Monthly Archive for: ‘June, 2022’

TT 64

LTR Training Tip #64: When Ground Driving Lateral Obstacles Aren’t Working

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Ground driving helps your equine to understand the rein cues coming from the drive lines. When working through lateral obstacles, your equine may be unsure or fearful. Be sure to work patiently on your verbal commands and take obstacles slowly, while being willing to gently help him through. And don’t forget the reward for good behavior.

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Chilly Pepper – Quick Update on the “Last Minute Horses”

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The following is from Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang:

We had a little issue with Mama. When she was loading back in the trailer on Tuesday, it became obvious she was starting to crash.

She was rushed to the vet and treated there. Her gut sounds were good, heart rate was good and her breathing where it should be. Her blood was drawn, and we just got back the results today. She had a Vitamin B-shot, 1/2 dose of wormer, Probios and Doc wanted her to rest a couple more days.

I had never thought about the worms being dormant while she was starving, but going crazy as soon as she started getting food. Her fecal showed a horrific amount of parasites, as is pretty obvious from her condition.

We have the “OK” AS OF TODAY for her to continue her trip home. She is definitely feeling better, although she still has a long way to go.

Her bloodwork is all over the place, and not good, but Doc said it is in line with her horrible body condition. Long term abuse leaves long term damage.

So they are finally on their way home. Please say a prayer for their safe travels!

Please help us “git ‘er done”, and God bless y’all for being so amazing for these horses. He puts them in front of us for His reason, and I am glad He chose our Chilly Pepper Family to help them!

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS BEEN HELPING SAVE THESE PRECIOUS LIVES!

Please check out our Adoption page!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/543121366934903

If anyone wants to help,

Supplies or checks can be sent to

Palomino
Chilly Pepper
19 Weona Rd.
Goldendale, WA 98620

or

checks to PO Box 233,
Golconda NV 89414

Once again we are back and forth, so all addresses are good.

or Donations can be made at:

CashAp-$LauriArmstrong
Venmo – @Lauri-Armstrong-2

THANK YOU for everything we have received.

https://smile.amazon.com/ch/55-0882407 If you shop at Amazon, please go to this link.

I can’t believe poor Mama is so thin, so heavily pregnant and nursing a very hungry baby.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO KEEP HELPING US SAVE MORE LIVES, YOU CAN GO TO:

You can go to gofundme

You can go to Paypal

if you would like to help these horses.

->You can donate via check at: (PLEASE NOTE NEW PO BOX #)

Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang,

PO Box # 233

Golconda, NV 89414

You can also donate via credit card by calling Palomino at 530-339-1458.

NO MATTER HOW BIG OR HOW SMALL – WE SAVE THEM ALL!

SAVING GD’S CRITTERS – FOUR FEET AT A TIME

Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang, WIN Project – Rescue & Rehab

We are now part of the WIN Organization

WIN (WILD HORSES IN NEED) is a 501c3 IRS EIN 55-0882407_

830 ➡️ just 80 horses. Speak up NOW for the Bible Springs wild horses before it’s too late!

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

A LOT has happened already this month! Today, we wanted to share with you some of the past weeks’ news including an interview by our Executive Director, Suzanne, a recap of our recent webinar, and actions you can take to help protect Utah’s wild horses from proposed roundups. Read on and see how you can help to protect these cherished animals. >>

TAKE ACTION: Stand Up for Utah’s Wild Horses!

The freedom of the wild horses of the Bible Springs Complex in Iron County, Utah is on the chopping block once again. Four wild horse herds live within the 215,000-acre public land Complex and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking to reduce the population from approximately 830 to just 80 horses. 

To add insult to injury — 17 of the 19 grazing allotments that overlap with this wild horse habitat are failing the BLM’s land health standards and, according to the agency: they’re failing because of livestock grazing. Yet the BLM continues to unfairly scapegoat wild horses for the impacts of private livestock. The BLM must instead redirect its focus on reducing livestock’s impact in this Complex. Please speak up for these wild mustangs and show the BLM you stand in opposition of this roundup by submitting your comments today!

TAKE ACTION

ICYMI: A Wild Night!

Late last month, we hosted A Wild Night: A Series of Short Films — a virtual event featuring a series of documentaries on our beloved wild horses and burros! The event also featured a fascinating panel discussion with some distinguished speakers.

