Sunday, November 22, 2009

Moving forward

The past two days have been the best rides the pony has had, and I'm really happy with how she has been behaving. We are still only walking and trotting, but she seems to be settling into the expectations I have of her. I don't really expect or ask much from her at all. My priorities are forward and straight. I do ask her to bend to the inside when she starts looking to the outside of the arena, but yesterday and today it hasn't been much of an issue.

I loosen the tie down about an inch each ride, and right now its in a spot that really isn't tying her down much at all. It really just functions to keep her from throwing her head, which is what leads to her rearing. She will be ready for a regular martingale soon enough.

Sitting on a young green horse is interesting because you must be aware of your body at all times. Even at the walk I have to consider where my legs are, is my weight distributed evenly, am I providing even pressure on my seat bones, and where are my hands. Each of these things provides a cue for her. She has a sensitive mouth, and so I use my body and voice to ask her to slow before I use any hand. She does tend to rush though, and I have found that I do need to keep a constant feel on her mouth. Its clear that Heath emphasized headset with her, because the second I take up any contact, she drops her head into a frame. I don't mind this, but I don't want it to become an evasion tactic, which I'm sure it was with him. I still have her in the French Link full cheek snaffle, so I know its not that I'm using to much bit. I plan to continue to establish rhythm and relaxation with her, and I know that each day she likes life a little bit more. To me that is success.

All went well with Showstopper's vetting (she will need a good barn name). I believe she will be brought home tomorrow or Tuesday, and then we will trailer to Adam's on Wednesday for our first ride. Even though I haven't met her yet, I'm so glad Adam and Lacy called me about this horse. I'm really excited to meet her this week, from everything that I have heard, she seems like she will be a really fun project. She won't be shipped to NC until the end of December, where she will be in light training with Anne until I get back at the end of January. Since she is only three she doesn't really need to be ridden all the time. She has only had 12-14 rides on her at this point, but with her breeding, she has the potential to be something really special. It will be interesting for me to get a feel for the hunter world as well. Oh the possibilities!

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