Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Oh where, oh where can my crazy mare be...

At the beginning of this week I had a terrible lesson with Casey. She was grouchy, stubborn, hot, and just being a brat. It made me feel frustrated and like we weren't making any progress at all. BUT for the past two days my green mare has been a magical unicorn horse.
She isn't even trying to kill the dog... PROGRESS!!!
All of the "problems" that we've been trying to work through seem to no longer be problems. In the past two days she:
  • Consistently has been able to walk around the arena with barely any jigging
  • Has been trotting in a calm and collected manner
  • Has been able to canter without getting off-balance and speeding up
  • Has been responding to my half halts
  • She will now stop and stand when I ask her to
  • She hasn't spooked or gotten distracted by things outside of the arena
  • AND... the most amazing feat... she somehow figured out how to back up without me having to force her into it!
I don't know what it is that is making her be so good, whether the sheer heat is sapping her energy or if having consistent riding allows her brain to click into work-mode, but it is so exciting to see the potential that she has. It's not that I doubted that she had this potential, but I am amazed that she is showing so much progress in literally only two months. My trainer watched us canter a lap and even she remarked that Casey was cantering like a "normal" horse. Normally, Casey just gallops around without really responding to half halts.
Casey cantering
I do think that Casey is really responding well to the consistent work. I've ridden her five days in a row now and it took three days before she was able to be a calm horse. Of course, I don't really know what to do with this information, because I do want Casey to have two days off a week and it is unlikely that they will be able to be two days in a row... I still have to figure out my riding schedule now that I am starting my new job so we will see.
Cuddles after a great ride
I will try to get some footage the next time I ride Casey to show the progress that she has made. In the meantime, what is your training schedule? How many days a week do you ride and what do you do?

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