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Wentworth Hunter Pace - June 6, 2021

After Margaret and I had such a fun time at the fall hunter pace, we opted to go again this spring! This time, while I rode Rejoice again, Margaret rode her horse Jester and had a friend ride Ladyhawke. All Kennebec Morgans!! Jester and Rejoice have the same dam and Jester and Lady share the same sire. Unfortunately instead of a lovely late spring day, we had one of the first intensely hot and humid days of the year. It was definitely a bummer, but the ride was mostly in the shade of the woods and we had a great time!  most of the fences were 3' coops but we found a small log and this hay to jump haha Until we didn't. 😑 We brought along a third friend who rode Margaret's older mare, Ladyhawke. She's a good rider but hasn't known Ladyhawke for very long and didn't realize how much of a cranky boss mare she could be at times. She kicked Jester right in the front leg just about halfway through the ride, and while the cut itself ended up not being a big deal in the

Spring Conditioning Continues...

"A good friend once told me that she felt that working with horses is like being on a long trip. It's a journey with no destination -- an unending process -- and everything that is important is 'as you go,' not when you 'get there.'" -- Mark Rashid

This past weekend was GORGEOUS here in Maine! It was in the 70s which is crazy for March! The snow is pretty much gone, except a few areas in the woods and near the house/barn that gets very little sun.

I rode Dreamy three times last week, two of which we did dressage work in the field and one day on the trails. She was great, except we seem to have lost the right lead canter yet again. I am going to chalk it up to her lack of fitness, but it sure is frustrating. She can pick up the lead but cannot seem to maintain a canter. :( Rather than push her to the point where she is frustrated (and right she would be because she just cannot do it...) I just ask for a few canter steps, back to trot, then canter again. On a much better note, her left lead canter is pretty darned great. So I guess you cannot win them all. I am hoping as her fitness level increases and I am able to begin lessons again, we will sort this out. I REALLY want BOTH leads figured out this year. (Yes, I keep thinking of the quote I put at the top...but I STILL really think it is time for our right lead to be as good as the left!) And come to think of it, she is barefoot still. She gets shoes the first week of April, so that will help as well. She does seem to like the traction of shoes despite the fact that I like the idea of her staying barefoot.

Our dressage work at this point is pretty basic, just focused on balance and rhythm. I try to limit the bending and lateral work for now, and focus more on transitions and steadiness. Our hack on Sunday went well, as she is no longer a fire breathing dragon (well, as much as Dreamy can be.....LOL) because we have been out on the trails a few times now this spring. So far, I am pleased with where she is (well, besides the right canter....grrrr...) and how our conditioning is going.

Reva was very good this past weekend. Right now I am only able to ride her on the weekends, which is not ideal but better than nothing. Things will get easier as the spring unfolds and we get into a routine. I am only riding her for 20-25 minutes, with much of the work at the walk. No more cantering for now. ;-D

We did a lot of bending and lateral flexion at the walk, and she is doing quite well. She seems to bend easier to the left than right. Reva is surprisingly willing to accept the bit, which is great. We did some trot work, with some trot/walk/trot transitions. So far, she is pretty balanced and responds easily to the bit and my weight. I hope her good attitude about work continues even as later on she learns "harder" things. I am wondering what her frustration level will be far everything has seemed "easy" to her.

She did have her first spook EVER under saddle on Saturday! LOL! It was a bit windy and the leaves were making big tornadoes....usually this is a non-issue to Reva. But at one point after we had trotted, she jumped sideways and hopped maybe two strides before coming to a dead stop. She craned her head around to look right at me, as if to say, "WHAT happened, Mom?" I reassured her and gave her a good pat. :) It was funny because it was so unlike her and only lasted maybe 2 seconds. So, yeah, the first spook under saddle was pretty mild, to say the least! LOL! Such a good girl.

Sparky is doing well.....I would feel as though I was forgetting someone if I left her out! :) No conditioning rides for her. I do hope to ride her a little this summer, maybe hook her a few times to the carriage, but she seems pretty content to be retired and just be groomed. Her weight and attitude are outstanding for her age (27 years young!). She seems to really like Reva and they will stand as close to their fence as possible to be with each other. Reva does like to engage in "face biting play" (which would be halter tag if they wore halters in turnout...LOL) and both Sparky and Dreamy will put up with it for a while, but then take a step back from the fence. It is quite funny. I have considered just opening up the back paddock to allow Sparky and Reva to hang out together, but I don't know. I get the feeling Sparky enjoys having her own space; while she can be near Reva, she can also move away if she wants to be alone. I might consider trying them together at some point just to see. But I am guessing Sparky might like to be alone at times....and at 27 years old, I never want her to feel pushed or rushed by a younger horse. Reva is pretty easygoing, but she is much younger. And she likes to buck and play much more than Sparky.....while Sparky will buck and play once or twice with her, she then will stop and watch Reva carry on.

Today it was spitting snow and it is supposed to be down into the 30s on Friday. Ahhh, the joys of living in Maine..... ;-D


  1. Glad you got in some good rides.

    Thanks for the Mark Rashid quote - I've had the good fortune to ride with him on a number of occasions, including twice at week-longs in Colorado, and that quote is a nice one.

  2. Sounds like you have a good conditioning routine going on. Possum and I have also stepped up our work outs to 4-5 a week now. We've been lucky to be able to school the winter in an indoor. Yea, gotta love that Maine weather. I went to the barn to check on my guy when it was raining. He had a rain sheet on, but was shivering when i got there. I felt like such a bad horse mom, so the mid weight blanket had to be put back on. This time of year it's like playing musical blankets!

  3. I love reading your Blog it gives me hope for my girl. I just got her a couple of months ago but she has some bad habits like cow kicking. She is quiet most of the time but every once in a while she kicks at me never intentionally to hit she always kicks far enough away that she can't connect but I have to work to get her to stop bad habits die hard I guess.

  4. I thought of you when I posted that Kate! It is a great quote and I too like Mark Rashid. :)

    Thanks Sidetracked! I do envy you the indoor though! And yes, musical blankets is NO FUN! :(

    Welcome Jenn! I am glad to hear you enjoy my blog. :) I personally have no experience with a horse that kicks (except the one time Reva tried when I first got her and she was in a raging heat) but I am sure there is a lot of information out there on the internet. I wish you luck! Stay safe!

  5. Sounds to me like you are doing the right thing with that canter. If she can't hold it, the transition work should build her up.

    Personally I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting to fix a canter lead in a year's time. Even though training horses is a process, a year is a lot of time to accomplish that task with regular work. Good luck.


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