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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 #28

Day #28 - The current status of my horse's training


Reva
Reva is the least trained of my horses, with only seven months of under saddle training.  She is solid walk/trot, while her canter is coming along.  She will pick up the left lead without issue but the right lead only about 80% of the time.  She understands how to reach into the connection with the bit and has a pretty decent rhythm as long as she stays relaxed.  Her relaxation is an issue at times though and she is currently resisting true straightness/ bend/shoulder fore.  When she resists, she gets quick.  She hold her tension in her jaw, specifically her TMJ, and will grind her teeth.  She will get a complete chiropractic work-up this spring, or maybe even earlier.  (Her teeth are done every 6 months and were just floated at the end of September...)  There are moments of absolute brilliance, where her trot becomes amazing and she is so soft in the bridle.  And there are moments of garbage too...LOL!  I have to remind myself she has only been under saddle for seven months now.  And before that she had ~30 rides on her.  So I am pleased where she is in her current training.  :-)  She is going to be at Intro level next year and if we show in open shows again I will keep her in 2-gait.  I hope to move up to Training level and 3-gait with her in 2013.


Dreamy
Dreamy can school all the First level movements minus the canter loops.  Well, we can do them but they are not good enough for competition.  :-0  And we can do Second level movements of shoulder-in, renvers, travers (harder), and turn on the haunches, but she will never show at that level.  She is safe and handy over fences up to 2'6" and I will keep her at that height or lower.  I know she could do higher, but as she is almost 21 years old I am happy with keeping her sound.  :-)  Dreamy is probably trained as far along as she is ever going to be.  Her canter is not a "normal" dressage canter, but it is pretty decent.  Right now my only plan is to do a few Beginner Novice events with her next year and foxhunt in the fall.  If we do any straight dressage it will be at First level and 3-gait at open shows.


Sparky
Miss Sparky is retired.  :-)  She is as trained as she will ever be.  She reached First level movements, jumping up to 3', and Preliminary level combined driving before retirement.  

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