Ah! I have been busy and never got pictures put here! Kaja has also been making new human friends left and right. They're all obsessed with her mane and have to touch it. They also think she's just the cutest little thing, which doesn't help with her golden retriever personality.
This is Kaja now. Half my pictures of her make her look extremely sickle hocked. I promise she's not.
This was the first time in a western saddle. The cinch is a 24" and needs to be lifted up a notch on the other side.
Her mane looks a hot mess in that picture because she likes to stick her head through the fence and scratch her neck. Nuuu! Whyyyyy. You're ruining your mane, Kaja!
1) She got ridden last week for the first time in a few months. I am so glad I gave her a break to mature mentally because she definitely grew up significantly. I took her to the roundpen with my roommate so she could take pictures and be there if I were to get launched into the fence.
She did sooo good. I am attributing it to both her maturing and also my comfort in a western saddle and being able to be more relaxed (versus the dressage saddle that she sensed my tenseness in). She had a one or two little spooks and jumped forward, but stopped quickly when I told her instead of her fantastic tearing around before.
She learned how to back up then and is beginning to understand neck reining because I lay the opposite rein on her neck when direct reining her.
2) I got on her again today. Roommate had her mare in the roundpen so I manned up and took her in the arena, which is quite large. She jumped a little bit when I tried to get on, so I let her calm down and tried again. Didn't budge. Yippee!
I rode her around and she did great again. The biggest problem today was focusing on me and only me. The other horses are kept in the pasture the arena is in and they were standing within sight, so she kept looking at them and was curious about what was going on in the roundpen. Overall, I am very proud of my munchkin!
BAH. Wth computer. Just spazzed and deleted my whole thing. AGAIN.
So here I go with that whole updating once a month thing.. My bad.
I haven't done a whole lot of riding on her. At least not consecutive days because I've been busy. However, this week, Abby shanked the back of her leg and has been out of work for a few days. Apparently I grew some balls and decided to take Kaja to go hang out in the arena with some kids. Not the kids that only walk/trot; there was quite a bit of loping done.
She did awesome! She finally figured out that the cue for trotting on the ground also means trotting undersaddle. We even loped a little! The only disappointment from that day was the saddle that I had thought would fit her does not. It fit her back fine, but pinched her withers quite a bit. Boo.
The next day I decided to take her with a different group that still went in the arena. We cruised around all over. I grabbed a different saddle with a wider gullet to try. This one I really liked because it's a 14.5" barrel saddle. She didn't see as willing to move in it, though so I was concerned. Yep..didn't fit. But we did lope around quite a bit anyway. She's actually pretty quick. I didn't think she was until one guy caught up to us and said he had to lope a full sized horse to keep up with her.
Sooo I've printed off the same gullet templates I used on Abby when trying to fit her and we'll g from there.
Abby's still out for running around with the kids because she apparently doesn't heal quickly. So in the past week, I have ridden Abby once and Kaja instead. My roommate's barrel saddle fits her the best thus far, but still isn't perfect. Either I get pinched withers and it stays off the back..or it is wide enough for her withers and crushes her spine farther back. So yeah. Still working that out.
But she did awesome all week! We had a little tantrum on Monday night. As soon as I caught her, I knew she was going to be a snot because she was angry at me for whatever reason (probably because it was around 7:30pm and she has still not been fed grain..and a huge pasture of grass just isn't enough, you know). And I decided not to lunge her first. She was being a pill and then suddenly made a piss poor attempt at bucking..literally had to ask someone else with me what she was doing because all it was was her throwing her head down and hopping. Abby's turbo trot is harder to sit than that "buck." Obviously, he got rode through it and she realized it was a bad idea to try that.
She improved over the week and we only had a few instances of being unsure about going on with the group or catching up if we fell behind.
She even went swimming yesterday. She was totally game for standing about chest deep in the water, but was rather traumatized when she got pulled in further so she actually had to swim.
But I have more time next week too so she should be getting pretty solid over the next week or so. Obviously it'll be a while before she's broke broke, but she's learning her job and with how smart she is, she'll learn quickly. She thinks a lot and we only had a couple of spooks about anything. She gained a TON of confidence though and was pretty happy to be adventuring in the pastures.
The summer camp I work at has a horse camp. The kids signed up for it do horsey stuff a few hours a day. It was one of the trail rides. They were disgruntled because we wouldn't let them race around the pasture (they are ~13 and the most advanced group) because it had just rained and was slippery...even though I had literally just ate sh!t for doing that about a week prior (mare I was galloping on went to slow down and turn and bam. Both of us down when her back leg slipped out from under her).