I could write about how I finally decided ZB's western saddle actually didn't fit, and then how I maniacally shopped for one that would, then somewhat unintentionally bought one, then was pleasantly surprised that it included fittings and a cute teal pad and now I want cute teal boots to match and figured out I need a shorter girth.
|that back end <3|
What's more important is that then I went on the ultimate horse girl spending spiral and ended up with a horse-hauling truck so WHOOPS THAT HAPPENED.
|when all your wildest dreams come true|
I'm still processing that particular event (and uh paying for it) and this blog is about the cutest horse in all the land, so let's look at her.
We're on a western kick right now and a large part of it is that I don't have to be super prepared about outfits when I can just wear cowboy boots and jeans from work to the barn.
Another part is that I am really enjoying the process of tackling something new.
I have to think through every ask and every give. I have to know what I want and work with ZB to figure out how to show it to her. I have to know when to push and know when to release. If the goal is "polite, balanced western jog", what are the steps I need to take to get from here to there?
It's also really cool because it ends up being the same skills--I'm looking for her to be balanced back to front and move forward softly. I want the cadence slower and I want her to self regulate a bit. She can't stick her nose out like a pony and run on the forehand if I want her to go on a loose rein and be accountable for herself, so I have to be very clear about the steps I need her to take.
|ground tying is fun|
That means I have to step up as a horseman. I have to be accountable for my movements and expectations. I have to be clear, calm, and consistent. If I want a particular response, am I asking with a particular aid? How am I setting her up to succeed?
This is ZB and I we're talking about, so that training has to be interesting with a lot of variety. She struggles with the canter (especially transitions), so we school those on the ground with a quick lunge warm up. Or in english tack so I can influence her balance and stay off her back. Or ignore it completely and go for a hack under the stars during a full moon.
I think we're about ready for prime time in the canter (aka actually schooling the lope vs just bombing around from time to time), but first I'm definitely going to resolve the cinch situation.