Ninety Days Under Saddle

It’s gotten very quiet around here lately, which is mainly the product of my own laziness, because I could find something to write about I’m sure. An update on Joey would probably make the most sense to start off with since I’ve given up all hope on blogging about my trip to Maui at this point. Just know this, Maui is beautiful and wonderful and if you ever get the opportunity, you should go. I’d love to go back.

Joey has been at the trainer’s for 90 days now and I could literally go on all day about how amazing my horse is and how proud I am to have bred such a nice horse or about how Trainer is doing such a phenomenal job with him. So, be warned, if you ask me about Joey, I’m hella proud of him. I’ve never seen a horse look how he looks after 90 days and he looks better than a lot of horses that I’ve seen from our area that are considered finished show horses. I feel very validated in my choice to send him to Trainer in that they work so well together as a team.

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Trainer saying this is where he should be carrying himself. 

There were a couple weeks this month where Joey went through an angry teenager phase because he couldn’t figure out what Trainer wanted when he asked him to yield his hip, then when he did figure out what Trainer was asking, he kind of flipped him the bird and ran through his aids and scrubbed Trainer on the fence. Joey is agreeable when things don’t require him to work hard, but picking up and yielding his hip while carrying Trainer was EFFORT. So Joey opted for theatrics, which mostly amounted to flipping his head around angrily, which escalated exactly once before Trainer put a tie down on him and told him to get over it. This prompted us to have Joey’s wolf teeth removed since they may have contributed to the escalation that came from the head flipping. No excuses for the baby horse to act a fool. He only rode him in the tie down the one time to get the point across that vertical movement is frowned upon, but he carried it to the arena and laid in on the fence for a few subsequent rides just in case it was needed. He also loped up into a pile of sand in the corner of Trainer’s arena once and refused to move out of it for a while. Trainer was likely not thrilled in the moment, but he couldn’t help but grin when he told me about it later. Some horses buck, Joey climbs a hill of sand and pouts in the corner. (Hill in left corner of the below gif. haha.)

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Yielding the hip is a building block for lead changes one day.

Trainer has stepped back and given Joey several days off of that concept and worked on other things in order to give him a mental and physical break. When I went down this weekend, he mentioned that even though they’ve worked on it some, Joey hasn’t gotten too upset about it and seems to be mellowing out to his normal self again. The difference in Joey’s attitude was very obvious to me just from how he carried himself. He’s like Paige in that when he’s angry he angry lopes or angry trots. Paige pounds the ground harder when she’s upset about something, and often that’s the only way you know she’s upset because she’s not one to expense energy on theatrics. This weekend Joey was soft and responsive and the foot pounding was non-existent.

Trainer demonstrated that Joey has made progress at the trot and now holds a nice headset without as much contact with his mouth. He doesn’t quite throw the reins away, but he can move his hand forward on Joey’s neck and let him have his head and he remains consistent and carries himself in frame nicely. He’s also sidepassing, backing, turning on the hindquarters, walking over a teeter totter bridge, standing on pedestals, etc. Trainer said that ground tying was on the agenda for this week.

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Baby spins!

So it’s safe to say Joey is still exceeding all of my expectations of him so far in life. He’s a completely different horse than the baby I dropped off in May and looks like he’s going to make me a legitimate show horse once all is said and done. I’m looking forward to getting to ride him soon myself, so hopefully I’ll have another update…you know, before another three months pass. 😉

9 thoughts on “Ninety Days Under Saddle

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