Saturday, January 15, 2011

Better and better!

I think I know what was wrong with Amber yesterday.

It was extremely cold, so everyone was inside all day. Amber likes her stall in foul weather, but she doesn't consider cold to be foul weather, and she wanted to be outside. Today she got to go out and she was much more cheerful. I love how she comes over when you call her name! She seemed glad to see me, and I tacked her up and we got to work.

The head was better today. She still 'bobs' a little. She gets down on the bit for a few seconds, and then something will catch her eye and I have to get her attention back. But give and release (without throwing away the contact) seems to do wonders for her.

Her hind end was working today much more than it has been. Andrea said she could tell. She was a little softer at the trot, but still has a way to go. However, progress is progress. We've been at this a week. While I've ridden her for a few months already, we never did 'real' dressage work. She's new at this, and I keep that in mind.

Canter transitions were okay. Not as nice as yesterday, but the quality of the canter itself was better, and she even did a nice 20m circle for me. Her circles are 100000x better now. Going across the diagonal is 100% better. Her leg yields are improving. She's learning fast and I think she likes it!

Her only thing is learning patience. When we were cooling out, she saw some people standing around in front of the barn and wanted to get pissy with me because I wouldn't allow her to go over to the fence. She's an attention hound, and not being able to go over there made her mad. I was determined that she could pull in that direction all she wanted, but I would spin her around all day until she stood still. Finally, she gave up the fight and NOT at the gate. And I got off. Hopefully it will get into her head that she finishes a lot quicker when she behaves.

I notice she gets a little more rushy and on the forehand towards the end of our workout. Little less easy to get back. When she gets this way, I make her work properly, then end the session. She's not conditioned and what she is doing is hard for her, so while I want her to understand that she doesn't get to say when we are done, I also don't want to overwork her, so I try to be attentive to when she's tired and has worked enough for one day.

I need a cooler though! She worked up a sweat today in 30 degree weather. She stayed in her stall until she dried off.

That's Tater, the barn mascot. He decided that the feed room is his stall. Isn't he ADORABLE?


When I went to put my saddle pads away, I was unable to do so because this fluffy ball of cuteness had decided to take a nap on top of them!


  1. Ah, sometimes I can't make my bed because of similar fluffy balls of cuteness.....*G*

    Good work with Amber. I'm sure she's developed some habits from her time as a school horse about patience and doing what she's supposed to do. You will work it out, I'm positive.

    The dressage work seems to be going well. She sounds like a fast learner.

  2. Ahh that pony is so cute, reminds me of my mini. I love your picture in the heading, her tongue is sticking out, lol!
    Also I nominated your blog for an award. Come visit my blog to get it :)

  3. I do love kitties. I can't remember if I mentioned it yet, but a feral cat had kittens at my house! They are adorable. Now we have to catch mommy and daddy and the three babies and get them fixed - we are keeping all of them. Hopefully they will be good mousers!

    Amber as definitely developed some 'bratty' habits, but the good thing is, she is easy to correct because she wants to please. And my whole philosophy is: correct, not punish, and don't make a big deal out of anything. Most issues only become a big deal when YOU make it a big deal!

    Checkmark - They believe Tater is a mini x Shetland. He was a rescue. His feet look awful and overgrown, but previous owners neglected his feet so badly that when he is properly trimmed, he goes absolutely dead lame. He's in his mid 20s, and still going strong! Fortunately, the barn owner knows just how to tend to his feet to keep him sound.

    And thank you so much! I'm honored! :D

  4. cool blog

    While ther is definately a taboo against chestnut mares, they are all i seem to have, and they have been fantastic to me so far. Trained one to PSG dressage and evented her to 1* level. my other one is 6yr old now is just doing third level and hopefully will do grand prix dressage one day!

    Also i was a working student in a dressage barn the guy i worked for had trained over 15 horses to grand prix his favorite and first GP horse ever was a little chestnut mare with a fiery tempermant

    chestnut mares rock keep up the good work and check out my blog

    i am going to train my wild horses to do dressge

  5. I have always heard it, but never personally bought into it. But I thought it would be an adorable blog name! ;) And I have chestnut mare syndrome - I'm madly in love with a chestnut mare!

    Amber's definitely what I'd call spirited, *but* she has good manners and a sweet personality. Sometimes a little 'fire' is good.