To ride dressage is to dance with your horse, equal partners in the delicate and sometimes difficult work of creating harmony and beauty.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Month two; that's a wrap!

Thanks to Leap Year, today is Stella's and my two-month anniversary.

On her one-month anniversary I was somewhat discouraged by the lack of progress in our relationship; after another month, things are looking up, if not looking a lot different.

After lunging her a time or two more with saddle and stirrups and seeing no lessening of her panic when the stirrups surprised her, I took two steps backwards and lunged her with just a halter a couple times, and then added the saddle again with no stirrups.

Sometimes the way forward means going backwards!

Yesterday I turned her out after the farrier came and went; later in the day while the puppy slept I rode Lance, then groomed and saddled Stella. Deciding to expose her to something new, I led her outside and up to the mounting block. At first when I stepped up, she swung her body away to stand facing me, but stayed calm. I just stroked her face and told her how pretty and good she was, and took advantage of my vantage point to photograph her star, which has lost some of its 'shine' from shedding out.

We walked up to the mounting block on her left and her right, and I also moved the mounting block to her both on her left and her right. Soon she was staying broadside to the mounting block while I stepped up, stroking her and shifting the saddle a bit on her back. As wary as she is, I expected her to be concerned when I got 'higher,' but she wasn't. The photo below isn't beautiful, but it does show a good girl. 😍


thecrazysheeplady said...

Pretty girl :-)

Jeanne said...

That's great progress!! I'll bet you're happy with your beautiful girl! I really enjoy your posts about her. Thanks for sharing.

Jeanne <><

Retired Knitter said...

I still think she will turn a corner at some point and be more trusting of you. Not that dogs are anything like horses, but my son's dog (a 2 year old rescue) took a full year before she got into the back of my car. One whole year. And her first time was sort of an accident. But she turned a corner with that event and was like bonded to me after that. She needed proof that if I took her away in my car - I would bring her back. And "little dog brain" didn't realize that she needed to give me a chance to actually prove that to her. Who the heck knows what is in the "little horse brain" of hers, but until she gets trust, every step forward will probably be a 2 step back affair. She sure is a beauty.

Michelle said...

I think so, too, Sara; SO pretty.

You're welcome, Jeanne. Keeping track of progress is a big part of why I have a horse blog.

You're probably right, Elaine. What she is and isn't afraid of is strange to me; sure wish I COULD know what is in that little horse brain of hers!