Okay, my mare's transformation hasn't been so much as "physical" as 'mental and emotional' I guess, although there has been some physical change as well... I actually just read through her profile change, and did some updates, and was like, WOW...she has come SO far!!! When you see them all the time, you don't always realize the changes, until you look back at what you wrote down way back when!!!
Sept. 28, 2009, Bonnie, renamed Flicka, is definitely another project horse; she has bucking issues undersaddle, and doesn't know how to lunge on the ground. She has no round penning skills, but we can work on those later. I suspect she may have been abused, or simply 'broken' in at some point, because she has little confidence in people, or even herself. I'm excited to see what a few weeks, or months will bring! To her advantage, She does seem to have a really sound mind, and has a fairly calm attitude when you give her space and a chance to think things through, and is sweet despite what ever she's gone through.
First pic after I got her
She is very difficult to catch, however, so that will be #1 priority on the list. I think once she learns she can trust me to catch her things will go 'up' from there. She's probably used to being cornered and caught...I won't do that...I will let her keep moving until she figures out that either coming to me, or standing for me to walk up to her is okay.
Update: Three weeks later, Flicka now knows how to lunge, knows how to bend laterally, disengages her hind and front end really well, picks up her feet much better, and is easily caught. I have been on her a couple of times as well, and she has done great. On my second ride on her, I rode her around the campus and she was perfectly calm! Haven't done anything major on her, just calm rides.
Very first ride 2009
I continued with the riding until around early December, and then we got too busy and it got pretty icy as well, so she got mainly ground work when it was safe, and then in Januarly was when I started getting sick with my gall bladder issues that took the doctors 3.5 mos to figure out, so she and my other two equine charges basically got the winter off aside from ground work to keep manners in order.
*August 2010 It's hard to believe I've had this mare almost a year already. After several months of little to no undersaddle work (due to health issues, mine, not hers!), I started riding her again in July after moving to Colorado. She has done really well, and I've also been taking her around the neighborhood where she's boarded and she has done well out there too.
Trail riding in CO 2011
*February 12, 2012 Wow, I have owned this incredible mare for over 2 years now. While there are still areas undersaddle we still need polishing on (she gets really bored and fussy in arena work), the last 6 months (from August 2011 til now) she has proven to be a rock. Again, due to my own health issues, I have had to refrain from much riding, but still worked with her on the ground. In that time frame, we moved barns, and she settled in like a champ, and has actually done better at the current stable in a lot of ways, becoming more outgoing, especially with me, which has been such a blessing. When I haven't been able to ride, she has been extremely attentive to me...coming to a halt at any sign of dizziness, and coming in to stand next to me, being a literal 'shoulder to lean on' until the dizziness passed. On days I felt well enough to ride, she seemed to understand how well I felt, and gave me the amount of energy in her ride to accommodate. This is a horse that LOVES to work, and works hard for you...so for her to walk around like a kids pony is not her charactor; But she is sensitive to her rider like that...atleast for this rider. I love this horse so much! Can't imagine my horsey life with out her!
She's not a fan of bareback, but she's been amazing with it, now...