff noses with one of the horses in the stalls by the other door. Then I proceeded to move him around with my hands, touch him all over, lead him around, make him stop, go, go backwards, etc. He is very odd in that he will stand perfectly quietly as long as he's not tied. I can rub him all over with my hands and pretty much anything else I can pick up and move around (today I tested him with his lead rope, a rubber ball, a traffic cone, and a different rope) without evoking so much as a startled glance. Also, if I so much as...

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Day Off

Novels for Horse-Lovers

The Tipped Z Ranch books feature fictional stories but real horsemanship.

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Unfortunately, I had my other stable to tend to today, so will have to wait until tomorrow to hang out with my own horse again.

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Baby Steps

Novels for Horse-Lovers

The Tipped Z Ranch books feature fictional stories but real horsemanship.

Tipped Z - 3 Covers Learn More
Steen came to me from across the pasture when he saw me at the gate today, and has no trouble leaving the other horses, but still gets very agitated if I tie him up for more than a few minutes (unless there is another horse tied next to him, in which case, he is fine). So I think I'm going to have to go back to square one on standing, since just tying him up and letting him wear himself out doesn't seem very humane, and I certainly don't want him to associate my visits with trauma.

When I got home, I did some reading and found some advice on teaching horses to stand while being lead as a precursor to making them stand when tied. So, next time I'm out there I'm going to take him into the indoor arena and walk and trot him around, and intermittently make him hold still for a moment or two before walking out again. He moves away from pressure and leads really well, so adding...

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Embark

Novels for Horse-Lovers

The Tipped Z Ranch books feature fictional stories but real horsemanship.

Tipped Z - 3 Covers Learn More
Today Steen came into my life. The last horse I owned was Blue, a quarterhorse mare we purchased when I was about 12. Blue and I usually rode with my friend, Dale and her horse, Molly. Dale was an adult, but was kind enough to put up with me for riding partner. We'd go all over the place together, and sometimes find ourselves considering taking a trail neither of us were familiar with. She'd often say, "Where does it go?" My most typical response eventually became our mantra: "Every trail goes somewhere." I've found it is a good thing to keep in mind when working with horses.

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