About Me

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USDF Region 1, United States
Rigitta is a 2005 Lipizzan mare,(Pluto II Dixana x Rheia), that I finally found Dec 2010 after a 2 year search for a Lipizzan. Many adventures and new found friends later, Rigitta and I begin our partnership and eventual dressage competitive career. Rigitta has not been started yet so this will all be from scratch just like my 2007 Dutch Warmblood, Cedar(Theo), has been. I am an over 50 Adult Amateur Dressage competitor. I am a supporter of the Nokota Horse and have owned several. ... www.nokotahorse.org ... Amy Dragoo is helping me with my Blog photos. Majority are from her. ... AK Dragoo Photography, LLC ... www.akdragoophoto.com ... You can follow her Blog here: http://akdragoophoto.squarespace.com/view-all-posts/ ... Also a shout out to Sarah Casey and Waltzing Horse Farm Berlin, New York where I got Rigitta ... http://www.waltzinghorsefarm.com/ ... Make sure you click on "older posts" at the bottom of the page to see everything that has been happening since the beginning of the adventure!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Keeping the topline when things go wrong

Who was it that first said, horses' are a journey not a destination?

Rigitta is a riddle that I am slowly figuring out. She is now in her third month undersaddle and getting stronger  she is also the princess and the Pea who gets annoyed when she is uncomfortable.

I was riding her this morning and she had a fly on her belly and after a few minutes of  tale swishing and kicking at her belly she decided to go down on her knees to roll.  She only got as far as her knees and I kicked her up.  but I guess the fly was gone!

For 2 days I did not lunge her before I got on her and it did not go well.  She needs to warm up her back and her brain so I am back to lunging her in sidereins for a few minutes.  I have also put a wither pad on her to avoid pressure on her withers.  Whatever works!

She often has what Melanie calls brain farts.  Little things changing in her environment while she is being lunged or ridden make her loose her focus. ( Horses coming and going from the ring.  a parent sitting on the hill.  A lesson kid running out of the woods, a dog running by).   What she does is want to stop dead and stare at whatever it is.  Her neck goes up into her withers, her back gets blocked and her hind end goes under her.  Very difficult to ride that and to unblock her.  She gets upset with the unblocking i try so we can loose ground for ten minutes sometimes while I reogranize her brain and her body.  When this happens on the lunge the sidereins keep her in frame and the issue is gone very quickly.  Undersaddle, dealing with my weight and just the reins and my hands, she is able to get into, and stay in a "twist" as I call it.

It ocurred to me last night, that using draw reins when I ride her might give her the same correction to her topline that sidereins do on the lunge.  I do not mind that she gets distracted and I might have to re-organize her but the drama was a major pain.  I tried the drawreins this morning and it did exactly what I had hoped it would do.  Brainfart... hit the drawreins...kept her topline and her neck out from her withers and was back to work in a few seconds. neither of us got stressed about anything and we had a good training session.

Now if I can get this all week, I will know we have something positive going.

Friday, May 27, 2011

And on we go

Rigitta had her Chiro check up last night to see how she is doing with the new saddle. She has greeatly improved in 3 weeks.  No more muscle spasms or stiffness.  I am looking forward to another ride with her today.

I start with a plan and then have to revise!  Theo will do the July  Andreas Hausberger SRS clinic in New York because it will be more demanding and he is ready for it.  Gitta will go to Melanie's for Christian Bachinger later in July as it is more low key.

Theo is ready to move up to Training 1 for June schooling shows.  And I am ready to pick up the regular ride on him in July.  Time to rock and roll!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

All Good!

Things are progressing finally, with another good work session for Rigitta.  We lunge , long line and spend just 15 minutes under saddle all to get her stronger without emphasizing any one thing.  She stretched down in the last 5 minutes undr saddle.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Training with Melanie Adams

Good two days working with Melanie Adams this weekend.  Nice roadtrip for Rigitta down to Maryland for a "sleep over".

Thursday, May 19, 2011

New saddle

I have a saddle for Rigitta now that fits her.  It is a 39 CM Duett dressage Saddle.  What a difference!

She has recovered quite well from the bad saddle fit and is relaxing again on the lunge in side reins.  I sat on her in the round pen tonight at the walk and she seemed to be feeling comfortable.  Will slowly re-introduce undersaddle work mixed in with the lunging and long lining.  Will keep to the walk and make sure she has the steering and gas pedal well understood and moving away from the leg.