Didn’t have the chance to attend? Don’t worry! We recorded the event for you to watch in case you missed it. Hear from our expert panel, watch the documentaries we shared that celebrate our cherished wild herds, and learn more about our work to keep these animals in the wild where they belong at the link below!

WATCH NOW

WATCH: AWHC Calls for Emergency Halt to Roundups

In the wake of 145 wild horse deaths at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Cañon City Off-Range Corral, we are calling for an emergency halt to all federal wild horse and burro roundups. Our call comes after the BLM recently released internal assessments documenting widespread animal welfare violations that place thousands of federally-protected wild horses and burros at risk of disease, injury, and death.

Our Executive Director, Suzanne Roy sits down with Fox5 Las Vegas to discuss. Watch her interview here:

WATCH NOW

Thanks for all you continue to do to protect wild horses and burros!

American Wild Horse Campaign

Chilly Pepper – “Last Minute Horses” STILL Need your help. Emaciated Mama – Skinny Stallion, Baby full of worms and a Call from the Catcher

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The following is from Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang:

Thank You for helping bail and bring home these horses. I definitely underestimated the cost of getting them home.

This will most likely be our last “cross country” rescue, but God definitely put these lives in front of us, so it was the right thing to do.

The horses are in way worse shape than I thought, and I have had to increase the transport budget for layovers. There is no way I am having these kids hauled straight through. I was told Mama looks like she is going to pop, and she is nothing but skin on bones with that big ole baby belly and the sickly baby nursing to boot. If you look closely at the baby you can see a big worm belly, and that is coat is in horrible shape. Under that ratty hair is a very skinny little baby This means the worms would slowly kill him if he is not treated. They are eating all his feed.

These kids need special groceries, worming, etc. etc. Funds raised for this were spent to get them bailed, vetted and transportation home. Chilly Pepper and these precious horses still need your help now.

I am expecting them on Friday, as we have more layovers scheduled. I am just so grateful that so far everything has gone smoothly. Of course I am chomping at the bit because I want them here now, but it is better, safer and easier on them to have my hauler go slowly with lots of stops. Don’t want Mama popping in the trailer.

CATCHER CALLED – expecting babies in two?? weeks or so. We NEED MILK & to restock medical supplies. Definitely GO TIME as far as being ready for that call!

It’s time to buy the feed, supplements, hay, grain and everything else that goes along with rehabbing horses like these.

Please help us “git ‘er done”, and God bless y’all for being so amazing for these horses. He puts them in front of us for His reason, and I am glad He chose our Chilly Pepper Family to help them!

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS BEEN HELPING SAVE THESE PRECIOUS LIVES!

Please check out our Adoption page!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/543121366934903

If anyone wants to help,

Supplies or checks can be sent to

Palomino
Chilly Pepper
19 Weona Rd.
Goldendale, WA 98620

or

checks to PO Box 233,
Golconda NV 89414

Once again we are back and forth, so all addresses are good.

or Donations can be made at:

CashAp-$LauriArmstrong
Venmo – @Lauri-Armstrong-2

THANK YOU for everything we have received.

https://smile.amazon.com/ch/55-0882407 If you shop at Amazon, please go to this link.

I can’t believe poor Mama is so thin, so heavily pregnant and nursing a very hungry baby.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO KEEP HELPING US SAVE MORE LIVES, YOU CAN GO TO:

You can go to gofundme

You can go to Paypal

if you would like to help these horses.

->You can donate via check at: (PLEASE NOTE NEW PO BOX #)

Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang,

PO Box # 233

Golconda, NV 89414

You can also donate via credit card by calling Palomino at 530-339-1458.

NO MATTER HOW BIG OR HOW SMALL – WE SAVE THEM ALL!

SAVING GD’S CRITTERS – FOUR FEET AT A TIME

Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang, WIN Project – Rescue & Rehab

We are now part of the WIN Organization

WIN (WILD HORSES IN NEED) is a 501c3 IRS EIN 55-0882407_

LeadshankEMDT8 1CC

MULE CROSSING: Leverage Versus Abuse

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By Meredith Hodges

“Leverage” equipment refers to any restraining device or substance that is used to get an equine’s attention and obtain compliance, but many leverage practices often have the reverse effect and have the potential to cause distress and pain. This includes harsh bits, chain leads, twitches, hobbles, stocks and even medications. There are times when our equines can really be a handful, so having a little leverage when needed can be a good thing. However, deciding which equipment to use and learning how to use leverage without it becoming abusive can be a bit daunting. There are so many different types of tack, equipment and restraints that it becomes difficult to determine which would be best to use on your equine to correct a particular problem, or if you really need to use anything at all. It may only be a case of needing to be clearer in your approach, in which case, leverage equipment may not be needed. It is important to make an informed decision when using any leverage equipment to be sure that what you are using is helpful and not abusive.

