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TOABH: Who Trained Your Horse

Last week, we talked about our babies.  This week, let's talk about our greenies.  Who trained your horse?  Is your ponykins still in the process of figuring out this whole monkey-on-my-back thing, did you send off for thirty or sixty or ninety days, or did you buy a horse with all the bells and whistles?  Who has helped your horse become what he or she is today?

That answer is basically me :) I bought Katai completely untrained as a late four year old. She could kind of lead if you could catch her but she had a nasty habit of suddenly rearing, spinning, and bolting backwards away from you whenever you tried to do something she didn't approve of. She certainly didn't know how to tie, was tough to catch, aggressive, had no idea about forward, and had been thoroughly spoiled by her teenage owner. I believe that that girl had sat on her a few times and said that she'd had a saddle on her back but it actually just made things tougher since it had taught her that she didn't need to listen or do what a person wanted since eventually they'd give up. 

This was from before I got her. I can see both fear and some aggression from her in this picture and that's pretty much what I started with. Plus she was extremely obese.

Here she is about five months after I got her. She's standing tied, although there was still a lot of dancing and behaving like an idiot, and wearing a bit for probably the fifth time.

Wearing a blanket like a big girl. It only took me about 15 minutes to get it on. She was still wearing a safety halter since she was tough to catch.

More big girl things, wearing four boots, a surcingle and a bit and this was just before I started ground driving her. She looks so shaggy, undeveloped, and babyish here. I also think it's interesting that at this point her mane fell to the left and now it falls to the right. Apparently it has to do with the development of muscles.

Wearing her first dressage saddle. Such a baby!

First time on her back!!

This was right after one of our first real "rides" up until here we were either in a small enclosed space or mostly just doing mounting practice. At this point we were still just sticking to a walk. You can see though how much different her expression and posture are. She is calm and quiet and there is some trust there.

Working her at the first real boarding barn I kept her at and in her first indoor arena. This is where we went from just walking to doing trot and canter.

First real trail ride outside of any type of fence and down the road.

I don't have many pictures in between because I was always at the barn by myself and it was tough to get any plus I mostly worked on trot and canter over the winter when it was extremely cold and It was tough to have enough motivation to take off my gloves to use my iPhone camera.

And finally from October. I'm hoping to get more pictures soon!

I had such a great ride tonight. She is really starting to understand the lateral work and I'm getting a nice, relaxed, balanced response on a loose rein. Currently I'm focusing on leg yields to the wall and shoulders in. Haunches in used to freak her out and was a great way to get her to rear but she completely didn't understand shoulders in. Now she does well with haunches in and is finally starting to get haunches in along the wall :) Even better she is doing it on a soft feel and maintaining her balance, not sticking her head up in the air and getting hollow. 

I've also been focusing more on the canter. I think I'm going to need to go back to getting the transition nicely on the lunge. She used to pick it up immediately when I gave a specific vocal cue but now she just puts her ears back and races forward at the trot. I'm trying to figure out if it is me or if she just needs a reminder about what the canter cue means. 

Something to work on for next time!


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