Monday, August 23, 2010

Kisia's first dressage lesson

Kisia & I got up bright & early & headed over to Cedar Winds Farm for her first dressage lesson. This was only her fourth trip on a trailer & first real riding lesson. My main purpose for a riding lesson at this point was to expose her to someplace new. Get on the trailer at home, which we do a lot, but then go for a ride & get off someplace different. I also have hoped to participate in a dressage schooling show this coming October. So....number one goal? a relaxed horse, whether that meant riding or not was a non-issue. You just never know how a new environment will effect your horse right?  Kisia blew me away with her calm & interested reaction to a new place & experience. She was utterly fabulous &, I believe, had a grand time. We learned some new things, she met some new people, saw some interesting horses (ponies!!) & acted as if she travels all the time.
OK, bragging aside...we did do some riding. We worked on getting more forward energy in her walk & trot. Appears I work very hard & she does very little. So evened things out a bit as far as putting a more equal effort into what we are doing. Evie instructed me to do less in body, following Kisia's motion rather than pushing it.Then asking for more energy with my calves or heels when she would slow rather than totally carrying her movement with mine. Evie also gave me some tips on being more consistent with my contact when Kisia is looking around. And a three & half year old girl likes to look around at a new place!
Had a nice quiet ride back home & the rest of the day to relax & think about things. So far with Kisia & surely with any horse...the key to success (& fun) is in the foundation. Really taking time to prepare your horse...she wasn't botherd by the trailer, by mounting, by her tack or new sites & sounds because she's had all that taken care of. So this new place & activity was something she was able to be calmer, smarter & braver about! October here we come!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Zorra's first trim

Zorra got her first hoof trim today. She's four months old now & getting ready to wean soon. She did really well! Her lessons on yielding to pressure & standing still helped a great deal. She's for sure benefited from "it's the release that teaches" theory. She only got a little mad on the last foot when standing so still just got impossible. Even showed interest when she could see her front hoof being rasped. Our farrier does a natural trim based on the "wild horse model". He is also exceptionally patient & kind with my horses which undoubtedly may have been the most important factor in this positive first experience for Zorra. Check out this link..... an article on our wonderful farrier where he explains a bit about what he does & why it works so well. Pic here is of Zorra's two hind feet at about a day old. They have now totally grown out practically black, not striped but a lighter black than her front feet. They sure were pretty & white for a while though.