Newbie here

Burleson, TX(Zone 8a)

Hello All,

My first time to post here. I hang around Texas Gardening. I'm so excited about my new gift horse, Fancy. She's made my pasture a whole lot prettier.

Thumbnail by sybram
Richmond, TX

Welcome sybram! That is one flashy girl - tell us more!

Burleson, TX(Zone 8a)

Well, she's a10 yo, 14 hh Tobiano Paint Tennessee Walking Horse. I've just had her a week, and wouldn't you know, everything has happened to keep me from spending much time with her. The lady who gave her to me said she was very well trained when they got her, so we'll see. I know she hasn't been ridden in at least 1 year, probably 2. So far, I think she "knew" everything I've asked of her. Every time I try something, she's so "DUH," but gets it too quickly for it to be a new experience for her. I'd like to think I'm just that good a trainer, but hahaha, no way. Her previous owner rode her in a shank bit. I only use full-cheek snaffles on my horses. I'm sure she'll take to it ok, since most horses are started in snaffle bits. I haven't ridden her yet. Had one hour of daylight left yesterday, and was teaching her to stand at my feed/tack house ramp for saddling when my DH needed my help for "2 minutes." At dark-thirty I went out and turned her loose, and went back to help my husband. Not complaining--we had three leaky toilets, and he was................well, no need to gross everybody out. Just know this--my guy's the best!

South Hamilton, MA

Hope that she does well for you.

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

She looks like she's grinning in the picture. lol. She looks great and I can't wait to hear about your adventures with her!

Burleson, TX(Zone 8a)

Thanks, Iris and Pepper. I rode her yesterday for the first time, just getting her use to the snaffle. Mainly just doing ground work with her.

I'm picking up my 13 year old granddaughter, Madeline, around noon tomorrow. We'll have lunch, go see a beautiful flower garden (DG friend, Frostweed) and hope we have enough time to ride a little when we get back home. At least we'll ride Friday before I have to take her home. I love HOMESCHOOLING!

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

Welcome! She sure is a pretty girl. I love the shadowing around her spots. I really like the walkers and you will love her gaits. Does she walk or rack? I have a TWH that has a nice saddle rack and I have 3 walker crosses that all rack. Looking forward to reading about you and your new friend.

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

I just reread this and a thought struck me. Being a trained walking or racking horse, I doubt she was ridden with a snaffle. How is it working?

Richmond, TX

I think it is great that you are changing her over to the milder bit; I hope it works well for both of you.

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

We ride all 3 of our mares with a Tom Thumb bit but I am working Ben with a D ring snaffle. His head is too low but he is smooth. He is lazy like his Momma and has to be pushed but I think he will be a fine horse for DH.

Burleson, TX(Zone 8a)

Thanks all for your comments. Haven't been on since last posted here. I've still not taken Fancy on trail, but have ridden here in pasture a few times. She has done really good-knows how to flex, took to one-rein stop easily, too. I think she knows much more that I've asked of her (deep down), but it's just been so long since anyone has asked anything of her that she's sluggish with it all at first. I have a house full of company right now and have for a while. I do good to feed and smooch 'em a little, much less train. It'll be after the first of the year before I can really put some time into her. But wait, forgot I'm having foot surgery the first part of January, so make that mid Feb. lol. Always something, isn't it? Anyway, her main flaw, as I see it, is that she's pretty pushy--doesn't respect my space. She got right into moving her hips over, but I haven't found the button for getting her to do shoulders over. She just braces. Anyway, I haven't worked with it much, because I didn't want to keep whacking on her, which wasn't working. Actually, after not responding to SO at all the two or three times I tried it with her, a week or so later I just pushed the air rhythmically toward her jaw, which I had done before with no results, and she did step over. Again, continuity and repetition is the key, so I know we'll get that and much more when I have more time.

Her owner said she did rack. I don't have the room at my place to do that, you know, really stretch her out, but I can't wait to do it. I've never ridden a rack. Her RW is great, and she's very forward. I don't know what cue she was taught to "go forward," but I do Clinton Anderson's "squeeze, kiss, spank." She learned that right away and responds immediately to the squeeze.

I'm no expert, for sure, but I'm sold on the full-cheek snaffle, mainly because children and beginner adults ride my horses. I want the mildest bit for them, so those newbie, not-so-soft hands won't hurt or scare them while they are learning. I understand having a different bit for showing, etc. (as required), but I want my horses responding to me and my cues, because they know that's the best thing for them to do, not because a bit will hurt them if they don't respond correctly. Of course, I do discipline in training--just not with the bit. Also, with the full cheek snaffle, you don't need the chin strap, which eliminates a piece of tack to keep up with.

Happy holidays to all!

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

Glad she is doing well for you. TWHs are generally very people oriented. Good luck with the foot surgery.

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

We had a TWH mare that had a great RW when she was younger but as she grew and got stronger she preferred the rack. She was really smooth with it too. I am confused at the comment about not having room at your place to rack? Is she a speed racker? I had a big gelding that could really cover ground quick with his big rack but he could also be ridden in a slow saddle rack. Smooth as glass. I really miss him.

Richmond, TX

I thought the rack was always fast. I guess I don't really know the difference between the various extra gaits...

