It has been a while but I'm starting up this journal to track some progress. It has been a busy year for Cascade and I.
Things are going fairly well, but she is a big bossy horse. I've had to step up my horsemanship, and sometimes it has taken me a little while to settle into my new stride.
I just sent Cascade away for some professional training, but now it is up to me to maintain it.
Yesterday was her first day back, so I did some ground work with her and gave her a bath so I could inspect her all over for any nicks and cuts from training.
Today was my first day on her on my own.
It didn't go terribly well.
My goals for today were to do ground work until she was moving off my cues nicely and not pulling at all on the lead. I also wanted to get her calm and settled before I tried to ride her.
I took her into the jumping arena where two other ladies were riding, and Cady wouldn't settle when I was in the saddle. She sidestepped, backed up, and went over to the gate, so I hopped down, bought her back to the round pen, and worked on our groundwork some more.
I brought her back to the jumping field and got on her again, she started off at a walk, but didn't listen to my directions when I would try to steer her. We ended up all over the place, and I didn't feel in charge, so she took advantage of that. It did give us some practice on one rein stops and backing up, which she did well.
She also didn't try to buck or do anything silly.
By the end, I made it my goal to walk with her once to the other side of the arena. When she did that, I got off. I walked her back to the gate, then made her do some quick circles at the gate, then I walked her around the arena before I took her out.
We visited the round pen one last time because I had to clean it up, but I took the opportunity to make her move again at a nice controlled trot.
Then I groomed her and put her away.
How I felt today: Focused when doing the ground work and assertive. When I got in the saddle, I was determined, but I felt a little out of control. That got to my nerves.
How Cascade felt today: She was taking every opportunity to test her boundaries. She was trying to graze while grooming, moving into my space, etc. Health wise, she had a lot of energy and not much focus.
Wednesday is farrier day, so I'm going to make sure she is behaving while having her feet done, then do some groundwork near the barn. Then I'm going to take Liberty out and ride him.
My goals: Move Liberty around the jumping arena at a trot and a canter so I can regain some confidence at those gaits. Thursday I can't ride due to an appointment, but on Friday, I want to be able to move Cascade into a confident trot and stay with her until she realizes she's not choosing our gait, I am and if she wants to slow down or stop, she has to go once around the ring under my control.
Things I need to think about today:
Patience. Rome was not built in a day. I just need to make sure to help each day go as best I can and recognize if I'm falling into a bad pattern so I can ask for help. I will get where I want and need to go with time, patience and confidence.
I need to sing the song "Let it go" while I'm riding. Fear doesn't make anything better. It is very hard to let go of as a mother and a rider though.
I love my horse.
We'll see how things go with the Farrier tomorrow. I'll have a better idea of how much she's testing everything with him tomorrow because I know how she normally acts with him. If she's being testy, it should come out tomorrow.