Sunday, April 15, 2012

Do you and your horse play? Sebastian: "The Pedestal" & a video of Guy McLean


Sebastian has found he really likes the pedestal.  He looks around with a twinkle in his eye - I always have to make him get off.  I wonder how LONG he would stay?  I don't know if it is the "stretch" he enjoys or the view.  He even will doze a bit...

What importance, if any, do you put in ground work?  I'm NOT just talking about circle lunging, but mobile lunging, along the fence work (we are learning to walk sideways), cut backs, and various obstacles like the pedestal, poles, cones...  I find Sebastian gets really bored doing any one thing for too long... its as if he needs a goal, a reason, or he doesn't see the point... endlessly going in circles I think bores him.  I notice his energy stays very nice and is very light on the rope if I don't have him go more than three times one way while lunging.  However, much of it could be due his age ... he turns four in June.

It has taken a bit to learn the techniques myself, but I have been pleasantly surprised by HOW MUCH personality I see in both horses when I interact with them this way.  It's kind of like "hanging out' and communicating with them on a totally different level - a working together in a way that can never be matched with riding.  Perhaps the most valuable thing that has come out of these ground exercises is I find my horse has learned to WATCH me.  And I've learned a lot about individual body language from both of my horses.


Both of these photos are from my new iphone... the don't replace my NICE camera, but sometimes a candid, no frills photo is all that is available.

The following video is "Part 1" of a series of posts from Janine's blog "Hoofprints of Enzo and Kaspin".  She went to "Equine Affair" and saw Guy McLean.  She will be posting more on her blog... so check it out!  :)  Guy will be at the Midwest Horse Fair (Madison, Wisconsin) this weekend, April 20-22)  How I wish I was close enough to drive there.  It isn't far from Northern Illinois where I grew up and my family still lives - I might just have to plan a visit next year at this time :)

12 comments:

Janine said...

Enzo loves his pedestal and doesn't want to come off either. It's usually they learn it a place you don't ask of anything else. So they learn to like it and just hang out there. I am guessing your horse is also a left brain introvert? They usually do this with pedestals as well. Have fun!! Janine

Margaret said...

Yes, Sebastian likes his "comfort" and has more "whoa" than go. But with approaching groundwork with limits.. not just running him 'round and 'round he seems to put more energy and effort if he knows the circles will have an end! (He stops and faces me VERY nicely .. ha) Plus, I think since he is not quite four, just getting his feet coordinated and curving his body around (which he is doing so nicely too) is "work". He is almost cantering a full circle during ground work, and is doing real well with someone in a saddle. He's just a gangly teenage getting used to his long legs I guess.

Perhaps Freisians (mine is only half) tend to be left brain intorverts?

Janine said...

Sounds like he is doing awesome! Any breed can be any horsenality. But I do know about 4 friesians who are introverted also. But I also know some friesians that are more hot, due to FHANA breeding more and more "sport" into these friesians. Which I do not like. I like the old style baroque quiet friesian. But they are pretty much all gone now:( Everything is the new sport friesian.

Margaret said...

Mine is a registered "Friesian Sport Horse" but he is half Paint. I think that mix has kept him very introverted :) I couldn't afford a full Friesian... but I do know what you mean; the baroque's are grand ol' souls and I hope they continue to be breed. After all, that is what makes the "sports" so valuable (in my opinion).

Janine said...

They are making FULL friesians sport. They are making friesians lighter to do more intricate movements, run longer distances, etc. If you scroll down this page of full friesians you will notice SPORT in their name line of Mintse, Doaitsen, tonjes, fridse, and sipke. http://www.friesianconnection.com/stallion_station.php Enzo is out of Mintse 384 sport. I never knew really what the SPORT meant in a friesian. But after having Enzo I checked more into it and that is what FHANA is doing. They are keeping the finer boned and more agile friesians for breeding to keep them SPORT. The older friesian is gone, very sad to say. Since FHANA said they are there to preserve the breed. No, they are they to breed what they want and need and I don't agree. Just like with quarter horses, they got rid of the foundation quarter horse. But at least those you still can find. Hope this makes sense. But yes, half mix horses can be registered also as sport. My other half friesian was also registered under sport.

Margaret said...

Thank you, Janine. Yes, I agree the Baroque Friesian should be preserved and enjoyed. But I do see a place for the lighter version in the market place today. However, it sound to me that FHANA should be more upfront with what they are doing and not pretend to be preserving the old style Friesian if that is not what they are doing. I guess it will take enthusiasts and money to preserve the baroque breed. I know I couldn't afford them... they are quite pricey! My horse kind of fell into my lap... his owner had lost her job and she wanted a loving, good home for her boy. The price was VERY reasonable.

Janine said...

Fhana just claims to preserve the breed. But that word doesn't fit my description. Oh well, this probably will be my only Friesian in my life time:)

That's why I bought Enzo as a baby:) They're expensive:)

twohorses said...

I grew up in Holland and I first learned to ride in a school with lots of Friesians. These would all have been the Baroque type, which would now be called the old type of Friesian. I never understood this drive for making the Friesian lighter. We used to do dressage on the old heavy types and they were magnificent. Unfortunately, you see this trend towards lighter horses everywhere. Look at what is happening to Thoroughbreds and Arabs! I think it is really worrying. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that some of the old types took a long time to mature. Those Friesians back in my distant past were not backed until they were 5 or 6 and they were not mature until they were 8 or 9. On the other hand, the oldest Friesian that was still being ridden was a 38 year old stallion. And he was a handful!

achieve1dream said...

Totally agree with you two. It's so sad that the baroque style is gone. Unfortunately to get one now you'd have to breed the lighter boned sport style Friesian to a Percheron or something. :( At least they have somewhat preserved the temperament. Some are hot, but most of them still have that awesome personality that we love. :)

Chrome loves his pedestal too. I've even caught him standing on it out in the pasture when I'm not there. He's so adorable.

That video was so cool. The sidepassing over the other horse is so cool. I don't think I'd have the guts for it though. What if something stung the horse laying down and it panicked?? Scary! Still very cool though. :)

Also the pictures of Sebastian are awesome. I can't believe that's from a cell phone lol. He's sooooo handsome. He's going to look a lot more Friesian than Chrome is. Why did my boy have to inherit the gray gene??? Just kidding. It's actually fun watching him change colors. :)

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Judy Sceggel said...

We loved watching Guy at the IL Horse Fair. He is really a good guy and a great trainer. We looked long and hard before finding a Baroque purebred Friesian to breed Raven to. Eliza is due early July. Can't wait to meet the expected one.

Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor said...

I saw Guy perform last year, he was awesome!