White Flag?

It’s been a weird few weeks between mare and me. I’ve been switching things up, trying different ways to help her grow and learn. She’s been impersonating a freight train.

A very cute freight train.

O says "choo choo"
O says “choo choo”

Last night we finally decided to take a bigger step. Enter the new bridle set up for O. Hellllllo Pelham!
photo 1 (25)
And excuse the short noseband, it was previously on a much smaller horse.

Yes, it’s a step up, and I was a bit nervous. Once I was on and starting my lesson, O immediately started pulling, throwing her head, evading contact. All I did was pick up my reins, and lightly half halt. Out came O’s white flag. She was quiet, on the bit, and oh-so-soft at the trot and canter while we warmed up. I actually was able to follow her, soften my hands, and let her move. It was amazing. The few times she got sassy or tried to tuck and run, I was able to just sit up and she came right back.

Since O is currently very forward, and builds even more at jumps, we gave this a whirl-plan was to ride her to the base of the jump, make her wait, then give a big release, and sit quietly on the backside. After running through my hands, and the jump once, O quickly realized that 1. I wasn’t going away 2. Jumping over the jump would probably be easier. Once again, out came the white truce flag, and she would canter (more) quietly to the base before actually hopping over the jumps. Even better, she came back to me after the jump for a nice little 5 stride to a pole bounce. Forcing both her and I to use ourselves correctly, and not get long and strewn out. It was NOT pretty, but hot damn it was successful. And each time we did it she was less inclined to run amuck with me.

After a bit, I was able to use my seat to settle her, and my hands could follow. It felt amazing. We ended the lesson with lots of pats for O.

Note, she’s standing down a small hill, but look how great she’s looking! Also working some interesting hair looks right now (especially on her belly).
photo 2 (26)
Especially if you compare to a few weeks ago!

March 2014
March 2014

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