Thursday, September 28, 2023

kindergarten crowd control

I've heard it said before that, 'you should never miss an opportunity to reintroduce yourself!' The context (I think) was relating to political candidates trying to win over potential voters... But the concept has always been interesting to me. 

enjoying evening daylight for as long as we can!
From a horse training perspective, the idea can be adapted to, 'never miss a chance to reinforce the fundamentals!'

first time under saddle in the indoor with company
Which is kinda where we've ended up after deciding to sorta 'restart' the restarting process with Doozy, following a weeks-long hiatus due to various lamenesses. 
she's starting to fill out a bit!
Basically, the idea is --- all those steps I saw as so important and fundamental in accomplishing, day by day, during Doozy's first week or two on farm.... Well, if they really are so important (hint: they are), then it's equally worth it to just go on ahead and do them all over again. 

mesmerized by there being two horses in the mirror now lol
Tho, ya know, things tend to go a little faster the second time around. And we did adapt some approaches based on earlier experiences. Like... Getting on down at the barn and riding up to the arena now, instead of hand walking like we did the first few times. Because #wecan.

getting used to sitting here
And we added a little more complexity to this, our 10th ride, too: riding indoors with a friend! Sure, it might seem like splitting hairs, since Doozy has been ridden in the outdoor dressage ring with other horses, and has hacked out a number of times with a variety of companions... 

getting used to this walk too!
But, eh, we don't take anything for granted around these parts LOL. Esp since Doozy hasn't actually been ridden in the indoor in probably like a month, not since her 3rd ride. 

lolz accidental canter step
Plus --- we wanted to do actual riding things this time too, not just basic existential type stuff lol. Like, we trotted (and accidentally cantered a step or two!!) around a (very) little bit in each direction while our riding buddy stood in the center. 

she was feeling a bit protective of that LH again, womp
I say a "very little bit" bc... Ugh, Doozy was not very comfortable on that left hind again. Womp womp womp. So we cut that short basically right away after ascertaining her discomfort, and reassured her that we understood how she felt. 

whelp, at least we got a few new experiences even if the actual riding part was cut short...
Obvi not ideal.... But ya know. Ugh. Horses. Still, tho, got to check off another new experience -- coping while another horse trotted around. Again, Doozy has experienced this in hand, but this was her first time being ridden in proximity to other horses moving at speed. And she definitely noticed and felt a certain sort of way about it, but was basically fine. 

izzy's old running martingale is the perfect fit!
So, eh, we walked another lap or two quietly and obediently, then dismounted, told her she was the bestest girl (aside from the whole soundness thing), then hand-walked her back down to the barn while our barn buddy went off to actually proceed with their own schooling session. 

oh mare, pls just be sound so we can do things!
So, eh, not exactly what we'd hoped for, but at least a positive experience, maybe? 

One note for myself going forward: Doozy is definitely looking for a bit more firm direction from me. I've been careful not to do anything to make her feel boxed in or claustrophobic, but she definitely tests limits in a way that makes me think she's looking for leadership. For example: rooting the reins once or twice in a row right before wanting to spurt forward a bit. Or not wanting to stand for the 3 seconds it takes to run up my stirrups. 

So a reminder to myself: just keep asking for that little bit more, raise my expectations a bit, and keep setting clear + consistent limits and boundaries even as I continue allowing her a certain amount of freedom and softness. 

Anyway. Another ride in the books. We're officially into the double digits lol (not that we're counting.... and definitely not that we're counting the number of unique lameness events either, siiiigh). Slow and steady, one way or another, right?


  1. Such a good girl! If only we could now be a *sound* girl...

  2. Good girl!! I love your approach. I have a hard time finding the line between ME focusing too much on a new experience and shaping my expectations to something being his Goggles first experience (ie me not stressing when the horse we're riding with leaves, but also acknowledging that several sane trot circles alone and then a return to the barn is all that is reasonable to ask him). Also my heart hurts hearing she's NQR still. Ugh, little mare.

    1. to be honest, i kinda forgot how hard it was not to take some things for granted with these young / green horses! it's tough knowing where to draw the line, i just keep repeating to myself over and over, 'don't get greedy, don't get greedy!' --- but at the same time, the horse clearly needs me to push and hold her a bit more accountable in certain moments too...

      getting to be more consistent in working on these little puzzles is definitely making a difference, so hopefully we can get a handle on that pesky bum LH!

  3. It’s always a judgment in the moment as to when to push and when to ease off. I wonder if her abscess isn’t done. That’s the problem with those that break at the coronet band. Hopefully that’s all it is.

    1. thanks, yea that's my vet's general feeling at the moment


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