THE HORSE GAZETTE training
building bridge ability By Suzanne De Laurentis and Allen Pogue de Laurentis © 2011
imagine a horse Part 1 of 2
bridges on horseback is not a com- mon event for most trail riders, it is certainly a good feeling to have the confidence that your mount can and will cross bridges with a calm demeanor.
Riders’ Club (see Rough Riders tab at www.redhorseranch.net
) decided on the Pecos Wilderness of New Mexico for our yearly expedition. This was our first visit to the area and we chose the Jack’s Creek campground and surround- ing trails. On the third day of our riding adventure the trail took a turn that would take us across the raging Pecos River on a rather primitive bridge. My mare walked out confidently and obediently above the white waters and all 13 horses behind us followed quietly. Only two of the other horses had even seen a bridge and even mine had not crossed one with such a rush of wild water. We were all very pleased with ourselves with the easy crossing. The return trip eight hours later however was a different story! We’ll explain why a little later.
Horse Training play into creating the Ultimate Trail Horse? Easy! Imagine A Horse methods use ob- jects such as pedestals and creative yet easy to understand exercises and challenges to help increase the intelligence, adaptability and predictability of the Companion Horse.
Considering the Fine Points of Bridges
ing lengths, widths, heights above the ground or water, have railing (or not), be covered overhead, constructed of wood or cement, in forest or in town. Bridges may not necessarily appear on a map nor will their condition, Consider vehicular traffic. There are bridges that sway, sag, and make noise, ones that seem safe to cross and others that you wouldn’t want to cross under any circumstances.
Sinus infection ask the vet
There is a significant lapse in the time between when these questions are sent in and when the answers appear in the Gazette newspaper and online. If you feel your horse needs to be seen by a veterinarian do not wait for a response. Call a reputable equine veterinarian in your area and let him/her examine the horse! You can contact Retama Equine Hospital at 210-651-6375 for your large & small animal needs.
Runny, Whitish Mucus I have a horse in
Tucson, Arizona, around 20 years old. A couple of months ago he developed a runny, mucus, whitish in color, on just one side, one nostril, he has been scoped, there is some irritation, but is not responding to antibiotic treatment. So far three dif- ferent types. He has never had a fever with this, is eat- ing well, and overall seems quite happy. There is no visible sign of a tumor but the vet here thinks it may be a tumor, any thoughts... thanks, Shona, Shelburne, Vermont.
Dear Shona, It can be very dif-
ficult to ascertain the cause of nasal discharge. There is a long list of potential causes for the problem, including a tumor. Your best chances of getting a definitive diag- nosis is patiently working with your local veterinarian and any specialist that they might refer you to. – Retama Equine Hospital
Hives My 4 yr old mare
has hives and I have tried steroid shots and powder, antihistamine for hay aller- gies and different fly repel-
thing seems to work. Nigel McDonald, Lakeside, CA.
Dear Nigel, In addi t ion to
working with your local vet- erinarian, who will probably be the most familiar with problems that arise in your area, you might consider speaking to a veterinarian who specializes in derma- tology. – Retama Equine Hospital
Sinus Infection My horse has a
sinus infection for the first time. My vet wants to skip an antibiotic treatment and go straight to an x-ray of the head (confirm it is a sinus infection with the fluid and check for a tooth problem - if she finds a sinus infection she wants to drill the hole and do the draining, testing the sinuses for the type of bacteria). She feels gen- eral antibiotics are usually a waste of time with potential negative side effects for the horse. I don’t want to put my horse through all of that if antibiotics might fix the problem. I wanted a second opinion... to see if I should try the general antibiotics first or take my vet’s advice and skip to the x-ray. Debbie
Visit us at: www.HorseGazette.com
Vasen, Corbett, OR
Dear Debbie, A complete diag-
nostic workup for a potential sinus infection will include radiographs of the head. These images can frequently help us guide treatment and the potential need for more invasive diagnostic and/or therapeutic proce- dures. Also in a complete exam a thorough dental examination will be done to determine if the sinus infection is secondary to a tooth root infection. Not too infrequently sinus lavages or flushing of the sinus is required to clear the fluid aiding in the elimination of the infection. This lavage is done usually through a hole that is drilled into the sinus. Your veterinarian is likely trying to determine the extent and character of the infection with the radiographs and will prob- ably adjust the treatment plan accordingly. Keep in mind that sinus infections can be difficult to treat and resolve. Your best chance of success is patiently working with your local veterinarian and any specialist that they might refer you to. – Re- tama Equine Hospital
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for trail challenges including bridges before you are faced with them and train accordingly. Bridges can be of vary-
Consider and prepare So how does Trick Last summer our Rough Although crossing
The Mechanics and putting it all together
ion horse to the elements involved in preparation for crossing a bridge and other trail obstacles will take time and some planning. If all of the desired elements that may be met on the trail are not available for training, it’s logical to try to replicate the obstacles and situa- tions with man made versions. Through training we
Training a trail compan-
later and in the evening light it was an entirely new experience. Our Trick and Exhibi-
tion horses are our every day saddle horses and trail companions. The time and energy expended to build a few obstacles including pedestals is an investment in our safety and enjoyment of trail riding.
