Thursday, 8 June 2017

Shiraz post!

Who likes riding a fun little *broke* spotted pony? I do! Who has an untrained bay horse waiting in the paddock to be trained?      ...I do.   :P

Ground ties in exchange for cookies and scratches.
With all this fun I am having on Savvy, sometimes I have to give myself a nudge and remind myself Shiraz still needs training.

But once I pull her out of pasture and get to work, all the excitement and hope for the future seems tangible. Guys, she is just so gorgeous! I love this sweet, goofy bay horse. And although I am not looking forward to the hard parts that come with training (like dealing with early canter work), there is a great deal of the process that I love.

I few times the idea of sending her off to a trainer has crossed my mind. But. Every time I start thinking about who I would send her to, how would I ensure they would only do techniques I approve of and be considerate of her as a living creature and be fair in their training, I have to laugh at myself. I could not expect anyone to care about my horse like I do. Training a horse to me is not just A, B, C checked off a list of things to learn. It is building a relationship with trust at the base and building a thinking horse that wants to try for you. What I am looking for with Shiraz is not something I can get at a trainer's.

Word 'canter' means leap like frog, right? - Shiraz most definitely.
So now that her body is ready, it is time to get back at it.

I have only ridden her a couple of times this spring since her winter off to finish growing. These first few rides have gone well and she is quickly getting back to where I left off last fall. She seems a bit too uncomfortable to just walk under saddle and keeps wanting to slip up to trot (which is so fricken smooth, omg!) so I will just keep working on relaxing her with simple questions that she can figure out and build her confidence.

Lots of pets for a very good girl.
At the mounting block I have been taking my time to create patience and politeness. I will get on and off the mounting block, adjust tack, pet her all over, get on and off, etc. all in the goal of setting up the mounting block as a quiet place where she must stand and wait. Most horses tend to learn the mounting block is simply for the rider getting up and get anxious about standing there. I want Shiraz to know it means rest and wait no matter if I get in the saddle or not.

Once I get in the saddle, I tend to ask for something other than forward. Sometimes we will just stand and do flexion exercises, or perhaps back up a few steps, leg yield, turn on the forehand or haunches. So far it has been working very well and she stands patiently at the mounting block and waits for my question without trying to walk off as soon as I get up.

Apparently I tilt my head left when I ride, ugh.
It has all been going really well so far. I am still dreading asking for the canter this summer as she bucks like a pro bronc on the lunge line at canter. I will be doing as much prep before then though to help it go as well as possible.

My goal is to get her off the property a few times this summer, perhaps take her to an indoor arena a few times. I would also like to take her to the park for some hand walks. I am also considering bringing her to a few lessons with the coach who helped me with Savvy this past winter and spring. I am excited to see where we end up in a few months!



  1. She looks great!!

    I am sure that canter will come in no time :)

    1. Thanks! Yes, we'll get there (perhaps a lot more slowly than a trainer would take) but I am in no hurry.

  2. Oooh she looks fun! Good luck going back down this road again!!

  3. There's no hurry for the canter. It will come. She's a lovely horse!

    1. That's true, and there is so much to work on at walk/trot anyways!

  4. yay! Exciting. Don't rush just like Teresa said, it will all come together. Each horse has individual needs and speeds. And you know how I love those hand walks! They will be great for her!