One very common behavioral problem that seems to identify the need for more leverage is the mule that bolts and runs when on the lead rope. This seems like an obvious disobedience to the handler, and the first thing that comes to mind is to use a lead shank with a chain to gain control of the mule. Normal use for a lead shank is during a showmanship class at a show and it should rarely be used in training unless the equine will be shown at halter and/or showmanship. And then, training with the lead shank should be done only after the animal is following well through all required movements while in his halter and on a lead rope.

Chains are severe and when not used properly, can damage the fragile bones in the underside of the jaw, and the cartilage and bone over the nose of the equine. If the chain is pulled while simply run under the jaw and attached to the ring on the opposite side, a quick jerk can bear down hard into the delicate mandible (jawbone). If the chain is run over the nose, when abrupt pressure is applied it can injure the nasal cartilage or the incisive bones. Because they occur internally, these injuries are often imperceptible to the human eye. The only thing you might see is broken skin, scabs or bumps that arise from repeated use. When properly fitted, the chain on a lead shank goes through the ring of the halter on the left side, threads under the chin and through the ring on the right side of the noseband, and is attached at the throatlatch ring on the right side. This keeps the halter balanced and the action of the chain less severe. When using the lead shank for leverage during training, it can work on some animals but others may decide to fight which can result in injuries such as fractures, causing more severe trauma to these areas. So it is best to avoid use of the lead shank until after completing leading training with the halter and lead rope. Even then, you should learn to use the lead shank properly with the least amount of pressure possible. Avoid using halters that are made with chains. Those types of halters should only be used when showing cattle and can do serious damage to equines.

If you train for leading with a step-by-step program that incorporates a reward system during training, the mule is much less likely to bolt and pull the lead rope from your hands, and horses will not need any more leverage at all. This kind of training invites the equine to remain with you and he is rewarded lavishly when he does. If a horse spooks, you can usually stand still in balance, hang onto the lead rope and quickly regain his attention by staying calm and deliberate yourself. Normally, mules learn to comply with the reward training. However, if a mule has been spooked, he may not care much about the reward in your fanny pack and you might have the need to use something with more leverage. In this case and in cases where a mule doesn’t always comply willingly, I use a new positioning of the lead rope called a “Quick Twist.”

To employ the “Quick Twist” restraint, just take your lead rope and create a loop and feed it through the noseband of your nylon halter (rope halters are too loose and do not work) from back to front and then over the mule’s nose. When you pull on the rope, it will tighten around the end of the his nose below the incisive bones and over the cartilage, making breathing just a little difficult. Don’t keep pulling—just stand quietly and hold the tension snug. Let the equine come forward to you and slacken the rope himself by coming forward and allowing a free flow of air through his nostrils. Then, if the mule does not follow, just walk a step or two, creating tension on the rope, and then stand still again. When he does come forward, stop long enough to reward him with the oats reward before you proceed forward again. Keep the lead rope short and stand still in a balanced way so he cannot get ahead of you and jerk you off your feet. If you are standing still in a balanced position, it will be difficult for him to jerk the lead rope from your hand and leave.

If, after you’ve employed a kind, considerate and respectful approach along with a food reward, your equine is still being uncooperative, it may be appropriate to use equipment with more leverage such as the “Quick Twist,” but not necessarily chains. Chains do need to be used in some cases, such as with work harness (and most curb bits are now fitted with chains), but when not used correctly, these chains can be abusive. The chains on the pleasure driving harness should clear the legs and heels of the driving equine, and the chin chain on a curb bit should be adjusted so that it is twisted properly and lies flat against the animal’s jaw with an allowance of two fingers between the chain and the jaw, thereby minimizing any chance of injury. If you have a generally compliant equine, it is better to use a leather chin strap on your curb bit rather than a chain.

