I have had quite a bit of non riding for August as I had lots of holidays that weren’t for horse shows. I went to Red Deer for the Andalusian Nationals but didn’t bring Cierra because I wanted to check it out first. I thoroughly enjoyed it and there were so many beautiful horses. I also went home to see family for close to a week so in August I rode probably 10 times maybe a bit more but not my normal 4 or 5 days a week!
This week has been good we’ve gone back to basics and are filling in gaps that I haven’t ever fixed such as my canter cue-both of my legs feel the need to be on so I’ve been consciously trying to keep my inside leg completely off while I cue with my outside leg. I realised I’m trying to put too many aids on at once and my poor horse is just so awesome but he’s guessing. So I’m working on clear cues. We did some bending and counter bending on the circle and transitions through all the gaits.
Yesterday we were supposed to work on some more but Mister had other ideas! He decided that we were going to work on me being calm! He came into the barn and was just a crazy horse-pawing in his stall, dancing and snorting-so I lunged him and he was still wild eyed but seemed calmer so I got on and I could feel him being tense and spooky. But this time I just relaxed and stayed calm and got him to walk a few rounds and then he seemed to chill out and he had a few relaxed breaths once in awhile. We worked on transitions and we are getting them better and better. I’m just glad I was able to be the one to calm him instead of adding to his anxiety. The fall weather always seems to get them worked up.
My little girl though today was beside herself with anxiety. I put her in a stall and walked away and she panicked and called and called and called for me but I really don’t want another horse that can’t be in a stall by themselves, so I left her to deal with it. And when she quieted down I got her but by then she was just so upset with me she couldn’t listen to anything. So I put her on the lunge line and let her get it out for a few minutes then brought her back and got her to pay attention and she did really well. She’s a smart little girl! Then I put the saddle on her for the first time and she did awesome considering she was so upset earlier. I lunged her and she was a bit upset and bucked but I got her calmed down and the she was totally fine-no more bucking and no bucking the other direction. She did walk trot and canter both directions. I will start longlining her soon-probably next week. I won’t be riding her next year so she will have lots of time to get her used to things. She is a very insecure horse and looks to me for comfort but it still takes quite awhile to calm down. The more I work with her and the more attached she gets the easier it will be to calm her down. It just means I need to be super patient and super calm. I’ve been told it takes 3 years to build a solid partnership with a horse but I think with her it will be a lot less. She is super sensitive and super smart. My big guy calms down pretty quickly if I’m calm but we have a pretty solid relationship and have been together for 6 years!
I’m really looking forward to this training season! Lots to work on! Lots of refining my aids and building a deeper bond with both of my monkeys! Lots of fun things with the little girl who is growing like a weed! I sure hope she doesn’t get taller than my Mister, but with my luck she will!
Pictured is Cierra at 16 months. What you can’t see in this picture is all the white hairs that are coming in! She is speckled from her flanks to her shoulder with white hairs and has a few on her neck and her hips. Her whole belly is white! And she has a few white hairs in her mane and tail. My little bay horse isn’t so little and may not stay bay!