Thursday, July 9, 2009

Back to Working with the Girls...

A gal with an arab gelding came by the farm yesterday. He just had to say hi to the big beautiful Ren. Ren pinned her ears and let him know that being fresh is NOT tolerated.

Since it's been pretty warm here, Ren sports ever so fashionable braids. Not only does this help with keeping her cooler, but it also assists me with not getting my hands tangled all up in her massive amounts of hair. I guess I COULD cut off most of her mane, but her long curls really are cute. It's taken forever for her to grow out a chunk of mane that was missing that I'd hate to see it all cut off.

Ren really does have a massively large head.

I realized that Ren is really toning up. Just look at this before/after picture of her. The picture on the right is her the day after she came off the trailer from auction, while the second picture was taken yesterday. I'll have to get a picture of her standing in a similar position to the first one to really get a feel for how she's changed.
You know, I just realized that most of the pictures are of Shae lately. I'll have to make sure we give Ren equal time.

Today Shae worked on change of direction...

...her very distinct and separate trots...
... extending out...
... and high steppin' Friesian style!
... trying to find some relaxation at the trot (not always easy for a breed that typically carries their head high...)
... and bending WITHOUT collapsing the shoulder in! (Susan, that picture's just for you!)

Then we did a couple canter circles at the end of the arena that Shae was acting goofy about two days ago. Apparently there was some kind of monster at this end of the arena that Shae wanted to turn and bolt away from. We spent quite a bit of time approaching and retreating from this end of the arena yesterday. (Note: I am still trying to figure out where this horse eating monster is hiding... perhaps it is behind the car? Lurking somewhere in the sand? Behind one of the posts?) Whatever it was, obviously it wasn't there today. Shae was great!
The only thing I can think of is that two days ago I was doing a bit of isolation exercises with Shae. For example, we did some one rein riding, then riding with me just giving her a leg cue I wanted her to respond with lightness from (no rein). During these exercises I really didn't care what direction she wanted to go in, I was just asking for forward (either walk or trot). However, when I applied the leg cue - I wanted her to respond with lightness to it without needing a rein to support. Transitioning from this exercise to a more collected style where I was using all of Shae's leg and rein cues to tell her where we were going might have given Shae the idea that she could be dominant. In any case, two days ago we spent a good 20 minutes down at the far end of the arena schooling through Shae's issue. It involved a lot of approach/retreat backing up, sideways, and (finally) relaxation on Shae's part. Yesterday, I started off riding more collected and Shae didn't seem to have any issues. Silly horse.

What did we do today?

Well, George and I did some groundwork and then hit the trails early this morning. He rode Shae and I rode Ren. Ren and I did a lot of canter work out on the trails today. Ren is SO much slower then Shae that anytime Shae breaks into a trot, Ren can work on her canter. It's really hilarious. Ren tries so hard! At one point, we startled some deer out of the corn field. Shae and the deer were running beside each other while Ren and I brought up the rear. No way were we ever going to catch them! As an aside, neither of our horses spooked at all when the deer came out running. I was very impressed with both of our girls. Ren just cast an eye in the deers' direction and kept cantering.

No comments: