Some Days – We’re a Drama Llama

One thing May has really lacked as we have bumped up her fitness is true connection. Sure, she’ll put her head down and look cute, but the back end wasn’t taking on the workload like it should. Part of this was likely the soreness of the hind end that has since resolved with the injections. My original plan was to do a long and slow walk on Saturday, when the weather was supposed to get up to around 50, and then do real work on Sunday when it was going to be a bit cooler.

Instead, about 40 minutes into our long and slow walk, I realized something. I had no breaks. She wasn’t “running” away with me, but any aids I gave to halt were met with straight up refusal. The head got flung in the air, and she just barreled on. No mare… That’s not how this works. So I spent the next 20 minutes establishing a halt, and I decided that we probably needed a few minutes of actual work.

Might have been cold today. But the sky looked like art. #may #horsesofinstagram

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I hopped into the outdoor arena and began asking her to move off each leg, and I was met with… nothing. I swear some days this horse puts in ear plugs, decides that she knows how to be a trail horse, and that should be her true occupation. Today, however, I had my Dressage whip in my hand. So after she ignored my rather wrong leg aids, I gave her the slightest tap with end of the whip just behind my leg. Cue May flinging herself sideways and throwing her head around like I was beating her to death. The yield got rewarded, and the dramatics got ignored.

After a few more leg yields each way, with less and less drama and definitely no more of the whip, I asked her to step into the trot… And I got “ER MAH GAWD, RUNNING NOW!” I just concentrated on keeping my body still and slowing the front end. Slowly, the weight rocked back, and we finally got some solid work in.

I added in a couple of minutes of canter. (the canter was really nice, and we we were over the dramatics by then.) Then, we went back to walking for another 15 minutes, and we sprinkled in some really nice, soft halts. See the math? Ended up being an hour and a half ride… because she didn’t want to halt.

I did end up getting some (rather poor) media from this. May looks mostly the way she felt, which is a good thing, but GOOD LORD what are my hands doing? Definitely putting more of on emphasis on bending my elbows and riding her up into my hands again. However, I am really happy with how well she is doing with trot poles. This has to be the clearest point of improvement for her after injections. Before, she would try to stuff an extra step into the poles or even just knock them around. Now, she is properly pushing through them, even when she comes in under powered.

Does your horse ever have days where they prefer to be in charge?


Updates with Video

I was DETERMINED to get media on Tuesday. May felt so much better, but I hadn’t had any opportunity to see if she looked better. Haven’t we learned by now that if we are REALLY DETERMINED to get something done with horses on any kind of a timeline, the universe will make it as difficult as possible?

Enter – The Ride That Just Was

I showed up to the barn after work to find some serious winds. The 60 degree day felt more like it was in the 40s, and the sun was stubbornly sitting behind some clouds. I figured video quality wouldn’t be great outside, but it would be fine. I had plenty of time until dark. (In case anyone was curious why May needs a muzzle in March, it’s because the below is her turnout field right now!)

I climbed out of my car. Opened up my trunk. And discovered I had left my tall boots and spurs at home. Fine. I will ride in my paddock boots that don’t zip anymore. Nevermind that I am wearing my slickest pair of breeches. On a positive note, May is responding to getting cookies every time I catch her in the field. She walked a total of 8 steps towards me, and I am calling it progress.

I threw on my Dressage saddle (jump saddle + paddock boots + slick pants + wind + alone = no way… seriously, I would rather ride bareback), and I hopped up. After doing our walk work, I found a great place to set up my phone. I learned over to set it up, and May spooked, shooting forward (like 2 steps, but still). A few 4 letter words left my mouth, and I tried to set up the camera again. Not perfect, but I really just wanted to see a few trot steps (and maybe catch a clip of her going over some poles).

#blurry #ponyspam is better than no pony spam! #may #horsesofinstagram

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I picked up  my trot, trotted through the poles. Then, I had a brilliant idea. I would trot directly away from the camera to assess her back end better. Brilliant! I looked for my phone… and saw it face down in the dirt. The wind had taken it for a ride. UGH! But I am determined. I am an eventer. I do not give up on pony media!

So I went into the indoor. Resigned myself to getting blurry, mostly crappy media, and set up my phone. Then, I realized a new problem. May in the indoor is significantly less forward than May in the outdoor. Without spurs or a whip… I was without recourse. The ride was… blah. Without her securely in front of my leg, the contact was very inconsistent (apparently, forward is important or something). Her canter work was flat and shuffly.. but the walk was surprisingly nice. All the walk work we have been doing out of the ring with hills and such seem to be making a real difference.

I tried doing some lateral work.. that was laughable. She kind of shuffled sideways while flipping me the hoof. I don’t think it was a response to things hurting, but I do think it was response to being out of shape and lacking muscle. It ended up being a short ride, as I felt myself getting frustrated, and I knew nothing good would come after that point. I got off, gave her the rest of my apple, and put her back out in her field.

There is always another day… Especially when the rider’s lack of preparation is 90% of the problem. But I AM HOPING to have better media next week. Maybe even some jump media if I can convince the husband to make a barn trip with me…

How are you all getting back into the swing of things?

One Week Update

Saturday was our “one week” mark from May getting her injections. I wish I had more media to share with you, but I will explain why that wasn’t possible. Promise!

All in all, May felt really good. She has always had trouble through trot poles.This weekend, there were 4 fairly spaced trot poles set up in the outdoor, and we could do them from a slow trot without an issue. She could push through them without falling on her forehand and running past my aides. But why no media? Well, both days this weekend we had to share the arena with the horse-eating carriage.

Today we learned that the cart does not eat horses. #horsesofinstagram #may #isthatspringisee

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In fact, on Saturday, our ride lasted  more than an hour. We walked, like usual, started our trot, then the carriage showed up. May was… not amused, so we walked. We followed the carriage for about 15 minutes. Then, they started trotting, which makes a lot more noise, and May had to be convinced to follow it again. By then half hour mark, we could reliably walk and trot with the carriage in the arena. Then, I tried to canter, and May put up a big fight. Flinging her head around, not allowing me to sit on her, and trying to run off with me… Fun. When I got a decent canter, I let her walk.

Then, the carriage needed a video, so I ended up walking around the arena while they took the video. After the video, I asked for the canter again, and I was able to get a mostly relaxed and collected canter. Whew!

The next day, I showed up to the barn still a bit sore from the day before (holding back the May freight train was a workout!). Of course, as soon as I tacked up, the carriage horse went out to get hooked to his trailer… cool. I went out and got on before they got out there, and another rider lamented that if the carriage came into the ring, she would probably end her ride.


Nope. No Way. Not doing that. It was one of the first 50 degree days with sunshine in a while. I didn’t have time to stop my ride and pick it up again. We were riding through this.

Luckily, May ended up being a lot more relaxed about the carriage this time around. Not totally relaxed, but at least, totally rideable. In fact, I ended up loping over a few fences with her, all of which she took quietly and out of stride. Good girl!

Hopefully, we can get a real jump school in soon. Has your horse ever seen a carriage? Or have there been any majorly “spooky” things you have had to school your horse through at home?


3 Word Blog Hop

I am so behind on this one, but I thought it would be an entertaining one for May.   Three Day Adventures with Horses started this blog hope, and I figured better late than never! Below are 3 words that I think describe May, although she would probably tell you differently.


It is not that May is every really bad. However, she will 100% let you know what she thinks about whatever it is you are doing. Our first ever lesson? She tried to run out the gate on me while we were just trotting around. The right shoulder dropped, and she spun towards that open gate. Our first BN event, I gave her a tap on the shoulder at the first jump, and she jumped over it like it was on fire. How dare I touch her with that weapon. I mean, the below was just because I wouldn’t canter her around with bit loops in the reins, while she plowed along the forehand:




You know that old saying that an elephant never forgets? May never forgets. Good behavior stays pretty solid, but a bad behavior once learned has to be forcibly unlearned. She is also fabulous at making decisions. Not sure about the footing on cross county? She will slow down and figure it out, no matter how wound up she is. If terrain changes, she is going to read it and adjust accordingly, not just throw herself down a hill and hope for the best. (see the below jump then hill sequence to see what I’m talking about)


May Downhill


That’s right. I think my draft cross, unflappable, corgi horse is complicated. And she is. My trainer often reminds me that she is not a straight forward ride. I have to ask for things correctly, or I do not get them. If I let things go wrong once (i.e. let her run down to a jump on her forehand), we will be spending the rest of the lesson fixing it. She might not run out, take off, spook, or throw me, but she challenges me everyday. It shows up in new ways every day.

One day, she will stand perfectly still to be groomed and tacked up, other days she wants to dance around and needs to be constantly reminded that her feet should remain still until I tell them to move. It makes her decisively not a beginner horse, and often not a horse for an accomplished rider that lacks strong horsemanship. She has run away (in a slow trot) with at least 3 people, and she once put a friend of mine in the dirt after a small crossrail. How? She just put her head down and shook it, but she could tell she wasn’t being taken seriously. She let everyone know that was a bad idea.

She might be the least spooky horse I have ever ridden, but if she feels you aren’t paying attention, she will decide the trail ride should be over, and it’s time to head back to the barn. It’s never mean or nasty and is more of a gentle attempt to get her own way than dangerous, but I have no doubt that if she wasn’t corrected properly, her behavior would snowball. I will say though, that this kind of rebellion gets more subtle and less severe as the years have worn on.

❤️ #may #palomino #draftcross #ponylove

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Plans & Horses

Remember that cool calendar I made at the beginning of the month? And the vet appointment I had set for Saturday? We make plans and ponies laugh. This weekend was going to be the perfect weekend to get I all done. The forecast called for warmish weather and some rain, I had a three day weekend, and May had been in fairly steady work for a few weeks now.

Then, I got the call from the barn at 3:30PM on Friday…

May had a small ulcer and significant scratch on her eye. Instead of my lameness evaluation on Saturday, we got a stain and recheck of the eye. As you can see, that damage took up a serious amount of stain (but swelling an general pain seemed to have eased).

The green part is what needs to heal...

(The green is the damaged part of the eye) Saturday, it also snowed…

A @subaru_usa in its natural environment #snow #ItWasntSupposedToSnowToday

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MMMMMMK! So instead of working, May got the day off. Not a huge deal. Unfortunately, I had already planned on Sunday being a day off because I had things to do related to real-life and not-horsey life. However, I still made multiple trips to the barn to give May her eye medication. (Glad we moved a lot closer because 15 min 3x a day is a lot easier to swallow than 45 min 3x a day… and the barn is mostly on my way to and from work this week)

On Monday, I awoke to a 65 degree day… a day that was going to get up into the 70s. May still has her winter coat. Immediately, I knew that we would be having no heavy workout. Instead, I opted for a long, forward walk with some hills it in. May got warm and a little sweaty, but never to the point where I was concerned for her. She still has a heavy coat and trot & canter sets after the weather spikes are definitely not what the doctor ordered. The long walk encouraged her to drink some water, but she cooled out really quickly.

I even got the opportunity to wash her legs and tail. I know her legs will be covered in mud again almost immediately, but I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to get things cleaned up and to make sure I wasn’t missing any sores/scratches/irritations/etc. All checked out, and as a bonus, May’s farrier showed up clean legs and feet! He was, understandably, pretty thrilled. (He even texted me about her eye, as I hadn’t thought to warn him about it.)

The actual lameness evaluation will take place this Saturday, as long as everything clears up with the eye. Since she got banamine for the swelling in the eye on Friday and Saturday, the vet didn’t feel like it was worth doing a lameness evaluation, as it would be too easy to miss something. Since they’re coming to recheck the eye this Saturday, there is no harm in putting off the exam an extra week. (May’s eye was fully open and she was doing much better as early as my late check on Friday night)

How are your Spring plans going with your horses? It seems to be a totally mixed bag of people getting things moving, and other people just praying for winter/mud season to be over! I guess we are officially in the latter camp on this one.


You Know Nothing, Adult Amateur.

The wisdom of ignorance is a ridiculously important part of doing this thing we call “learning to ride”. I think many of us that rode as kids can think of a time when we really felt like we knew how to ride… like if we had the right horse and enough money of COURSE we could make it to Rolex or the Olympics or wherever. Then, we get a bit older. We get introduced to the “greats”. We read books, we watch clinicians, we LEARN. And somehow, in learning, we learn how little we do know.


Recently, I was reading one of my favorite blogs. I real OG in my book. A Enter Spooking (If you EVER had a clinic in KY, I need to be there.)

I am not a Dressage rider. My only real Dressage training has come from Eventing riders and that only began in late 2015. During my first Dressage lesson, the trainer asked me to ride the horse into the contact, and I couldn’t do it properly. It was the first day in many days in which Dressage makes me feel like a total fool.

However, I had felt like I had started to grasp how this whole Dressage thing works, at least on a basic level. Then Megan makes a comment about how “the rider should kneel into their thigh”. What…. WHAT? I stopped. I blinked. I read it again. Dressage riders should not sit on their butts. They should kneel into their thighs. Oh… Oh well… That actually makes a ton of sense. So now I was staring at my screen, and I realized that I didn’t even know how to properly sit in a saddle, much less ride in one.


But riders do not let our inability to do something stop us from trying. The first time you sat in a saddle, I bet that you couldn’t even make the old schoolie trot… or even turn. The first time you jumped, you probably had no idea where your horse would takeoff. And the first time you went a trail ride, I bet you had no idea how to get your horse through that one damn puddle. However, you worked at it. You read books, you tried different things, you sought instruction, and you got better.

Each time we peel back another layer of the “riding” onion, we realized another skill (or set of skills) we do not know. But now, we have something that we know we can learn to make us better. So we try, and we get better, and we master more skills… and learn how much more we don’t know and can’t do. 🙂



Deal With It

Riding at my barn is typically a very standard affair. I can pretty much rely on the fact that there will be no more than 2 other people riding at any one time, and in winter, there are never any lessons going on. Things tend to be quiet and calm and all that. (Seriously old media this post, sorry everyone)

Then, I showed up to ride on Saturday. Due to the weather, May didn’t get the ride I was planning on Friday, so she had a few days off. Either way, I was expecting to find my horse wide eyed and looking frantically around the outside of her stall… cool. Some deer came flying out of the woods, and I figured that was the end of it.

(Side note – how did I ever think the chair seat my old saddle put me in was at all acceptable?)

My plan was to just get the first day of our fitness plan started. I hopped on, and the ground was frozen enough to allow us to go on a walk through the adjacent field. It has a small hill in it, and it seemed like a good place to start our ride. And it was. And then we started heading back toward the main ring. Then, she saw it.

Recently, a horse owner with some disabilities moved into our barn. She uses a wheelchair and enjoys her VERY CUTE Morgan gelding by driving him. The cart has been hanging out in the indoor, which May hasn’t objected to, but seeing the cart chasing a horse around the outdoor arena was too much. We pranced, neck arched, and nostrils snorting. She threatened to spin and take off on me, and of course, I was using the mildest bit I had in my arsenal. Great.

There are two ways riders react to these situations, and I have been on both sides of both options.

