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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
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January 9, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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January 9, 1997
 

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14 Thursday, January 9, 1997 Pahrump Valley Gazette Getting acquainted with a new horse, especially when the new owner/rider is a novice or has not been around horses for a while can be an uneasy time for owner and animal. A few tips from professional trainer, John Wayne, can make the process safer and more comfortable. First, make sure your horse has a safe, clean environ- ment. Check the area where the horse will be stabled and worked to make sure there are no sharp edges, like steel posts or other sharp objects, that can injure the animal. Remove any obstacles that could cause the horse to get hurt. Cleanliness is necessary for the horse's health and comfi)rt. His stall should be easy to clean and maintain. Water should be changed daily as horses will not drink water that is not clean. Use a feeder to keep the hay off the ground. The feeder should not be more than waist high. High feeders can cause the horse to develop a very thick neck. Get to know your horse by grooming and handling the animal. You must handle your horse in a manner that commands respect. Never forget you are handling a large animal, and you can be hurt if your animal doesn't respect you. Your horse should never be allowed to kick or bite you. Biting is even more dangerous than kicking as it is aggressive behavior and means the horse thinks he is above you in the social order i.e he does not respectyou. If your horse does try to bite you, Wayne subscribes to the same treatment outlined by noted trainer John Lyons in his book. Lyons on Horses. Lyons says if a horse bites, ..... RIDING LESSON- Professional trainer John Wayne gives advice to a student during a clinic.. photo by Patti Babcock you have three seconds to try to kill him bearing in mind that the head is off limits. After you have done as much damage as you can inflict in three seconds, pet the horse to let him know that you like him but will not tolerate his behavior. Wayne says, "You can never allow your horse to get away with bad habits even in play." To assure your safety and for you to be able to work with him, your one thousand pound horse must always know that "you are the boss." Spend time working your horse on the ground before you even think about riding. Practice leading, stopping and tying. Wayne cautions when tying make sure the horse isn't tied to something he can run off with. Work the horse until both you and he are comfortable, and he ex- hibits good ground manners. Ground work also in- cludes handling the horse's feet. Wayne says start with your hand on the horse and rub down to the foot. Then ask the horse to shift his weight and pick up his foot. Wayne cautions, "Never try to lift the horse's foot if his weight is on it, you can't. You need to ask him to give you his foot." Walk around the horse and handle each foot in the same manner. Becoming comfortable with your horse on the ground may take several hours or several days or more. When you and the horse are working well together on the ground, you are ready to "tack up." Wayne advises riders to buy good equipment. "In the long run, it will pay off." : With the horse tied, place the saddle blanket and pad on his back. Next put the- saddle in place. "Make sure the saddle fits the horse without hurting his withers or hisback. Be sure there is nothing to pinch the horse." The next step is to bridle the horse. Unbuckle and re- move JEhe halter from the horses head. Place it around the horse's neck so you can hold him if he starts to walk off. Hold the bridle with one hand and use the other to guide the bit into the horse's mouth with your fingers placed at the corners of the mouth. While holding the bit, use the other hand to move the bridle over the top of the head and slide the headstall over the hol:se's ears. Once the tack is in place and secured, walk your horse out 10 to 20 feet before you prepare to mount. This gives you the opportunity to assure that everything is loose and free. Once you put your foot in the stirrup, get in the saddle. Don't climb on the horse. "Once in the saddle, you are in a safe place," Wayne says. "Half way up or half way down is not a safe place to be." Safe in the saddle, ask your horse to turn one direction, then the other. Then ask him to stop. You might even want to back a little bit. Start in a walk then trot a while before you lope. Let the horse warm up before you ask him to do anything.  ...... You know how well trained your horse is by seeing how well he responds to leg clues. Most important does he stop on voice command? How fast does he calm down after loping? He should be calmer after the ride than before you started. "Don't take the horse home, unsaddle him and turn him loose," Wayne says. "If you do, you will have a sour horse. Instead make the horse walk home. Then tie him where he can't get loose. Go get a drink of water or do something to give the horse time to relax before you turn him loose. Try to spend some time with the previous owner to find out the horse's habits as each animal is unique. If you are a novice, you may want to have a professional trainer work with your horse and with you to get you off to a good start and to keep you both safe. John Wayne is a trainer at the Painted Desert Legacy Ranch located at"3031 West Mesquite (at the corner of Barney and Mesquite) in Pahrump. The phone number is: 727-2514. His fees start at $300 per month to train a horse at the ranch facility. He likes to work with the horse for the first three weeks and will work with horse and rider the last week. He also gives riding lessons from begin- ners to riders honing their show skills for $25 per hour. Cremation Direct Burial Includes: Removal from place of death, preparation of Death Certificates and Permits, Cremation, minimum Urn, Fully kicenl P.O. Box 6000 $uite 96. 1161 S. Loop P,d. #2 Pahrump, Nevada 89041 ................................................. i fib/: State: Zip: Phone: flk'q K.h,$IP e nh  th0 01igion, your ial iniotma for: O O O Call 24 Hours 727-1888