Wednesday, December 13, 2006

In the beginning...of training Coal...

These pictures take us back to August of 2001...when Tony first adopted Coal. Training Coal was more difficult than training Cahlibur. At this point in time, I don't think Travis had come up with a name for Cahlibur. For the purpose of obtaining insurance their new mustangs started out with the monikers of Blaze & Star!

Up to this point, Tony had spent hours, and I do mean hours, doing ground work, first off just sitting in the pen earning Coals' trust. I am searching for one picture in particular that shows Tony sitting on the ground next to the wall with Coal curiously stretching his neck toward him.
Coal was nervous about Tony climbing on his back, but he allowed Tony to get into the saddle. As you can see in the second picture, Coal was loosely tied to the fence as a precautionary measure.

Here Coal has relaxed some although his ears are turned to listen to Tony's quiet words of praise. Tony got in and out of the saddle several times to get Coal used to the idea.

Things changed when the loose tie to the fence was untied. Travis grabbed the end of the rope to emulate the loose tie to the fence, however, Coal realized that he could move around more! Tony continues to quietly assure Coal.

If you could see closer, Tony does not have his feet in the stirrups, so that if Coal got too wild, he could push him self free, and start again! Tony rotated back and forth between loosely tying Coal to the fence and having Travis hold the lead rope until Coal stood relatively still while Tony got in the saddle.

After this picture, Tony had to push himself free, for Coal's safety and his own. Tony worked with Coal for another 30 minutes and when he was able to get in the saddle (shown in the last picture) he called this session a good one! Keep in mind that this was after about a week of ground work, getting him used to being touched, etc.

Safety Note: Never attempt to ride with shoes or boots other than cowboy boots. They are designed for your safety. With the round point of leather cowboy boots, there are no laces or thick tread to get caught. You have less of a chance of getting your foot caught in the stirrup. Remember not to jam your foot all the way in to the stirrup, gently balance on the ball of your toes. This enables you to lift yourself up in the saddle as well as handle your horse better.


jan said...

Excellent and informative as always. I guess I just thought horses came ready to ride. And I didn't know that cowboy boots had a totally practical purpose.

Janey Loree said...

Thanks Jan. My sons could have gotten ready to ride horses, but that didn't appeal to them. The idea of training their own horses from wild to mild had a stronger pull!

Marion said...

I grew up with horses, Janey, and your advice on safety wear is a good one.

I wore English Riding Boots...same idea!

Janey Loree said...

You are right Marion. I forget that not everyone rides western! LOL! Although, I love to watch English riders jumping their horses on TV!

Summitt For Circuit City's new "FireDog"!

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