Saturday, February 4, 2012

Getting To Know You

...getting to feel free and easy... I've got the song running through my head; thinking about my first week training Winston. 

Sunday our trail ride went well for his first time out.  I'm looking forward to including trail work on a regular basis. 

Wednesday, we worked in the arena.  It was his first time in the arena ALONE and he was a bit nervous.  He didn't spook or misbehave, but he was very forward and had trouble relaxing.  I let him trot until he settled and that took 20 minutes.  Thank goodness I've been going to the gym and working on my cardio fitness.  I needed it!  He was also throwing his head around, like he did on the trail, especially at walk.  I know he needs dental work so it could be that, or the bit, or just not being familiar with contact.  After our ride, I told him he was a good boy and he said "damn right, I am."  ...not like I was used to with Jackson, who would say "really?  I am??  Yay!!"

I talked to my trainer, Gayle, Wednesday night.  We were scheduled to take our first lesson with her today but there is another outbreak of the Equine herpes virus -- on both sides of the mountain.  We are on a self imposed lock down and her barn is as well.  Hopefully, there won't be any more cases and we can take a lesson next week.  I asked her about the head tossing thing and she agreed with my thoughts about the cause.  Then she asked me if he is light in the bridle.  I said, "very."  She said sometimes horses that are very light in the bridle react this way.  She advised me to back way off, and just ride him on a long rein at walk.  She said just to take up as much contact as he is comfortable with at this point. 

Friday, I put Winston on the longe line and let him free jump.  I wanted to see how he jumps before trying it on his back.  If he jumped four feet over a two foot fence, I wasn't going to go there.  But he didn't.  He hopped over with just as much as it took to clear the jump.  I plan to incorporate some jumping and cavelletti in the future.  I love that he is so versatile!

Today, we schooled in the arena again.  He was relaxed.  I kept him on a long rein at walk and the lightest of contact at trot.  He was very happy; stretching and bending and lifting his back.  I also worked with him on being light off my leg as I was having to give a bit of a kick to get him into trot.  It only took one very light tap with the whip and he was on it.  I hardly needed to squeeze.  As soon as I thought "trot" he was there. 

When we finished riding, I rubbed his forehead and thanked him.  He thanked me back.  We're figuring each other out. 

I took off his tack, rubbed him down, and let him graze.  I sat on the hillside and kept him company. 


  1. sounds like you are really going to be great partners. :)

  2. He sounds like a really nice horse Annette. :)

  3. I`m really pleased for you and Winston! Its good to hear how you are getting on!

  4. It will be fun to learn about a new personality. I like how you could read his reply to your compliment.

    I am glad that you are going to try some jumping with him!

  5. Sounds like everyday has something special to look forward to. For both of you : )

  6. What an awesome boy! He sounds so friendly and sensitive. :D


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