Old-time twitches were made with a chain that could be twisted around the upper lip and used to distract the equine from shots, tube worming and the like, but the main focal point for the equine then becomes the equipment and not the task and, in the wrong hands, this piece of equipment can do a lot of damage to the equine’s sensitive upper lip. Most often, the equine can be more easily distracted by a simple rap on his forehead using your knuckles. Using a twitch at all can become a source of confrontation for many equines. If a twitch must be used, choose a more humane one that is made from aluminum and has a smooth surface. This will clamp down tight enough to hold, but not so tightly on the upper lip that it causes pain or even injury.

A lot of activity when loading can cause the equine to become anxious and noncompliant and he becomes overstimulated. When having difficulty loading your equine, things will usually go better if you simply give him time to survey the situation and not allow him to back away from the trailer. One step at a time while offering a food reward (and a food reward waiting inside the trailer), with frequent pauses and encouragement to move forward from behind with a tap of the whip, will usually accomplish the task without confrontation. Most equines will willingly follow you right into the trailer if prior obstacle training has been done properly and successfully. Leverage equipment such as butt ropes only refocus the equine’s attention on the equipment and will result in confrontation.

Hobbles are another form of leverage equipment and there are many different kinds of hobbles for different purposes. The hobbles that have chains on them should be avoided, as the equine can become entangled and the chains can do damage to their legs. Thin leather hobbles or coarse rope can chafe the hair right off the skin around the pastern and can cause severe abrasions that may never heal. Thick leather hobbles are best, as they will break when under extreme stress, releasing before damage to the equine is done. If so inclined, all mules and some horses can gallop in hobbles, so hobbles really aren’t all that effective for leverage. Tying
onto a hyline (a rope suspended between two trees that acts as a hitching line for overnighting equines in the mountains) is a better choice, and if the horses are tied, then the mules should not have to be tied or hobbled because they will generally stay with the horses.

Sedation and tranquilizers are another form of leverage that is used all too often and, in some cases, can be very dangerous. Mules and donkeys may receive the correct dose, but they can be unaffected when they get over-stimulated, excited and confrontational. They can actually “pop out” of sedation if they get excited enough to release adrenaline in their bodies. In these cases, administering another dose of drugs can easily become an overdose and could result in death. Sedating an equine that is to be trimmed or shod can be dangerous for both the farrier and the equine because the animal is not able to stabilize his balance and his reactions are, for the most part, uncontrolled. The farrier may not have time to get out of the way and the animal could stumble into trouble.

Power tools can be of help to a veterinarian or an equine dentist when doing teeth. Old-fashioned rasps are safer than power tools, but they are clearly more of an aggravation to the equine. However, if power tools are to be used at all, they must be carefully monitored. When floating teeth, the equine dentist must be skilled in the use of his grinding tool and should do only what is necessary to remove sharp points on the equine’s teeth. Power tools can be a good thing when you are dealing with an equine’s mouth and jaw, as having their mouths held open for long periods of time is very tiring for them, so speed is essential, but accuracy and skill are also essential.

I do not approve of using power tools on the equine’s hooves at all. In order for the equine’s body to be properly balanced in good posture, the hooves must first be properly balanced. Power tools cannot possibly shape the hoof with proper curvature in the sole, alignment of angles and equal balance over the hoof walls with appropriate pressure to the heels and frog. This demands hands-on custom sculpting, as each foot on each equine will be different and all four feet need to be aligned with each individual’s legs and body in mind. The hooves are the basic foundation for the entire body, so they must be done correctly or everything else will be off. This is especially true with the tiny hooves of mini donkeys and mules. Minis can often be kept calm for trims simply by keeping things at their eye level and rewarding their good behavior with crimped oats.

There are things that may seem to allow for shortcuts through certain tasks, but when you are dealing with living creatures there really are no shortcuts. It is always better to take the necessary time to implement training techniques that allow your equine to learn and grow in a logical, step-by-step process that will not overwhelm him or bombard him with too much stimulus at any stage, so that he can become a comfortable and cooperative individual. If you use the correct methods right from the beginning, the need for excessive retraints (that can cause pain and even more resistance) will be greatly diminished and the long-term results will be undeniably better.

To learn more about Meredith Hodges and her comprehensive all-breed equine training program, visit LuckyThreeRanch.com or call 1-800-816-7566. Check out her children’s website at JasperTheMule.com. Also, find Meredith on FacebookYouTube and Twitter.

