Saturday, September 1, 2012


      Old Chance (17 year old qh mare)  has got 7 year old Rose figured out. After about a month of trying to teach Rose to learn the art of riding this sly old horse refuses to move. Poor Rose is being bombarded with information that she just doesn't understand.

      I'm Stickerbow her dad. I've spent a lot of happy hours on a horse. Been on all kinds, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I've been kicked, thrown, bit, stepped on, stomped, head slapped, fell on, rolled over on, rared over and landed on and rode 40 miles in the back of a box truck with smooth steel floor up mountain roads with five scared to death horses. Thank God for the cross bars in the ceiling for that's where I hung from to keep from being crushed. I want to tell you those horses looked like duck pins at a bowing alley after a perfect strike. Nothing but hoves , heads  and legs a flying.

     Any way back to Rose. Here I am daughters first horse and I'm trying my best to tell her all what I know.
First day I walk her around and Chance is great. I did some tests with her and felt really good about her disposition. I had no fear for Rose's safety on Chance. Second day I started the walk and let go of the bit. Well Chance got a few steps on me and headed for the back pasture. Not that big of a deal but it's about a thirty degree slope down the road and up again for a couple hundred yards. I have a bad leg so all I could do was give instructions on how to keep your balance bare back on a horse. Well let me tell you Rose looked as though she had rode for years,one hand on the reins the other on the main. And giggling all the time. One proud papa let me tell yah!!!

   Fast forward to the other day. I've been preaching she needs to keep Chances attention and keep her moving. It's a lot to do if your not experienced, yet doesn't seem like much but you need to read the horse at all times. With experience I think you do it in your subconsciousness. You stay a step ahead of the horse.
This never dawned on me till I watch how slow Rose reacted to Chances behavior. On one hand I have an inexperienced rider and on the other a horse who has figured the rider out.

   Tonight Chance decides to just plant her feet. Now I have rode Chance Three times and find her well broke but stubborn as all get out. You need to prod her constantly. Voice and heel, not much but you just got to stay at it.

   Well finely Rose says maybe she's no good at riding. This is last thing I wanted to hear. I new the horse had her figured out and she was to little to impress Chance other wise. So I took hold of the bit and led Chance back to the end of one fence line. I bent down and picked up a stick. Broke it about two feet long and told Rose to use it gently but to the point of getting the attention of Chance. With a few prods with the hillbilly crop she is now able to ride Chance like they were mated for years. In all my years I never seen such a dramatic change in a horse and rider.

   With a bit of prodding even us older folks can make a big change in are behavioral attitude. So get a stick and give yourself a swat and lets get back to what we love.  Stickerbow and Rose

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