Edited at January 20, 2020 02:42 PM by Amhain Dull Liath
Hello there. I've got some ambitious dreams with my future in horses but, of course, there's a long learning curve needed to reach them. Everyone's got to start somewhere :D So I'm trying to think through my training more. I also love writing and merging those together seems fun so..
Daily training updates!
I'll be posting my thought process, progress, pictures, etc. I'll try to do so daily but sometimes life gets in the way *shrug*. But first let's introduce my horses!
Name - Terry
Age - 15
Gender - Mare
Breed - AQHA
Height - 15.3 hh
Discipline - Three Day Eventing
Terry used to be a western horse used for trails. One parent is a reiner and one is a racehorse so she's built for speed and tight turns. Despite her origins, she has amazing english talent. Her gaits are extended and flowey, she has a great jumping form, plus she loves jumping and has so far gone up to 3' 6". There are a million more reasons but these are what I immediately think of. Terry is an amazing girl and I'm so happy I got her <3
Name - Dixie
Age - 21?
Gender - Mare
Breed - Arab/Unknown
Height - 15.2 hh
Discipline - Greeny beany! Mostly trails, going to start more english flatwork.
Dixie was rescued from the feedlot two years ago by my neighbors. She turned out older than they had hoped and her body was very unhappy. They left her in the pasture and did nothing to improve her joints, weight, or digestive system. Last year when I got Terry we brought her over to be friends. The two had been staring at each other from across the road for days. The only time Dixie would leave was when she got fed and sometimes she wouldn't even leave for that. Now they are inseparable. Dixie is now mine and I have given her supplements and put weight on her. She is as happy as can be and for once in her life overweight. I have done groundwork with her and started riding. Our main goal is to have her go on trails with my dad and I but if things go well I'll also make her a flatwork riding pony. She won't be able to jump because of her age and weaknesses.
Name - Tiny
Age - 19
Gender - Gelding
Breed - Mini
Height - 7 hh
Discipline - Liberty, In-Hand Jumping
I don't have cute pictures of Tiny but trust me, he is adorable in person. Last year he was put up on Dreamhorse for free as a bonded pair with Flame, a 33 y.o. blind mini mare. We felt bad about moving Flame but we knew she could end up in a bad place so we rolled with it. They both adapted well. Tiny was a great jumper from the beginning and it was so much fun to watch him free jump. I've done liberty with him and a little girl rode him once. He had only ever done cart pulling but he acted like he had ridden all of his life. Flame unfortunately passed away in November and he was left heartbroken. Terry and Dixie started being much kinder to him and now they are a tightly wound family.
Name - Rosco (Show Name is a WIP)
Age - Almost 11 Months
Gender - Colt
Breed - Mustang
Height - Unknown, probably about 14hh now
Discipline - Too Young! Hopefully Eventing
In May Rosco came to the local foal rescue as a two month old orphan. He is a BLM mustang, part of the Eastern Washington herd management, and his mother was unofrtunately killed. I've been working with him since the beginning and now he acts like he's been with people all of his life. He's an amazing young man and I just know he's going to be an awesome riding horse.
I will also post my ride's with my lesson horse, Scooter. I don't know his info so I can't put it here.
If you have any training tips or exercises than feel free to explain below. I'm always eager to learn more about our four legged friends!
Also, feel free to ask me questions about training, riding, horse management, etc! I'd love to help out and test my knowledge ;)
Welp.. Almost 9PM and its about time to bring the horses in. I decide there's still time and I bring Terry into the backyard. We rode bareback in a rope halter during sunset.
- What Happened -
When we started trotting I was surprised by how smooth she felt and how I had the muscle to stick onto her. Her trot, bareback or saddled, are weird in a good way. She stretches her feet out in a smooth way but she also bumps you up. I got the feeling that this was going to be a nice ride.
We turned in random spots and around a random broken pallet. For the most part she was responsive and well behaved. Then we had our first bareback canter! I had never tried since her canter is so hard to ride. Once again she was quite smooth and easy to stick onto.
