Friday, September 6, 2013


Despite the threatening clouds and sometimes pouring rain, Alyssa of Four Mares, No Money came out yesterday to get some shots of our fancy baby thoroughbreds.

We focused on flatwork, and I was really pleased with what Courage gave me. Without further ado...
Walking in the rain

We saddled up in a hurry to avoid an incoming rain storm, but somehow ended up in the middle of it. Regardless, Courage is flexing his poll and walking forward.

Trotting like a hunter

I'm not asking him to be round and come on the bit at this point. I just want him to carry his head like a horse and give to the bit.

He improves in leaps and bounds every ride.

He's trying to figure his new life out, so he does offer some really nice stretches, but they aren't consistent or into the contact yet. It will come with time. I'm just glad he's thinking about it all.

On a loose rein

 In the canter, I don't worry about contact right now. I just want him going forward in a good balance and carrying himself. I'm starting to add in circles and ring figures to test his balance.

Ready for the jumper ring
There was an incident with a galloping horse in the pasture that I was worried he'd be distracted by. I thought the best way to keep it from becoming a problem was by redirecting his energy and asking for a downward transition to trot.

Instead, he dropped his croup and gave me the cutest little collected canter through the short side of the arena. I'm still in shock.

Like a pleasure horse
Even though we don't work on his frame at the canter at all, our work in the walk and trot is paying off. He's experimenting with carrying his head lower and working through his back.

Again, it's all on a long rein and his frame/contact is inconsistent right now, but I love that he's experimenting to see what I'm looking for.

Using that neck.
The more I look at his canter shots, the more I think that I just plain need to spend time in the canter. It allows him to use his body very well. I'm thinking I need to mix it in throughout the whole workout and see how much it helps him.

We trotted over our tiny pile of poles again, but the little man has totally got it now. I love that he's landing in the canter (on the correct lead), with one ear on me and one looking where he's headed. What a good boy.

His trot isn't dressage ready and it shouldn't be. 

That said, he's taking steps in the right direction and it is so fun to be along for the ride. I can't believe how much he's improved in just the last week. What a star.

Hullo friend
Alyssa was one of our partners in crime at the track, so Courage remembers her as the girl that brought him giant buckets of grain (and took home one of his friends).

After our ride was over, he was pretty cute about coming to see her and insisting that she pet him. Even when she tried to walk away, he followed her around the arena.

The result? Super cute closeups.

I love his relaxed posture and kind eye in this shot. Plus his face is just so darn cute.

And this one is beautiful. So thoughtful and strong. He looks like a fancy dressage horse.

But this one has to be my favorite.


  1. Courage looks great -- and the last two photos are definitely my favorite, haha.

  2. I love how he keeps trying and is so willing! He looks and sounds like a fantastic partner.

  3. Such a cute baby horse! I love watching them figure things out.

  4. My goodness you lucked out BIG TIME with this man! I hope I have the same good fortune with my future OTTB! Thanks for sharing...hope all is well with Cuna. Change is hard, but time heals all.

    I think the fact that Cuna isn't in pain, and the Universe gave you Courage (aptly named, for that is what Cuna gave YOU)should give you comfort in knowing you are making the right decisions.

  5. Wow! What a good sport to be experimenting with his body position - sounds like he really wants to please mommy. =)

  6. It's great that he's offering to stretch!

  7. You are doing so well by this horse. I love that you challenge him gently but keep him feeling encouraged and clever. He is a really, really good guy, and I am just pleased and punch that you got him!

  8. Working at the canter is a great idea. TB's were bred to gallop, so of all the gaits, the canter is the most natural to them. I think you will find it will help him learn to trot better too.

    A dressage master I trained with suggested 4 minute gallops for all his dressage horses. And, with a TB, you can even warm up at the canter.

  9. Courage is smart and friendly? What a catch. I really like how you are directing his training, too.

  10. He is so thoughtful, I love it, and I love the closeups!


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