Horse Training

100 Days of Redemption: Days 81-90

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled { to God. 21 God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 5: 20, 21

Day 81: Today Tatum and I brought the horses up from the field during a torrential downpour. Demi has been coming up to me in the field, but today chose to run around with her friends, excited by the insane weather. She was easy to catch once I got close enough that she remembered I feed her. We rode in the indoor arena bareback; it was a pretty short ride due to the lengthy warm-up. The arena was very noisy but Redemption was listening to me and obedient even with the distraction. She is getting better at trotting lateral movements, definitely figured out her balance for it.

Day 82: I rode Redemption across the creek today to get my gelding, Kova and then ponied Kova. Demi is neither pinning her ears or kicking out at all at him anymore, and he’s slowly gaining confidence to walk closer to her. We rode out in the polo-field today working on building muscle and maintaining tempo while doing trot sets. We started with giant serpentines, then did small canter circle spirals and trot shoulder-in. We finished in the indoor arena and introduced walk-canter-walk.

Day 83: Tatum and Raz joined us for a ride out in the polo field today. We did laps and practiced cantering with and away from Raz, she offered no hesitation and was obedient. We tried walk-canter-walk in the polo field, which was harder than the indoor with no rail to lean on, but she tried and still managed to complete the exercise a couple of times. We ended with some impressive trotting lateral work in the indoor arena.

Day 84: Redemption is genuinely one of the most fun horses I’ve ever ridden. The sheer enthusiasm she brings to every ride always leaves me wanting more. Today we did lateral movement at trot, which was a piece of cake. She is leg yielding with no encouragement from the whip and doing a great job living in the outside rein. We continued to practice walk-canter-walk and introduced counter canter, which she handled with ease.

Day 85: Demi has been doing so well that today was pretty short: we started outside to warm up bareback, then went inside and flew through trotting lateral work. We went through our longest line of trot poles yet and she went at it with the perfect willing attitude. I truly love this mare.

This horse is so photogenic 😍

Day 86: Redemption taught her first lesson! Sarah Rose rode outside and practiced transitions, suppling, staying on the bit and moving the shoulder. We went into the indoor arena to do lateral movements; Sarah Rose is a good rider, but has only had a lesson with lateral movements once before several months ago. I was thrilled with how obedient Demi was. She is a very sensitive horse, and Sarah successfully was able to shoulder-in, haunches-in and leg-yield FIRST TRY. Redemption also got her first massage and she absolutely loved it. The massage therapist said that he worked a lot on her neck and shoulders, so I am excited to see how she feels tomorrow.

Day 87: My friend Bethany came out and gave Demi a try today. Bethany has been training in dressage for 10+ years with FEI level trainers – I say this just to emphasize that she knows what she’s doing, and was impressed with this mare’s brain and amazing work ethic. She challenged Redemption asking her to lift her shoulders more, and Demi obliged.

Day 88: I rode Redemption outside this morning to warm up and asked for a little bit of counter canter and walk-canter-walk transitions. Then we went into the indoor arena and did our trotting lateral movements.

Day 89: I was in a pretty bad mood tonight. I was getting on Redemption after 9PM with a mountain of a day behind me, and I knew it would be hard for me to be fair. So I decided to try something new so that I would have no expectations: I rode her with just a rope around her neck. We walked, trotted, and cantered around the indoor arena, trying circles and serpentines. At the walk she even understood when I asked for shoulder-in, and gave me a good try for leg-yield.

Day 90: Today we worked on trotting lateral movements in the indoor arena (Short video Here). We still need to work on maintaining the tempo and degree of bend, but Redemption definitely knows the concept and is very easy to ride. Then my friend Taryn hopped on and I gave her a mini-lesson. She did very well and I was impressed with the confidence they both had after only a few minutes together.