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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 …

Riding at Different Times of Day

Yesterday morning my dad took C for the morning, so I was able to ride at 9AM. Dreamy loves routine, but I never gave this any thought when I went to ride. We usually have to wait and ride after dinner, so being able to ride in the morning sun was a treat for me.

Dreamy was SO UGLY at me. She would not stand on the crossties, she would not stand to be mounted, and was so foolish under saddle as soon as I mounted. So I figured we needed a fitness day anyway......we did trot sets and TONS of bending at the walk and trot. I made her snotty little self WORK and WORK SHE DID!

By 30 minutes into our hour long ride, she finally settled. As if to say, OH all right, I guess I can behave now. I finally did not have to DEMAND her attention, as she gave it willingly. It was a good ride eventually, but we both had to work hard to make it happen.

Then tonight.....I go out and ride at our usual time of 7PM. She was all lazy and statue-like on the crossties, had an easy warm up, and was completely paying attention. Now I realize horses can have off days and yesterday may have been her day.

BUT....I got to thinking that maybe it had something to do with the way Dreamy craves routine and get VERY annoyed when things are altered. This is weird to me, because Sparky is so laid back and new things/new routines do not bother her at all. Actually I think Sparky kind of likes new routines. Example: Sometimes I would switch the mares' paddocks for a day or half day. Sparky LOVED this and would explore the new paddock, eat the remnant hay that Dreamy deemed unsuitable for consumption, and generally have a perky attitude. Now Dreamy on the other hand, would get wound up and trot around the gate for a while, finally eat some hay but always have a nervous edge to her movements. She would keep her eye on Sparky and HER paddock. One horse was very obviously happy and the other was really annoyed.

Tonight we did some trotting poles and an easy gymnastic series. Dreamy LOVED that. I plan to do some more gymnastics with her this week and set up a full course to do on Wednesday or Thursday in preparation for this weekend's SPHO-ME show (June 1).

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