Monday, May 8, 2017

Conditioning Fun

Beware of the Iron Hoof.  She rules the block with it.

I know a lot of people skimp on their conditioning rides because they just get bored.  You can get away with that at the lower levels to some degree with certain horses.  I can't do that with Klein.  So, to keep things fun I always have my MP3 player in one ear and we have our own little games we like to play out on our conditioning rides.  Yesterday we threw in some random geese chasing.

Klein likes to chase them.  If she sees them, she will start to pull me toward them.  From the days when I first started her and took her on trails I taught her to chase cows and the wild pigs in Hawaii.  I've taught her to chase deer when they would pop up out of NOWHERE and start running alongside us in Georgia.  I taught her to chase coyotes in New Mexico because it was common for us to see them out on our rides.  I taught her to chase dogs because sometimes, your voice and your horse is all you have and your only defense is to charge them while screaming and yelling.  I taught her to chase wild turkeys, cats, ground hogs, etc... Why?  Because these things can randomly pop out while you're at a full gallop somewhere either on a trail, or going down a xc course.

We actually almost got run into by about 10 deer about a week ago while galloping.  They narrowly missed us and Klein never even hesitated when they appeared.  There are plenty of horses that would disappear out from underneath you in a situation like that.  Part of it IS due to the beautiful mind of a draft horse, but some of it is instilling the confidence in her that SHE is the boss, not random animals.  And how many times have you ended up at a show where there's livestock and you see horses losing their minds?  From the age of three I had her watch sorting and chase cows on the trails on the ranch we were on in Hawaii.

Here you go.  Watching sorting with me having no regard for my life whatsoever and not wearing a helmet.  Those days are long, long gone.  I was laying on her bareback watching the commotion with her.  She's been that great since day one. Also, yes, she's in a driving bit because I taught her to drive, so I had her in it for a little bit.  This is three year old Klein, yeah I know which adds to my idiocy of not wearing a helmet.  I promise. that came to a stop not long after that.

We went to the beach A LOT while we lived in Hawaii because it was across the street.  So, here is three year old, just started Klein, in the ocean with me with a bunch of people in the background swimming and surfing.  She is in that same bit as above because this was around the same time.  Again I rode her over bareback.  Even as a three year old, you don't have tack on a horse on the beach.  That ruins the whole vibe.  To this day, we don't go to the beach with anything but a bridle.

So anyway, that kind of wandered away from random things we do on conditioning rides.  Back to that, I also pick out things and imagine them to be jumps to set her up and count down to our distance just to work on my eye.  We race cars (that don't know we're racing them), sometimes I've done race commentary about Klein coming around the club house turn.  We make as much fun as we can.  I've found little ditches in the fields to actually turn into a ditch and we'll come back around and jump them a couple times on a gallop.

I happened to have my GoPro on me last night, so here it is:

A post shared by Stacey C (@jumpingpercheron) on

1 comment:

  1. I've also been teaching Katai to chase things (when I allow it) and it's awesome. It completely removes the fear and is so empowering to them in my opinion! Ever since my childhood pony chased an aggressive dog away (with no training) it's a skill that I want my horse to know. Klein is so amazing and it's fun to see your Hawaii photos again.