Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Getting our learn on

Mia is marching right along in her learning adventure.  What have we learned? Well...

1. She CAN walk with her head down around the level my shoulder
2. She CAN stop when a person stops without needing a yank on the lead line (not 100%, but getting there)
3. She CAN be excited about something and NOT run the handler over or step on them
4. She can move her haunches away from pressure instead of leaning into the pressure
5. She can move her shoulders away from pressure instead of leaning into the pressure
6. She can pick all 4 feet up when asked (vs when it is convenient) and hold them on her own
7. She can stop when she hears the word Whoa (not 100%, but getting there)
8. She can back up with her head down (vs it being much higher than my own head)

Not too bad for a single week of work!  All of these were non-existent when she came here so I am really appreciating having some manners installed.  I still haven't figured her completely out but she is very laid back.  One of the best things about this horse so far?  She spooks at nothing.  NOTHING!  Chickens?  Eh. Deer?  Eh.  Weird shadows?  Eh.  They all elicit a pause and a strong look but she always, always walks right up to see what it is.  AWESOME!  She also isn't afraid of blanketing (yay!), was good for the farrier and can now be lead next to another horse without any issues.  Progress indeed!

Pedicure in progress!
Note her feet were in fact worse than this pic makes them look
We had our first ride last week.  The grooming went well and tacking up went well until it was time to bridle, up went the head and the nose was stuck straight out with teeth clamped in an attempt to avoid the bit.  Oh mare, you have no idea.  First, this isn't a curb bit ("You can't ride this horse in anything but a curb", yeah, we will see about that).  Second, I do this cool thing called bribery.  See, I give you a treat in exchange for taking the bit.  Deal?  It took several attempts but I got the bridle on without *too* much fuss.  She actually stood fairly still for mounting and from there it became quite obvious just how little the mare knows.  Legs are virtually meaningless, steering is sketchy at best and she constantly stops.  Well, I guess that is better than  a horse constantly taking off?!?  The first ride was a lot of walking and baby steps of steering with legs being applied to hopefully get her used to them.  We even trotted a few laps and man does she feel good.  She has a really big, sweeping stride and if I can get her to move out, she can really move.  Our first ride was about a half hour long.

Our second ride was more of the same.  There was less of a fight about the bridle and she is getting the concept of keeping her head down and taking the bit with a cookie at the same time.  We tried getting some basic circles and then one loop serpentine and while we looked like greenies who can't steer, she gave a good effort and she tried.  I also found that she will halt off of my seat all by herself, a button I don't have to install?  Cool!

Our third ride had much more progress.  When I went to bridle her, she actually put her head down and opened her mouth nice and wide to take the bit and bribe.  Then when we were done, she even kept her head down while I took the bridle off (with bribes of course).  Success!  We started the ride off with some walking and large circles but the main goal of this ride was to learn some leg commands.  With her stopped, I put my leg behind the girth and pushed and pushed (and pushed) and eventually gave a poke with my small, blunt spur until she finally figured out how to move her haunches away from pressure.  It took several tries however at the end of the ride she was getting it 75% of the time.  Yay!  I will ride again tonight and see what she remembers, thankfully she seems smart as well as laid back so hopefully we will speed right along!

In other news, I found her baby pictures on the back of her registration.  What a butt high cutie!
6-8 months old

6.5 years old
6-8 months old

6.5 years old


  1. boy did she grow into that butt! You'll have a great little mare in no time!

  2. She seems to moving along at Mach 10 so far!

  3. That's wonderful that she's learning so quickly. Of course, she has a great trainer :) I love your bridling trick, too (though I was always clumsy when I tried it).

  4. She is so cute! I can't wait to see what she looks like with more weight. She doesn't look 6.5 years old at all lol. She looks like a scrawny baby. She sounds so smart too. I bet you're having so much fun with her. Oh and her foot after the trim is so cute! I'm glad she found you. :D