Gitta and I are going down to Melanie's tomorrow thru Saturday for 2 training sessions and her second off farm trip.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Saddle Fit

It is well into May and I have not blogged for awhile.  Rigitta is having trouble with saddle fit.  She was not doing well under saddle the  last 10 days of April.  I have her back on the long lines and lunging in a Pessoa.  She needs to build up her top line and I need to get a saddle for her that fits.  She measures to a 40 CM.  So I expect to start her all over again June 1st, all things being equal.

Theo is continuing to develop well doing 2 schooliong shows and 1 day clinics with Bob Orton and Julio Mendoza.  I ride him for Julio and Anecia rides him for Bob Orton.

Gitta's saddle fit issues have slowed down her progress so Theo will be doing the 2 Spanish riding School Clinics.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Let the fun begin!

May is going to be busy. I start riding both horses 2 x a week.  Theo is entered for RyeFox May 6 USDF B&C and again at DVCTA May 22nd, Anecia in the saddle.  Another session with Bob Orton for him on the 13th. Theo will stay in training at least through July, then it is time for me to take him from there.

Gitta is doing a one day clinic with Julio Mendoza May 7th and then a 2 day clinic with Melanie Adams May 21&22, me in the saddle.  I pick up the rest of her training with help from Anecia on the ground on May 16th. Anecia has her 2 more weeks to stablize things.

Gitta is now cantering undersaddle and learning to move off the leg.  She is very stiff longitudinally so she needs to do a lot of bending.  Any non-compete time at schooling shows for her will start in August after she has done her 2 SRS clinics in July.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

One step forward, one step back

Gitta got insecure yesterday so went back on the  lunge line. Today she was very good and happy, she will stay on the lunge line the rest of the week while lessons on moving off the leg and turning continue.   She is starting to respond to both.

She is so connected to who ever is on the ground that she gets lost when they go away, so a  weaning process will need to be done!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Trotting off the lunge

Big day today.  Walk and trot off the lunge in the round pen.  Still needs a lot of work on steering but sure has the go and whoa part.

Everbody had a good day today, Theo too... working through his canter depart issues.  He goes off farm tomorrow.

The farm goes to Morven park for a show this weekend.  I am looking forward to riding Theo again Friday thru Sunday and long lining Gitta while Anecia is away.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Rigitta's Marvelous Adventure

Off to a schooling show today with the rest of Second Nature Farm.  Went to see how Rigitta would  be off farm at a small show.  She was fine, as if she was at home.  Not a bit of trouble.  She lunged in the warm up going right to work.  She looked around of course and was on high alert but extremely well behaved!

I thought I would need to take her to a few shows in hand  for that experience but looks like, NOT!  We are going to wait until she is ready to be ridden off farm and go again.  She is headed to Morven Park recognized show May 6-7-8 as a non compete under saddle.

Anecia has both the horses back in training again April 1st.  I had fun working with them the last week but back to school! Gitta is now on the lunge line under saddle.

Theo will start to go off farm this week, and he has a session with Bob Orton April 15th.  He is entered in the April 17th DVCTA schooling show USDF A and B.  He will do an away recognized show non compete the end of May.

Let the fun begin!!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Long Lining Day 2

These are just at the walk.  We also have a great time trotting with me jogging behind, doing circles ,figure 8s, serpintines, transitions, she is fun and seems to enjoy it as much as I do.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Long Lining and other Fun Things Today

Anecia is taking a brief  "vacation"   (-:    and I am keeping Theo and Gitta worked for a week or 2 starting today.  Theo I can lunge and ride, but I will stay off Gitta unless someone is around to help. So Long Lining is on the agenda  to help with the turning and brakes training.

Well you woulda thought she had been doing it all her life.  There was a lesson going on in the round pen so the large ring was my only option and considering the ring was already occupied by a small child on a small pony, a stable apprentice on her 'free' ride and someone who trailered in with an OTTB I was a bit concernd how Gitta would handle all the commotion, but she said... Nyeh... they bow down before me... the riff raff I have to deal with... not even worthy of her notice.

I first lunged her in a corner both directions,  then on went the long lines and I lunged her from the long lines on the bridle, w/t.   No problems, she turned and whoaed like a champ on the circle.  Then off we went, just at the walk, with me driving her around the ring, turning, whoaing, standing still, going straight, doing figure eights, circles.  Steering towards, by, around and away from the other horses.  She was very attentive to what I wanted her to do.

