i lost track of your jornal haha so I went back and reread it from my last post o.o
Somehow I never connected that he looks just like a horse we had at the rescue. He was blind in one eye too. Old owners hit him with a 2x4
He did have a problem a while back where his eyelashes bent into the eye, but they figured it was easier/cheaper and less stressful to just fix the lashes instead of removing the eye.
But ya. They look the same (Luckys a morgan though haha)
Grand is still one of my fav HoFo horses of course. Such an awesome boy you have!
Awww.. poor horse.
They do look similar.
I am glad to hear you like him so much. Today I was even more amazed of him.
We worked on the lunge with cavesson - the only thing that got him stressed out a bit today was the fact I kept asking for left canter, but he raised it wrong. SO that took a bit of his stress levels to rise. Afterwards walked him off, took him to the saddling spot, let him graze the grass there and relax for about 30 minutes.. earn the praise of lunge.
Then I saddled him up, and went for a short ride.
He was bending his neck nicely, he was much more responsive to turns and bends. We even managed to raise a trot a few times, even though after that trot he tried to carry me into bushes What a funny boy he is
However, as today was a Saturday, my family was home, and I asked my brother to take a few pictures of us!
Most of them were bad, as my lens is hard for my brother to work, plus it was sun, dark clouds, lots of light reflecting from the wet grass etc.. so basically.. there is one photo to sum it all up.
This was 12th ride. He is amazing. This is just asking for trot. So basically, I think my groundwork is paying off. And with Cavesson I can do more straightness training, than I can with the halter.. or at least that is how I feel. But we are still going bitless... and drives me crazy a little..
I think I am just one crazy nutter who is too crazy about her horse and noone else appreciates it.
I am going nuts. This morning again, my eldest brother woke me up earlier than my alarm, saying "can you please collect your horse while he is eating flowers not cars again?".
He got out... again..
Ok, got him in and 1 h later went to lunge him a little, because it was too wet to do serious work..
Then I was going to the sea, my aunt invited me to visit her at the sea so I can ride at the sea. Well what, it was raining... bloody rain, the moment I arrived.
So I never got to ride because it was no point to wait longer and they were going to ride again later, but that was too late for my dinner plans..
Ok, I didn't get to ride on the beach, but next year or the year after I can go with my horsey! Somewhere.
Was coming home, and my brother calls me, younger one. "Are you home soon? Your horse is in the yard!" I almost dropped dead there.. I mean he went through electricity this time. What the hell is wrong with him!
Got home, everything was safe, brother kept him away from the car and other scary things.. Found him behind his shed, in the yard, eating grass.. like his pasture has no grass to eat ofc.. it couldn't be more green at this time of year!
Made his pasture bigger, made sure it doesn't release electricity anywhere else, and set him back up. But in the mean time when tied in the long line, he had got to my sand pile and started throwing sand around. I am annoyed.
Now everyone is paranoid about my dogs barking... because apparently last night they were barking all night when he was walking around.
After all that I decided I have over an hour to go let the kids ride and ride a little myself. Ye, sure, the moment I arrive there rain starts. WHYYY?????
And tomorrow Grand gets an injection, so he cannot sweat for 3 days. But I won't ride without a lunge first.. and there he sweats on his neck quite fast.
Not my lucky day. And they even got my dinner order a bit wrong.. but they fixed it.
Grand has been out of commission for 3 days.. today I checked if he can work, he was a bit lame, so I just reminded ground manners and did some liberty leg yielding. Though not sure how much good that gives us now, even though my trainer tells me to work with that, a LOT now..
Basically, I get about 1 h riding lesson (had 3 now, today was longest) where I have to work on my posture again (not riding properly has made me lose most of my skills) and lots of leg yielding. Favorite exercise in the lesson? Walk a million squares to get one corner taken out correctly. Ok, trainer took me closer at some point to show how he can really do it, but we have a looooooong way to go, especially because her horse has gone a bit lazy too - he likes blobbing around with kids on his back, they cannot make him work. My task is to learn to make his hindquarters work HARD.
But overall he gives me excellent experience (that horse) and sore muscles all over. As my trainer told me, I am long past beginner riding, now it is time to start reaching dressage test levels. Stop being lazy and work hard.
So ye.. Grand is going to be next training object (i will be riding both horses whenever possible).
And Stable owner asked us to take his horse again, as he is up for sale and soon a buyer might come... Ok, no probs, he needs to be worked and it is more experience for me.
Ok, he was lunging a lot better than a few days ago when my friend lunged him, he was calmer, more relaxed and trying to focus. (also, he has history of bucking people off and he has massive sway back from birth almost, first foal, injured his leg a few days old, was on stall rest for over a month). I got him worked on the lunge and got a person to hold the lunge while I ride him a bit (he is not 100% safe off the lunge).