Leadership in Your Herd of Two
can help a horse to replace anxiety with confidence. As with many facets of training, it works well to teach one component thoroughly at a time and then put them together gradually.
will be necessary for the horse to learn to Step Up, and Step Over and walk through as many different objects and items as possible and a little imagination by the trainer will go a long way. Because most riders
have access to cavelletti, plywood and the everyday objects that we mention, we will discuss herein only the more advanced man made ones.
probability of acting or reacting in an unexpected way depending on the horses he is with, and the context of the situation. Earlier I promised to tell you about the return trip over the Pecos River bridge; the day had presented unex- pected events which led to a much longer ride than we had planned. One of the gates that should have been open (according to the map) had a padlock on it which resulted in our back-tracking and added an additional 3 hours. As a result some of the horses were on edge, grouchy, and very eager to get home. It was as though they had not seen the bridge earlier and now determined that it spanned white water containing horse devouring trolls. One of the middle horses decided to jump the last few feet of the bridge and land on the very vertical slope above it, unseating and injuring her rider in the large rocks. It was the same bridge we crossed earlier but now eight hours
Health Each horse has the For bridge crossing it
horse to the various objects and obstacles for bridge work it is best if he has a good foundation of basic training including respect for and trust in the handler. Lead and then lunge
possess trust, self confidence, will- ingness, obedience and experience. Let’s repeat obedience; an obedient horse is a safe horse. An obedient horse is one that does what you ask, when you ask to the best of his educated ability. Prior to presenting your
A safe trail horse must Si hablamos espanol
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your horse across or over any newly introduced surface or ob- stacle. When you lead him, stay alongside of the horse so he can’t leap and land on you unexpectedly. Your confidence will help him be confident. He must be able to count on you to be the leader of your herd of two. Be gentle yet firm.
jects include plywood, pavement, tarps, rubber mats, logs, cavelleti, mud, water, large tree stumps, rocks, teeter totter, bridge.
Trail articles and clinics, we’ve presented many styles and varia- tions of pedestals for training. Our horses learn that the pedestal is the place or mark that they remain on between requests for other actions. The varied angles and sizes help the horses to learn to control both ends of their bodies simultaneously or in other words to think about what each of their feet is doing. Horses become confident that they can maneuver any position that is asked of them which becomes what we call a “can do attitude”. You can contact Alan
and Sue at www.Im
In Taking Tricks to the Cee Ya Pal
Step Up and Step Over Training items and ob-
Our horses are selling so fast this year that we ask you to please call us with your wish list so we can let you know if we get one that could suite you and your family.
2019 CR 403 - Marble Falls, TX 78654
Choctaw is a gorgeous Dunn. He is 10 years old and he stands 15.1 hands. This horse is a gentle smart horse that wants to please his rider. He is great on the trail, quiet and safe for a new rider, yet has a great handle
and style for anyone that wants a good weekend ride, a good family horse or a Cowboy Church model. He is a gem. He finished all his evaluation work with flying colors.
Pal is a beautiful 6 year old gentle quiet horse that has the world’s greatest breeding. He is registered and his ancestors go back to Mr. San Peppy, and Doc Bar. He stands 15 1 hands. This horse is a gem. His breeding shows in every evaluation we undertook with him. He is gentle, kind, very smart and extremely willing. This horse is a winner and any- one would be proud to own him. His ground manners are great, he loads like a dream and just a nice easy horse. He is
You can also view the evaluation protocol we go through with each horse.
If the horse doesn’t suit your needs, we’ll trade out for another of our fine horses! Please check our web site to view them and review our buyer quarantee program.
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Call Pat Dickey at 830-693-8253 Visit our website for more quality horses for sale.
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