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About Cowgirl_Jess

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  • Birthday 05/24/1993

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  1. Spookiness Question.

    My thoughts exactly! I barrel race, so I do mainly arena work, but I try to take my horses trail riding a few times a month. (Granted, trail riding for me is a nice wide-open sand dunes with lots of hills) For a while, my Mare was a bit uptight being out away from an arena, but with time she has come to love it. It's just such a nice break for the both of us. So I really feel like time and persistence is something that would help the horse in question get used to trails. Also, just a lot of time with a confident, and SOFT rider who will help the horse get it's own confidence up. Like Smilie said, the arena is it's comfort zone, and the rider may even be anticipating some "problems" when they hit the trails. My experience is that a horse can drastically change within a few rides if it has a good rider on it's back who will be a good leader for them, and help them get their confidence up enough that not every little thing is an issue.
  2. My Daughters Barrel Horse Loses Weight On The Road

    This was going to be my suggestion as well. I'm not super knowledgeable on the subject, but it would be one of the first things I looked into if I was having similar problems.
  3. Transitioning To A Barefoot Horse?

    We've always went without shoes for the winter, so I'm not too worried about her. She's always done fine at home (knock on wood!), and the only trail riding we do is at some sand dunes, so she'll be fine there as well. The only trouble I've ever had is being at an arena that has rocks in the parking area. Not even so much gravel, but a lot of scattered pebbles every where near the trailers. She needs her shoes pulled anyways, so they're coming off next week, and since we're nearing the off season, they're staying off. I guess I'll just have to play it by ear and see how she's doing come this next Spring..
  4. Transitioning To A Barefoot Horse?

    Thank you so much, I'm going to have to check that all out now!
  5. Transitioning To A Barefoot Horse?

    Thank you! The more I start to ask of them in the arena, the more I have started to look into ways to keep them going stronger and keeping them even more comfortable. For the longest time I didn't see a whole lot wrong with keeping shoes on my girl because I really thought she needed them, but I'm starting to question that. Just need to keep researching and hopefully find someone who can accomplish all this for me.
  6. Transitioning To A Barefoot Horse?

    I'm strongly considering going the barefoot route on my Mare. She's always had a tendency to get ouchy footed on rocky ground walking to and from the arena at shows; so we've always kept her in shoes for the season. Then come winter she'd go without since she wasn't competing/was in lighter riding. The more my desire to compete at a higher level grows, so does my desire to become a better horse person. And now I'm starting to wonder if shoes are the best thing for my girl. Especially after doing a quick search online of some barefoot horses and how beautiful their feet looked. I really don't want this to turn into hate-fest on shoes or leaving your horse barefoot, or this or that. I just want some opinions from people who have made the transition from wearing shoes to not wearing them. How did it go for you and your horses?
  7. Getting A Horse To Break At The Ribs?

    Mars, I don't think it's a matter of chiro work, because he has in fact done it for me. And is slowlyyy getting better. I do think it's just a matter of staying with it until he figures it out. Just need to stay patient with the Kid. Nick, I don't feel that I'm being too stiff in my ribs and he's just following. Like I said, riding with my entire body is something I really worked on the last few years, and I'm proud of where I am with that. If all my other horses were reacting the same way, I might consider it, but I don't have any problem getting them in the right position.
  8. Getting A Horse To Break At The Ribs?

