Saturday, September 20, 2014

Miniature Progress

5:30AM feeding by car lights and a whole lotta rain....
Ignore the mess of hay; the bale was too heavy for me to lift
so I just left it there and took flakes when needed.
 In the world of Tally and Suzie, it's been too miserable outside to do anything other than feed and although I lunged Tally briefly a few days ago (mostly for being an ass face) I haven't done any real work with her since the show (bad me). Suzie seems to have lost a bit of weight, so I used the opportunity to feed Suzie some extra hay while I planned to ride Ms. Tally if the weather broke. I pulled Tally out lastnight during a brief break in the prevailing rainstorm and tacked her up and chucked on my spurs, since I've been curious to see how she'd go with them.

We hacked to the riding arena and I immediately felt pretty good with her responsiveness to the spurs and how quiet she seemed. In the arena, it took a bit to get her attention and she seemed relatively quite hot. I had to really half-halt the crap out of her and reallllly concentrate on my posting so she wouldn't speed up. She just felt super bracey in the face and any amount of leg sent her forward with so much bursting impulsion that I had to re-check her and bring her back down to earth and start over.
Hacking out, Tally-Cam!
Despite the speediness, we had some really great moments, including the canter where I really got after her and really used my inside leg (and spur) on her to get her really pushed into the bridle. I found that during the trot, the more you push her into the bridle, the more bracey and heavy she gets into your hands. I dumped her off of my hands a few times and really worked on figure eights, serpentines, etc.... just anything to change the bend to get her to carry herself. We still had our "oopsie" moments but other than being speedy and a bit sloppy in the downwards transitions, we had a decent schooling.

After some rigorous flat work I worked on some jumping - she was quiet, cool and level-headed. Someone had made some X-counter jumps (a log and tire jump) in the meadow by the ring so I took advantage of that. She did take off after a jump at one point and I just sat back, half-halted and RODE HER ASS to the next fence and she did really, really well and I pretty much didn't hear a peep from her again during the next few sets of the jumps. She cooled out on a buckle rein all the way home and was quiet going back into her pen.

Tonight she will be lunged and tomorrow (weather permitting) is a jump schooling with a bunch of friends. Let's hope the weather clears up and I have a good ride! Lastnight's ride wasn't perfect, but we made some small, miniscule progress, which is always a plus. I cannot blame Tally, mostly because she is a horse that needs to be ridden more than 1-2x a week, and with my hectic work schedule, I just cannot provide that to her, which is frustrating for both of us.

I love that she is driving him outside of the arena; exposing him to all kinds of things!
In the news of Spud (or Spudley as I affectionately call him), I received some photos and videos from the trainer lastnight and I am super happy to hear that she not only sings high praises of him, but is confident in his ability to be an ammy-friendly driving partner. This particular trainer may not have all the finer things at her disposal (indoor arena), but she has already laid out a game plan for Spud and I whole-heartedly approve - which includes driving him ALL OVER. We [and by we, I mean I] want him dead broke in the harness.

I want him to be able to cross water, go through mud, drive past barking dogs, step over hoses, navigate around feed buckets, etc. It may look like a cluttered disaster, but I actually love the idea of exposing a horse like the way she is... Obviously, more reactive horses would do better in a controlled environment, but little Spudley is just kicking ass at being a harness pony and from what I've seen in the videos, photos, etc, he just doesn't give a shit. And I prefer my horses bombproof; I don't need a horse that spooks at a basketball hoop, kids screaming or barking dogs. It is a reality in the world (especially driving along the roads) and I need my future driving pony (and riding horse) to literally shrug their shoulders and say, "I'm bored."

Such a good, good little mini!
 He will be working on ground-driving and on Tuesday, the trainer hopes to hook him up to the cart. Little Spud sure is taking everything in stride - settled in to the facility quietly and without muss or fuss. He does need his feet corrected, which trainer will correlate with her farrier to do. He seems like such a cool little dude - he's already been ground-driven by a non-driving 11 year old girl! I cannot wait to go meet him in a week and a half (to which the trainer is certain I'll be able to drive him myself at that time)!! Also, I would share more photos of him, but a lot of them feature the 11 year old girl, who I do not feel needs to have her mug posted all over my blog! Haha.


  1. I hope the weather clears up for you soon. Spud is so cute!

    1. Thank you! It looks like it'll be leveling out starting today :) And yes, he is!