Goodbye Ronin

We lost Ronin today. Sudden and complete neurological collapse most like caused by a stroke. Nancy is devastated. I am doing no better. The whole thing is just so surreal. Last time we saw him before it, he had just been put in the pasture with Jupiter and they were instant best friends. He leaves behind a hole in our lives, deep, black and vast.

Hands-On Horse Training
124 Lani Way TalentOR97540 USA 
 • 5415357974

Ronin – First Impressions

10 year old Friesian/Arabian Gelding. 16 hands, about 1350lbs

Solid mind, very steady and reliable. Doesn’t fluster or spook.
Large frame, solid bone. Will have a good carrying capacity.
Light to the rein aids. Sensitive to, though not sure as to the meaning of, the leg and seat aids.
Good people connection. Appears to genuinely want to please.

Presently does not carry himself from the hind end.
Free lunges with pronounced counter-bend.
When lunged on the line, falls inward or loses his hind end.
Hollow back with rider.
Carries head naturally too high and in the ‘above the bit’ form.
Resists giving at the pole.
No bend while turning, though tries to respond to the leg as best he can.
Ground manners issues, especially after riding.

Ronin is a very impressive looking black Friesian Cross gelding. He is solid boned, broad at the shoulder and deep in the chest. He has a gentle, intelligent look, calm eye and relaxed expression. His mane and tale are long and thick. He is straight of limb and has well formed feet, though they are a bit too dry and have cracked a bit. He has proven easy to handle for the most part, though becomes pushy after being worked. He is a ‘low man’ in the pasture when it comes to herd position.

After a few sessions in the round pen and one under saddle, I am convinced he can be made into a excellent lesson horse and/or medieval gaming horse. While he will need a great deal of physical conditioning, strengthening and suppling to allow him to carry a rider with balance and bend as well as to address his asymmetry. His is strongly ‘right-handed’, balanced on the forehand and as a bad tendency to ‘hollow’ his back while carrying his head much too high. Until I can get him ’rounding’ and ‘flexing’ well, collection is simply out of the question, so I predict some months will be needed to correct these issues.

Fortunately, I will not have to worry about having to do any work on his acceptance of saddle, bit and rider. He is very experienced as a general riding and mounted archery horse. He stands for grooming, saddling and mounting, walks out willingly and is very obedient to the rider’s will. He seems un-phased by the gaming elements and pays little attention to things going on outside the ride.


I predict 6 months to condition and train him to classical riding, at which time he should be a strong, balanced and steady mount, with very good potential to excel as a warhorse.

Below is a video of our session today. I wanted to document how he is moving now to compare to where he ends up.