Monday, June 16, 2014

And Progression is Made

A crappy iPhone photo/video-still that certainly does nothing for showing our
progress. Bleck!

When Tally first came a week ago, she had been quite literally plucked from the field and delivered to her new digs. She hadn't been in consistent work in over a year, and only a handful of schooling/training rides were put in. Tally's owner was just too gob-smacked with work, school, other horses and just.... life! Life gets busy and life gets hectic - I can certainly understand and appreciate a busy person's life. So when the opportunity to lease Tally came about, I was hesitant due to the amount of time she had had off, but yet, I was willing to give it a fair trial.

To say that Tally has done well would be a clear understatement - she has certainly exceeded all of my expectations and is coming back into work like she hadn't had a day off in her life. She is willing, kind, and strives to please. Sure, we've had a few hiccups (like not having any brakes... but who needs those?!) but all those are minor bumps on the road to having a well-rounded and schooled partner.

 Each ride I put on her just keeps improving her muscle memory and her past schooling history bubbles to the surface. I firmly believe that it will only go up from here. She is an exemplary horse with an impressive training history behind her - it will just take time to bring that out and appropriately utilize it.

All the loves.
I just love how versatile this mare is - she goes from a Dressage schooling with me to packing the Hubs around the arena like it's her job to babysit. And unfortunately for Ms. Suzie, Hubs has (not to secretly!) chosen Tally as his primary mount. Although Tally is taller, finer and a bit more intimidating looking, Hubs seems to get along better with Tally than he does Suzie. Tally just kerplunks along at a trot when he asks, she goes on a quiet buckle rein when we trail ride and most importantly, he feels SAFE on her. She doesn't mind him banging her in the mouth (accidentally!) with the bit or that he is unbalanced and a bit floppy in the saddle - she just keeps on truckin'!

I had initially intended for Suzie to be Hub's primary mount, given that she is older (Suzie is 21, while Tally is 10) and more experienced than Tally. However, a short schooling session of Hubs on Tally vs Hubs on Suzie revealed the lack of personal attachment and no matter how hard I wanted there to be a relationship between him and Suzie, it just wasn't going to happen. My dear Suz is more of a "Oh, I can just TELL you're a newbie.... Oh, did you just ask me to jog? I'll just GALLOP for you." She has Hub's number and she knows it. "You want me to walk off? How about we just stand here because fuck you, that's why."

Doesn't this look like the face of an evil mastermind?

In short, she's a bitch.

And so, just like holy matrimony, it was spoken and I begrudgingly handed the reins over to Hubs, who delightfully claimed Tally as "his". And to be honest, I made the right decision - there is no real thought process about it. Suzie confirmed it was a good choice on Friday evening when she decided to become a side-ways dancing fruitcake when we turned around to head home from a short trail ride - all complete with jigging, head-tossing, gaping mouth and a relentless attitude that made me want to beat her in the middle of the road. After about 10 minutes of some serious "Knock that shit off" discussions, she settled and walked along just hokey pokey.

However, the "couple" riding may come to an end for a little while - Suzie needs her feetsies done and getting a hold of the farrier has proved slightly troublesome, so Tally is up for some serious schooling one on one. I pulled her out lastnight and rode to the Grounds with a friend and her Anglo-Arab. Tally was lookey loo at EVERYTHING and spooked at least five different times at items she has seen the last couple of rides we've been on.

Unrelated photo to break up the wall-o-text.

We schooled some NICE moments in the arena but it all quickly fell apart after some light cantering (OMG WE'RE CANTERING!!!11!!1!) and I had to bring her brain back down to Earth with some sitting trot and really bundle up her forward energy. She did well and we cooled out with a small trail ride and headed home on a buckle rein. She was a bit startled when my friend left us at the halfway point and was a bit loony, but nothing malicious ever came of it. And when we got back, I trimmed her mane, tail and fetlocks and turned her back out with Suzie who whinnied and cooed like a little school girl. It was ridonkulous.

It's back to work today, so another twenty days of torture (not really) for seven days of pure bliss... I'm going to be attempting to commit to a 5 day a week riding schedule to get Tally really going. Thus far, I plan on doing three schooling rides a week coupled with a few trail rides to ensure her brain doesn't overload with all of the arena work.

Best buddies for life.

Hopefully it doesn't take much longer to get some new kicks on Suzie so I can start riding her again too because damnit, she's been schooling like a DREAM lately.

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