If anything, she’ll be a super trail horse…

Valiosa’s work in the arena has not exactly made a linear progression.

For several weeks, we haven’t exactly become all that much better in there.  Apparently I’ve been asking too little, been a little too lenient.

I haven’t been wanting to push her at all.  Rush, push, force – seen too much of it, – so her ridden arena work has been very short, 12 – 15 minutes most days, after lunging.

Valiosa Lunging

Well, since I do want her to progress, this has been her first week of actually having to apply her self a bit more and become more attentive to the aids.  More reports on that later once we’ve been going for a couple of weeks.

The good part is that she’s become an easy trail riding horse.

With just a few rides, she now takes most things in stride.  Goes out alone, crosses water, walks fairly relaxed past most things, loads in and out of the trailer easily.  And is very mature about being tied to the trailer, such a nice quality to have.

Traylor Ranch – Christmas Break

January 2015

Traylor Ranch – Easter Break

Easter Break

Rides easily across this bridge, which we hand walked over back in December in the picture below.

Horse bridge with water underneath

Super brave, it’s fun to take her along to new experiences, no matter how small.  Last week she trailered out twice with me and Nancy to another large outdoor arena.  Her first time with other horses also lunging, riding, and walking around the perimeter of the arena.  Scary stuff, but she settled at the end and did fairly well with it.

Might get to take her out there again this week.  Time consuming, but worth it.

Wish us luck with the continued introduction to dressage work!

23 thoughts on “If anything, she’ll be a super trail horse…

  1. As long as you’re enjoying her, it seems okay. There’s not really a training deadline in life (of course, unless you had your heart set on a certain show). I keep making forward progress with Knight and then will have a bad ride and will be convinced I’ll never be able to jump a small consistent course. Rome wasn’t built in a day. 🙂

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    1. Thank you Susan! It’s definitely a roller coaster ride… Wondering how your new saddle “story” is coming along, I’ll have to stop by to see the latest!

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      1. I was asked by the company to take down my posts. Can you believe it? So to get my money back I had to willingly give up my First Amendment rights. Meanwhile I bought a different brand but am still waiting. I haven’t decided what to do/say yet. I need to wait until everyone forgets and then write new posts not naming any brand. Unless you have another idea. Thank you for taking an interest.

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        1. Oh my! I had to read that 3 times. Wow. I don’t remember your post being seriously offensive or anything.

          If the company is lacking in service of course you have the right to point that out…
          Good to know. ..
          Oh. Really. I am sorry to say I really do not have a whole lot of advice on this. Sadly this story has been heard quite a bit before with other small custom saddle companies.
          I thought you went with a big name brand. In any event, I am looking forward to seeing how it all turned out.
          What a downer. The saddle clearly did not fit. End of story. I hope you got the money by now

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  2. You can’t ruin a good horse by going slow. One of my favorite sayings when working with youngsters.
    She will get there. Just enjoy the ride.

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  3. I think what you are doing is absolutely perfect! Short, sweet and successful. If you push her too hard too fast in the arena she will always hate it. Continue to ride on the trails and take the arena day by day. She’s progressing, even if you aren’t seeing it ;).

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    1. Agreed.
      You know you’re progressing at snail pace if you find yourself admiring, say, how nicely she’ll halter up, or wait for her grain, HaHa!

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  4. Being a great trail horse is a super foundation for being able to do anything! I’m so pleased you are taking her on the trail. It’s good for both of you mentally and physically. So many dressage horses simply don’t go on the trail (“too scary”!). I wonder if you could start your warm up with a little trail ride instead of lunging, and then do your 20 minutes of arena work? At her age, I think 20 minutes of focused work is probably about right, anyway. A lot of lunging is not good for her joints, so you’ll want to be careful of that. She looks like she is maturing beautifully!

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    1. So far I’ve really enjoyed the lunge work first, as a way to build in small increments on the right muscles, set the right mindset, as well as sort of “check her” to see where her brain is at.

      Definitely no “rushing-around-head-in-the-air. Correct work.
      Some days it’s less than 5 minutes each direction, just to see that she’s “all there” and listens to voice commands.
      Now, as we’re coming along further, I will definitely look into taking some walks here and there before starting in the arena instead. Perhaps not on Mondays though 🙂

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  5. It’s so great that you’re getting the opportunity to expose her to so much!! I feel like I slacked off in that department a little too much with Chrome, but we will get there someday.

    My heart will always be out on the trail so her being a great trail horse is awesome in my opinion hehe.

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    1. I just love having the option of always being able to take her out somewhere without worry. It’s so good for them!
      Get back out there with Chrome one day!
      (Yeah, right after you’ve cared for the Donkey, and the new rescue, the dog, and the goats. I know, never enough hours… 🙂

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        1. Just imagine, all the things we would do… (Looking at the pile of washed dog beds, still waiting to be restuffed and reassembled. Why on earth do I have 8 dog beds??!!!! And why are they all piling up in my laundry room! And did I just announce that on the Internet?!)

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