© 2013, 2016, 2018, 2020, 2021, 2022 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Less than a month until 🚁 🚁 >> Help us protect wild horses and burros now!

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

In less than a month, Bureau of Land Management helicopters will descend on America’s beloved wild horse herds as roundup season begins in full force. The first target? The cherished wild mustangs that call California’s Twin Peaks Herd Management Area (HMA) home.

Families will be broken apart, innocent animals will lose their freedom forever, and there will be casualties from the BLM’s brutal helicopter roundup operations. Enough is enough.

We refuse to let this tragedy occur outside of the public eye. That’s why we send observers to document as many of these roundups as possible — we must show the world what is happening to our wild horses in these remote regions of the West. We also document these roundups to hold the agencies and government contractors accountable for the animal welfare violations that are routine at every roundup.

This spring, we’ve trained a team of new roundup observers who are ready to deploy to every roundup possible. Training and sending observers out into the field for each roundup requires serious resources, but this work is critically important. So today, we have to ask: Will you please donate $25 or more to help us hold the BLM accountable?

DONATE NOW

We need all hands on deck — this fight is not just about keeping wild horses free, it’s also a fight for their very lives. Because right now, wild horses are dying in two major BLM holding facilities that are experiencing infectious disease outbreaks. Even worse – according to the agency’s own internal assessments — there are systemic animal welfare violations across multiple BLM corrals that hold thousands of captured mustangs and burros.

We must protect them. We’re using every resource at our disposal to ensure wild horses and burros stay where they are safest — in the wild and with their families. A key component of that work is documenting the real-life costs and consequences of the BLM’s costly and cruel management practices. Please, help us sustain our roundup observation program and fuel our field programs with an urgent donation today.

DONATE NOW

Thank you for your support,

Suzanne Roy
Executive Director
American Wild Horse Campaign

WRANGLER’S NEW LOVE3 30 2018

WRANGLER’S DONKEY DIARY: Wrangler’s New Love!

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3-30-20

Wrangler came to us in 2017 and has had to be in turnout by himself because he was so rambunctious that he didn’t really fit into any of our turnout groups. He was always turned out next to “friend” like Sir Guy but never with anyone else. Mr. Moon was his stable buddy, but still, there was always a run fence between them. Mr. Moon recently turned 32 years old and developed a condition that required that he be put down. Wrangler’s “stable buddy” was now gone.

With the empty stall and run next to Wrangler, we now had space to consider getting him a new companion. I checked with my friend in Oklahoma and we found Chasity! What a lovely “Lady!” I was told she was a really FORWARD moving jennet with a lot of independence and enthusiasm. We thought she would be the perfect companion for Wrangler!

Chasity was delivered on 3-30-20 and the introductions began while she was in quarantine in a space where she could see Wrangler, but they could not reach each other. They played with excitement back and forth along the fence line for a bit! They were clearly VERY interested in each other! Love had begun to blossom!

The next day the vet came to do a health check on Chasity. She will need a lot of core strength work, but it will be a good thing to keep her occupied while she is in quarantine. Wrangler looked on with interest as the vet surveyed her condition. Two months passed before Chasity was finally put in Mr. Moon’s stall and run next to Wrangler…they eyed each other suspiciously…this was a lot closer than they had previously been!

Wrangler stuck his head through the panels to sniff and Chasity looked interested, then decided to play shy!

This only frustrated Wrangler and he began some very active male donkey antics which spooked her away from him.

She returned only to be spooked away again while Wrangler continued his antics and embarrassed himself by tripping!

Chasity thought maybe NOW he would calm down and Wrangler started up AGAIN! She thought…REALLY?!!!

I called Wrangler over and had a little talk with him about good manners and being polite to young ladies. He seemed to listen and said he was sorry. Chasity wasn’t sure if she believed him!

But after receiving their crimped oats reward for settling down…all was GOOD!!!

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MULE CROSSING: Achieving Balance and Harmony

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By Meredith Hodges

Achieving balance and harmony with your equine requires more than just balancing and conditioning his body. As you begin finishing training on your equine, your awareness must now be shifted more toward your own body. Your equine should already be moving steadily forward in a longer frame and be basically obedient to your “aids” (your seat, legs and hands). The object in finishing training is to build the muscles in your own body so that your aids become more clearly defined and effective. This involves the shedding of old habits and the building of new ones. This takes a lot of time and should not be approached with impatience. There are no shortcuts!