    Thankfully I don't think we have to do any back tracking. I haven't tried to progress any further or add speed because I have known this is a problem I need to fix first. I wouldn't say that he's trying to turn with just his neck; he just doesn't seem to want to bend anywhere. He was pretty green when I got him. Basically he could handle a saddle, but I don't think he'd had many rides on him, and I just don't think he has a clue what I want out of him. So I don't feel like we've developed any bad habits or anything that we need to break through, just need to help him grow. I work all of my horses in a Snaffle, and I've had no reason to move him into anything else yet since we haven't hit a point of really competing yet, so I'm good there! I do my best to be light with my hands, and have been working really hard to ride with more of my body. It's working really well with some of my other horses, but he hasn't quite figured out what I'm asking of him. We have made progress, but it seems like I've hit a bit of a stand still, so I was hoping for some good drills or exercises. I'm definitely going to have to go back to circles. I don't know why I didn't think of that. We've been doing a lot of turns, serpentines, etc., so some nice big circles are gunna be added to that too! I just keep hoping he'll finally figure out how to use his body. Maybe one of these days.
  9. I am having a heck of a time trying to get one of my Geldings going. He's in good health, tack fits fine, etc. So it's none of that. He flexes really well, but when it comes time to turn, I struggle to get him to tip his nose and break in the ribs. He just tries to turn with a straight body, and it's not working out! I'm sure there's something I could be doing to help get a better response, but I can't seem to figure it out. Lessons or clinics or anything like that is out of the picture because there's not a whole lot being offered in that avenue around here, so I would love any advice. What are some exercises you all use to loosen your horses up?
  10. Any Ropers Out There?

    I am on the hunt for a good rope. I know there are a lot of different opinions on them, but I'd love to hear them. I have no desire to go try and be a competitive roper or anything, but I would love to be a bit handier with one. I got an old used one a ways back and decided that when I started to get the hang of it, and was actually sticking to roping pretty frequently, that I would upgrade. I've had a lot of fun with this one so far, but it is time for the upgrade. The only problem is that I don't have a single clue where to start, and what I should get. This brand, that brand, different lengths, etc., it's all out of my realm of knowledge, and I would appreciate if someone could point me in the right direction.
  11. Gelding Vs Mare

    I think this tends to be a common misconception, but I think it just really depends on the horse; how they were handled, rode, bloodlines, temperament, etc. I think there are just a lot of things that make a horse, and gender isn't a big part of it. I know some people have said that the best horses they've ever owned was a Mare, but for others it was a Gelding. Martha was great for Lindsay Sears, and Scamper for Charmayne James. Christy Loflin is kicking butt on her girl Movin, and Mary Walker took home a World Title last year on Latte. Great horses are great because of their heart.
  12. Gelding Vs Mare

    I have one Mare and 5 Geldings. She's the only Mare we've ever owned, and I'm honestly pretty neutral about whether or not I'd own another. She is the head horse in the pasture, and is a very feisty lady. I wouldn't say that has anything to do with her being a Mare though, I think she's just a really gritty, catty, fun horse. She's been an amazing barrel horse for me! For the most part, I haven't had any problems with her being a Mare. I've taken her to shows where there have been studs, and she was fine. But then again, it was a very well behaved stud. I kept my distance, but had he started talking to her/giving her attention, she probably would have went straight into heat. I honestly don't even notice her go into heat very often. It seems like she'll have a really bad one or two coming out of the winter, but for the most part she's pretty quiet. I do have a few Geldings that will sometimes get excited when she's in heat who will nicker or give her attention, and that usually eggs her on. It's usually not bad enough to become a concern, but if it is, I just throw her in a different pen so they can't get right next to her, and it'll usually simmer the situation down. I've never really had any problems with her being around the Geldings, and for the most part, the boys haven't had a problem either. I've heard that some people don't like to keep them together because sometimes a Gelding might almost "mother up" to a Mare. And we do have one Gelding who has done this to her, to the point of being very attached and herd bound to her. It drives me nuts! As far as a Gelding being better than a Mare or vice versa, I don't hold one above the other. I think Geldings are a little easier to deal with, but if I found the right Mare, I wouldn't pass her up either. As far as how she would act with your Gelding, I think that's really up to him. It sounds like she does fine with them, but that could all change depending on how your boy behaves with her.
  13. Which Saddle?

