dancing horses

dancing horses

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Steele and the Surcingle

Finally the weather has cleared and after a long day I decided to do some work with Steele.

I hemmed and hawed and then decided that the only way to get him used to it was to actually put it on. He danced a bit in the cross ties when I made it snug but otherwise didn't seem to care.

I brought him up to the ring and we went to work. He was fine at the walk. At the trot he gave a couple wee hops and then trotted off with no issues. After a few minutes I decided to try a canter. On the first ask his ears came up and I could see him thinking
"oh I know this one. It's fun!"

He steps into canter and did two strides. He then gave a buck and fell back to trot.

"I can't canter with this thing around my middle!"

I let him settle and then asked again. He gave a series of very balanced hops and then dropped back to trot.

"nope. cant-buck-do-buck-this.

He looked at me. "sorry chief but it's just impossible when I'm trussed like a chicken" 

"I'm sure a horse as smart and talented as you can do this, let's try again" 

 I asked again and he picked up the canter. I looked, it was perfectly balanced but something was wrong. I then realized- he was cross-firing. (that's when a horse canters one lead with the front legs and the opposite lead in the hind legs). Usually a horse will be all discombobulated when crossfiring but not Steele. I brought him back to the trot.

Lets try one more time.

and he was perfect.

"look at me! I got it!"

"oh you are such a genius" 

I brought him back to the trot and we were done. I brought him back to the barn and he positively savoured his grooming.

Total work time- 20 minutes.

Having fun - priceless.


  1. That doesn't sound like work at all. What a smart boy and I love how you work with him to increase his confidence.

    1. thank you Annette. I think about it quite a bit (that probably shows). :)

  2. We knew he could figure it out lol! Go Steele!

  3. Sometimes dickie still does buck leaps when he has the saddle or surcingle on. He doens't mind if I am in it though, go figure. I think he is just mad that he can't chew on it while being lunged. He loves leather in his mouth.


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