Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"Lean On Me" Tango and Madeleine ~ Challenge Painting #92

 Fort Collins Makeover Horse Tango and Madeleine LeClerc:

At this point in the training both Madeleine LeClerc and Robert Carlson are consistent and repetitive, adding a little more activity to the horse to give it confidence and build a connection.  Every thing is serious work, but it is also fun for the horses. There is lots of affection and encouragement. Already they have both ridden their horses, led them through an obstacle course, ramped up their grooming by teaching them to pick up feet and yield their feet. And Both horses have had their first bath. These are just a few of the daily activities the two trainers from R&M Performance Horses have accomplished with their Fort Collins Colorado Makeover Horses.

Madeleine and Tango. In this photo Madeleine is
getting on and off Tango on the wrong side.
 Generally the proper side to mount is the left side.
 However, in an emergency or in the case of
someone who is unable to use their left foot
 to mount, it is helpful that the horse be trained
 to mount from both sides.
 One very important thing in the training of any horse is teaching it to feel comfortable receiving weight.  The horse should be quietly unconcerned and attentive to its handler whether that weight is just someone leaning on its neck, standing on its back, leaning across the saddle, or mounting on either side.  Really good trainers teach the horse how to accept weight very early on in the training. Not just the weight of someone sitting on their backs but weight that shifts, weight that pushes, weight that drags and weight that pulls. All of these aspects of training not only keep the horse safe  for those riders a little on the clumsy side, it also prepares the horse for all sorts of opportunities to partner with its rider on the trail,  in unexpected  pleasure riding activities and in work.

Robert  and Watson working
on mounting and dismounting.
 This painting "Lean on Me" shows Madeleine leaning with her arm on the saddle with the reins on either side. This is the first step to mounting alone. Through this exercise she stands with one foot in the stirrup, then actually sits in the saddle, then dismounts. Then repeats, sometimes getting on and off on the wrong side. Sometimes she standing with one foot in the stirrup, so that Tango becomes use to having someone high above him. 

You can follow Madeleine LeClerc's and Robert Carlson's  weekly training updates and more amazing photographs provided by Lightning Bug Creek Photography documenting the training of their  Fort Collin's Makeover Horses Tango and Watson on their facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/2011-CO-Mustang-Makeover-with-RM-Performance/119433394800806

Prints of this painting are availalbe for sale begining Wednesday of this week on http://www.fineartamerica.com/  Search LindaLMartinArtist

Reference Photography for this painting were provided by Lightning Bug Creek Photography and used by permission.

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