Sunday, September 13, 2009

Lily Update and Two Rides

Lily seems to be doing very well down in Tennessee. In fact, she's a bit, ahem . . . fat. But then a horse in retirement deserves to have a good time. Melissa sent me these fun photos of Lily. Here she is, showing interest in the geldings across the aisle:

But they weren't very interesting:

I love her profile - I think her face is elegant - and she's suspiciously clean - I'll bet Melissa's been hard at work bathing and grooming:

Yesterday I managed to get in rides on both Dawn and Maisie.

Dawn went first. We did a little leading work - she was right on it, including the "hesitation" walk we were doing to the pasture yesterday morning. We also did some backing in hand using the halter - she was more bracey than the day before but we worked through that to a good outcome. Then I mounted - she seemed a little nonplussed about it but was good. We worked on a larger cloverleaf pattern I had set out in the middle of the area. We worked at the walk, and when we started she was rushing a bit around the turns. This usually indicates she is a bit nervous, so I made the turns a bit bigger and she settled down. We did the pattern a couple of times in each direction, and then I dismounted and put her away.

I'm planning to introduce the halter with the fuzzy noseband for ground driving, perhaps tomorrow, and work more on our lunging and her making transitions off my body language and energy. I also want to keep working on our backing in hand, also using the bit. While we were walking, from time to time she would stretching her head and neck down, sometimes almost to the ground. I'm not sure what she was doing - she may just have been stretching, or perhaps she was looking for my hands - I wasn't riding with much contact to keep her from bracing on the bit, which she's inclined to do. I want to reintroduce softening by working with her on the ground before we work on it mounted.

Maisie and I rode next - poor Maisie had to ride as dinner was being served but she was very good. We walked through the same pattern, practicing our transitions to halt and our hesitations, off half-halts given with my seat - that went very well. Then we worked on the same thing at the trot. The pattern was too small for her to do easily in trot, so we used the whole ring. We worked on gait regulation - speeding up and slowing down, and then momentary transitions between walk and trot and back again, again using my seat to give very slight half-halts. This work is still lacking in precision, but it improved during our ride. I was trying very hard not to use my hands to ask for hesitations or transitions, and I mostly did OK. She accepted a nice, soft contact with the bit pretty well - there wasn't any fussing or diving. We worked in sitting trot - this helps calm her and makes my half-halts easier to do. Then she got her dinner at last.


  1. Lily looks great! Sounds like Dawn was a good girl again and Maisie had a nice ride too.

  2. Glad to see how well Lily is doing. Dawn seems to be coming along and I'm impressed Maisie kept her cool during dinner. Its tough to work when pizza arrives.

    (thanks for the encouragement too. you're right, I need to relax and count the little victories and not just shoot for the winning shot)

  3. Oh she is a lovley- round and very white, mare of leasure there!
    Nice rides...tell me more of the fuzzy noseband.

  4. do you get the cool "Labels" complied words to the sidebar? What should I look for...I never did the proper labels at the end of the post so I am trying to do something now.

  5. allhorsestuff - more on the fuzzy noseband to come. To get the "cloud" labels, add the labels gadget to your sidebar. It now gives you a selection of ways to display - you can even chose to show only certain labels. I just discovered this myself.

  6. Kate -
    Melissa's entry on Norman is TOO FUNNY! The boy gets pretty much what he wants - I'm very happy for him & Lily.

  7. Lily looks fat and happy! Perhaps a tad bored as evidenced by that HUGE yawn! Lucky girl to have such a posh retirement. They should all be so lucky and loved.


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