The Bay Wonder Mare Senior did well in the clinic and in our lesson on Sunday. We did the in-hand work and also the under-saddle work. It is easy for me to forget how bright Isis is. One of the exercises in the clinic was to encourage the horse to lower his/her head by massaging and applying a little pressure behind the ears. When the horse lowers the head a little, you remove the pressure and praise them. While other horses were gradually understanding, Isis got the concept and idea within 2-3 tries. I started laughing — it is so amazing how smart she is. She just gets things.
She was excited when I first got on Isis on Saturday (even after 2 hours of in-hand work she still had to look for her boyfriend-stablemate, Max). She calmed down when she saw him enter the ring.
We learned some great stuff for helping a forward horse relax. Sylvana, the clinician, had us do an exercise she called “ribboning”: you make tight, switch-back turns, like a piece of ribbon candy that is folded back upon itself. You make the turns and straight-aways on a very loose rein. Each turn you carefully take up contact to turn and apply pressure with the inside leg to have the horse turn tightly around your leg. The rein work flow from rein to rein so it’s very smooth. It worked like a charm! Isis calmed down immediately.
On Sunday, Tish, my riding instructor, came over for a our first lesson at the new facility. Isis had been out and running around a little. Isis was so quiet: I had to actually encourage her to move out and have more energy. She was great– and out-lasted me. I barely lasted 30 minutes because of all of the riding the day before. I felt like my legs were going to fall off.
I brought Kasane in so Tish could see her after the lesson. I let the Bay Wonder Mare Junior loose in the round pen and free lunged her a little. Tish seemed to like her a lot. She said that she has excellent movement and should make a good dressage prospect — provided her front left hoof with the upright inside wall remains sound. I’ll be working with the farrier closely to make sure Kasane’s feet are monitored. I don’t think we’ll have any problem with her staying sound.
What a great weekend!