1st week

This stunning 6 year old sorrel 14.1 hand mare was rescued from the feedlot in May 2006. She has been started under saddle and is available for adoption to the perfect home.

1st week

Postby myhorsefaith on Sun Jul 29, 2007 4:16 pm

OK, so i thought i'd title these threads by the weeks since i plan on working with Miss Class every day. If I did a thread for each day...that would be 30 new threads. :lol:

Today I got out to the barn and it was dumping rain. Dang it. The girls who do the morning feed and turn out were there, and they told me Class was a champ this morning, and there were zero issues turning her out with the bossy mares. I was a little nervous about it- just because I know that group of mares. But sure enough, Class immersed herself like she's been there her whole life. All was calm and good.

Finally the rain let up a bit so I pulled her out, and did a quick grooming session, and then brought her to the arena before it started raining again.

I decided not to ride today, but to freshen up the basics like forward, stop, back, and steering from the ground. Class did great with forward, stop, back, but had a harder time letting me drive her front end around. I can disengage her hind all day long, but the front is awfully sticky. I've found that dominant horses have sticky front ends- and we can see that when they play with one another. He who moves the other horses feet is the winner. What a fun game that is! :shock: :lol:

So, without it being a huge deal, i just played with the idea of driving the front end around, and soon she did it. But then she wanted to run away- getting us out of position. So i just calmly put her right back where we ended, and tried again. Soon we were driving game fools. 8)

It'll be interesting to see what tomorrow brings for our relationship. I plan on doing little things like this to make our riding time much more valuable. I was really happy with the level of softness I got, so I hope we're on the right track!

ttfn,

Ally
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Postby myhorsefaith on Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:49 am

Monday: Class got a day of rest. I had a bit of a hoof emergency with my ottb mare, and my friend's paint gelding. So by the time we were finished it was dark and 10pm. I did love on her in her stall. The nighttime feeder/ turn in person thinks she's a lovely mare. Everyone is excited to see her get going.

Jeez, I need a covered and lit arena. :lol:
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Postby cat_67 on Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:03 am

I hear you. I have a 3 year old at my house right now and she NEEDS to get ridden so last night I just said, OK, I am going to ride and if it means I get up at 5 AM and pick up poop, so be it. And that is exactly what I did.
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Postby myhorsefaith on Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:11 am

I am so dreading winter :( And sadly, it's on its way no matter what i think. :(

I'm hoping this years is a little more mild than the last...but who knows what Mother Nature is going to dish out.
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Postby cutiepiepmu on Tue Jul 31, 2007 11:19 pm

Is Red Barn the old BLUE SPRUCE stables in Redmond??? Just curious - the barn looks familiar and I know that the place was sold a while back.


Sara in WA
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Postby myhorsefaith on Wed Aug 01, 2007 5:06 am

nope- its an 80 acre facility off May Valley Rd in Renton :D
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follow me...!

Postby myhorsefaith on Wed Aug 01, 2007 10:35 am

Last night i got to the barn and there was a big truck parked in the arena. :shock:

So, after helping a friend with her horse, i went out to find Class. She's so easy going to work with, I want to be cautious about how much I push her. She is green, and I do not want to ruin her desire- its a careful balance. The better i get to know her the better i'll be able to judge what i can ask for without her getting sour. So for now, slow and steady- just a routine of seeing me at about the same time every night. each time being a pleasant experience.

I spent the evening getting to know her, and her getting to know me. I went out there without a halter, and just spent time petting her and playing a few games, getting her to follow me around, me mirroring her actions, and vice versa.

A few times when she was acting like she wasn't paying any more attention to me, I'd just walk away from her, putting my focus on something else- another horse, a plant, something... She'd continue to do her thing, and at about 10 feet away, her head would pop up and she'd come seek me out. hehehe :lol: oh...so you really are paying attention? :lol:

I'm not sure what we're going to do this afternoon, since I'll not be at the barn for very long, and it'll be the hottest part of the day. I may revisit some ground work we did on Sunday, and then tomorrow, when my student is able to take pictures, we'll do some riding to see how well the groundwork transferred.
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Postby Juliane on Wed Aug 01, 2007 10:41 am

Hehe! Class is so cute! I can just see her popping her head up! Quite the interactive one! Is she enjoying being out on pasture?

I can't wait to see her when I meet you at your barn later this afternoon! Thanks again for playing with her! You're the best!
Feel the Spirit, Keep on Riding!
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Postby myhorsefaith on Wed Aug 01, 2007 10:52 am

ya she seems to really like it. the herd of mares go back and forth all day long- and they actually spend quite a bit of time on the hogsfuel sacrifice lot section, hanging out by the arena, snoozin' in the center, along the rail, and by the water tank.

they are free come and go, and they choose not to graze all day.

see ya later, Julie!
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Postby myhorsefaith on Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:49 am

Wednesday: We went to see Buddy. Julie and I hung out with Class in the pasture...Class introduced us to her new friends. That's it! :lol:
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Postby myhorsefaith on Fri Aug 03, 2007 11:04 am

Thursday: Class and I got back to work after a few days of simple bonding time.