In order to stabilize your hands and upper body, you need to establish a firm base in your seat and legs. Ideally, you should be able to drop an imaginary plumb line from your shoulder through your hips, through your heels and to the ground. To maintain this plumb line, you must work to make the joints and muscles in your body more supple and flexible through correct use, so that this line becomes your automatic posture.

As you ride your equine through walking exercises, try to stay soft, relaxed and following forward in your inner thighs and seat bones. Get the sensation that your legs are cut off at the knees and let your seat bones walk along with your animal—lightly, and in rhythm with him. If he slows down, just bend your knees and nudge him alternately with your legs below your knees, while keeping your seat and upper legs stable and moving forward. While your legs are still, they should rest gently on his sides in a “hug.” Do not push forward in your seat, but allow him to carry you forward. When collecting the walk on the short side, just bend both knees at the same time, nudging your equine simultaneously on both sides, while you squeeze the reins at the same time.

In order to help you stay over the middle of your animal’s back on the large circle, keep your eyes up and ahead, shift your weight slightly to the outside stirrup, and “feel the movement.” Bend your knee and set your inside leg snugly against your equine at his girth.  As you do this, be sure that your outside leg (the leg on the outside of the arc) stays in close contact with his body, well behind the girth. He will begin to bend his body through contact with your legs in this position. Your inside leg (the leg on the inside of the arc) will support the bend and help to keep him upright, and the outside leg will drive him forward through the arc of the turn, or circle. On straight lines, keep your legs even, slightly behind the girth and look straight ahead. To keep his shoulders from “dropping” while executing a turn, look up and a little to the outside of the circle. This will bring your inside seat bone slightly forward and your outside seat bone slightly back, allowing your legs to easily be in the correct position for the circle. Your weight should be shifted to the outside leg. This is particularly helpful during canter transitions.

Most of us feel that we do not balance on our reins as much as we actually do. If there is any balancing on the reins at all by the rider, your equine will be unable to achieve proper hindquarter engagement and ultimate self-carriage. Here is a simple exercise you can do to help shift the weight from your hands and upper body to your seat and legs. Begin by putting your equine on the rail at an active working walk. On the long side, drop your reins on his neck and feel your lower-body connection with him as you move along. In order to maintain your shoulder-to-hip plumb line, you will find that you need to tip your pelvis forward and stretch your abdominal muscles with each step. If your lower leg remains in the correct position, this will also stretch the thigh muscles on the front of your leg from hip to knee. There is also a slight side-to-side motion as your animal moves forward that will cause your seat bones to move independently and alternately forward. There is no doubt that you can probably do this fairly easily right from the start, but to maintain this rhythm and body position without thinking about it takes time and repetition.

When you are fairly comfortable at the walk, you can add some variation at the trot. Begin with the posting trot on the rail. Always post down in your seat to meet the equine’s front leg that comes back and underneath your outside leg. Post upwards as the equine’s front leg goes forward. Once your equine’s hindquarters are adequately engaged, you will begin to feel his hind legs coming under your seat. However, when starting out, it is easier to learn to post using a visual of the front legs, and rely on the physical sensation of the hind legs coming under your seat later. When your mule is going along the rail in a fairly steady fashion, drop your reins on his neck and continue to post. As you post down the long side, remember to keep your upper body erect, your pelvis rocking forward from your seat, your knees bent such that your legs are gently hugging the barrel of your equine, and your arms raised and straight out in front of you, parallel to your shoulders.

If your animal drifts away from the rail, you will need to post with a little more weight in your outside stirrup. As you go around the corners, be sure to turn your eyes a little to the outside of the circle to help your positioning. As you approach the short side of the arena, bring your arms backwards and straight out from your shoulders in a “T” formation, while keeping your upper body erect. As you go through the corners, just rotate your arms and upper body slightly toward the outside of your circle. When you come to the next long sides, bring your arms, once again, in front and parallel to your shoulders and repeat the exercise.

