This is a really good idea for a tread, and I think I am going to join in. I bought my mare back in November, she just turned 5 in September and is a Belgian draft x Appaloosa. She is currently just shy of 16 hands. Last year she had a two huge grown spurts. Our biggest downfall currently is that she is still butt high. The vet that did her PPE said that being a draft cross and being only 5 she may still grow. There have been a lot of studies in recent years about how all breeds of horses really are still growing until 6 or 7, so I am hopeful.
She was broke out at three, but the previous owner had two other horses that were her favorites so she only got used occasionally. Most of the work that has been done started end of June when the previous owner had to go out of state to be with family and I took over riding her horses. I ended up taking Sydney to three shows last year with mixed results. She does fantastic when she doesn't know any of the horses at the show, but bring along one of the other horses from the barn and she is buddy sour and distracted.
That is going to be a big hump to get over this year.
I became her soul rider and started leasing her in September, but it was short lived. I ended up having a little accident with her. I did what we were all taught in Pony Club not to do, I stood directly in front of her, she spooked, and ran me over. I tore my ACL but thank God was not trampled. In November I bought her (I spent most of last year horse shopping), and in December was finally able to get back on her.
Unfortunately I am not working on anything right now, with the weather I haven't been able to get out to the barn in almost a week and a half. I am really hating this winter. Last winter I hardly missed any ride time and I didn't even have an indoor! When I do get to ride I have been working on relaxing my body. I am use to horses that I have to have a lot more contact with (older school type horses), and she does best with the bare minimum of contact. It is a very strange feeling. I love how free flowing she gets when I relax, I don't like feeling like I have no control!
I have also been working really hard on getting her to move forward. She has a rather amazing trot, but her walk is typical pokey stock horse walk. She hasn't had a ton of canter work, so I think that is going to be our next hurtle. The few times I have tried to get her to canter she just gets faster and faster and faster at the trot without actually going into the canter. Anybody have any suggestions in how to teach a baby green horse to canter under saddle? She is the greenest horse I have ever ridden.
Oh, and here is the girl herself:
Free lunging video just for fun:
Despite being a draft cross, she can get pretty feisty when not worked regularly. She is the first horse that I have owned that I feel a little safer letting her run around for a few minutes before getting on.