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I got Dixie last spring. Turned out she had/has summer pasture related heaves, so I was unable to do much with her at all through the hot weather here. The weather has changed and Dixie is breathing well and the vet gave two thumbs up to start working her.

Nobody has done anything with this little mare in years. I started with lunging her. The first day she trotted so fast and so hard and was so skittish. I've kept at it and day by day she is turning into a different horse. Today she did nice walk/trot transitions on the lunge line both directions.

I'm working up my courage to get on her. She is 14 years old and really a pretty decent little gal. I'm just a bit leary as I've never seen anyone on her, and her movements are fast, very fast. She doesn't spook, but she can spin and turn on a dime (would be a wonderful little reining mare). I'm at that age where I just want to walk and trot and not fall off...

Anyway, I'm thrilled that she is doing so well on the lunge line and she is really bonding a lot more with me as well. Today was the first day she did some licking/chewing after our session, so I know she is really relaxing more and getting comfortable with me working her.

Need to continue building up her muscle and lung capacity, but hope to be on her one of these days soon.
 

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Could you find someone to lunge her while you get on? That way theres an extra set of hands to help and get her under control, if thats needed.
 

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I don't think it will be an issue. I'm pretty sure she'll be okay once I do get on her. It's going to be a few months though, she really is lacking muscles in her back right now and I want to build her back up before I climb aboard :)
 

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So far it sounds like your doing well with her. She is a bit old, so training is going to be harder because she won't be as willing to learn as a younger horse would.

Your best bet right now, if you have access to one, would be to round pen her. And do LOTS of roundpen work. A horse really responds well in the roundpen, you'll really want to be watching her head and her eyes. She needs to know your there, and that you have control, all her focus should be on you not the surroundings.

Also try do lots of despooking methods.
 
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