Notice the different pressure on your seat bones as you change your arm position. The forward arms will somewhat lighten your seat, while your arms to the side tend to exert a little more pressure. Consequently, you can send your animal more forward by using your seat as you go down the long sides, shortening that stride with a little added pressure from the seat bones on the short sides. When you wish to halt, put your arms behind you at the small of your back to support an erect upper body, and let your weight drop down through your seat bones and legs. Also, remember to use your verbal commands often in the beginning to clarify your aids (effect of the seat, legs and hands) to your equine. If your equine doesn’t stop, just reach down and give a gentle squeeze/release on the reins until he stops, but be sure to remain relaxed and continue to drop your weight into your seat and legs. Keep your inner thighs relaxed and flexible. Do NOT squeeze! Think DOWN through your legs on both sides. Before long, he will begin to make the connection between the weight of your seat and your command to “Whoa,” and your seat will take precedence over your reins.

When you and your equine have become adept at the walk and the trot, you can add the canter. At the canter, however, keep your arms out to the side and rotate them in small circles in rhythm with the canter. Be sure to sit back and allow only your pelvis, seat and thighs to stretch forward with the canter stride. Keep your upper body erect and your lower legs stable in the gentle “hugging” position. Once your equine has learned to differentiate seat and leg aids during each gait and throughout all transitions on the large circle, you can begin to work on directional changes through cones.

As you practice these exercises, you will soon discover how even the slightest shift of balance can affect your animal’s performance. By riding without your reins and making the necessary adjustments in your body, you will begin to condition your own muscles to work in harmony with those of your equine. As your muscles get stronger and more responsive, you will cultivate more harmony and balance with your animal. As you learn to ride more “by the seat of your pants,” you will encounter less resistance in your equine, as most resistance is initiated by tension in the seat and legs and by “bad hands,” an ineffective and uncommunicative dragging on the reins. Your hands should remain quiet and supportive in contact with the bit. Keeping your legs close to the sides of your equine’s body in a sort of hug will clarify the “track” he is to follow (much in the same way a train is confined to its tracks). As you learn to vary the pressure in your seat accordingly, so will you encounter less resistance in your animal through his back, and the stability in your lower legs will give him a clearer path to follow between your aids.

To learn more about Meredith Hodges and her comprehensive all-breed equine training program, visit LuckyThreeRanch.com or call 1-800-816-7566. Check out her children’s website at JasperTheMule.com. Also, find Meredith on FacebookYouTube and Twitter.

© 1992, 2016, 2017, 2021 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 

The Sand Wash Basin wild horses are at risk AGAIN. Take action NOW to protect them >>

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

We wanted to share some recent news about roundups, an update on the disease outbreak in the Bureau of Land Management’s Cañon City facility, and actions you can take to help protect Colorado’s Sand Wash Basin wild horses from further danger. Read on and see how you can help to protect these cherished animals!

TAKE ACTION: Protect the Sand Wash Basin Wild Horses!

Photo by Kimerlee Curyl

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) removed almost 700 wild horses from the Sand Wash Basin in September 2021 due to what the agency determined as “drought conditions and lack of forage.” The roundup was stopped due to a public outcry after 684 horses were taken.

Now, concentrated Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) use, is proposed for close to 19,000 acres in the southern part of the HMA. Please take immediate action to urge the BLM to make sure that the recreation plan for the South Sand Wash Open OHV Area protects the wild horses and their social structures, and does not detract from historic wild horse viewing opportunities!

TAKE ACTION

Press: Countless Animal Welfare Violations Found at BLM Holding Facilities Across the West

In the wake of 145 wild horse deaths at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Cañon City Off-Range Corral, we are calling for an emergency halt to all federal wild horse and burro roundups citing recently released BLM internal assessments documenting widespread animal welfare violations that place thousands of federally-protected wild horses and burros at risk of disease, injury, and death. Read the latest here:

READ MORE

Roundup Recap: The Sinbad Wild Burros

AWHC Program Specialist, Mary Koncel has been on-site at several wild horse and burro roundups. Watching these iconic animals being chased by helicopters, driven into trap pens, separated from their family members, then trailered off to holding pens is nothing short of senseless, inhumane, and heartbreaking.

The roundup of 153 wild burros from the Sinbad Herd Management Area (HMA) though, could only be described with one word: brutal. Read her report below and learn about ways you can help.

LEARN MORE

Thanks for all you continue to do to protect wild horses and burros, Meredith!

— AWHC Team

 

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