|Annie: "You suck at blogging"|
As with all young, or green horses, the progress is painfully slow but also promising. A glimpse into this mare's future has me smiling and although I still get that weird ping of nervousness every time I tack-up for a ride, I've managed to enjoy almost every ride I've put on her.
The nervousness is normal and I'm starting to get less and less freaked out when it shows up. We are still new to eachother, still developing, still figuring eachothers buttons.
For the most part, we have had really good rides.
|Note the tail flip.|
When I got on her, she was a little jiggy which seems to be her MO - when we leave the barn to go hack or even when I took her for lessons back in February she will start out incredibly forward, almost like she has a volt of electricity up her butt. She tried to scoot off in a trot a few times, and each time I brought her down quietly and asked her to walk.
In an attempt to figure out how to calm her down (because we are still playing around with what works and what doesn't), I started to ask her to leg yield, halt, and do some TOH and TOF.
She. just. could. not.
|Suzie just could not when Spud tried to steal her grain.|
I immediately got after her and we backed up just fine and continued on with our ride.
So, a small hiccup. But it reminds me of when she just. could. not. when I put my leg on her a few weeks ago when she was a bit jiggy/tense and she took great offense to it.
And so, we've been playing around with me asking her to do things earlier into the ride. Mostly, with the hacking out, I'll let her walk as fast as she wants so long as she walks and earlier this month I had started to incorporate half-halts and slowing my own seat down against her so she has no choice but to slow down.
As I had mentioned in a previous post, her "calm down" time has drastically gone from 20-30 minutes to a little over 5. I paid attention to how she acted when I took her out yesterday with a friend and not even 5 minutes into the ride, she settled into a loose-rein walk and altho she was a bit speedier than my friend's horse, she was quiet and walked without rushing or acting up.
|Things in her hair, she don't care.|
Back to the point of what I was trying to explain tho - each hack we do and each ride I put on her, I start asking for leg yielding, bend, stretch, etc. Some rides (like last weekend) I literally ask for nothing other than plodding along on a loose-rein with her neck stretched out. The rides where she is a bit more "uppity", I make more effort to put my legs on her and ask things simply because I want her to realize that she can be tense or flighty, but her passenger is still there and can handle it for her.
|This was near the end of our "rearing" ride.|
All of this desensitization and rides we do around the block with and without friends are all things that are important. Learning to pony Spud, loading and unloading from the trailer, being calm and quiet as I fly-spray her, etc, all these things are building blocks for the future.
|Other building blocks - standing for pictures.|
And I am really happy with her. We will have more outings soon, just to get her desensitized to a busier atmosphere but with how she acted earlier in the year at a busy barn and how she acts with the coming and going of other horses, I anticipate she will be just fine. The unfortunate thing about my area is that there is only a certain amount of events/clinics that happen per month and if you miss one or two weekends, you miss everything for the month.
My recap of this month and goals for next month will be posted soon, as the BF and I are headed to Nanaimo to visit the parents and will be gone for a week and a bit. Hopefully the ponies will behave themselves and Annie and I will resume regular riding when I get back. I think she deserves the mini-vacation so far.