Horse Training

100 Days of Redemption: Days 11-20

Psalm 130:
 Out of the depths I call to you, Lord!
Lord, listen to my voice;
let your ears be attentive to my cry for help.

Lord, if you kept an account of iniquities, who could stand?
 But with you there is forgiveness, so that you may be revered. 

I wait for the Lord; I wait and put my hope in his word.  I wait for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning—
 Israel, put your hope in the Lord.
For there is faithful love with the Lord,
and with him is Redemption in abundance. And he will redeem Israel
from all its iniquities

Days 11-20:

Day 11: It was a cold morning, we rode at the walk only focusing on softening at the pole through bobbling and flexing left and right. I think she understands stretching now as she actively sought the reward and would stretch for several steps in a row.

Day 12: My wonderful friend, Kylie, came to visit all the way from the coast of North Carolina. I took Redemption outside of the indoor arena, and we rode in a little outdoor area just at the walk. She is slightly hotter outside of the arena. She would call and took longer to listen. No naughty behavior. I am unsure as of yet if it’s anxiety of riding somewhere new, or just that she can see other horses where she can’t in the indoor arena.

Using some of her “hotness” to work from back to front.
Evidence that she did calm down, listen, and relax forward into the contact

Day 13: – Today was our first trail ride around the farm! We rode with 2 geldings (Drifter and Elek) and practiced walk/trot with these 2 boys at the lead, in the middle, and at the rear. Did I mention this was our first working ride with a bareback pad? She was a brave leader, a little competitive in the middle and a little worried about being left behind in the rear.
By the end of the ride she was calm, and I was pleased that we could ride away from the boys. She wasn’t happy about it, but agreed with little convincing.

Elek and Kylie (L) and Redemption (R) in a big open field without a care in the world.

Day 14: First ride back after Christmas, I traveled for the holidays so Redemption had a solid week off. She was totally sane and was great to hack. Did a little outside work but primarily just going through the softening exercises that we had started.

Day 15: Rode almost entirely outside. She is calling significantly less now; we started trot sets to help strengthen topline, practice maintaining tempo, and change of bend without rails to guide us. She wants to drift and drop her right shoulder, so we are working on balance and suppleness on different terrain through different gaits.

Day 16: Today we rode with Elek and Abby. Redemption’s first time not making any faces at Elek, so maybe she’s not a total mare – 😆- She was happy to move forward, happy to ride with or away from Elek. No sign of anxiety or wanting to be herd sour.

Day 17: First Lesson! Anne came out and taught us today. She helped us with our lateral work, getting into and out of shoulder-in, consistency in outside rein and encouraging leg responses to start on leg-yields.

This is our Focus Faces – see her left hind stepping under and her shoulders slightly turned in toward the camera?
Here she is using her back and opening her shoulders. Her neck is active and clearly lifting.

Day 18: We rode outside because it was absolutely beautiful out; our most pleasant ride yet. I forgot she was a greenie for a minute! Her responses were immediate and accurate. We enjoyed our time and ended positive and stretching.

Day 19: Today we rode with Drifter again. We started outside doing trot sets on hills, and then migrated inside to complete our exercises for lateral movements. This includes riding the square, leg yield, and moving into and out of shoulder-in on the wall and slightly off of the wall, which she did with little prompting from me.

Day 20: Chill day today, Redemption stayed in a stall overnight for the second time in our training, and was ready to go back to the pasture. She was fidgety and antsy at the mounting block, so we worked on standing again. After mounting without the drama I dismounted and then lunged for the first time in a couple of weeks – she’s much less stressed and can canter without either of us breaking a sweat. I am very happy and called it a day after 3 upward transitions each way at various parts of the circle.

*side note – when I turned her back out to her pasture friends she opted to go through an electric fence that wasn’t hot at the time. She did this by slipping her head under the top line and stepping over the bottom ones – This is not normal horse behavior as they almost always choose the path of least resistance, and tangled legs are another one of those panic buttons that can easily be pushed – once again proving that this mare is brave and doesn’t panic easily!

One thought on “100 Days of Redemption: Days 11-20

  1. I’m so grateful to see the magic happen! I know it’s not truly magic, but so glad the Lord brought you two together. Thanks for the detail and pictures in your journey!


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