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Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened.

Ride with your heart and soul ~ your horse can feel it


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Quinn's Story: Part Two

The Golden Days

So now I have my dream horse... finally. Or so I thought. Quinn was supposed to be my dream horse. The horse I could take barrel racing, trail ride in the forest or ditch ride at home. The horse I could pony other horses with, a good looking horse, a horse that I could TRUST.
I have a great bond with Cessa. She actually could do all these things in her day (except pony... she was always the pony-ee never the pony-er). But Cessa is getting along in years and has more than earned a cushy retirement.
When I bought Rain (the Paint mare in the previous post) I had thought she would be "the one". Nope, turned out I had been a bit foolish and trustworthy (again b/c of WHO I bought her from, although they will remain un-named). Rain would be a great light use horse but would never stand up to competition use. :(
But now... now Quinn was home and he was PERFECT. He was nicely put together, pretty, smart, well trained, a total pleasure to handle and be around. I rode him for awhile, then sent him for barrel training.
Got a call after a few days (not even a week) to pick him up. He'd pitched a fit and given the trainer a black eye. Now Kimfer and I heard from someone else that the black eye was from a fight with another girl at a rodeo. Whatever, Quinn had never done anything like this at all since I'd had him. I brought him home, kept riding and after awhile sent him to a different trainer for his barrel work.
Things went great at this trainer's. She did mention that he seemed a bit oversensitive at times and asked what his breeding was. When I got to the Sir Quincy Dan she said "that's it!". Apparently those horses can be a bit oversensitive. But as the trainer said, breeding's not everything. He was working good, we had some lessons together with the trainer and everything was fine.
Continued to ride Quinn until the winter jackpots started. Took him to the first one, it was late winter/early spring (February or March I believe) and had my first bad experience with him. Kimfer and I were riding side by side warming up. It was early and we never have many people at the winter jackpots so there weren't that many people there at the time. Maybe 2 or 3 others riding. The pattern was still being marked and just after Kimfer and I had passed where they were marking the left hand barrel something got tossed to the side (I think it was a hammer). I'm fairly sure that this is what spooked Quinn. At that moment he took to bucking and how! He bucked all the way down the long side and all I could think of was that I HAD to stay on. If I fell off here I would hit the fence along the inside that is used to move cattle to the roping box. Darn thing was made with 2x6 and would surely break something if I hit it. We got to the corner and I let myself bail. Quinn ran off bucking even harder (poor boy, guess my coming off scared him).
Now to let you know, usually if one of us girls comes off our horse the few men around just holler to see if we're okay. When I came off 3 came running over to see if I was okay. That's how I knew it looked bad. Thankfully I wasn't hurt. Had the wind knocked out, was shaken up, pride bruised, but not actually hurt.
Kimfer had gotten Quinn and I asked her to just pony him for a few minutes before I got back on. I watched him and he didn't look hurt, he in fact calmed right down. When I got back on one of the men came and held him. I continued warming up and everything was fine. He even did quite well in his first jackpot.
I continued riding him and jackpotting him that winter. He was starting to work real nice and I was about ready to start adding some speed. He had even won some money!! :) But as spring progressed he started getting spooky when we'd ride out at home. And after that fall I couldn't really trust him.
Okay... it's bedtime. I'll continue his story soon.

3 comments:

  1. Quinn does not sound like a bad horse to me.
    It sounds like he's a lot of horse.
    Unfortunately he can buck like a maniac, but that goes hand in hand with his athletic ability.
    Most of the time, a horse will buck if he is being pulled straight back when he's trying to be reactive.
    If a horse can push into a bridle while he's bucking he can buck harder. The more you pull straight back the harder he can go.
    If you can pull his head from the side with one rein to your knee and kick him with your inside leg you will gain control of his legs. He can't buck if you've got his head, and you push his hips through. Just remember, rein, then
    leg, same side.
    I'll practice that maneuver on a horse repeatedly when he's calm and happy. This isn't punishment; it's a control exercise.
    I trot (favorite training gait) along a fence, and randomly take my fence side rein, pull it towards my hip, and kick his hip through the turn. I do this a lot, usually during warm up, until it becomes a fluid, automatic response for both of us.
    When my horse executes the turn, and release of his hip, I IMMEDIATELY release all rein pressure and trot off the other way.
    The next time your horse gears up to buck, take that rein, and muscle memory will take over, and you'll get his head, and disengage his hip.This time it is punishment and make sure he knows it.
    The big question is, are you willing and capable of taking this project on?
    I think Quinn sounds like a nice, albeit hot horse. I would see if I could take some basic dressage or reining lessons on him. Dressage and reining are about calm fluid movement, and will help Quinn think.
    The more diverse the activities you have, the more contol you'll gain.
    Good Luck!

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  2. I swear I think mares really take care of us better than our geldings when you have truly bonded with them...
    sounds like good advice from mugwump.
    What happened with the guy that wanted to buy him? Its not the guy you bought him from is it?

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  3. Ah, just wait, the next post or two will answer that! :)

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