Monday, June 17, 2024

Sending, Bending, Backing Up

We've made some great gains with Red in the past month or so. But we don't want to overlook important details, like sending, bending, and backing up. These can seem superfluous at times, but pay big dividends in the long run. 

Here Paul is sending Red. The main point of this is to be able to drive him from behind, like from where his whip is positioned. 

It took a while to get him to this point, but we want him to keep going until he hits the end of the line and then bends back to us. 

Then send him back the other way. There are many times that this is handy, walking through a gate or loading in the trailer. It also shows him that we can be in control even from a distance. 

Backing up is probably the most unnatural movement to a horse. Red took to it real well. Just continue to put him in a collection position and the only pressure release direction is to back up. 

Once he had that down we began to back him further and further away from us. Skills like this are handy if you are off your horse doctoring a calf or something. 

We then started walking over objects in the round pen. 

And then backing back over them. Good experience and training in coordination. 

This all translated into loading him in the trailer. Here we were able to drive him from behind to jump in. 

And then teach him to back out. With today's wide trailers horses can turn around and come out front first. But there is still a need for a horse to back out. If you don't train them to do so, and find your self in a situation that have to, you could be in a bind. Best to do it now. 

Giddy up. 

It all pays off in the long run. We could probably be riding Red in no time, but we don't want to rush through important details that we'll regret later. Good horsemanship is as much out of the saddle as in the saddle. All of us have been around horses that won't load or unload. That's when trouble happens. None of that comes natural to a horse. They have to be trained do so. Now is the acceptable time. 

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