I hadn't expected her to do anything naughty, but I had expected her to be confused and take a bit of time to figure out what to do.  I continue to be impressed with her mind and interest in doing anything asked of her.  Great work ethic and  Easy peasy, no muss no fuss.

I lunged Theo and then rode him and what a difference 4 months makes.  He  rode like a "real" horse unlike the baby I rode all last November.  He has been under saddle with Anecia for just 3 weeks after 3 months off.  Really working through his back and from behind.  Canter to the left was very nice.  But canter to the right got a big zero.  I couldn't figure out how to help him with that.  Anecia needs to give me some pointers.

So much fun working with both my kids today.  I am excited to have some time in the saddle with Theo this early, an unexpected treat. Anecia has him in training at least through end of May and hopefully through end of June and then I need to take up the reins.  Gitta will be in training through end of April and then I pick up the reins to continue her training, she is going to be very easy.

She has an off farm adventure April 2nd at the Blue Goose Schooling show to hang out and lunge in the warm-up.

 The adventure continues!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Gitta's Tiara

My Niece Erin asked for a photo of Gitta's Tiara.  Once she is well started under saddle it will go on her bridle as the brow band

Gitta is undersaddle since Sunday the 20th.. but on a lead rope, until she learns to steer , go off the leg and whoa from the seat and hands.  Then she will go on the lunge.  No time table for anything so Gitta can let us know when she is ready to take next steps.

Mounting on/off on either side doesn't bother her or the weight on her back.  But she is very sensitive/goosey to the leg moving around on her and going off and on.  Same concern she had with the milk bottles.  Tincture of time!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

More Bottles and Crupper ooh la la

Third day with the bottles and second day with the crupper.  Crupper has been no trouble for her at all and has fixed the sliding saddle issue perfectly.  Anecia's daughter Melanie, is going to bedazzle the crupper this weekend to match her browband.  If she has to wear one at least it will sparkle!

Still an occasional single minor issue, yesterday and today, with the bottles, but when I say No sharply she stops and goes back to ignoring them. At this point she is not scared or worried about them, she just gets annoyed if they really start to bouncing on her hips.

I tried a Wintec Isabella on her with the extra wide white gullet bar (36 CM) and it fit perfectly. YAY!  I will go with that for the time being as it is the most economical solution until she muscles up.  Next year I can decide if she needs something else.

Photo below is with 4 bottles, the crupper and the 34 CM Duett that is too small for her.  I had her wolf teeth out yesterday so no bridle for 2 - 3 days.  Anecia starts her tomorrow!! Big girl stuff starts.

And not to be forgotten is Theo  who is being a star.  I got to watch him work this morning.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

More work with Strange things

I was trying different saddles on Gitta 2 days ago and one did not work out quite as planned.  It slid up on to her withers and the stirrups were flipping onto her shoulders and she had a melt down.  I had to go over everything in my mind until I realized what caused it.  I switched the saddle with the lunging cavesson and everything was fine. 

The next day I spent some time trying to find where and what the trigger points were and it seemed to be things flopping around on her shoulders.  With some slow work I was able to get her to accept my riding  helmut bouncing off her shoulder at walk and trot.  That was all I had with me that night.

So this evening I brought the milk bottles on stirrup leathers and went to the round pen. After going through the  plastic bag work again that she knows, I switched to the milk bottles.  Different sound, feel and look to them and she was not happy, so I started fromm the beginning with them in my hands and working with her all over her body until she accepted them bouncing off of her standing still.

Then I secured them to the front of the saddle on both sides and we started on a small circle at the walk, switching directions every couple of minutes.  That took about 6 minutes for her to accept that.  Her only reaction was to look sideways at them and freeze when they got to swinging.  Once she stopped those reactions,  then started with some trot steps.  After 20 minutes of slow work and giving her time to figure it out and think it through she was trotting both directions nicely.  During the 20 minutes she attempted a melt down twice but with a quick snap of the rope on the rope halter and a sharp "NO" she stopped and went back to being okay. 

So I found I can switch off the reaction and she goes back to business. 

After ten minutes of not reacting, trotting relaxed and forward switching directions 4 times I called it a day.

Lot's more work ahead with things hanging off the saddle!  But she is staying true to form and does accept things if you give her time and don't surprise her.

And we decided I should put a crupper on her to keep the saddle from coming forward.  The search for the right saddle will be another adventure I am not looking forward to!  My 34cm Duett fits the best but does still slip forward a bit.  Right now she is like a slippery sausage until she builds muscle, she does have a wither.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Julio Mendoza Clinic at Four Winds Farm March 12 - 13


I had the pleasure of riding for Julio Mendoza at a 2 day clinic march 12 - 13. It was held at Melanie and Tom Adam's Four Winds Farm in Whilte Hall,  Maryland.  I rode Melanie's 9 yr old Lipizzan mare Cassurina.

