Horse Training

100 Days of Redemption: Days 1-10


      For those of you that are familiar with my training business, Guided Strides, This is the 4th blog that I have done using social media to help me track and share my [horse] projects’ success. 

     I’m incredibly grateful to each person that takes the time to follow me on my journey. I aim to train using the Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and to do my best in each and every training for the glory of my Heavenly Father.

This is the longest blog to date, and I hope that it is encouraging for other people to track and look for success in their own training. Please feel free to  reach out to me directly with questions or comments!


       December 1st I purchased Redemption from a woman who had just rescued her from a less than ideal situation – her background is unknown for the most part.

She was considered green broke, but herd sour to the extend that they could not ride her to see what she knew. After a couple days of working with her I have filled in some of the blanks: she stops and remains immobile when she does not know the right answer. This includes uncomfortable situations like leaving the herd, but not to the extent that I would label her herd sour.

Because so much is unknown, I am restarting this mare and will be accelerating portions as Redemption shows what she does and does not know.

She’s cuter than any picture gives her credit, and has snappy little hocks and knees indicating Saddlebred cross. Her immense curiosity,  and faithful personality make her an incredibly trainable, durable, and promising mount for an ammy looking for their next partner.

Picking her up:

I won’t go into this much detail most days,  but with this being my first encounter with Redemption it left such a lasting impression on me that I decided to log it here.

December 1st- It had been raining all day, and the LORD graciously paused the rain as my friend Gigi and I pulled in to pick up Redemption. She led cautiously, less than pleased to leave her friends, but didn’t fight me. As we began to load she smelled the trailer with questions, and as she lifted her head and looked past me, her halter hooked onto the locking mechanism on the trailer door! And just like that, this horse who didn’t know me from Adam had her head stuck. In the next moments my heart was in my throat as I prayed that Redemption would not start to thrash around. I was dismayed to find the halter thoroughly snagged, and the only possibility of release was to literally remove the halter. I quickly unbuckled the halter and was pleasantly surprised when she didn’t freak out (horses as a whole are the queens of claustrophobia – once these thousand pound animals decide they are trapped, there is no stopping them from a total melt down that is inherently dangerous for anything in their path). She let me free the halter, then easily loaded and hauled back to Lexington. Unloading was easy as well.

Days 1-10:

Day 1: December 2nd – Ground Work Day – Grooming – she was fidgety and fussy with her feet being picked. Free lunged, free jumped, taught to lead both ways, softly, slowly. Started Turn on the Haunches [TOH] and tap tap game. Lead all over farm. Walked into creek no problem. Somewhat uncomfortable around dogs.

Day 2:  Lots of Tap Tap game, transitioned to lunging at the walk no problem. I had my friend – Sarah Rose – with me, she held Redemption while I sacked out and then mounted.  Sarah Rose led us around then she disconnected and we rode off the lead in just a halter. Steering and stopping is there, but iffy.

Learning to move forward and away from pressure


Day 3:  Started with ground work; she’s notably better with lunging at the walk, still rushing so we worked on slow and thinking. Walk Trot under saddle – lots of steering training.

Day 4: Turned out in pasture! Timid with the other horses.

Came to me when I went out later that day ❤ much better with standing/grooming/tacking up. Worked more on standing at the mounting block without being held by ground person. Walk trot under saddle – steering improved, softer head/giving to pressure.

TOH/TOF on the ground, introduced TOH and backing, both under saddle.

Rest Day: Rode bareback up to barn and left in stall for (7) hours – clean stall horse – rode bareback back to pasture.

Day 5: Rode walk/trot. Steering is 100% in halter. Started softening and suppling/bobbling and standing under saddle (not her favorite).

Day 6: Rode up to the barn in just a neck rope since I forgot the halter. She was so good – would steer and halt from primarily seat. Lunged wtc – first time cantering and first time asking for the trot – good responses.


Day 7: Rode in a bit for the first time! Introduced bobbling at walk and trot, inside leg to outside rein, and keeping tempo consistent. Short Video – Clip of Under Saddle .

Day 8: Rode with wraps on all (4) legs took no time to adjust. Stretched with the bit a couple of times, starting to accept the contact.

Day 9: Lunged wtc – difficult to maintain canter – I am waiting to canter her under saddle until I know she is strong enough and understands from the ground.

Day 10: Sarah MacHarg: Obstacles set up in the indoor, she did them all! Loads of blurry pics: From top left to bottom right – walked between helium balloons, stepping into kiddie pool, walking through pool noodles, walked underneath a hanging tarp that  she had to push with her nose, walking through a “pool” of balloons and noisy objects, standing on a tarp, walking over a plywood bridge, walking underneath a tarp