Thursday, May 11, 2017

Weekly Update

It's been awhile and I'm excited to write about Vante!

He's such a fun little guy. I love working with baby horses cause they learn so fast and there's always such a huge difference in where you started and where you end up. Vante is such a sponge, he has soaked up a lot in a short period of time.

We have 5 rides so far under our belts and he's been great.

He's such a character!

He started out being pretty naughty - I guess one day he decided that the barrels that sit in the corner and never ever move were scary and he spooked pretty hard, slamming his owners foot into the wall and breaking it. Ouch.

The next time I rode, he was fine going to the right, but as soon as he saw the barrels to the left, he spooked and froze, refusing to go forward. I tapped him with the whip (I specifically rode with it for this reason!) and he reared and back pedaled across the arena. We worked on it a few minutes, with every time he threatened to rear, I turned his head and made him move his hind end around to get unstuck. Eventually we got back across the arena to the barrels and he sniffed them and took a break. After that, he was much better, though he still wanted to spook really hard, he held it together with just some counter-bending and trying to run his inside shoulder through my inside leg.

Finally confronting the scary barrels

The next ride had much less spooking and now he barely looks at them. We did try to ride outside one day to cool out since the weather has been so nice, but it didn't last very long. The horses in turnout started running when they saw him, and he grew several inches, arched neck, tail in the air, complete with snorting and prancing so I got off and walked him instead. Eventually we'll get there once we have better steering and listening skills :)

Such a different view with these ears!
A few of my favorite things - peach iced tea lemonade, sunshine, and horses!
Our last two rides have been absolutely fantastic though. He's picking up on taking contact. While he's still very inconsistent and he just doesn't understand why being a giraffe is not allowed, he's doing a lot better. While I haven't been insisting on it at the moment just because I'd rather have a forward horse who's steering appropriately, I've been having a steady light contact and he's really picking up on what it means. He's moving off my leg better, both laterally and in the forward direction, using the whip to reinforce it is helping a lot. Our circles and straight lines are more resembling what they should instead of odd jagged shapes.

While he does need to work on basically everything, our trot-canter transitions really need some help but once we start schooling them he does a lot better. He tends to die a lot in the downward transitions (but at least he stops well!), and I'd like our 20 meter circles to start resembling circles. He is going to have a hard time learning a free walk and stretchy trot, so we'll see how that goes. He's such an upright horse that stretching downward is so odd to him.

But I'm having such a blast with him!

And he's so handsome!

Jetta hasn't been forgotten, though I'm sure she wishes that she had been. She got a bath the other day, which she was very upset about, but it was very necessary. I've just been grooming her and lunging her, so she's been enjoying her pregnancy leave. Roughly 80ish days left!

In other news I got to go to my first derby party! It was super fun, I really enjoyed dressing up and making my fascinator and watching ponies.

My first mint julep aka adult snowcone

And my last kinda exciting piece of news... I did my first ever "surgery". Not real, just on a foam model, but it was really fun to go through all the steps of opening the different layers of skin, going through the linea alba, performing a bowel resection and anastamosis, then putting it all back together again. My sutures are getting better and better, though still not as "pretty" as I'd like them to be yet!


  1. What brand of saddle pad is he wearing? It's cute!

    I'm glad you are enjoying your green horse fun. And 80 days will go by fast!