After not riding all winter it was a shock to my system!  Though I did go down and ride Melanie's horses 2 weekends before the clinic to get some feel for Cassie.

My goal was to spend the 2 rides understanding how to work with the baroque horse and how to get them to work up through the withers from the hind end and not be jammed up in the neck.  Julio works with all types of horses but does specialize in the baroque horse.

It was fun and Melanie always does a nice clinic for riders and auditors with breakfast, lunch and a cook out.  riders get a small gift.

Julio was a lot of fun and a very personable clinician and easy to understand what he wanted.  He also went out of his way to explain to the Auditors what he was doing and what results he was looking for.

Hopefully Julio can come back in May and I can bring Gitta.

Week 3 Training Update

Wow how time flies and I have been busy.  Theo and Gitta moved on Feb 26th to Second Nature Farm. Both went right to work the next day.  Gitta had her melt down in the first 2 days, Theo decided to wait until week 2.  But all is well now.  Anecia is doing all the work with Theo thru May at least and I am doing the ground work with Gitta this month before Anecia takes her for one month.

Week 3 and Gitta is lunging nicely in the big ring in side reins and tack. I have sat on her twice and tonight Anecia lead us around the whole ring at a walk for a few minutes.  No problems.  She is ready to do more.

Gitta is thriving on the work and the attention. She really has the "fire" in her belly to be a performance horse and has the attitude and confidence to get right to it. 

All we have been doing for 3 weeks is lunging and I sit on her once in a while. I love watching her on the lunge, she has dropped her head and has a nice long arch to it, is working more through her back.  I can change her tempo and do walk to trot transitions. She also has a nice balanced canter.  Even when she is in a nice balanced collected trot she is overstepping and has a bouncy suspension.  She floats with a capital F.

Not bad to get all that in 3 weeks, oh the joy of a 6 yr old horse that has it's brain in place and it's physical development matured!

Poor theo will need 2 more years, he is growing again and is 16.2 plus.  I swear he will be 17 hands.  My Mutt and Jeff horses.

An interesting thing about my relationship with Gitta.  I can go right out to the field and halter her with no issues.  Everyone else she plays games with.  Except for my 12 yr old nokota Cody, I have not had a horse bond to me that directly.

I feel that the Magnesium has made a huge difference in settling Gitta and will continue her on it.  If she needs anything else I will put her on Depo.

So what is next.... 

She gets her wolf teeth out and teeth floated this Friday

Anecia is going to evaluate where she is next week and if she is ready to really have her under saddle training then it will begin from there. I think she is, but we will see.

I need to  find a saddle for her as the 34 CM Duett  Encore is too big. Dang.

She has her USDF and USEF Lifetime Numbers and I am waiting for the USLR registration papers to send to USDF All Breeds.

It has been very easy, she is very happy and content.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ready for School!

I am so ready to get the warrior princess started.  Feb 26 both Gitta and Theo leave for Second Nature Farm in Oxford.  Theo to be restarted as a 4 yr old after being turned out all winter.  Both have been body clipped.  I am not sure where Anecia will fit all their luggage, Ha, Ha.  I was able to get all their day to day things in a large rolling Stanley work box.  I love this thing.  Got it at Home Depot http://www.homedepot.com/Stanley/h_d1/N-5yc1vZ1f7/R-202300294/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053

And then for all the grooming items I found this: http://www.stanleytools.com/default.asp?CATEGORY=ZAG+ROLLING+WORK&TYPE=PRODUCT&PARTNUMBER=018800R&SDesc=Stanley%26%23174%3B+Mobile+Work+Center

But I also have a large tub each of sheets, coolers, etc.  Am hoping I can hang a blanket rack on the wall behind where the trunk will go.

I have put Gitta on Mare Magic, magnesium , daily wormer and Smart gut from Smart pak to help her with the stress of moving again.  Theo is on Daily Wormer, Devil's Claw and Smart Gut.

Theo will get back undersaddle and is going to the April Morven Park Dressage show as a non-competing horse.  Gitta needs a month of ground work and a chance to settle into a stimulating environment.  There is always lots going on at Second Nature and she will need time to adjust.  The only firm plans I have for her are in July for the 2 SRS clinics.  Anything before that is play it by ear.  It really doesn't matter how far along she is for the SRS clinics as both Andreas and Christian will be able to work with her even if it is long lining her and me riding one of Melanie's horses.

