Starting over! Again.
I have had some changed in my life lately and now my horse is back to being a priority. So starting yesterday, I've started over with Diesel.
So a back round: I got Diesel as a weanling. Dad had the bright idea that to replace my old, trustworthy mare I needed a horse I could raise and train. Completely unhandled, but I had been riding/handling horses for 7 years at this point and halter broken several calves. Totally the same haha. So with lots of reading and research, I managed to get Diesel through strangles, halter broke, first trailering, vet visits and farrier visits.
My old mare passed when she was 1 and 1/2. So I had no horse to ride. But thankfully I stumbled into a group where a man was training and needed someone to put miles on the greenies. Then, I thought it was the greatest thing ever. The vet gave me the okay to start her lightly the fall of her 2-year old year. I had her to the point of being saddled and accepting the bit. Then the man I was riding for decided it would be best if he took it from there. Well I still ended up being the first one on her back, where I was promptly bucked off. There were some red flags there. He then thought she needed to be laid down. Just an idea of his, still not sure why.
Any ways, she was badly injured after a month under saddle. And was out for a year. Just a bad, bad situation.
When I had her all better and good to start again, I was just starting university so the man I was riding for set up a deal for someone else to ride her for a month. Well, she came back thing, saddle/bit sores, hating life and incredibly spooky. So I gave her time off, again.
Few months later I stumbled into a trainer who recommended a boarding place. So I moved her and started all over, starting with getting her able to catch again. 5 months later I had her back under saddle, nothing spectacular, but we could walk and trot. And we traveled to a horse show for exposure. But then life happened. By the end of the summer I was working stupid hours and then for some reason she kept coming up lame.
When drama started at the barn and she was lame and not keeping weight, I took her back to dad's. Got it all cleared up and rode a few times when weather and time allowed. But we were drastically going backwards and my confidence started going down the tube.
So I started working my butt off and my bf and I scrapped up the money to send her to a trainer for two months. And in the mean time I met a trainer/instructor and started taking lessons, and then on Diesel after she left the trainers. And things were going great. She was back to her normal behavior. Great ground manners, doing great undersaddle, and getting a lot braver. She even had her first rides out of the arena (not with me riding, not back to that level of confidence yet). We did very well with that trainer/instructor. But sadly she moved away. So Diesel and I kept plugging along together. We could do w-t-halt transitions like a pro and were working on our canter transitions. She gave to the bit nicely and carried herself nicely. Even could do shoulder in and outs, a semi-decent roll back and a very, very, slow spin lol. She was even being a lesson horse for a friend who needed something a little more challenging.
I switched barns again. This time to a smaller, private place where she had turnout with others and gets to spend the summer on a pasture.. Riding time was tight, joys of working and university. But we still progressed at a very slow rate. Asides from having serious issues with finding a new farrier, she was still good.
Then 3 months ago she turned evil. Out of the blue she was hard to catch, pulling back while tied and tossing her head under saddle. The chiro came out and made adjustments, but nothing got better. She got pushier and then one night after I dismounted and went to loosen the girth she turned and kicked me in the stomach. This horse hadn’t kicked out at someone since she was an unhandled weanling.
I talked to a trainer who occasionally rides at the barn and he offered to work with her two weeks. Well at the end of the two weeks he told me to sell her. Couldn’t catch her, couldn’t saddle her, couldn’t get her on the bit. Well I was crushed. So I left her alone for a week and then went out and worked with her. And she was fine. Easy to catch, ground tied, sacked out no problem. She was back to normal after 2 months of crazy mare attitude. She still isn't as calm in the indoor as before, but that'll come. So I told him I wasn’t going to sell her. His response was if you actually get along with her, great. He still offered help if I needed it down the road.
So the past month has been finishing a class at the uni and some serious staff changes at work. But I finally have a set schedule and it is not looking like I’ll be taking full classes this fall. It is just work and horse right now.
That leads me to the point of this journal. Starting over! Again. I went out and just did ground work. Which is the plan for the next little bit. We had a good grooming session, where she ground tied the whole time, even when her buddies went out of sight. Not sure I trust tieing her yet without doing some serious yielding to pressure exercises for a while. We did some leading and hind quarter yielding exercises and free lunging. We ended the time with going over ground poles. She has a fear of ground poles. Long story short, she was flipped over backwards with a pole. I just love her face the first time she goes over the pole, thinking so hard. Then the second time she sort of leaps over it and then the third, she looks proud lol.
And of course I took pictures after the grooming session. She is a pudge right now, but that will change with being back to work.