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She's Not a Baby Anymore!

Early spring saw some immediate changes in how Ellie carried herself and our dressage work started to truly improve.  There had been times last year where flat work felt like a fight and I wondered to myself if she was ever going to just relax and listen to me haha.

Thankfully, as the title suggests, Ellie has suddenly grown up in front of my eyes.  We have had some really stellar lessons lately, where I feel like I am suddenly able to make things click.  We also had an incredibly frustrating dressage lesson a few weeks ago where Ellie was in rip-roaring peeing heat (not normal for her) and we worked through 45 minutes of her refusing to bend right.  So, ya know, as much as she is improving, she is still an opinionated redheaded mare!  ;-)

But, I have to give her credit because she is really working her little butt off for me!  Sadly, I had not been able to schedule in a jump lesson before our first three-phase, which led to me riding her ridiculously backward at a slow trot the entire …

Spring Riding! And Reva Surprises Me...

“Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live.” - unknown


What a GORGEOUS weekend we just had here in Maine! :) The quote sums up my weekend!!! This weather is unheard of in early March...but I am not complaining! I'll take it! LOL! After such a fun weekend, I found out the first MHA class list is posted! YAY! I love getting the first class lists of the year...it means spring/summer and SHOW SEASON is really coming! :)

Dreamy was excellent both days. She was a little quick to the left in the trot (OMG I am so excited, look how fast I can trot Mom!!!) and her right lead canter was unbalanced in the transition, but that is to be expected from an out-of-shape horse! She was more "up" yesterday than today, because that is just how it is when we ride again after a few weeks off. LOL!

But today she was perfect. Still not a great canter to the right, but the footing was softer and muddier, and she is without shoes. Add that to being out of shape, which makes her weaker behind, and actually I am surprised her canter was even as good as it was! LOL! Her left lead was fine, balanced and rhythmic which was impressive. She even dealt well with the footing being softer. She was a little heavy in the downward transition, but she did trot and not pace, which again, is great for this early in the year. To have her this good in MARCH is amazing. I hope it continues! Today is was warm enough that I actually hosed her off! LOL! I took out my barn hose for the first time since last fall to do morning chores, so it was right there...now I have guaranteed we will get a two foot snow storm this week! ha ha ha

Reva was so funny yesterday. I really have not been on her much this winter. She started blowing and fluttering when we walked out to the field. I decided to hand walk her around each direction before I got on her. If I had a helper, I probably would have had that person walk at her head while I rode...but being alone, I did the next best thing and hand walked her myself. She was so good though. She is not a spooky or jumpy horse. Despite her young age (she'll be four this month on the 20th!!) she keeps a really level head. She walked around and settled right down.....oh yeah, I remember this riding stuff, she seemed to think. We did do some trotting and she was very good. No drunken sailor moments, and she was bending at the rib cage, stretching to the contact (!!!) and very rhythmic.

There was one spot that was a little deeper in the snow, and I felt her gather herself and want to canter. Horses always seem to rather canter than trot in deeper snow. I thought, What the hell?" I half halted her, gave her the canter cue, and SHE CANTERED!!!!! LOL! Little Miss Green Bean, who has never cantered under saddle before, who has NO idea what the canter cue even is, reached down and picked up the left lead like she had been doing it all her life. I made a HUGE deal over her and asked one more time just because. :D She did it again! I only let her canter for about 5 strides, but it was so cool! I asked her in the other direction as well, again just for the heck of it. She cantered again without an issue. Seriously?? It was that easy??? Dreamy and I worked forever to canter.....and I did a whole lotta crying! I only asked Reva once to the right and we ended the ride with lots of bending/moving away from my leg. She wants to only do turn on the haunches instead of turn on the forehand....Dreamy used to be the same way. Miss Former Racehorse thinks there is a race bike behind her!

Today's ride was exactly the same as yesterday, minus the blowing at the beginning. In fact, she was totally 100% relaxed (as opposed to yesterday when she was only 99% relaxed....she is such a WILD horse! LOL ;-) She really seems to enjoy her work, and at the very end I asked for the canter again. She got both her leads and cantered no problem for 5 strides again! LOL!!!!! She did buck once behind to the left, but I bet she was cross cantering that first stride and fixed it.

Good lord, she is too darn easy. She actually reaches for the contact, stays soft on the bit, and bends easily around my leg, which is amazing. She is not supposed to know all of this already! I literally put 10-12 rides on her last year, with the first few just little "pony rides" around her paddock. I asked her for a little trot, basic bending, turning, halting, but not much more than that. Did she sit around and chat with Dreamy about this dressage stuff this winter??? LOL!

I can already tell she will be easier than Dreamy (who was pretty easy...) because she actually WANTS to reach for the contact. Dreamy rather not, thankyouverymuch! Dreamy and I have had to come to a fragile agreement on the idea of contact. She is fussy and has a very small palate, which does not help. If I half halt too hard (in her opinion) she will get offended and it takes forever to convince her that steady contact is truly a happy place. She does not really like the idea of accepting the bit, but will do it because I ask. Reva, on the other hand, was reaching and finding the bit all on her own! She did it some last year, but I mostly chalked it up to her attempting to be luggy and heavy, getting used to the whole balancing a rider thing. But this weekend she was soft in the bridle, right THERE in the contact. Not heavy at all. It was unreal. She blows my mind. I cannot wait to get her to my instructor's farm, in a real ring as opposed to my unlevel field.

Because she is so easy, I have to keep reminding myself she is green. And young. I did not plan to canter her until later this summer. I think I will have to restrain myself from asking her for a while......I rather get her into shape and really get her solid walk/trot. I swear I could do an Intro level test with her this year! LOL! But I won't. No showing until 2011. We will obviously be schooling Training level (I would think...!!!) by the end of this year, so waiting on Intro will be the best thing. And then she will be five. I rather not rush her AT ALL. There is plenty of time, and I have to remember that, even if she is the Smartest Mare Ever. LOL! Super Filly has become Super Mare!

Comments

  1. I enjoyed your post so much (as usual). Thank you for sharing your rewarding weekend with your MARES!

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  2. Go Dreamy and Reva!! Reva sounds so great! Johnny is a little like Dreamy...not so sure that he actually wants to accept the contact, and SUPER sensitive to the bit. Hopefully we can iron that out this year! Glad that Reva is doing so well so early! Wish right lead canter was that easy for Johnny to learn!

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