One year ago today I met Jac. March 8, 2013.
I wrote a blog titled, “Roxy’s Last Foal…Jac” where I discussed Roxy’s death and how Jac was born.
In that blog I described my reaction to Jac’s arrival March 8th in the following words:
“No one was with me when I went into the barn. When I looked into the stall and was thankful he wasn’t her color. No one was there when my heart broke for the little horse that I refused to consider…because of my pain.
“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.” says Kahlil Gibran. “It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility: For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen”
Looking into the stall….something broke inside me and I knew I needed to let Jac in. And Jesse (I think he knew this would happen) said later that night, “You know…you should ride him.”
One year and over 100 hours of riding later, I am thankful for the pain, the journey, the video’s, the comments, the support, the criticism, the encouragement and ultimately the understanding I have gained from all of it.
Here is a link to the pilot video.
Below is the first day I worked Jac, March 9th, the day after he arrived. You can see the date displayed in the video as I lead him out of the stall for the first time…ever…..And below that a video of Jac’s first ride in Roxy’s saddle; Coincidence or God-incidence?
Does Jac like Texas? It sure looks like it.
HIs first day was exciting. He was shocked when a group of horses came wandering down the road and stopped by to say, “Hi.” The way the stall barn is designed is GENIUS! Mike designed it and I will have to do more photos but basically the horse have large stalls that open into runs. The cool part is that the back wall of the stall completely opens into the run, or completely shuts them into a stall. Also the ‘run’ has an overhang. Photos of that later.
Yesterday, I went to ride and Jac was out in his run sleeping in the sun. I put the halter on but he was just content to sleep. Eventually he consented to a ride…he was very relaxed. Jesse video taped it and I will post it in the future.
I still really enjoy the ‘horse wildlife preserve’ feeling around her. Will all 200 plus acres fenced it is neat to go ride and find horses. It is also just plain fun to see what horses with the freedom to roam do. Trying to sneak into the barn is always high on their list of activities…this still surprises Jac when they do get in, lol.
Below is a video of what we frequently find when we come home. It was just getting dark and we came around a corner in the drive and…well, hit rush hour traffic in the driveway!
This question was posted as a comment under: Stacy’s Video Diary: Jac- Episode 23- Spurs, backing up, shoulder control and natural horsemanship
“So, at my horse collage we also do spiral out and spiral ins, but we do it with forward and leg and holding the contact. We do not sprawl our hands out as you did (would get yelled at for doing so). Why do you have you’re hands so far out if I may ask?”
There are several reasons why I keep my hands this wide in the beginning. The first reason is that hand position does change how a horse carries his head and neck which is reflected in his body. One of the reasons Jac looks like a dressage horse in many of his photos at a trot is the drive from behind and freedom he has in his shoulders. The freedom is a lot easier to get with my hands wide…at least until Jac learns how to carry the frame I am after. Then my hands will get closer together.
Wide hands also help to break two common rider errors; touching the neck with the indirect rein when counter-bending and crossing across the mane with the indirect rein hand.
On the surface these don’t seem to be a big deal. Who cares if the indirect rein touches the neck when you
If you don’t want to neck rein in the future you can ignore this message, lol.
counter-bend? Your horse cares.
If you touch the indirect rein to his neck, say the left rein, while pulling his shoulder to the right with your direct rein (the right rein) then you are telling him it is acceptable….which is fine unless you ever want a really well trained neck rein.
For a well trained neck rein, when the left rein touches the left neck, the horse should look and turn to the right. If you spend several months ‘touching’ the rein while counter-bending….you will at least double the amount of time it takes for you to teach the horse really polished neck reining.
Finally, crossing the mane with the indirect rein is generally bad form. If the indirect rein didn’t help move the horse when applied (touched) to the horses neck then it is time for the direct rein to do its job. Pulling harder on the indirect rein will only pull the horse out of position. For example, if requesting a turn to the right, the left rein would ‘request’ and if the horse failed to follow through the right rein or left leg would need to ‘make’ it happen. If the left rein is pulled harder you will generally see the head tipped awkwardly to the left….yes, the horse may go right but with poor form. Not something I want to practice.
I also cover this topic, while mounted in video, in my Basic Body Control DVD available on my website.
The main point of the Jac project was to show you my training methods in an everyday setting. The beauty of the project has been that there are little golden nuggets that have been captured; moments when you can really ‘see’ what Jac is thinking. This is one of those episodes.
Often times people think that horse training is a one way conversation.
Watch Episode 26 of Jac to see why Stacy is laughing.
Horse training is a conversation-people make the mistake of thinking this is a one way conversation; one where the student only listens and never asks a question.
This likely happens because people miss that the ‘conversation’ is happening at all. It is difficult to have a conversation if you aren’t fluent in a language.
Other times people aren’t interested in a conversation, they are more interested in domination. In this case they punish the for asking questions because they are more interested in creating a robot.
The total training time Jac has received up until now is 50 hours 5 minutes. Jac demonstrates in the first three minutes of video that he is both thinking and asking questions.
Jac is saying, “Teacher, Stacy, you’ve been really consistent and everyday we end on one of two things; we either end on backing up or on spinning to the right…can we be done now?”
Jac has learned what pleases me and he is demonstrating an eagerness to get it done.
Could this become a safety issue? Anything can become a safety issue if you don’t know how to read the horse. Most safety issues arise from the human misinterpreting the signs leading up to an ‘event’ like rearing, bucking, etc.
I cover a lot more in this video but if you watch nothing else then just watch the first three minutes. Listen to and watch what Jac is saying…who better to learn from than a horse?