  1. Freak out. This is always fun. I once rode at a barn where there were several older riders. One had a horse who had a nasty habit of bucking and breaking parts of her body. So when something spooked her horse, her reaction was to get off, start slamming things, and screaming at whoever DARED to spook her precious Pookie. I understand where this behavior comes from. She was scared. She had been hurt. She did NOT want to be hurt again. However, for the several years I knew her, her horse’s behavior only ever got worse because he never actually had to deal with anything.
  2. Just Ride On. I own a horse that I know I can handle. I specifically own her because I know that I can comfortable and capably handle her even at her worst. So I sat deep, kept reminder her that walking was what she wanted to do, and I continued our ride in the dressage arena. I didn’t push the issue by forcing May to work in the same space as the cart. (Partially because the lack of prep was unfair and partially because I have never actually seen this person drive and I wasn’t going to try and play dodge ball with something my horse is afraid of) Instead, I modified our trot sets. They were no longer about anything other than relaxing over her back and coming forward into the bit, and you know what, it took her all of 2 full 3 minute trot sets to relax into real work.

For our finishing walk work, I walked back to the main outdoor arena where the horse and carriage were now cantering around, and we walked outside the arena. May pranced a bit, especially when it came rolling up from behind her, but she was significantly more obedient than the start of the ride.

You can bet the next time I see that cart, I am going to ask if I can ride in the arena with them. (also, how cute would May look PULLING a cart?) How do you handle unexpected changes to your rides?

And for the record, May thinks all’s well that ends well, as long as it ends with cookies.


Fighting the Dark

Dramatic title much? Borderline click-bait? Oh well, I got nothing else.

Can we talk about something real quick? This:


Now, the cold is totally something I can deal with. It is not even that cold. If you put on a few layers and keep moving, it’s totally do-able. What I am talking about is that bottom right hand corner… that SUNDOWN AT 5:22PM thing. As someone that works a job that requires me to be at work until 5PM and a job that is 40 minutes, without traffic, away from the barn, this is kind of a big issue.

Who cares if it’s dark, just get your horse from the barn and shut up about it? Right? Well… no. My barn does year-round night turnout. From a horse management perspective, I do really love this. The horses go out around 4PM and come in around 9AM, which gives them around 17 hours of turnout everyday. And with either access to grass or round bales in the fields, it also means my horse can more easily keep herself comfortable, temperature-wise.

However, it also means that if it is pitch black out, my chances of finding my horse in the field plummet. And trust me, I have gone out there with an amazing flashlight and stumbled around a frozen field more than once trying to find my horse… only for all of the horses to spook at me when I get close to them and run off again. Sometimes I get lucky and can catch mine, and sometimes I don’t.

The point of this post? There are 13 more days until the days start to get longer, and I am begging each one to go a bit faster.

What limits your riding during these winter months?


The Unicorn Saddle Search Recap

Let me start this out by saying that I started our whole saddle shopping adventure more than 6 months ago. (May 8th was the official “start date” of this adventure. The goal? Find something that fits my horse REALLY well that I do not hate to ride in.

I tried the following over those 6 months.

  1. Albion K2 Jump (original jump saddle. Sold for around $1,800 used)
  2. Duett Bravo (around $1,500 new)
  3. County Saddle (no idea how much it cost. tried a barn-mates saddle, and it wasn’t even close enough to ride in)
  4. Black Country Solare (around $2,500 used, around $4K new)
  5. Prestige Eventer (about $3K used)
  6. Stubben Roxanne (about $5K new with the modifications I needed)
  7. Black Country Wexford (about $2K)
  8. Stubben Genesis (about $1K used)


There was also a wide range of other saddles that I seriously considered:

  1. Amerigo Saddles
    • $5K new?… probably more
    • I never could find a local rep or any used saddles in a wide. That was probably a bad sign.
  2. Patrick Saddles
    • $6K new minimum with nothing to actually try on my horse
    • I was told that they could bring me a medium tree to try… but I would have to ride a different horse. Sorry, but for $$$$, I need May to also agree that she likes it.
  3. Bliss of London Saddles
    • I saw these at Rolex and really liked them. They have a bunch of different tree options and some of them looked promising.
    • Loxley saddles start new at around $2,600, but bad reviews regarding customer kept me on the sidelines
  4. Another Albion
    • I couldn’t find any in the specs I was interested in trying.
    • The local rep was not helpful. She answered my inquiry with an “I can order what you’re looking for if you want to buy it…” Sorry, but I really need to sit in something before buying it.
  5. CWD
    • I took one on trial that claimed to be a wide… and turned out to be a narrow. I at least got my money back (including shipping) on that one.
  6. Fairfax Saddles
    • They literally do not make these saddles larger than a 17.5″
  7. Philippe Fontaine Saddles
    • The reviews on them are mixed, but the price of the one I was looking at was more than comfortable for my budget. I even found one in a wide and in the proper seat size.
    • Unfortunately, (or fortunately) I have gotten very good at looking at pictures of gullets and deciding if they would work. This one was a no. (after waiting 3 weeks for pictures)

Final Verdict!

Does this make my butt look big? 🤣#horsesofinstagram #thelwellpony #fluffypony #may

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Like my wedding dress, I ended up buying the cheapest saddle I sat in over the course of the entire 6 months. I bought the Stubben Genesis Jump Saddle in an 18″ with a 32cm tree. In fact, I now own 2 Stubben Genesis Saddles in a 32cm tree because it is almost the exact same model as my Dressage saddle, which May loves and no saddle fitter has ever been able to find a flaw with. (the Dressage saddle seat is 0.5″ larger)

I have now owned the saddle for a couple of weeks, and I have a couple of early thoughts. (sorry for this “listy” post)

  1. It is NOT a lot of saddle.
    • My Albion had LARGE front blocks. This Stubben has almost none. It has a very close contact feel, but it does not lock you into place in any sense of the word. After riding in my Dressage saddle for so many months, this is taking some getting used to.
    • might end up swapping the blocks out to the velcro versions and getting the larger blocks as an options.
  2. The act of jumping has not gotten easier.
    • I think this has more to do with my comfort level with this “less than” saddle than anything else. With increased strength and balance, I think it will feel totally normal again.
  3. But jumping May has
    • Jumping May around typically “wakes her up” and she gets a bit rushy and opinionated and stiff. She even used to crow hop after fences in my Albion if we took a huge distance or hadn’t jumped in a while.
    • In the Stubben? She has actually seemed to get MORE relaxed the longer that we jump, even if we haven’t jumped in a while. Another thing to continue to keep an eye on.
  4. I forgot how much my Dressage saddle sucked when I first got it.
    • Stubben wear like iron. They last forever, and I would think most people have probably plunked one on the back of a school horse when they were first learning to ride.
    • That also means that they are TOUGH to break in. My dressage saddle was also only slightly used when I bought it, and it took probably a full year to get it fully broken in. With similar leather and treatment, I hope my “new” jumping saddle takes the same amount of time to break in.

Here’s to celebrating the end of a long search, and to hoping to not have to do it again for a LONG TIME.



A Whole Lot of… Not Horse Stuff

First off, I want to apologize to everyone for the sparseness of this blog. Life has been crazy and riding has been mostly boring (which I have learned can be a totally good thing!)

Let’s start with life. I got married!! (Special thanks to Tav Images Photography for taking such WONDERFUL photos!)

My wedding was everything I could have asked for. I cannot remember the last time I had so much fun! And I got to celebrate with all my family and friends, including those I hadn’t been able to see since we moved to KY. Overall, just amazing.

Then, we were supposed to take a break in life. Instead, we found a house and fell in love and are under contract. Keep your fingers crossed as it is UNDER 15 MINUTES FROM THE BARN! My current drive is between 35 – 45 minutes, so being that close would really be life changing for us.