After that we mostly walked. Terry gets a bit anxious after cantering so I didn't want to get her used to the faster gait. I decided to try some leg yielding. I rely on my reins a lot for the movement and with less sensitive head cues my leg was needed even more. I took this as a good opportunity to practice relying on my leg instead of my rein which was a necessity. Yielding left we got our best leg yields ever. She was straight and stepping over nicely. Yielding right we had some trouble. They weren't the worst ever but we were crooked, she was unresponsive, and I knew she was confused.
Overall it was a good ride. I know the importance of leg but when riding I sometimes have trouble remembering it. Yielding left made it click in my brain that correct leg usage makes things work and hopefully my next ride will benefit from that.
They are all so cute!
The QH mare is absolutely beautiful! Reminds me of a mare that was with my family for 15 years.
I'm so glad you took inspiration from my thread! I will definitely be following along with your training as well!
Whoops! Was writing this last night and then I got distracted.Terry and I did flatwork plus a crossrail. Dixie and I went bareback in a halter in the backyard. Dixie can't ride in a bit because no matter what you do she gets her tongue over it. I also rode Whinie, my neighbors 13.2 "mutt" mare. I say that because they have no clue what breed she is.
- Thoughts -
Does anyone else ever do flatwork/dressage and on a random day/time you just feel like a professional? Or if you are a professional, you get the feeling that you can solve anything? I'll get an empowering feeling that improves my rides for the day. I automatically pay attention to my position, memorize the way I'm riding, and analyze what my horse is doing right or wrong. It helps me resort to finding the root of the problem instead of getting angry or giving up. I've always recognized the feeling but I never realized how it helps.
I'm going to make a goal for myself and I encourage you to do the same. Starting my ride with the intention of becoming a better rider with better horses. Going through reminding myself of forgiveness, patience, and pressure/release moments.
- What Happened With Terry -
We only tracked right because Terry was sweaty and I didn't want to push my luck. Our flatwork in the beginning was great. She was slow, round, on the bit, and bending. Terry has a tendency to let her butt come to the inside a bit. Her bum is so big that I can't really blame her. So, I commonly have to move my inside leg back to push it in and my outside leg comes forward to encourage her shoulders to straighten.
Our leg yields in the walk were great and I was glad I rewired my brain when we went bareback. She wasn't much of a fan of yielding in the trot though. Now I know to practice yielding in the trot.
Her canter was pretty controlled but I felt like we could have gone slower. Terry's canter takes a lot of getting used to and when you can finally sit it correctly its really difficult to control. It took me almost a whole year of having her to be able to ride it well. Though, to be fair, we spent a couple months doing walk/trot to build muscle for the canter.
There was a crossrail set up and I figured I'd give it a go. That's when I realized how green she still is with jumps. I was so focused on going higher so I could throw her in an event/derby. We are going to have to do a lot more crossrail/low vertical work. Terry kept swinging her butt out and not wanting to turn, causing her to land on the wrong lead. Then she would keep trying to fix it and wouldn't listen to me when I told her to trot. I had to go back to doing flatwork for a bit because she was so jumbled. In the end I got a decent jump and we finished the ride with licks and chews.
- What Happened With Dixie -
Dixie has only had a couple rides. Some were when her body was unhappy and she was being trained incorrectly (in my opinion). She has had a few with a happy body in the arena but the person on the ground was using a lunge whip to get her going which I wish she didn't do. This was her third ride with me in the backyard and we have made more progress than we ever did in that arena.
Since she's so green and so timid I made sure to move at her pace. I don't want her to get frightened or uncomfortable and associate riding with bad things. So the majority of the ride was practicing turning, halting, and moving from pressure at the walk.
Last time I rode her she would only trot toward her pasture where her friends were. This time she easily moved off my leg and trotted away. I couldn't steer her in the trot before but this time she was pretty good. I ended after a couple trots. Overall Dixie did a great job.
- What Happened With Whinie -
I used to exercise her but than some personal things happened and I stopped. She had time off and when she came back she was basically trying to kill her lesson kids. Bucking/rearing off inexperienced kids and sliding to stops with someone who was just learning to jump. Whinie likes to misbehave to make kids learn but this time she was just misbehaving to get out of work. Little did she know I was still around the corner ;)
Whinie was the first horse I did lessons on. From the beginning I had to learn how to deal with her and over the years I've progressed and ridden other horses for more experience. I'm always the one that comes and knocks some sense into her when she's misbehaving for the kids and she knows that I mean business. I don't fall off or get unbalanced when she bucks or rears.