Today Anecia, Kathy and I are off to visit Melanie Adams in Maryland, ride her 3 Lipizzans and then go out to lunch.  I am riding one of Melanie's horses in a Julio Mendez clinic http://www.mendozadressage.com/
March 12 and 13 and need to see which one Cassie or Sebastian it will be.  I asked Anecia to come so that she could ride a Lipizzan and understand what they are like before she starts Gitta.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Clip, Clip, Clip Part 2

Rigitta has a very long thick coat and the weather is changing to spring, it will be 6o degrees by the end of the week!  2 weeks from now Gitta goes off to start her big girl work and needs to loose all the hair and it came off this evening.  I have clipped horses every year since I was 18 so I feel like an expert. She stood very well for her clip and as I have done for quite awhile I do not clip their heads, or their legs and I leave a square where the saddle goes.  Unless I am clipping for showing I do not clip more then is needed.

She is all tucked in double blanketed with a quilted cotton stable blanket and a medium weight turnout.

Tomorrow I will clip Theo but he does not have as much hair and I only plan on doing a trace clip.  A trace clip dates back to the old days for driving horses and clips just the hair off where the "traces" of the harness would have gone.  It is a very economical clip for the riding horse and only takes off where they would sweat the most when they are ridden.  You do not need to blanket them as heavily with a trace clip.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

2011 Clinics with Spanish Riding School (New York and Maryland)

 Andreas Hausberger, Chief Rider of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna
Waltzing Horse Farm, Berlin New York
July 7-10, 2011  http://waltzinghorsefarm.com/blog/

Christian Bachinger, 3rd  generation rider of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna
Four Winds Farm, White Hall, Maryland  
July 17 - 21, 2011 http://www.lipizzanerhorses.com/clinics.htm 

I am so excited about this unique opportunity to ride Rigitta in both clinics!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tapping our toes waiting for March

It is a storm a week this winter and now a sleet storm for 2 days.  Not much going on but surviving!  3-1/2 weeks though and things will be finalized with Sarah and then off for the real training.  Let the fun begin. 

I just about  have her whole wardrobe and tack organized.  I am still trying to loose more pounds but the scale is stuck!

Melanie and I are going to work on a First Level Pax De Deux to compete with next year (gotta plan ahead!).  A stallion and mare freestyle...cool

Monday, January 24, 2011

Space, the final frontier

Interesting observations on Rigitta's space tolerance. 

When I met her in New York she was bulldozing me with her shoulder.  She was under some stress as she was in the barn isolarted from the mares she had spent the last 2 yrs turned out with.  At that time I made note that when I was firm that she not do it she would stop for a nano second and chew, but I had to continually remind her.

Once she was home it took me only one session with her on moving away from me and not pushing me around with her shoulder.  I have not had her repeat that behaviour but it is tucked away in the back of my mind that it will come back in a stress situation.  I am comfortable though that she understands the signals to step away from me and she aims to please.

So back to the interesting observation.  When I am working her in hand and I am not paying attention she will position herself right at my shoulder about 6 inches away and stands still.  This  is also happening all the time when I take her out of the field and turn to hook the gate.  I do not feel it is a dominance behaviour it feels like an "I feel safe" when I stand close to you.

But it will need to be dealt with as it is not safe for her to be standing that close to me and I will be working with her to be 2 feet away from me and not move  into my space.

Something else that I find interesting is that, without my working with her to do this, she naturally will walk head parallel with my shoulder and walk on a very loose rope without speeding up or falling back.   I stop, she stops, I walk she walks.  I back up she backs up.  I walk towards her she turns away.

Well we will see how much she regresses when she moves to Second Nature farm in 5 weeks or there abouts.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Snow, Cold...

Gitta and I have taken a break.  I have thrown a lot of new things at her quickly over last 6 weeks so thought to give her time to absorb and just review all the previous work.

We are having lot's of small snow storms and it has been very cold.  This makes more work just with horse and farm care and less time for training anyway. 

I have changed turnout again as I have been worried Cody is not getting enough exercise in the paddock.  So I get more exercise taking Cody up to the top field.  Theo is in the lower field and Gitta and the donkeys are in the paddock.  She is a big fan of the donkeys and all 3 play together and share their hay like BFFs.  Cody seemed much happier tonight when I brought him in.  He did not finish all his hay in the field which means he was busy doing other things during the day in his 2 acre field.  In the small paddock he had not much to do other then eat hay, drink water and hang on the fence.

