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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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This is Jesse, a beautiful Appendix Quarter Horse mare. I first met her when she was a few months old and she came to live with me as a long yearling.She was orphaned at birth. She is now four years old.
We have worked on many different things during our time together, both on the ground and saddled. Jesse is very smart and generally a good worker!

We have been working on our own and recently with a local trainer who is also named Jesse! Today, with the recent heat and humidity abated, we are going for a walk and a short training ride in the round pen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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Now its go time. We ride! Just a short ride today because Jesse is getting over some allegies that made her cough like crazy when we rode a couple of days ago. Some bunny hops and head shaking attitude means Jesse doesn't get a peppermint today! We ended on a good note with some walking and a proper whoa. Jesse is still a good girl!
 

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Wow, those pictures are beautiful. Whereabouts do you live?

Obviously your horse is beautiful also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
1116876
This is Nicki. My beautiful 7 year old Quarter Horse mare. She came to live with me as a long yearling. She is very opinionated and sassy.We worked on the ground almost every day for a couple years,even if it was just going for a walk in the woods and when she was three years old,we started riding some. We bonded tightly and we can't be apart from one another for very long. At our previous property, she would walk with me at liberty in the creek on hot days or on the back lawn with no fences. She is what you would call my heart horse. We can tell what the other is thinking.
Today, Nicki and I are puttering around on a maintenance ride, after several days off due to heat and humidity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
1116877
Off we go! Nicki has always been spooky and some rides got pretty hairy. I have tried different ways to prevent or reduce the spook but to no avail. Recently , I read a post right here on the forum that helped me alot. It was by Cherie and it was advising someone in the same boat as I am what to do. Drive the horse forward and keep the head down. Well, it worked for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
1117195

Today we are riding again! It has been very hot and humid the past couple of weeks and Jesse and I have been trotting in the round pen. It's been way too hot to take pictures. Just get the lesson done and we are both soaked in sweat when its over! Can someone take this heavy humidity away? Jesse has been doing really well and seems to be quite proud of herself. I 'make much' of her performance and give her lots of rubs and praise. We can trot all the way around the round pen.

Tacking up, I noticed the bot fly has been busy laying eggs on Jesse. They eggs are tiny and straw-colored and are difficult to remove. You may be able to see them in the picture of her leg.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
1117196

It's a little cooler today with the cloudcover but still obnoxiously humid and damp. Jesse had the last three days off because of my work schedule and the crazy oppressive atmosphere.
We start by lunging and Jesse walks,trots and canters,turns in and changes directions like a pro!
1117197
Now it's time to don the helmet and mount up. Helmet was left out in a thunderstorm last evening and never dried out. Yuck! I hate humid swampy weather!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
1117198
We have been lunging and riding in a rope halter up until our lesson with the trainer last Wednesday. Now we wear a bit and bridle! Jesse has had experience with bit and bridle so it's an easy transition.
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We spend some time trotting and turning. Jesse is a champ! Sit deep in the saddle,weight in the stirrups and slight back on the reins and "whoa". Jesse comes to a stop! I love my Jesse! Time for a well-earned peppermint!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
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Lesson at the Trainers arena this morning! According to the weather service,the humidity has dropped to 99%! Wow,what a relief! This morning I am making excuses why I rode Jesse only a couple of times the past 6 days since I had my last lesson. Heat and humidity!
My Trainer says Jesse must be ridden more than that. Real cowboys ride in the heat and humidity.
She is right ,of course. I must improve my game. You can see I am not a real cowboy because I am wearing shorts.

Today I feel 'off' my rhythm and unbalanced while I am riding. I dont know why,just a tense feeling and it translates into my lesson in a negative fashion.

Jesse and I trot and steer around cones and through poles and I think she did well considering my riding. The final ten minutes was spent walking in an adjacent field. Jesse's first ride outside an arena or round pen!! Good girl, Jesse!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Plant Plant community Ecoregion Natural landscape Tree
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Today, Nicki is going through a de-spookifying process. We choose a known scary location and walk the heck out of it. This little path through the front field has always caused fear and loathing for Nicki. Hand-walking has advantages for me since I can go exactly where I want without much of an argument. Nicki learned that even if I am not carrying a training stick, I can quickly make one out of a tree branch! I rarely carry one anymore.

So,with a resigned expression on her face,we walk around the field two times. Interestly, she will gently touch my arm with her muzzle when we enter a 'scary" area or if she spots something she feels I should know about. She will shake her head and open her mouth by my ear as if she wants to bite if I choose to walk into the 'really scary' areas like where water comes out of the hillside and makes the ground mushy. She knows better than to bite but expresses her displeasure with my decision making ability.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
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We ride the field with no spook!
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We look into the woods of the neighbors property. Our neighbor gave us permission to ride in his wooded property.
Plant Horse Tree Working animal Horse tack
Curiously,this is where Nicki shines. In here,we are the hunters. We can chase deer and track animals. Nicki moves out with confidence and if we stop,it's because she wants me to look at something important, like a porcupine.
Horse Plant Tree Working animal Leaf
We are very fortunate to be able to ride here. It is a beautiful,peaceful location and this morning was fun!
Hand Plant Light People in nature Dog
I sprayed her legs before we rode but its always a good idea to check for ticks when we are out of the woods!

Update on Jesse. Last week her left hind swelled up between the ankle and the knee from a strain or sprain so she is off work and riding until next week. She is improving daily. We can't wait to return to riding and learning!
 

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if we stop,it's because she wants me to look at something important, like a porcupine.
This made me laugh; the closest I've ever been to a porcupine was on a trail ride at the barn where I used to board. Fizz and I were just walking along, minding our business, when I heard the sound of claws scratching up the trunk of a tree ahead of us. At first I was worried it was a small bear (I didn't have my glasses on while riding and only made out a round, furry looking shape scrambling up the tree)- but as we stopped under the tree to see what was up there, I realized it was a porcupine. I got a little panicked as I thought, incorrectly, that they could shoot their quills when threatened (no idea where I had heard that), so we just hurried by, leaving him up the tree. Haven't seen another one while riding, though I know they are out there.
 
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