Thursday, January 13, 2011


Do you ever wish there was a redo button some days? I feel like today was just one of those days. There wasn't anything particular bad about today, I just think that it could have been better.

Jetta was pretty good today, I just walked and trotted around the arena because I wasn't confident enough to canter Jetta with a certain person riding in the ring. I am trying to make myself not keep a hold of Jetta's mouth all the time - I've noticed that it's become a bad habit. Now I'm letting the reins out about an inch or two of where I normally hold them. I'll still be able to take a hold of her if I need to, but overall I've noticed a good improvement in both our trot and canter. It feels fantastic when Jetta reaches down into the contact and I can feel her lift her back, while at the same time we are moving in a forward yet controlled speed.

Over the past 5 days we've had 3 fantastic rides. I was hoping that it had become the norm! Yesterday though was not good, not good at all. Unfortunately the BO was watching me yesterday (of course not any of the three days before!) and again, for I think the 5th time, commented that the alfalfa is making her hyper and act like a snot. Gee, thanks. I think Jetta has increased the bronciness on the lunge, but other than that, I'm not seeing a huge difference in her behavior prior to adding alfalfa. I think her naughtiness is a result of the fact that she is a young, green, Thoroughbred that has limited to no pasture time, not a result of alfalfa. I am very pleased with how much weight she has been gaining back - it made an almost immediate difference.

Since today, albeit not bad, wasn't the best and actually kind of a downer, I decided to do a review of the past two years and everything that Jetta has improved in.
  • I can now easily handle her feet. She no longer tries to kick or lay down while picking or trimming her feet.
  • We can go in straight lines. She doesn't suddenly dive off the rail and refuse to straighten out. Although, we can't really expect straightness when cutting across the arena.
  • When cantering we no longer get bronc bucking or trying to bite me. This one was kind of a pain.
  • She is much more balanced now and I don't feel like we're going to fall going around a corner.
  • She leads without running me over or taking off. Once being liberated from the stud chain I found she had no ground manners but she's learned very quickly.
  • No more rearing when she doesn't feel like lunging. Also, she slows down on voice commands now! No more galloping away without stopping.
  • She accepts the bridling easily and puts her head down for it.
I really would like to continue to improve at an even better rate. While I feel we've improved overall, there are still several things that I want to get done. Including one main goal:
    Lots and lots of this!!
  • Cantering. My one goal for this entire month is just about cantering. I want to make a nice transition from the trot to the canter without kicking up. I want Jetta to be on the bit yet not heavy and going at a reasonable speed. I want her to slow down when I ask. That is all! It's not too much to ask is it? I'm hoping to work really hard at it this month and by the end of January I would like to meet this goal.

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