I brought Gitta and the donkeys in first tonight and Theo decided to go on a tear and was really showing off.  He is taking seriously my instructions to do his homework or Gitta would be getting more points!

Getting ready for each storm is a little time consuming but I am getting enough practice!  The large square bale in the lower field gets covered with a tarp and weighted down with old fence posts.  Small bales need to be taken up to the top field fence line and tarped as well.  All 3 electric water tubs get filled to the top. The barn gates get propped open so the plow can get in.  I put down salt on the sidewalk and the barn apron to help keep things from freezing and melt the snow a bit as it falls.

We are expecting 2 - 6 tonight but I think we are south enough to get just 2.

Tomorrow I leave for the weekend to help MALA (Mid-Atlantic Lipizzan Association), at the Maryland Horse Expo  at Timonium.  It is a vacation for me from the winter farm work.  What they call a busman's holiday.

I am very much needing March 1st to arrive.  12 years with the farm and the winters are getting a bit old.  The adventure wore off last winter with the blizzards and this winter is just a pain in the butt with all the little storms one after the other.  I love this place and am not moving, but boarding out Theo and Gitta each winter and just having the donkey's here and Amy's horse sounds like a good plan.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Clip, Clip, Clip

Nice weekend here with the sun out and a bit warmer.  Weekends give me time for 2 sessions a day with my little snow fairy.  I can review all the previous lessons and introduce new things in 2 short sessions.  This weekend being the clippers and accepting more weight over her back.

I started with the small clippers and as expected she was not thrilled at the sudden noise when I turned them on but was able to run them all over her body.  Did not like the vibration on her legs at all and too ticklish on her ears and nose but by second session in the evening I was able to trim her front fetlocks, her jaw and some of her nose.  But I think she is so ticklish that I won't torture her as she is happy to have her nose trimmed with the small flip razors.  If I need to trim her ears then a little ace I think.  But I left that alone for now.  I noticed for first time she has those white fungus spots in her ears so will need to discuss with vet later in month when annual vaccinations are done.

Putting more weight over her back is fairly uneventful except when I go too heavy she moves around a bit to adjust her balance.  I can stand on the top of the tall mounting block and lay a leg over her and thump her a bit on the other side with no issues and I even make sure I thump her butt with my heel as I take my leg back over her.  I am doing this from both sides.  This morning I tried something different just for something to do and used a long straw bale instead of the mounting block.  I laid my leg over her and asked her too move a few steps forward with a cluck and tap with my foot. that worked fine and then asked her to back up with a slight tug on the rope and the word back.  That was fine too.

Can you tell I am bored and will try anything for some variety?  

The bridling is fine but I am not happy with the fit of the bridle I am using, need to rethink that.

She is ready to be lunged and long lined.  I can tell by her relaxation that she could 'get to work'  if  I had somewhere with good footing.  There is a feel that you get when you know they are ready to just get on with it. Will have to just keep reviewing everything in the barn until the spring thaw!

Her stall anxiety has almost disapeared.  It just occured to me this morning that she is bouncing around less waiting to go out and instead just pressing her nose to the bars.  This has been a big change in her relaxation  and it seemed to happen over night.  Since she sorted out Theo to the back of the bus so she can come in first at night, all that anxiety has gone away.

I have added another clinic to her schedule this year.  July 8-10 for three days  with Andreas Hausberger, Chief Rider of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna at waltzing Horse Farm, Berlin, New York.

Below Theo is practising his handstand to impress Gitta who looks bored with the whole thing.
Photo credit Amy Dragoo.

Theo is getting a work over this weekend so he doesn't feel left out.  Gitta is the new kid on the block, but Theo needs attention too.  He will be 4  April 1st and over the winter has gotten a bit taller and wider...yes he has more of a chest now.  Very elegant young horse  He is getting more bone all over and his head is looking more like his daddy Rampal.  Theo pics below:

Cody got a trim and a fresh roach to his mane.  He is really bored having to be in the paddock with the donkeys and not getting enough exercise.  But I can not trust him to be out with the other two and they fight over the fence if I use the top field even with the electric on.  Cody makes it tough on him self though he can't help himself.  Once he goes off to his new job in the spring he will be much happier.  Cody pics below.
First Photo Credit goes to Susan Stickle at HoofPrints Photography.  Second Photo Credit goes to Pics of You.