Kisia came back home this past weekend. While I loved having access to the beautiful facilities as the Mid South Dressage Academy, it's beyond nice to have her back. My herd again seems whole & everything just looks right with that pretty silver mare out there! We both learned a lot while she was in training. She got some much needed time under saddle with an expert rider, comes home with a canter cue & nice start on lateral movements...which by-the-way are a breeze for my side-ways loving girl! I learned that you really have to know how to ride to keep up with a young horse. She was constantly (as her trainer Ila put it) looking for her boundaries. "Her job is to find the boundaries & test them!", "Yours is to set them & be consistent so she understands!" I improved my athleticism in a huge way to be able to keep up with her....& I'll tell you what....she needed & deserved that of me. Certainly one of those good, better, best areas so many of us should improve for our horses in my humble opinion. I learned how to steer....surprising how I really didn't know how to do this...riding a schoolmaster for so long, he knew what I wanted even if I didn't know how to ask for it correctly. I learned to be brave when she cantered! Oh my, there were moments I thought I was riding a warhorse that could mow-down the scariest foe! She's very powerful & that canter is gonna take us places. Her trainer, Ila, also taught me a great deal of the bio-mechanics of riding. An interesting area that's all about how you use your body & strength to ride. There is a lot going on in your horse's body when they move. Getting in tune with them & not hindering their balance or what your asking of them is primarily what I got from this. I also learned to expect my girl to be what she is...a 4 year old. One of my favorite quotes (sorry don't remember who said it) is "Don't make people feel wrong for what they don't know." Same goes for horses...& really, what does a 4 year old know about riding? She's got her predator on her back making her do all these things she really is only interested in doing when she's scared or excited. So a little exuberance, confusion, lack of balance, etc, etc isn't something she should get in trouble for. She doesn't know....but thanks to some help she knows a lot more now. So do I!
The past winter ended up being one of the coldest & certainly the snowiest I've experienced. So far early spring has been pretty wet but the temps for the most part have been really nice. Foxy had some trouble with the frozen ground & snow which caused her some lameness in one of her front feet. She's better now & ready to do some riding. I've been trying to ride her at least once a week bareback. This helps my balance & confidence! She's one of those rare creatures who doesn't change much if not ridden regularly so it's easy to not ride her as much as she deserves. Zorra is growing & almost a year old now. I'm planning to make an obstacle course of some interesting things to play with for her when the ground is a bit more dry. We'll be building up her confidence to introduce trailer loading. Kisia has spent the past few months in Hernando, MS at the MidSouth Dressage Academy in training. It was immensely difficult to leave her there. The 1st month or so was pretty rough for both of us. I spent way too much time worrying about her. She, being an expressive & extroverted type, made it clear for all that she wasn't sure about all that change. Thankfully she did settle into the little things like being stalled every night, standing in cross-ties & being in a paddock next to, but not with, a herd. I've been getting a riding lesson on her a couple of times a week. I make sure to groom her ground tied & depending on her energy level, play with her online & always do a short warm-up freestyle to keep our Parelli play in practice. She's thrown several challenges my way but as a 4 year old, I'm told (over & over) this is to be expected. I can say I've really had to learn to ride to keep up with her. Riding a school master for so many years made me think I could ride...but riding a 4 year old is a true test of patience & skill! Lots of learning! which if I recall from my time in FL at the Parelli center is not necessarily a comfortable place....the learning zone is just outside the comfort zone. I believe we've stayed in that place & not crossed the next line into the panic zone but it sure felt close a few times. Looking forward to bringing her home in a few weeks where life is a bit more relaxing but not too much....we're headed out of green-broke with the goal of her being good-as-gold!
This blog is an attempt to provide updates on the progress & goings on at our burgeoning little horse farm. Everything here is a work in progress from our facilities to the horses & of course my own horsemanship. After finding my way back to horses as an adult I spent several years learning about & enjoying dressage. Since that time, I've found my way to natural horsemanship & love not only the answers it provides but the focus on relationship. For that dream of riding off into the sunset with the perfect calm "best friend" is truely my ultimate goal.