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Jore 09-21-2012 08:42 PM

Little training accomplishment!
I just needed to share a little "brag" to speak with people who would understand, since I know my friends would likely not realize what the big deal about it is. :-P

Indie started out being super sensitive to leg pressure, as in, just touching her side would get her trotting.. and recently, trying to leg yield her into the corner would get her to a canter.

So, my last two rides have been almost completely focused on getting her to leg yield when I use my inside leg instead of moving up a gait. Finally, at the end of today's lesson.. I had her leg yielding out, on a loose rein, on a 20m circle, at a walk. Not to mention the fact that I had her trotting circles in a nice, low frame instead of her with her head cranked to the outside with no sense of rhythm. :D Oh yes, plus her lateral flexions are getting quicker each day.

I'm not expecting her to just magically be great, as I know when I next get on, she'll probably start out the same way.. but I'm glad that she's finally getting the hang of it. :-) It was so nice to be able to just put some inside leg on with contact and for her to go into a frame and not try cantering through the corners of the circles. I can't wait to see where we are a year from now!

HighonEquine 09-22-2012 04:19 PM

I'm glad for you! I also have a horse who is very sensitive to leg pressure so I know how frustrating that can be. He has gotten so much better though :)

Ashsunnyeventer 09-22-2012 04:25 PM

My mare is sensitive only on her right side ( from the track ). I know how frustrating it is to have them just go forwards. Today was my first day getting her to bend around my inside leg instead of go faster. Yay for progress :)

Jore 09-22-2012 04:55 PM

Indie was on the track until she was seven so she has an enormous amount of habits to be broken. She's so unbelievably quiet though and is such a joy to work with.

The other minor victory was having her stand still while I was on her for a good thirty seconds. Usually she's really antsy and takes a few steps sideways and backwards so I have to wait an extra five seconds until she's been patient. She's getting so much better though!

Usually I have to do a lot of trotting at the start just to get a bit of energy out, but I've been able to go a couple days without riding her and hop on and her behave quite well. My instructor and farrier were both incredibly surprised with how quiet she is. :-)

Ashsunnyeventer 09-22-2012 05:12 PM

Wow she was on the track for a long time! Mine was on the track until she was 3 (she is 4 now), and she is a handful. She has to be exercised 6 times a week, or else she uses her extra energy to jump out of her field. She doesn't stand either :) I'm going to try to cut back on food and work because I don't want to ruin her joints. My other horse was on the track till he was 3, but is the most quiet and bomb-proof horse EVER. My mom teaches preschool and as a field trip, the class got to come ride him (good idea- probably not, but he was good)

Jore 09-22-2012 05:23 PM

She was, so I've used that as an excuse for a lot of the habits she has. She's really submissive with other horses out in the pasture, but in the arena, she pins her ears at almost everyone. I'm assuming it's because she wasn't ridden with other horses around where I got her from, so her last experience with being ridden alongside other horses came from the track.. where she was always being pushed to pass them. I've been pleasantly surprised with how she acts though, aside from the ear pinning.. I almost expected her to constantly be in a race against them, and even though we usually end up passing everyone because she has long strides, she can keep her pace with a couple half halts.

And yeah, the joints were a huge worry for me. We had x-rays done and the vet said there were signs of pre-arthritis but she was pleasantly surprised by how the joints held up. We have her on Recovery EQ now and the vet said she should be sound for riding for the next ten years. :-) The farrier has also done wonders for her feet and we're already seeing a difference in her gaits.

And yeah, I'm thinking her age is probably why she's so quiet.. I couldn't imagine her when she was three. :-P I'm sure that's when she got all her crazies out because I have yet to see her get even slightly out of control. Usually if I haven't ridden her for a few days, she'll just be stiff and trot as fast as she can.. so I'll do five minutes of circles and then she can usually focus on what I need her to do.

Ashsunnyeventer 09-22-2012 07:48 PM

It sounds like you got lucky :) My gelding was at the track for 3 races and he has got some major joint problems and arthritis. I guess it all depends on the horse...

Jore 09-22-2012 09:28 PM

I agree.. the vet said that most of the problems with her legs are purely cosmetic. She can't be jumped, but I just figured I have the rest of my life to own that "perfect" horse. I don't do too much jumping anyways, so I didn't think of it has a huge issue.

And yeah, I was really surprised that there wasn't more damage.. the vet said she figured that a lot of the cartilage might have gotten worn away but she said the joint looked quite good aside from the arthritis that was starting. The only problem is that her hind legs tend to get stocked up if she's in her stall for too long, so she's on 24/7 pasture to keep her joints moving.

Ashsunnyeventer 09-22-2012 09:58 PM

We just had to move my gelding to 24/7 turnout because he would get so stiff standing in his stall. I'm hoping that the 14 races that my mare ran won't have too much of an affect on her body. As for her mind- I've been told that she has great racing blood in her, so she's a little hotter than what I expected. I love OTTB's though. Such sweet horses, even if they come with problems :)

mom2pride 09-23-2012 12:24 AM

oh how I can relate!!! My mare was and can be the same way!! It has been a long road with her, but the results have been worth the time and patience I have put into her.

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