He was doing fine, walking, getting him used to the outer rein, getting him used to people talking around and on him, touching from being on his back. Oh, he did panic a bit while I was trying to slowly get on, but I stuck to the saddle hanging on his side, praised him when he stood still for a moment, got off and we started again. He was stressed about it, but he is getting used to it slowly.
Then at some point he panicked about something, tried to bolt, but got him back immediately (he is still not cantered under saddle, I don't know how many rides he has), trotted around no problem. He got scared of a praise, touched his neck a bit harder, and he bolted, was hard to bring him back and get him used to having his neck and chest touched from rider. He calmed down and I wanted to get off..
My life went past my eyes. Threw those thoughts out of my head and kept sitting. I was already turned to throw my leg over his back and get down, when he flipped. I don't know how I turned back, pulled myself in the saddle, held on for dear life and sat his bucks with grace. It felt like I am learning to sit a rodeo horse. I was grateful that the saddle is quite comfy. I was grateful that I have some quick responses. I stayed one, got control over him, and then we had a dilemma how I can get off without being injured.
My friend rode her horse/his best buddy next to us, so he stands a bit better maybe and I quickly made my escape. While still shaking I decided I cannot trust a teenager to take his things off as he panics about legguards too and sometimes the saddle. So took those off and instructed to take him into the pasture with the bridle, carefully take it off and leave him be.
I sat down and stopped moving for a while, didn't even care that the grass was wet.
That horse is downright crazy. Ok, I know, he needs a lot more basic work. But holy cow he is just a nervous wreck.
His owner asked me, if I don't want to ride him in the evenings before the seller comes.. I am not quite sure about that...
First and second photo are why I am so proud of him. He is gracious, elegant, beautiful, strong, loyal, friendly, and all other amazing things all in one. He is a great example of his breed - he has nice conformation, good gaits and amazing character.
Third photo is to show how he gives me heart attacks when he sleeps and doesn't move. It is worse when he sleeps with his blind eye up and his mouth slightly open.
Today I spent time grooming and massaging him, contemplating if we get a lunge or no - yesterday was a bit too wet, the day before he was limping, today he was in a good mood. I decided on bandages, as grass is quite wet - my reasoning is that his legs will warm up faster and in case of slipping during warm up, his tendons would be warm already and therefore less risk of injury, but I am sure someone would tell me that it is just to warm my heart..
Anyway, he was pulling at start, forgetting brakes and all those things, but then I took him on a smaller circle to work on connection with me, slowing the gait, focusing and activating hindquarters and using a little lateral flexion on the circle, and WOW, what he showed me. I am sad I don't have pics or video, but it is hard to work a horse on the lunge and take pics! He connected his bum to his head, tucked him bum under, raised his front, collected his head and moved like a dream. And then people say 1 eyed horses are useless. I want to feel that trot under me!
And then collected canter. I was not pushing him, I was asking him to connect with me, and I guess he showed me part of his potential.
He is amazing, and will never stop amazing me.
By the way - third or fourth time putting bandages on was perfect, he raises his legs pretty darn well finally and managed to even do some exercises on warming them up before workout.
I call this a very good day, even though I am having some sort of snuffles.
The pride and joy showed more abilities yesterday. It is just the start, but this is a horse that was doomed to slaughter, as he is useless. I don't think so. I think he is amazing and could be anyone's best friend.
I was not asking for collection or anything, I was asking for more bend and more activity with hind legs. He showed me this, even more advanced later, small circle, lots of things going on, later even raised slow canter from balanced trot, the transition was smoother than I ever saw. Just epic
I LOVE Liberty. And so does Grand. I am too excited to tell it all.
Basically - he responds real well in liberty.. there are some things to discuss, but even when he seems to disconnect and try to move closer to his new friend's paddock, he can be called back.
I started with the hempfling idea of being one with him, moving as one, he nipped me for it. However, I kept the idea of no control over his head - just a rope on his neck, but even then, he doesn't know this pressure and if he wanted, he would just leave me..
He moved beautifully, and when asked to perform bent walk around me and some trot around me, he did great.
And then followed me up the sand pile and ate all the grass as far as he could reach
I rode yesterday again.. But I suck big time.. I think it was 3 weeks of not riding him.. wth?
Anyway. Yesterday I rode in the cavesson, as I didn't want to swap headgear through the session.
Also, I rode him before the complete end of lunge session, as in I didn't work him on the lunge too much. I just asked for some forward movement, bending a little, showing me how much he listens to me, reactions, and ofc all 3 gaits, and up I went.
He was an angel. He did not try to pull me to his buddy's field, he did not try to bring me into bushes. He did try to walk weird, but comon, we don't have a nice arena to work in, its an uneven grass patch that we work on, and he still doesn't know how to carry me the best, so we need to work work work. The best would be to go to the forest, but I am still not 100% sure I can turn him away if he wants to go somewhere..