Today we mainly worked on steering- basically point the nose somewhere and follow it! :D I tried my bitless bridle her as well.
I'm a little confused about how its supposed to fit-esp the throat latch pieces... so Cat, if you can offer some tips, they'd be much appreciated. :? :)

Class definitely understands "forward" and she understands the upward transition to trot. We need to keep working on that front end sticky-ness/brace. she's getting better but that's definitely something she's holding on to :lol:

After I was done I had my student go for a ride. Class walked out right on que and did just what was asked of her. We were able to get some pictures...but for some reason my student didn't forward those to me, :lol:

On the ground:
Image

Ally laughing while being caught in the moment of reminding her where my space begins and hers ends...and the look on that face! I believe she's wanting to tell me to "shove it" LOL

Image

Riding...Class is definitely green. She's pretty squirmy under saddle, and generally not balanced just like a green bean usually is. She's getting the hang of it, though! Her trot is very smooth, feels like a horse size stride.

I also played with a riding crop today as a desensitization thing- no need to use it, but just to play with it on the ground and under saddle. So I'd occiasonally stroke her with it and play the friendly game with the thing.

Image

Image
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And Canter!

Postby myhorsefaith on Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:59 pm

Friday: Got to the barn earlier than expected today- so i rifled through my tack boxes in search of a headstall and bit that would fit the little miss.

Her mouth is a little smaller, and i have mostly big bits. I do have this Myler mullen full cheek snaffle thats a little smaller than my others, so i decided to try it.

I also decided to play saddle swap. A friend of mine has a bunch of saddles at the barn, and I remembered that one of her treeless saddles, the Sensation, seemed to fit Frank pretty well- who is built down-hill ish. Class is the same way, but not as drastic. so i thought i'd give it a whirl.

Well, with the super lush skito pad and the sensation, i actually liked it quite a bit! I think I may use this combo from now on.

Ok, now for the meat of the session. Class and I reviewed the previous day's exercises, and she was great. So then i decided to go back to the idea of circling, or longeing, and see how that went. Now when you try to send Class, she'll typically run really fast and then spin on a dime to face the handler. Of course, this was no different. The problem is still the front end sticky-ness. So I decided to break it down and do some more exercises to soften the give of her front end in all directions. and then i also mixed in some friendly game to get back to zone 4 ish. Once that was all good, i started to ask her to take forward steps from that zone. She's ok if i'm right next to her, but her lack of confidence and attitude come out when i step 4 feet away, as if she were on a mini longe circle.

So, a couple times doing this, i saw a pattern- run real fast, turn & face...and miss class rewards herself because the handler is getting out of position! So I decided to do what it took to see her through this- since sending wasn't enough to get her on a circle. so i basically kept my distance to about 5 feet away and would not let her get me out of position. if she did spin to face i'd just keep my focus on her stifle area. it wasn't long until she realized that it wasn't working anymore. so voila, Class was on a longe circle. the second she decided to go on the longe circle, i'd release the pressure and praise like all get out. Did this a couple times in both directions and hopefully I'll see the fruits of my labor tomorrow, LOL. :lol:

After that fun we took a long friendly game break, and then i hopped on her. Her steering was good, and she was doing much better overall. I felt her ribcage was softer and there was generally more bend everywhere...and in the right directions :lol:

Did some walking, some circles, and some trotting, keeping her on the rail for a few laps at a time.

And she was doing so well I decided to see what she'd do if I urged into a canter. And so canter we did! She sort of ran into it, but it was well done and she kept it up nicely!

The girl has NO buck in her at all. I was telling Julie tonight that Class's main concern is controlling that front end of hers- she doesn't use what she's got behind her withers. And that's good news to me! I dont want to get bucked off a pony! :lol:

Hopefully I'll be able to get more photos this weekend. My photographer was late tonight so no photos. Class will probably have the day off tomorrow because of crazy schedules.

Three cheers for Miss Class! She's a neat little mare!
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Postby cat_67 on Sat Aug 04, 2007 10:17 am

I am working with a 3 y.o. right now who'd gotten away with stopping, facing you and then hauling backwards at a rapid clip on the longe. Guess what, 4 days of work and she's quit doing it. It's amazing how fast the wheels turn when they realize it is not going to work with you. Now I just have to get her to stop running backward under saddle. The dimwit who trained her overdid the "spur stop" so she reacts to ANY leg by balking and running backward. Right now the only way I can keep her consistently moving forward is with a ground person. I bet she catches on within a month though - she's not stupid, she's just been taught the wrong things!
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