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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 …

NaBloPoMo Day #7

Day #7 - Any vices or challenges with my horse

With any horse, there are day-to-day or week-to-week training challenges.  Obviously there have been more than I am listing here, but most of it was typical and easily overcome.  But on the whole, all of my mares have been pretty easy to work with and easy to train, so I honestly don't remember many of the challenges.

Reva likes to put everything in her mouth.  Everything.  She has certainly gotten better over the last two years, since most of it was her being a "baby", but she is still the type of horse who tries to lick or chew things to figure it out.  She is my toddler who I have to watch carefully at all times....oh look, the leadrope!  Chew!  Oh look, a bucket of sudsy shampoo!  Slurp!  Oh look, the siding of the barn!  Chomp!  Sigh.  She doesn't bite, she just gnaws on things.  She also likes to wipe her foamy mouth at the end of a ride on things: my truck hood at a show, the fence post, my sleeve.  Our current challenge is her right lead canter, but that is coming along well.  :-)

Dreamy has recently developed a bad habit of walking through her fence.  She has figured out that the shock only last for a moment when she pushes through the tape with her chest, and the grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side, of course!  Never mind that there is plenty of grass in her pasture and a pile of hay in her paddock!  I have raised all the fences with an extra strand up at five feet so she has finally decided that she rather not walk through it anymore.  Foolish mare!  It looks dumb, but it works!  I would say our biggest challenge has been her canter.  It has come a LONG way but it will never be a "normal" canter and we will never score above a 6 on a canter circle.  Oh well! (Though we have received 7s and 8s on our canter departs!)   I am still very proud of her and am happy with what she can do rather than worry about what she cannot.

Sparky's one vice is that she cannot be left alone.  She freaks out!  Obviously, horses are social animals and most dislike being alone.  Many can handle their buddy leaving for a show or trail ride, with just a bit of pacing, some screaming, and then calm down.  Not Sparky!  She completely loses her mind.  I tried a boarder for a while (well three actually...) when I started showing Dreamy so I would not have to leave Sparky alone.  When none of the boarders panned out, acquiring Reva served a purpose other than just a young horse to bring along: she keeps Sparky sane when I show Dreamy!  Sparky's biggest challenge was earning her trust way back in the beginning and helping her find her balance.  She was very afraid of heavy hands and accepting contact, but was able to grow to trust me enough to accept the bit.