Holy hannah.... it has been just shy of 90 days since I last posted.
It is amazing how life gets in the way and time just flies on by without much realizing.
I so wish there was some type of app for the iphone, lately all I do is instragram because its quick, easy and only a couple clicks.
Where I am now....
Belle is now just barely backed. I now get on once a week for 10 minutes or so and depending on her mental state, either walk around the indoor, outdoor or around the property to see all the scary things that eat horses (of course :P).
I have trotted her a few times now, half a lap seems to be the best we can do but for a 2.5 year old she doesn't need to do more until she is ready.
At the moment I feel like I am driving in a car with someone who can't drive stick, the jerks and random stalls etc. Makes for a real smooth ride to post.... Not. However, sitting her trot is lovely. Thanks to the spanish blood I assume.
It is funny though, her movement is quite large, especially her walk so I often get this feeling she is about to take off and start a buck fest even though she isn't, I am just used to lazy typed horses.
She is in a way a more forward, less confident version of Solo who was also very sensitive to start, combined with her growing size, she is all legs and lack of balance.
Personality wise, she lacks confidence which she makes up for being bold and a little energetic though a total saint for her age. She genuinely wants to please and learn.
The 90 Day Journey....
I really took my time to introduce Belle to tack, lunging, ground work, getting on etc.
I knew within the first few sessions she had quick, agile reactions and a mare-tude. All of which is fine with me, I have the time and she doesn't need to be in real baby work until next year.
I wanted to get her slightly backed before she grew, in both senses of the word, in size and mentally.
Some youngsters do best left alone and brought along later and some do best without major change. Introducing the tack and a rider a bit earlier so its not drastic and mind boggling. Belle being the later type.
We have been doing a lot of ground work, emphasis on respecting space, it seems to be a mare thing to get all up in your face I find. Also, ground poles, raised and not, learning to pick up feet and building balance and strength slowly.
I recently discovered in hand dressage and educated myself deeper on Parelli practices which is a ton of fun!
It took about 3 weeks of stepping into the stirrup and back down etc before I swung a leg over and sat on her for a few minutes, lots of pats an praise. At the age of 30, despite having done it times before, starting youngsters looks a bit hairier than it used to. We got it done though.
For the next forseeable months ahead I plan to keep gently progressing. We have gone through the last week as a bit of a hot tottee so manners are being revisited.
I plan to work with in three sort sessions a week. A day of plain old ground work with the rope halter, respecting space, moving from pressure and hand walks down the road and around the scary things on property. Then a day of my own version of long lining, which I will explain another day and finally a day of gymnastic lunging, ie. trot poles and raised walking poles for 10 minutes or so combined with 5-10 minutes of walk and depending on mental state a bit of trot.
Athletically, I don't need to work on it, she is a natural, but mentally she is a bit behind in maturity I think so slow and steady lends a good solid horse in the long run.