Winter Project

It’s time to stretch my comfort zone and start pressing forward in my horsemanship journey. Lately I’ve become very comfortable. Charm is at the point where I just hop up on her and we do our thing. I can go a few weeks without riding her and quickly pick up where we left off. With having a baby, it’s harder to get out and do stuff. I can’t easily take a weekend and go to a clinic, or get out as easily. It’s possible, but just not as easy as it was before. So I’m doing something I’ve always wanted to do. I’m developing a young horse.

The horse is pictured above with Charm. Her name is Dolce.

Here’s the rundown on Dolce: She’s a four-year old grade mare. Shirley picked her up at an auction as a yearling thinking she was a stallion (listed as a stallion), as she wanted to get a new gelding for Randy to ride. She brought 3 yearlings home that day, and when finally was close enough to look her over.. noticed that she was missing stallion parts. The auction people had made a mistake! She was wild and frightened.. we couldn’t touch her and was actually kinda a brat. Shirley named her Dolce .. believing that someday she would grow into her name. And she did.

Dolce was started last year and was lightly ridden and just messed around with. She proved to be a tolerant horse and predictable. I’ve always wanted to develop a horse and after paying with Dolce a couple of weeks ago, discovered that we clicked. I like her and trust her.

So far we’ve had three sessions together including one lesson and it’s going really well.

I’d like to keep a log of our goals and progress throughout the winter months. I guess my end goal is to get her looking like Charm.

Here are my goals to have developed by the end of this Winter:

Overall: BUILD CONFIDENCE and TRUST

Online
• Circling with confidence – walk, trot, canter
• Create good draw and rapport
• Soft and attentive to me through all the games
• Help her develop muscle memory and become balanced and better on her feet

In the Saddle
• Get her riding off my focus and seat
• Maintain gait and direction
• Develop softness and feel
• Start in a bridle
• Canter on both leads

Right now she walks and trots under saddle (has a very smooth trot 🙂 ) But has trouble even cantering online. She is riding with a hackamore and a saddle. Her ground work is so so, but there’s a lot to build on and there’s a good foundation.

In our last session we were riding in the arena full of other horses and riders and she showed me her potential to be a little nasty. She was going after (biting) the other horses and was very upset if anyone was near her. Again, she needs her confidence boosted .. also it may have been overwhelming for her. All these experiences are great for her. This behavior isn’t new to me! 😉

I should also list some goals for myself. Since I’m going to learn A LOT through this experience.

Goals for me!
• Adjust to the situation and slow down for her. I’m so accustomed to my horse that’s it’s hard to adjust to another.
• Take every opportunity to build confidence
• To take two lessons each month.. and to spend time with her each week.
• Also, to use Charm in this process as much as possible. Charm is a great partner and now it’s her time to shine. I’ll need to depend on her to help me out!

So there ya go! I’m sure I’ll come up with more goals and ideas as we go. 🙂 This is going to be fun!

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