    It's never easy losing an animal, and it's not something that gets easier over the years. The best advice I can give you is to just look at her quality of life. You have to ask yourself if you're keeping them around for yourself or them. We have an old man (at least late thirties based on the vets guess) who got kicked a few years back. He'll get stiff sometimes, and we've asked ourselves this question many times. But he's still loving life and getting around just fine. The only thing you can do to stay happy is to remember that if she does go, that she's in a better place. It sounds pretty cliché, but it's the truth. I've always found comfort in knowing that I have a lot of love up there waiting for me when it's my time to go; and that I have some amazing angels watching over me. As far as getting another horse, no, it won't be the same. You'll never love it the same way you love your girl. But you'll never love another horse the way you'll love it either. Every animal is different, and you'll have a different kind of love and relationship with it; but that doesn't mean it won't be great either.
  14. Fast, But Nervous Horse, Need Your Advice

    Don't give up! It sounds like you are well on your way to getting him in a better mind set. I first started barrel racing when my horse was 10. I didn't have a clue what I was doing and pushed my Mare too hard too fast; and it blew up in my face. We ended up doing just slow work for a good couple years, and now she's back and better than ever at 16. I know a lot of people tend to cringe when they hear of someone riding an older barrel horse, but I think it's because most horses are being raced at 3 and have to retire earlier. To be honest, I prefer a horse who's a little older (like 8+) because I feel like they've had more time to mature. Give it time, you'll get it right with your boy. I was also going to add that you may be a lot calmer, but what is your body doing around your first barrel? I've had troubles with first for a while; my girl would take it a lot wider than I like, and I finally realized it was all my fault! Instead of looking at where I needed to go and doing what I needed to do, I was looking down the arena bracing myself for the bad turn. After I realized that, and started doing things to correct myself, we started having nice turns. It sounds so silly, but sometimes that's all that's going on. I was feeling like my horse was turning her brain off, and in reality it was me!
  15. Fast, But Nervous Horse, Need Your Advice

    I have a TB/Paint cross I'm working with right now, and he likes to go too! As does my Mare. I'm starting to realize that I like the crazy ones ;) haha. This being said, I completely understand what you're going through. My Gelding will get so mad I'm not letting him run that he throws tantrums. However, I could stop my Mare mid pattern whenever I want and finish off walking. So there is hope. First I would like to give you props for doing slow work as much as you are; that's the key to a calmer horse. Next I would like to ask you to really think about your body and emotions when you're getting ready for a run. This has personally been a big thing for me to over come. Your boy not be super smooth at first, nothing can prepare them for what it feels like to be on a pattern in that environment besides doing it; but your emotions could be making it a lot worse. Are you anticipating him acting up around the barrels? I would sike myself out about my Mare going in the gate all the time. And I have to say you'd be amazed what positive thinking can get you. I've come to learn with my horses that they will always be ansy, and I can handle that, but they need to be controllable. Your boy may do fine at a lope at home, but I would slow wayyy down at competitions until he can behave himself and work right at that pace, and I would continue that pace all the way through. He might be anticipating that pick up in speed coming out of first, and losing it because he's getting a head of himself. Remember that speed is a reward for horses like this. It's not something they get to do all the time, it's something they have to earn. I've been running my Mare for 6 years now, and there are still times I'll pull her up and make her walk because I didn't feel she was listening right. As far as running him like Nick said, it might work for you, but I know it's not something that would work on my horses. I like to trail ride at some sand dunes, and my horses can be dog tired, butt dragging, and still be willing to run if the opportunity presented itself. It's a lot of fun running those types of horses once they get it, but sometimes that run mentality can be a pain to deal with. I will say that I'm not a fan of calming anything unless your horse is so upset it's a danger to itself. And at that point, you shouldn't be running. I feel that calming supplements are just a band aid covering a bigger problem. It might be beneficial for you to try it in order to get him to calmly WALK the pattern; but the last thing you want to do is use it in order to run your horse. I've seen a lot of people with messed up horses turn to aids like that, and it would work for a little while, and then they'd have to be bumped up to a higher dose. It was always hard to see the horses like that. Plus it was always upsetting to be competing against someone who used things like that in order to get a smoother run. I hope you get your boy figured out though! I know how frustrating it can be.