As for May, she is doing great. Her mohawk is slowly growing back out, so I will have to pull it soon to make it look like a mane again. For the winter, I am sure she will appreciate having some mane back. She also got front shoes put back on. the feet looked great, but with the ground as hard and it has been, she was sore even in boots in a freshly dragged arena. It just wasn’t fair to ask her to continue to be uncomfortable.

The craziness of what is going on right now has forced most of our rides to be short, and occasionally tackless:

STILL don’t have a jumping saddle. Fat Buckskin in a Little Suit can commiserate with me on this one. If I needed a 17.5″ saddle or a medium tree, we would be in business, but apparently, there are very few 18″ wide tree saddles around? So odd to me. I have also found that what a lot of brands consider “wide” wouldn’t even fit an average warmblood. And anyone that has been under contract on a house before knows that throwing thousands of dollars around on something like a saddle isn’t something banks love to see.

As a result, I am sitting tight and waiting. I had a WONDERFUL experience with a Stubben rep, and I would LOVE to buy the saddle she suggested. However, I just do not think that will be in the cards. At a purchase price of nearly $5K, it just seems so irresponsible. Especially when you consider that used Stubbens (other than the monoflaps), only really go for $1,500 – $2,000 MAX. Oh well, I will find a solution. It just might take a while.

In my Dressage boredom, however, I did end up jumping some 1′ jumps the other day. They were set TINY for a VERY GREEN horse, and I figured I could do that much in my Dressage saddle. May could care less and just kind of hefted her body of them. I think she is bored too.

We have been having some lessons but, between my crazy schedule and my trainer’s show schedule, they have been few and far between. Maybe a total of a dozen this whole summer? Kind of a bummer, but we manage to make good strides in between lessons. Canter leg yields? We have them now in both directions, which is a huge accomplishment. Her canter feels so much better that I really cannot wait to see what she feels like over fences. Real fences. That require jumping. Not 1′ fences that she just steps over while I enthusiastically throw myself into a half seat.

We are having some serious difficulty with installing the haunches in. We get the shape all great through a small circle, but as soon as I ask May to hold the shape on the straight line, she snaps straight. We didn’t get to work on it much in our last lesson, other than just introducing the idea, and we haven’t had a lesson since (it’s been about 3 weeks). Hopefully, I will have more of an update after the next lesson.

May also went through an interesting period of being tense. Every ride was an argument. I was told she was being “difficult” and just needed to “get over it.” Now, this horse can need a dose of “I am more stubborn than you are, and I won’t give up until you at least try to give me what I am asking for,” but that is typically when we are doing something new or she has had an extended period of time off. This wasn’t either of those things. It was ENTIRE RIDES of her flipping me the hoof, dropping on her forehand, and barreling away. Not only that, but I wasn’t able to get a lesson during the entire period of this happening.

So I had to find my own solution. I decided to spend a few rides doing nothing but hacking on a loose rein. There will be no picking up or putting her together. There will be no insistence on perfect transitions, even if it means doing them 20 times. There will be no leg yield, haunches in, shoulders in, spiral in, spiral out, leg yields at an angle, etc etc etc. There will just be calm relaxed hacking on a loose rein, where calmness, rhythm, and obedience are all rewarded and bad behavior is simply ignored.

And it worked (video below, before shoes got put back on). I got a horse back that is far more rideable and happier in her work. It is so easy to drill a horse like May. She is so smart and picks up on concepts so quickly. However, she can get so concerned about what she thinks she should be doing, that she gets frustrated. It’s a delicate balance, but one I feel we are developing a system to deal with. Of course, adding jumping back in would probably help too. 🙂

#ponyspamsunday courtesy of lazy, low key hacks #horsesofinstagram #draftcross #palomino #may

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So TL/DR? All is crazy. All is inconsistent. All is well. Keep your fingers crossed that everything goes well with our house, and maybe I will find a jump saddle by Christmas.