The rest of this week might be crazy, so you’re forewarned that there may be limited blogging from here on out. And for those of you who think I’ve forgotten, I know I still owe y’all one more blog on horse color, a blog on what makes a bridle horse, plus I’ll do my best to wrap up the Steamboat Springs Clinic ASAP! I promise.
Why all the busyness, you’re wondering (or maybe you could care less why a blond headed girl from South Dakota is busy)? Well not only is Fall in the air- it’s also in the schedule, by way of Fall Work– which includes giving fall shots and beginning to ship cattle out for the neighbors. Our cattle won’t get shipped until the middle to the end of October this year. And hopefully it’s not snowing like it did last year.
In case you’ve missed the previous write ups on the Steamboat Springs Clinic, here you go:
Now, because I’m short on time, and I haven’t had the chance to have Zach film me doing turn arounds on The Gump or Dino, I took a shortcut and will be using someone else’s footage of a turn around- someone who filmed Buck at a clinic. Technically he doesn’t allow his clinics to be filmed (because I asked him in SS)- so this person either didn’t ask (which did happen in SS), Buck gave him permission in this instance (the video-grapher does have a website- mikethomashorsemen.com site) or Buck was too busy talking to notice he was being filmed (which just doesn’t seem logical to me). However it happened, it’s good footage and is a better explanation than I could ever give y’all. Note: upon further research I have discovered that the video-grapher and Buck go WAY back, so I’m certain that he and Buck have communicated about the filming.
I will tell you though- that one thing your horse needs to be fairly competent at doing before you can get good at this, is backing in a circle- at least 1/4 of the way. As that’s how he teaches a proper turn around to begin with. Then it’s all about getting in time with their foot cadence, continuing to ride your horse backward, adjusting your legs as needed for whichever direction you want to go and opening up a door-way for your horse when you ask him to go through either to the right or the left. I’ve babbled on enough. Here’s the man himself- and pardon the pink, Buck- but it does match the theme of the blog!
I believe in the above video he is riding one of his most experienced bridle horses named Ark. He rode him in Texas if you’ll recall.
A couple of things to notice about the above video:
1. That horse is turning around with his weight on the outside hind leg- as opposed to the inside leg like you’ll see with a lot of reiners. What he told me at the clinic in Steamboat is that at slow to medium speed that’s how it will be. When you speed it up the force of the turnaround will push them onto their inside leg. But what you don’t want to have happen as a habit, is for your horse to start on that inside leg- as that can get them too forward- and if you’re sitting at a gate sorting cattle you want your horse to be able to stay parked at that gate- so you’re not going want them to get over that inside hind as the force of the turn around pushes them too far forward and after 5-10 sorts the horse isn’t even in the gate anymore.
2. If you watch his timing- when he’s turning to the left (for example)- he sets the left front foot out, and to the left. As that happens, the horse then has his weight on the right hind (because remember our horses trot in reverse). Then as the horse puts his weight on the right hind, and the left front foot gets set out and back, he can ask the right front foot to come around and cross IN FRONT of the left front, and so on. Timing is crucial to getting a good turn around. You have to ask when it’s easiest for the horse. And if his left front foot is in the way, then it’s going to be virtually impossible for him to to turn around with his right front foot crossing in front. That’s why if you back them up and into the turn, you can teach the horse where to put that left front.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I get to go ride a horse and maybe even practice a turn around or two!!!
Yippee for Wednesday!
Previous Clinic Recaps: