Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Higgins, TX. YeeHaw!!
My first suggestion is that you work at the walk until you get that right before moving to the trot before moving to the canter. I would leave the jumping til very last. I also would not give her that extra day off, I mean she already has Mon, Wed, and Fri off. If you want time to connect with her and love on her, do it from the saddle. If you have the area, lots of trail riding will assist in keeping her alert and developing her working long walk. Also, it works great if you have some deadfall to ride through (nothing too extreme though) because that will help teach her to be aware of where her feet are and that will make her more concious of her feet during other work. Also, if she has only been ridden for about 5 months total in her life, then she is still a pretty green horse. Lots of miles over different terrain will give her experience in just being ridden. During the trot, just try to keep it at the pace that you want. Young horses sometimes tend to get strung out in their gates and just have to be worked through it. If she starts going too fast, then signal her to slow and then release the pressure. One of the things that I do on my young horses to teach them to rate and also be aware of me at all times is something I do on the trail on the way home. I will ask them for a slow trot. If they change the gait in any way such as speeding up, I will stop them and make them stand for a couple of seconds or maybe back a couple of steps. Then we will start home and again I will ask for a slow trot and repeat the entire process. This will help them learn to be aware of what you are doing at all times and teach them to move "with their brakes on". This will also help to keep their head down and their movement calm. When they get a bit older, I also work on that at the lope.
Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/