Thursday, July 20, 2017

Increments of Change

It's funny how things that once seemed like a big hurdle just get better and better over time. When I first got Annie there were lots of things that "needed work" that I knew would just get better over time and nothing other than wet saddle pads would aid in that progress.

I sometimes find myself preparing for XYZ and being pleasantly surprised when there is no reaction. I first noticed it when I fly-sprayed her without a type of restraint on (halter). She stood quiet, letting me spray her all over.

Waiting for Spud to catch up and
hearing voices from Space Aliens?
And I noticed it again when I tacked her up after four days off and she stood, rock solid and cocked a hind leg. Typically she'll wiggle once or twice - especially when I throw the saddle over - but this time she just lowered her head and waited.

And once more when I went riding with a friend - I had dropped my dressage whip and he offered to trot Spud back to go retrieve it. I decided to continue walking ahead and stopped under a shady tree to wait. And Annie stood. Normally, she is pretty concerned with where her buddies are, esp if they "leave" during a ride. But she didn't even look back.

The same day I went trail riding and dropped my whip, I went trotting and cantering down the dirt road that runs through the subdivision. I hadn't done that in few years - never did it on Suzie, and certainly didn't attempt it on Geronimo when I rode him. I turned Annie away from the direction of home and cantered up the path, laughing and smiling as we went. She initially sucked back - probably because "Uh... aren't we going home?" and "Spud... you're coming too, right?", but she did the thing anyways.

And it just made me so, so happy.

Doesn't share grass tho.
Still doesn't eat the grass while tacked either...

These aren't the only changes that have caught my attention - there are quite a few little nuances that are mostly nbd for more seasoned animals, but they make my heart swell. I'm a self-identified second guesser so it's nice to see I'm not completely ruining a good horse.

And though these changes are so small, I have to remember to relish in them and be proud of them. Forward progression is something to be celebrated, and with each wet saddle pad, we are starting to put the pieces together.

I have this horse who is mentally growing up and is starting to really get comfortable with things and the questions I ask. Our ride lastnight (blog to follow) was testament to that. Everything is starting to come together and although we still cannot ride a 20m canter circle, we can actually canter (and do an egg-shaped 35.2m circle) now! Four months ago, Annie wasn't even strong enough to canter one lap around the arena.

That's a happy mash face!
I'm excited to see how this progresses and where our next increment of change is going to come from. For now, we will keep doing what we do and try to suck up all the knowledge of lessons we can (our lesson for last weekend was cancelled due to instructor car troubles).

And on a more interesting note, Annie and I are officially entered into her very first show - it's a local show next weekend and although I am still debating my class choices, it'll be good for the experience nonetheless.


  1. Good luck at your show!! Training green horses is such a roller coaster ☺

    1. Thank you! I am nervous, but also excited.

  2. I love this! It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job with Annie. Good luck at the show!

  3. Yes! Bit by bit and then you realize wow- look how far we've come. :D

    Have a great time at the show!

    1. Right?! Sometimes we don't even notice it until it just hits us square in the face!

      Thank you

  4. I'm so excited for you guys to show!!!! And that you're noticing your progress!!! :D

  5. I'm glad things are going so well. Good luck at the show.