Feb. 28, 2015

Let the training begin!

Being a 1st time horse owner, I discovered that I have years of learning in front of me.  While having a fully trained horse could have been convenient as far as cutting training down, I have found this to be a much better option!  This is giving me the opportunity to learn how to train a horse and really get to know Lake.  This will help me to identify any issues that may come up.  I’m excited about our journey together!  We are literally learning from the ground up together. 

My 1st trainer was Glenda Snow.  She was a wonderful trainer and it showed that Lake had been well cared for by her!  Glenda is a trainer and care giver for Southern California Thoroughbred Rescue. She was my trainer for 2 months before bringing her home.  I drove 1 ½ hours each way 2 times a week to train. Lake had been there for almost a year before I brought her home to Temecula.  She started her re-training there.  As a race horse, ground manners were not enforced and were really not expected.  Lake would have had pretty poor ground manners when arriving at Glenda’s. Much of what had already been started with her is still a work in progress.  My 1st lesson was to learn how to properly lead a horse.  This is essential when working with a horse.  I learned to never wrap the lead rope around my hand.  If Lake decided to bolt I could end up with a rope burn from Hell or even a serious gash if pulled hard enough.  OUCH!  I also quickly learned that if a 1200 lb horse doesn’t want to move forward and you don’t know any ‘tricks’ to do it, the horse AIN’T movin’!  Yes, I spent about 5 minutes pulling on her lead rope, working up a sweat and a pile of frustration.  I actually pled with Lake to ‘pleeeaaazzeee walk!’  I had no idea that all it took was a brush of the free end of her lead rope past her big butt (you don’t even need to touch her) and she’ll move right forward😋  Thank you Linda Paine for that tip! 

2nd lesson was grooming.  This is a very essential part of caring for your horse.  Grooming is good for maintaining the health of their skin and coat, checking their overall health and finally, this is a wonderful way to bond with your horse which helps with future training.  I have a brush and a comb.  Lake has a curry comb, a dandy brush, a soft brush, a mane and tail brush and comb, a face brush, a shedding blade, a hoof pick, clippers (which I used for the 1st time the other day.  She has a small bald spot on the bridle path😥 oops!), sponges and baby wipes.  Most of this gets used every time I groom her so it does take some time.  As a race horse Lake was not expected to stand still while being groomed so it still poses some challenges even today.  Her back end is moving back and forth quite a bit.  We are working on it.  I also learned that if a 1200 lb horse doesn’t want to pick up its hooves to be picked, again, it AIN’T  happenin’ unless you know the tricks.  I found I love tricks!  Helps to lower the anxiety level!  I groom her about 4 x’s a week.  I consider it special ‘Us’ time.🙂  This was my 1st two days of training.  Next lesson was evaluating my riding.  This was eye opening!  Next blog post……..