Wednesday, 3 June 2015

The saddlery

As much as I love my showjumping and dressage training I am very greatfull for all the non-schowjumping/dressage hours I've got here. I've learned so much more about horses by stepping a back from all I already knew about horses, or thought I knew.

Here at Steve and Charlotte's I ride 3 of their horses. 3 different objectives in 3 different saddles. 

Starting off with dear Milo.
This fatty Charlotte broke in herself a couple of years ago. 
As you can see I ride Milo in a European (English) saddle. This gives me my daily feed of dressage. Well, not really dressage but you'll understand what I mean I think in comparison with the other saddles.
Anyway I work with Milo almost everyday. I can really ask him to collect and walk(trot/canter) up which is great. I love seeing him progress as I ride him everyday. It gives me just that little bit more satisfaction seeing him progress because I actually know what I'm aiming for and how I want him to work. Which is somewhat different with Bobby, for instance.

This is Bob, Steve's stallion.
Bob I ride in Steve's roping saddle.
 This super comfy saddle is awesome, it's heavy as and a pain to get on his back properly but once you've got it in place and you're sitting in it, it's like sitting in your sofa. Awesome.
Bob isn't your typical ass hole stallion, he does test you (like every horse does eventually) and he is a bit more stubborn than your average gelding perhaps but he's willing to work for you and won't play up a every little thing which is great.
I hope to get back to work with him soon as I haven't done much the last couple of days with him because of his sensitive feet, but as soon as Steve's got some time to shoe him we're off again! 

Thirdly I'd like to introduce you to Chilli, Steve's quarter horse mare.

I'm doing mostly ground work with her at the moment but if I ride her with a saddle I ride her in an Australian stock saddle as on the picture above.
Chilli is a great horse, I'm sure of it. It's just that I'm finding I hard to calm her down for a relaxed ride. Even without asking anything from her but to walk around the big paddock she seems on edge and ready for action which isn't a bad thing I guess. But I'm doing a lot of ground work with her, some awesome things Steve taught me to open her mind so she relaxes more with me too hopefully. Meanwhile I'm also working on the little issue she has with bringing her head down and following her head into a turn. She can turn unbelievably quick by stepping over with her front feet (which is what you want your horse to do) but she doesn't turn her head and neck in doing so, so I'm trying to get her relaxed with her head down and turning with her head and neck as well as the rest of her body. 

And than there's creamy.
(Creamy is the cream coloured pony in the middle, obviously)
Creamy is an about 2 year old unbroken pony. She's a quite ignorant and belligerent little thing. So I'm trying to do some ground work with her to, to open her mind that we humans are awesome to be around!

Now that Steve's back I hope we're going to find some time soon to get this big boy out of the big back paddock.
Meet Wilson! 
We got this cutie pie a couple of days after I arrived. This horse is what you call a blank page because it has no history with humans in any way (we think). After Steve managed to get a halter on him, load him on the float and drive him home safely he lived in the round yard for a few days before he got castrated as they don't need two stallions on the property. So now that his booboo is all healed up and forgotten about mostly I am excited to start putting some real things on him.
It's amazing to learn about thresholds and teaching a horse to be brave and a these other little things that do make the difference for the rest of their lives.

I can't wait to put all these new things I've learnt (both on the ground and in the saddle!) into my showjumping and dressage training!

More about the good life soon ! 
xoxo Lizzie

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