I've ridden her once since she was being naughty and I believe I'm going to start daily. This time she didn't pull any crap, likely because she knows I can get her in trouble for it. She did a good job listening but she is overweight and out of the "english mindset". Hopefully I can get her back in and get her ready for derbies with my neighbor's little sister.
No one worked yesterday because I was lazy lol.
Will likely work Terry today.
Didn't ride yesterday because I was too "busy" rewatching Grey's Anatomy lol. Rode Terry today though.
Tomorrow I'm going to go see Rosco and have a lesson with a school horse. I recently got my first trailer (I had been hitching rides with my neighbor for schooling shows) so hopefully I can have a lesson with Terry soon!
- What Happened -
We stuck to tracking left to even out the work from last time. I didn't do the crossrail because the arena had been cleared and there was a lesson going on. She was really great and I felt good about the way I was riding. She framed nicely and kept an even pace. If she got rushed she listened to my half halts without a fuss. We had some nice 10 meter circles that were smooth with bending and flexion. Terry always has been a bit tougher to move off of the left leg and it shows in our leg yields. We're moving in the right direction with the walk but there is still a lot of work with trot yields.
I only cantered once because she did a nice job. I got her sitting on her bum a bit and framing. Her speed was just about as slow as she can go.
Sounds like a very nice ride!
I'm enjoying your posts. Thanks for sharing. It makes me smile as it brings back memories.
It was, Legacy! Thanks Whimsical ^-^
Sorry I haven't updated. I have, in fact, been doing things with the horses. I just forgot I didn't write anything lol.
I will be going to hang with Rosco in an hour and I have a Derby with my lesson horse tomorrow.
- What Happened With Rosco 6/31 -
I did a couple yield the hindquarters/forequarters and then started trailer loading. Rosco had only been in the rescue's trailer twice before; once he was carried in to come back from the BLM stuff and the other was me practicing. He would only go through the side door lol. Obviously most trailers don't have a side door, including mine, and when he's older he won't fit through one so that had to change.
When I put pressure on the halter he would put his left foot inside and then go back to standing normal. This was much better than our last loading session. In less than a minute I let him stand and have a quick break and he decided to walk in himself. I was very happy with him as this was the first time he ever went in through the big door.
Backing out was a bit sticky because Rosco was quite scared of the step. It wasn't a big deal. We'll work on it another day.
- What Happened With Scooter 7/1 -
Scooter is a horse at my lesson barn. I was supposed to have my lesson the previous day but he was accidentally double booked so we pushed to the next day.
This was honestly our best ride yet. He was great in every aspect and I *toots horn* did good too X3. We ran through our dressage test (BN USEF A) and he was round, responsive, and supple. Then we went outside and jumped a couple times before performing a course. He had energy, tempo, and cleared every fence nicely. It was amazing.
I think we're going to do good at tomorrow's derby.
- What Happened With Terry 7/1 -
I decided to practice braiding. Took a while but she looked cute and, to get rid of her pent up energy, I lunged her.
She was nice and responsive. Not much to say about lunging lol. When I was finished I realized that she was afraid of the green lunge whip so I desensitized.
- What Happened With Terry 7/2 -
I took her braids out before I started and it looked like she had a perm! It was so cute.
We kept warm up short, not wanting to have a super long ride but wanting to do a bit of jumping. She was super good. Round, bending, easy to turn, and for the most part responsive. A little more up-and-go when coming out of the halt would have been good.
I had two jumps in a one stride line and we started with pole to small vertical. I only brought her in at a trot. She was even-paced and glad to be doing what she loves. We kept getting our lead which I was happy about seeing as we had trouble with that last jump school. Then I changed it to two small verticals and she was just as great. Then I changed it to pole, pole, slightly bigger vertical. She was a little uneven at first but then she went great.
I did so both directions and it was amazing. Terry showed no sign of being the green bean she is.