DEAR DANA: I have a 2-year-old Quarter Horse mare that I bought as a yearling with a goal of making her a futurity horse. Now that it is time to start riding and training her, I’m just not sure if she is mentally and physically mature enough for all that it might take to make her a top futurity horse. Any advice? – Jaime
DEAR DANA: Every day, when I ride my horse she is like a new horse. One day, she’s quiet. The next, she’s full of energy. One day the saddle is no big deal, the next day when I cinch her up, she grunts and moves around. One day the chairs by the arena are nothing, the next day she’s afraid of them. I really like this horse. She was a dream come true for me, but this one area is really disappointing. She is a 4-year-old Quarter Horse, bred for working cow and reining.
DEAR DANA: My horse won’t let me near his ears with the clippers. He throws his head in the air and jumps sideways! Do you have any suggestions?
DEAR DANA: I have an unfinished 4-year-old mare that I am attempting to get finished for the show ring. I sent her for 30 days to a trainer, and I just got her home. Every time I go to stop her in hand, she stops with her body but flips her nose up in the air. HELP!
DEAR DANA: My horse has been stumbling a lot with me. Any suggestions of what I can do?
DEAR ELAINE: I take it very seriously when my horse stumbles. It is potentially dangerous — I know of horses that have stumbled and then fallen with their rider!
Dear Dana: Every time that I bridle my horse’s head, as I release him he lifts his head back up — and comes right back out of the bridle. I must admit I am getting really frustrated with him, and sometimes I really jerk him. Then, he over-bridles but still pops his neck back up! Please give me some advice.
Dear Dana: I ride my horse four days a week after work. I have only 45 minutes to ride her every day. She is doing pretty well but not progressing. I feel like I am having a good enough ride, but we aren’t really getting any better. My little issues stay the same. Every day I work on the walk, jog and the lope each way and the back up as well as the side pass. Any suggestions of how I can accelerate my horse’s learning or improving?
DEAR DANA: I’m taking my horse to his first show. Do you have any tips on how to prepare him? I’ve taken him to one show previously, where I just rode him around to expose him to the sights and sounds. He was pretty good considering, but he was jumpy and whinnied a few times.
DEAR DANA: I have a 9-year-old mare that I show in amateur Western pleasure and trail classes. I have had her for three years. When I first bought her, we did quite well and even won at some good AQHA shows. In the last year, it seems like we have been going downhill. My friend says my mare looks like she is on her front end and has lost the lift she used to have. In my trail classes, she isn’t marking as good of scores and hits a lot of poles. What do you recommend that I do?
DEAR DANA: My newly purchased 3 year old foundation Quarter Horse has only had hunter under saddle training, although she was marketed as “good all around potential”. Actually, she has a very poor jog — when asked to jog slowly, she gets real shuffley and doesn’t maintain the two-beat gait. I would rather be going a little faster and have the true two beats vs. the shuffly look. Can you recommend ways to get feet moving more crisply?