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

The speed is not what determines the gait but rather the beats. The rack is a 4 beat gait and can be done fast, slow or anywhere in between. A friend of mine had a speed racking horse that was faster than all the pacing horses around here. But he was kid broke and would rack just as well at just above a flat walk. He was a really nice horse.

Richmond, TX

Isn't the running walk also 4 beats?

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

I'm not sure about that. I'll have to check my book. You have me curious now.

Burleson, TX(Zone 8a)

Yes, the RW is a four beat gait. It's ONE, two, tree, four.

As I said, I haven't ridden a rack, so I certainly wouldn't know how to describe it. The racking horses I've seen on U-Tube are really fast (I guess that's why they're on there). hahaha The reason I don't want to do anything with speed at my place is that out of my 14 acres, only about 5 of it is open. The rest is pretty thick with trees. That 5 acres is sort of a round area, so not really much space. Also, I never let my horses speed back toward the feed/tack house, round pen, other horses tied up, etc. My horses do much better working on gaits when I take them away to ride where there aren't so many magnets drawing them (as mentioned above). Home is great for ground work, round pen work and technical things under saddle like collection, back up, side passing, opening gates, etc.....just not straight riding.

Thanks for the good wishes for my surgery, Cajun, and yes, all the walkers I've had are real lovers, and I've had different temperaments. My big, black, beautiful mare was a right brain introvert (scared of everything, but looking for leadership). As she learned to trust me more, she became a much more confident horse and she wanted to be with me, because that's where she felt safe. Then there's the left brain (not spooky, highly motivated by food) extrovert (high play drive, inquisitive, wants to dominate). They have all been so good minded. God has blessed me with the horses I need. I have many grandchildren and even greats, so I CANNOT have a fractious horse.

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

I used to ride "anything that wore hair" but those days are past since I have this muscle disorder. You can't ride the rough string with weak legs. I still enjoy riding very much and I am glad all our horses are so sane and level headed. Even so, I still turn them out to run before I saddle up. Especially Firefly and Godiva.

How many grandchildren do you have? I have 2 children and 2 grandsons but my sister has 3 sons and 15 grandchildren. By July she will have 17. Her youngest son and his wife are expecting their 5th child in July and one of her older twins is going to pick up his second adopted baby next month. They will be getting a little boy from China. Their other adopted child, also a boy, is from Korea. They also have 6 natural children. Her other twin son has 4 children but sadly they lost a baby. I'm sure they will have more. They all love kids and want big families. And they all homeschool.

Burleson, TX(Zone 8a)

Wow, cajun, that's quite a family! I have 4 sons, 22 grands, 5 greats with one more in the oven. And that's a passel. Most of mine home school, also. I love it, because that way I can get them whenever I want (usually). Of course, they aren't all in my area, hence my big time company.

So glad you still get to ride. I have a lot more want to than do. So much that has to be done, and it doesn't leave much time for the want to stuff.

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

Homeschooling can be great if it is taken seriously. Sadly I have seen parents take their children out of school to "home school" and don't teach them at all. They don't don't want to deal with discipline problems so they keep them home and let the run hog wild. Very sad.

Burleson, TX(Zone 8a)

I agree with you about homeschooling. For our family, it has been great. All highschool graduates have gone on to college.

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

That is wonderful!!

Burleson, TX(Zone 8a)

They are so much fun. I wish I got to be with them more. My oldest son, Shawn, has half our grands--11. Do you know anyone anymore who has 11 kids? I don't. Shawn is a meteorologist and has a good job, but still, they struggle. They home school, so no free education. They pay for everything. I remember when our youngest, Heath, was going to start piano lessons. This was 35 years ago, but we had to sit down and figure out where that extra $25 each month was coming from. There have been times when Shawn had 4-5 in piano lessons and a couple more in guitar also. Also, home school choir, which was expensive, too. Some of them have the "horse thing" like me, but none of them have horses of their own. Maybe someday.

As you can tell, I'm pretty proud of them all. These pics were taken Sept., 2010 at our 50th wedding anniversary. Only 2 grands were married then, and only 3 greats.

Well, it seems I've lost that album on my computer. I have them on facebook, but I don't know how to get them here on this post. I'm very computer challenged. If you do fb, "friend" me. I'm Sybil Rampy.

I'm thinking there will be very little "horsin' around" in what's left of 2012. Too much going on.

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

11 !! My goodness. That's a whole ball team. LOL Home schooling done right is not cheap. My nephew with 7 kids has 2 in guitar and one in harp lessons. One of my brother's sons has 5 kids and they home school also. His oldest DD plays fiddle. My brother plays guitar and mandolin with several bluegrass groups and she goes with him to festivals and jam sessions. She has only been playing a couple years but she is doing very well. Her sister takes riding lessons. A kid after my own heart. LOL

My first cousin home schooled both her girls. The older one is in her second year of college and the younger one graduated this year. I'm sure she will go to college too. She volunteers at a riding barn for handicapped people. They have done a lot of extra stuff for school like trips and such. There is a big home school group where they live and all the parents pitch in. My cousin has a masters degree in music and plays piano so some of the kids in the group come to her for their music classes. One of the dada ia a doctor and teaches some of the science classes, ect. It worked out well for them all.

I'll send you a friend request on FB. I'd love to see the pics. Thanks.

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