Joy’s Update

I haven’t really been riding much. For a while there the temps were high and the humidity would drown you. All of the animals slogged through it, but no one wanted to do anything more than absolutely necessary to survive.

This week the temps were much more reasonable. I think it’d been two weeks since I’d ridden Joy, so I longed her first. I’m really glad I did. While longing I was wondering if I had the balls to actually get on her. This is the first time I’ve ever seen Joy have some spunk. And by some I mean, a lot. There was a lot of bucking, pogo bouncing, bolting, and a couple of full height rears thrown in for good measure (I wasn’t on her).

It took me a bit to get her listening to me, but she finally came to her senses. It probably had more to do with the fact Joy is a fat, tubby, out of shape, lard ball currently. She was winded after only a few minutes. Haha.

I hesitantly climbed on…..

She was fine. Hyped up, but she never did anything dangerous while I was on her, and she quickly settled down once we were moving.

This is probably bad to say, but I was secretly pleased to see she had some spunk to her. She’s been so laid back and quiet that I was starting to wonder if she had any real fire to her.

Yup. She does.

The past several rides have just been trail rides with the neighbors. No arena work. She’s been doing fantastic on the trails. She’ll lead or follow. Nothing really gets her upset. She’ll walk over or under anything. And boy is she sure-footed. She’s like a cat.

Today I did some arena work with her. I was pleasantly surprised with how she did (considering my balance isn’t the greatest, and the footing is uneven). We even cantered a little.

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I haven’t cantered her much. I was trying to get her balance better, and her brakes a bit better. I think we’re close enough to start addressing the canter now. She’s still not straight, nor is she using her back, but she’s a little more balanced now.

My next goal is to get Joy comfortable trail riding alone. Today we finished up our ride with a nice walk up Fellah’s Lane (a wooded path along the long side of the pasture) and back down the neighbors side to come home. It’s far enough that you can’t see home, or any other horses, but not so far I can’t walk home on foot if needed. Heh. Joy did well though. She was really nervous heading out, which made me nervous, so I sang stupid songs to keep me breathing. And after a minute Joy settled down and started enjoying the walk. Over all, it went fantastic, and I think she’ll be ready for longer trail rides by herself soon. Which is necessary, because the neighbors don’t ride in the winter, so she’ll have to go it alone if we want to see anything but the side yard for the next 6 months.

….

Lazy horses!!

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My husband and I were unloading hay this morning and this is what the horses were doing.

….

This whole dressage thing is really starting to seem like an unattainable dream. I need lessons. I can’t afford them. At this point, my riding has deteriorated so badly that to even claim I’m a dressage rider seems like a misrepresentation.

We’re all over the map with issues to address. I don’t mess with the head except to ask for left or right flexion. She’ll either shove it against her chest or trot around like a giraffe.

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The above I don’t mind. At least she’s not behind the contact.

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The ducking behind the contact frustrates me!!

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She had a short moment where she almost seemed to meet the hand. But I lost it after a few strides. I still don’t like the neck curl there, but when I pushed my hands forward she stretched down briefly.

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We started shoulder-fore a little. She didn’t quite understand, and my balance was crappy. There were a lot of bobbles. She doesn’t bend very well. It’s better then it was, but still a long ways to go.

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Not sure what we’re doing here^^, but I’m making a face….

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Not quite bent around the inside leg here.

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Haunches in went well for two strides, then promptly fell apart. Haha.

On the plus side, she’s beginning to figure out the outside rein some. She isn’t immediately fighting me the second I use it, and occasionally she’ll let me rebalance her with it (if we’re not too off balance at that point).  She’s got “move off the leg” down pat for leg yields and I can straighten her some with the outside rein.  She’s sort of getting the idea of bend, and she tries to give me as much as she can.

Her transitions are getting better. She’s stopped fighting me about forward (as much). She balks less, takes less convincing, and we spend less time fighting about it.

Her transitions down are getting better. She stopped diving onto the bit and shoving her chin to the ground while bearing down on the bit. A few times today she let me push her into contact and she made the downward trans without fighting. A few times she curled. And a few times she balanced on the bit.

She’s still not very happy with the bit… I’m not sure whether to try a new bit, or give her some more time. The only time she opens her mouth, or chomps on the bit, is when I’m working on contact with her. Loose rein, or casually navigating turns, she never shows any issues with the bit. I may try to find a french link or something double jointed…  hmm.. not sure…

That’s the update. I should be further along in her training, but honestly, with the move and all the work both houses have needed (plus overtime at work), I’m shocked we’re getting anywhere at all.

The horses seem happy, so who cares. 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Joy’s Update

    • I’m very competitive. 😉 Actually, it’s been good to be forced to accept what is immediately in front of me, instead of constantly trying to hit goals or make progress. I get too obsessive about it.

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  1. She really isn’t doing that badly!!!! My guy was a terrible bracer…head flinging and mouth gaping if you touched the reins. It’s taken a long time to get him over it, and now sometimes he does go behind the vertical, because he’s not strong enough to carry himself for an entire ride…but it’s still better than flinging his head at least! He is also a huge bit chomper, I moved him from a KK Ultra to a myler knock off from Schneiders that he really likes. It’s double jointed but steadier than the loose ring lozenge type bit. I also have to keep the bit really high in his mouth or else he’ll put his tongue over it. A lot of this is retraining from when I rode him incorrectly while he was PSSM crazy, but we’re working through it together!

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    • I saw some of the video you had of him free lunging. You’ve really come a long way with him!
      I was wondering if something like the KK Ultra would work for my pony. I haven’t ever tried a myler bit. I’ll have to look into that! Thanks!

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