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CHERRY HILL'S HORSEKEEPING NEWSLETTER

Making, Not Breaking
From the Center
of the Ring
How To Think
Like A Horse

Cherry Hill's
Horsekeeping Almanac

  Stablekeeping
Making Not Breaking by Cherry Hill
Stablekeeping
How to Think Like A Horse by Cherry Hill
Cherry Hill's Horsekeeping Almanac
Stablekeeping

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December 2003

Happy Holidays Issue

Christmas stocking filled with Horsekeeping videos and books.This newsletter is a personal letter from me to you,
a fellow horse owner and enthusiast.
My goal is to answer some of your questions and send you interesting stories
and helpful tips for your horse care, training, and riding.

  2003 Cherry Hill   Copyright Information

riding, horse, injury,rehab,rehabilitation,surgery,recovery,balance,attitude,exercises, rider, balance,PAGE 1: Show Supplies You Need

riding, horse, injury,rehab,rehabilitation,surgery,recovery,balance,attitude,exercises, rider, balance,PAGE 2: Blanket Rods for a Barn
                 Pick Up Stud's Feet Without Getting Kicked

riding, horse, injury,rehab,rehabilitation,surgery,recovery,balance,attitude,exercises, rider, balance,PAGE 3: Teach A Horse to Lay Down

riding, horse, injury,rehab,rehabilitation,surgery,recovery,balance,attitude,exercises, rider, balance,PAGE 4: 'Fraidy Cat Horse Solutions

riding, horse, injury,rehab,rehabilitation,surgery,recovery,balance,attitude,exercises, rider, balance,PAGE 5 : What is a Midweight Blanket?

riding, horse, injury,rehab,rehabilitation,surgery,recovery,balance,attitude,exercises, rider, balance,PAGE 6 : Why Spread Manure on Frozen Ground?
                   How to "Ask Cherry"

Page 4

Will a fraidy cat horse ever outgrow it?

Dear Cherry,

I have a 3 yr old MFT gelding. I've been riding and loving horses for over 40 years (still a beginner). I've always chosen colts with a quiet disposition, I'm small but a scrapper in the saddle. I started this gelding in April, did 4 weeks ground work, packed him.

He's solid quiet on the ground. I have been riding him under saddle for 2 months now. He stands quiet (even after freaking out) moves forward, halts, turns and flexes nicely. His herd instinct is extreme, though when not alone he goes just fine. Alone he is fearful but compliant, mostly. I ride 3 times a week 1-3 hours per ride. At least once on the trails, and then in the arena. I love your 101 exercises book.

This quiet, mild mannered colt, when frightened, turns into a bronc, k, not just a little crow hop, but huge sun fish leaps. He does this unpredictably every ride or so.

Tack fits properly, using an egg-butt snaffle for 90% he seems solid, 10% championship bronc. Up till last week I've managed to ride the storms and re-gain control without "pickin' daisies". This week I took a hard fall when a neighbor galloped up to greet us.

I believe this is a normal reaction for a young horse but I've never had one like this before. I'm a 47 year young grandma, and have bruises to prove my mortality. After 2 months solid steady riding, he still freaks out.

Will this horse ever out grow this? It seems to be his instinctual response to fear. I guess I didn't really appreciate my brave heart angel horse who died in April and who never flinched at anything. Is this gelding a keeper?

Camanae - Handlebar D Ranch

 

Hello Camanae,

Ah. That little bugger! Well, judging from your description and from my experience, this type of horse will either grow out of this soon (by about 5 years of age at the latest) or he will keep this tendency for life, which would make him more suitable for a cowboy than a grandma, even a 47 year old grandma! Here are some things to think about and maybe you will want to write me again with some answers to some of my questions.

How to Think Like A Horse by Cherry HillYour training program sounds like it is fairly thorough (you have your own self-preservation in mind, right?!). When you say he stands quiet even after freaking out, do you mean he "spooks in place" - like he is NOT the type to blast forward and run when he "freaks" but just jumps and freezes?

Also, you say he is fearful alone, has extreme herd instinct.......so when he broncs, are you riding alone?

He sounds like at this point he lacks the confidence to face the world. He feels safe when you are on the ground because he can see you and knows those ground routines pretty well, but when you get on his back AND he is away from herd/buddies, he just doesn't have enough confidence to "carry the weight" of a scary situation himself. It is a common physical reaction for a horse to explode like that the first time saddled or the first time a stick pokes him in the belly when you are riding in brush or something like that, and even a few jumps are understandable the first time someone gallops up from behind you, but if the other situations where he exploded don't seem legitimate, well...........

Since he tends to do this pretty darn often, it doesn't sound good. Can you find any common thread in the episodes? Do they always occur when you are riding alone? Is it something he sees, hears or what that usually brings it on? Have you become a tense rider, kind of waiting for whatever surprise he has in store for you next?

Making Not Breaking by Cherry HillWhat to do? Well, keep your safety first and foremost. Go back to doing some groundwork that he knows well and add new elements to it. You didn't mention if you did ground driving with him, but if you didn't, you should. If you did, add new maneuvers, ground drive in a new location, add things to the saddle to help sack him out.

I'm referring you to books on ground training and I wonder how well you covered "sacking out" in your ground training program?

Have a safe ride and let me know how your are doing,

Cherry Hill

For more information on ground training, read these books:

To read an article on sacking out go here: Sacking Out


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  2003 Cherry Hill   Copyright Information

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