March 26, 2015

Ground Work Training Goals for April

Given that I am just lightly riding Gentry at the moment I think it is prudent to work on his ground work...aka manners. Overall, he is a really gentle well behaved horse, but with every horse there are always little things that need attention.

The importance of focusing on the little issues was a lesson I learned when I decided to sell Rose. Looking at her through a potential buyer's eyes, a lot of ground work "holes" needed to be filled in. Once I realized that, I wished I had looked at her through that viewpoint from the beginning, and vowed that I would always look at my horses that way in the future.

Despite the fact that I have no intention to ever sell Gentry, I still want a perfectly well behaved horse. Horses with good ground manners are safer to be around and are more fun because you can take them places without stressing about all the things that they do that could spoil the outing. Not to mention, if the sky suddenly started falling and you had to sell your horse in a hurry it will be that much easier to find a good home.

Here is a list of the issues I plan on tacking during the month of April:

1. Pawing in the cross ties

Gentry is a solid citizen in the cross-ties. He figured them out quickly and is quite content standing in them. That is until he decides he wants a treat, or if Hugo walks past the barn door. Then the pawing starts. He quickly stops with a little reprimand, so I am not concerned that we will be able to overcome this annoying (and dusty) habit. Also, I would like to get some rubber mats for the grooming stall. That will give him less material to work with while he attempts to travel to china.

2. Girth sourness

Gentry has always been girth sour. At his previous home he was ridden in an English saddle and a western saddle. I am guessing the western saddle girth cinching is what made him sour to it. At first he would dance around for the saddle pad and the saddle as well, but with some simple training has stopped with that now. He still gets fidgety when I put on the girth though, so I will now focus on that.

3. Picking Up feet

Gentry has been less than helpful with picking up his feet. He has gotten better, but not great. Sure I could live with how he is now about it, but when I touch his tendon that foot needs to willingly get picked up right away. Someday, when he is older, I would like Junior to be able to groom and tack up Gentry independently. A kid having to fight with an 1100lb horse over picking up feet is just painful to watch. So, feet you must start jumping for joy at the sight of my hoof pick!

I think that this is enough to tackle by the end of April, and I am excited to get these little "holes" filled in and checked off the list.



  1. Knowing you, you'll have these items checked off in no time! I'm so glad I'm back to reading blogs...I've enjoyed catching up on your new life with Gentry. Still waiting on you to get that G baby though :-)

    1. I keep lusting after Braavos. If I had the coin in the bank that little boy would be in my pasture right now! Eventually though the timing will be right and there will be a Gatsby colt in my pasture. There is just so much to focus on with our businesses right now that I have to be patient about it. Thats easy, right?



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