We Broke the Buck Out of Calypso!

Exactly as we did for the trot last summer we are now doing with the lope. Everyday her routine consists of a warm-up of walking and jogging, then loping. . . a lot.
An old pair of pants with rocks in the legs for weight provides the slapping of a riders legs. When this was first put into use, at the end of last summer, it produced a lot of bucking from her. This summer she barely acknowledged it!
We’re coming to the end of Breaking the Buck Out of Calypso. Her training is nearly complete. In this video today I suggested pushing Calypso. Push her to buck by pushing her on when she tries to slow down.

Since the last post we’ve been working with Calypso daily. Some weeks a day or two was missed. But all in all it’s been about a month. Breaking the buck out of her lope is going much faster than it did breaking it out of her trot. Calypso is a smart mare, she’s learning how to figure things out and it’s getting easier and easier for her.

You’ll notice, in the video, Calypso will lope for a couple of strides, then slow down to a trot. Starting today we’ll push her to continue loping. Which will push her to buck if she’s going to protest. Of pushing her to continue loping produces no buck, the training will be complete.

Wow, what a beauty! It’s been a long road but just look at the awesome results.

This summer Michelle has been riding her after every lesson. I didn’t want her to try loping with Calypso, even though she was not bucking in the arena, I didn’t want her trying it during her after lesson rides. I didn’t get the feeling from Calypso that she was enjoying being ridden. Then, we came up with an idea!

Calypso see’s me as the bearer of apples. When she see’s me she will veer straight for me unless she is corrected. I thought let’s use that to our advantage!

I told Michelle were I would be located in the yard with a carrot. She would then ride a good distance from me and turn back around. Calypso would see me and start to walk faster to get to me. I would hold up a carrot while the rider, Michelle, gave Calypso the signal to lope! The first time we did it Calypso had her ears forward with a smooth lope, when she realized she was loping and you could see the confusion cross her face for just a moment, then decided the carrot was more important than bucking and picked up her pace! It worked! So, we did it again, and again, and again! I position myself in the yard, tell Michelle where I am at, and she brings Calypso around until she see’s me and asks her to lope. When she gets to me, I give her the carrot.

This worked perfectly. Calypso lopes on command toward me, ears forward, head high and alert, all the way to me!

At the beginning of this week it was time to cut the carrot out of the deal. For couple of days we did the same thing, but instead of me having a carrot, the rider, Michelle, had the carrot. Then, the last couple of days. . . .well, you’ll have to see the next video for that!

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