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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Questions and Answers

I am getting a few questions about Scratch on Facebook and thought I would post my answers here.  This is the first one:

This is my response to someone asking about if he would be good for urban trail riding. I go over a couple of other points too and this will save me from typing everything again. If you have any questions after looking this info over, I will do my best to answer them.
Just so you know this is my first try at training a horse from the beginning....starting from scratch....
Scratch has a quick smooth walk and a nice sitting trot. He canters beautifully on his right lead, I am having a few problems with his left. When I get it, it's a bit more choppy but not too bad.
As for suburbia, that's a tough one at this point. While understandably nervous at first, walking him through the stables at Rancho Rio was a scary experience. Now, most times, he does it with much more relaxation.
Despite my efforts to desensitize to things on the ground under his feet, he can still spook there although the times he has as I recall have all occurred when I've been on the ground similar to the event at the Parade (let me know if you DON'T know that story).
I took him to a ranch for three days (just returned yesterday) and we moved around the property with another rider through the countryside experiencing cows and dead trees and such. The ranch was also hosting a wedding and there were water trucks, and tents, etc. Early yesterday I wanted to ride, but as it's a remote location and no one was available to go with me, I chose to ride in the covered arena. Scratch is at a point that I don't always do groundwork, a two hour hilly ride the day before I thought was enough. After a short warmup, when I asked for a whoa and he didn't stop (this usually is how I know where his attention is) I went to one rein stop him and he bucked across the small arena. Thankfully he has a small buck or kick up and I don't know whether it was because the arena was covered or small or what. That was the only such show of discontent that ride and we went through the remainder of our training session as usual.
I tell you this in the spirit of full disclosure. My suggestion would be to come watch the event. With all the cars and horses and people I am interested to see how he does. How he will handle the freestyle program I have planned will answer many of your questions.
Scratch has had his dental and two rounds of vaccines. He is a fairly easy keeper and loves to eat. He will be hard to let go.
Oh, and one last thing. I've done all our training in the hackamore. I knew nothing about it when I started and have learned quite a bit. I have not transitioned him to the snaffle because I wanted to be consistent with him as possible.
Thanks for you interest in Scratch. Please come up and introduce yourself to me at the event. I would love you to meet Scratch in person.

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