So it was time to do some recon. I found out that Rosa was briefly trained by a friend of mine. She let me know that the mare has been ridden and even galloped, but because she is small and has a short stride (and the tb economy was down when she was in training) they decided not to continue with her.
So the good news is that she has been ridden and also had “no buck”.
Meanwhile, I agree that she is short strided, especially in trot in front. She looks like her shoulders are stuck. So I emailed Amy Thalacker (vet, chiro, acupuncturist) who can look at Rosa on Wednesday when I will be teaching at her barn.
I need to shoot video of how she moves now. I am hopefully that she can be unstuck.
So Rosa was in her stall most of the day because the horses were locked in the barnyard because we got a lot of rain and I didn’t want them to tear up the pasture. I got Rose out of her stall, put her in the cross ties and groomed her. She was good in the cross ties, but a little goofy about her hind feet, which will come along. I put a saddle on her on a lark and she was completely unimpressed. I lunged her with the saddle and she was quite fine with it. Her canter is better than it was the first time, her trot is very short up front.
Then, since we had the truck and trailer hitched up anyway, I decided it was trailer loading practice day. She followed me right on the trailer the first time and turned around and walked off when asked. Yay! I praised her and asked her to do it again. This time she jumped into the trailer, knocking me a bit and getting some feedback about that. (Not much, just a “hey, don’t run me over”) Then we settled, and turned around and I walked off. Alone. And it started to rain. And she couldn’t figure out how to drop down off the step up trailer. Eddie, who had been loaded in the front slot of the trailer, was now getting antsy and quite ill behaved. So Jay led him off through the escape door. Somehow Eddie, in the process, scraped up the backs of his hind legs, on the tendons. Not seriously, but enough. Still the mare is standing on the trailer, but when she sees Eddie and Jay walking back to the barn she thinks that getting off now is a good idea. The rain and her poop has made the matts slick. She tries to bound off the trailer and slips and sort of blobs out of the trailer, landing on her feet, but oddly so. She is fine and with the rain still falling, we will return to that process another day. The problem is the step up, not the trailer itself. Must have always had a ramp.
Then I led her back through the roll up doors to the indoor. They are scary doors, so I spend 20 minutes opening and closing them to show her that it is just a noise, not meant for her. She figures that out and done for the day.
We warmed up in the arena in all gaits, then worked on downward transitions, balancing and flying lead changes. He did well. Then out to the pasture for a cool out walk hack.
I did a little EquineLine.com research and found out she never raced. Maybe she was in race training through. I FB friended her breeder, so maybe I can get information that way. At any rate, we aren’t guaranteed that she has been backed. So, we started at the bottom with in hand work. She is a little clunky to handle, just clueless, but not malevolent. But she has to learn to be polite and light in the hand for in hand work first. We did some of that and then went on to lunging, which obviously she has done before. Her circles aren’t round, but she understands the basic concept and is indeed sound (thank you God!) and has two leads (bonus). The right is better than the left, but the left isn’t bad.
After our session, I turned her out with Luke in the paddock. She slipped and fell in the mud, in slo-mo. Then she stayed on the ground and I believe she was slightly bemused, and a little glaring at me. We might have a princess on our hands. She got up, completely unscathed, and walked off.
The flies were horrendous, due to coming storms, and when I went to check her half an hour later she was in the run in, stamping her feet wildly, wide-eyed and hyperventilating. These redheads do have more sensitive skin and the flies tend to love them. I brought her in, put a flysheet and flywraps on her and sprayed her with fly spray and put her in a stall. She calmed down very quickly, except when I asked her to move with the fly wraps on, which caused a stamping fit, especially in back. I let her work it out, and she did. Charming little mare.
I drove to OMA to meet with Deb Robinson to pick up Rosa. Deb was in fine spirits and managed a good temper even when it took us 1.5 hours to load Rosa into the trailer, with the help of Deb’s horse Pete, who feasted on delicious hay in the trailer while he provided his calming influence about being on a trailer to Rosa.
She trailered home beautifully, and was a bit hesitant to offload when we got home. Made me giggle a little, because after 6 hours round trip of driving and an hour and half loading, I would have laughed out loud if I ended up leaving her in the trailer overnight, with a bucket of water and some hay, which for a micro-second, I considered. But, after just a brief hesitation, she jumped off and went in a stall and hung out, cool as a cucumber.
It was beauty shop day for Luke, He was a perfect gentleman for bridle path trimming and mane and tail primping. Then I rode him in the indoor where we worked on suppleness and transitions. He did very well!
It was beauty shop day for Playmate. I helped him understand that the clippers by his ears were not a bug and he allowed me to trim his bridle path. I banged his tail and generally fussed over him, which he did not mind one bit. Then we talked about him letting go in his neck when asked to yield. This took some quiet convincing, but he did buy in and even took some nice relaxed breaths when he did. Then we worked in the arena, which went quite well.
We had a lesson covering proper right bend in order to accomplish right lead canter.
I rode her about 30 minutes before I intended to go on a hack with her and another person and horse. She was a little squirrelly when I first got on her – somewhat over-reactive. I reassured her and also let her know that she needed to stay between the aids, and it came around beautifully. We had work in all gaits, which went well. When my student arrive, her right lead canter wasn’t working, so I spent the next hour helping her with that while mounted on Lilly, who actually did very well with it. She stood when asked and changed position when asked. Perfect. When the student was taking breaks, I had a little canter with her in both directions and she did well.
Lilly and Luke grazing in the grass outdoor
I took a day off to go to WI for the weekend, and managed to get back in the tack Sunday night before the storms hit. Today she was right on the aids from the start, which was a first, and very welcome. We did some work in figures at trot and more canter work. She did very well.