I mentioned in an earlier post that I was starting a 4 yr old Andalusian filly. She is a real looker if you ask me. I have handled 5 times in the last month. But really gotten serious with her in the last week or so. So for the last 4 times I have been able to work with her with the intention of actually starting her under saddle. Her name is Camina.
Let me bring you up to date on her. I don't have a round pen where she is at, but there is a 60 x 140 foot indoor arena. So I have been working her on a rope halter and 12' lead as well as a 22' line. She has breezed through her giving to pressure exercises, lateral and vertical flexion as well as disengaging the hindquarters and moving her shoulders. I have been able to do the c-pattern exercise utilizing the sending, disengaging and moving her shoulders and she is doing well, responding with a calmness. I have circled her and got her to the point where it was time to flank her out. So the last time I worked with her I did that to see if she has any issues with tightness around her girth, barrel or belly. She bucked a little bit. Today I went through the routine of the daily nine- to refresh your memory they are: giving to downward pressure, lateral and vertical flexion, backup, disengaging hindquarters, moving the shoulders, stop, backup, and forward motion. I then use various combinations of them to get fluid motion from her. After that I got on her using the Jeffries method (laying on her back and rubbing her all over). I moved her around circle doing transitions of gait, direction. I even had her doing a leg yield in both directions. Next, I flanked her out again. She was giving to the pressure on her flanks. She bucked ever so slightly, as if she were trying to get a horse fly off her hip and when she quit I released the pressure. I was really pulling on her with my whole body weight too. So she was definitely feeling it. Finally, I brought out my saddle and worked through getting her saddled. I slapped the fenders around and the stirrups and swung partway up on her and even got my leg all the way over. That is when I thought it was a good time to quit. You know the addage, 'quit while you are ahead' is a good thing to remember with horses too. So that is what I did. She was relaxed and yielding to me. I work again with her on Monday. I am only getting 3 days a week with her and no round pen so I am really having to up my horsemanship skills too. Which is good for me. Well I will finish this out. til next time.