September 21, 2012

Real Progress and FOAM!

I'm not one for symbols and signs, but it was totally fitting to watch a 4 second shooting star dive into the horizon in front of my car as I drove home from my lesson tonight.  It was awesome.

Finally, we're seeing real progress!  Real progress in the form of working through his back and using himself properly both on the lunge and under saddle.  Real progress in the form of this:

He's NEVER foamed or mouthed the bit like that before.  There was so much foam, he sounded like a little suckerfish or suction cup going around the arena.  So much, it was dripping onto his boots.  My typically stoic trainer was ecstatic, and her enthusiasm and his progress combined to relieve so much of the equine-related stress I've felt over the past month.  I was stressed over his backward slide in training, stressed over the peeing issue, and stressed over both things affecting personal relationships at the barn.  I needn't have been, but I was a basket case all the same.

She kept saying things like, "He is really stepping under himself!" and "This is really promising."  How good does that feel after a month of "I think you should stick to lunging between lessons for a while,"?  AMAZING!  Under saddle, he felt glorious, like a little balanced and forward moving freight train with muscles that allowed him to carry himself and move into the bridle.  I still had to focus very hard on keeping the weight even in both reins, and he did try to lean on me a bit, but I had my abs tight and my back flat and all his attempt did was cause him to run into my hands.  "Ha!  Gotcha, you little jerk!" I said.  I was elated to feel so many concepts in practice that my trainer and Nancy K had tried to instill in us over the past ten months.

Our lesson tonight consisted of a lot of walk-halt transitions as I tried to convince his wayward right hind (seeing a pattern here?  That's the weak side.) to step up next to the left.  He prefers to dramatically rest it and drop the hip every time we stop.  For the next few practice rides we are to lunge until he gets to the point where I want him (balanced, using his hind end and topline properly, and moving large, but not running) and then I can hop on and do more walk and trot work.  The lunge part of the lesson is to get shorter and shorter as he does what we want more quickly, due to either training or muscle or both, and my riding time will steadily increase.

I am so pumped and so proud of my little guy!  And I would be a little remiss if I didn't also say that I was proud of my trainer for catching it and putting us back on the right track so competently.  I shudder to think of what I might have created if it weren't for her.



  1. Love the foamy mouth pic! All that not so fun work is paying off - great job Jen!

  2. Yay! I am glad to hear your work is paying off! There is light at the end of the tunnel for me and Shy after all :)

  3. Foam! It's funny how excited we can get about it. :) Keep up the good work.

  4. Isn't it funny the things horse people get worked up about? Peeing, standing with all four legs perfectly square and foaming at the mouth?
    Anyhow, I know just you excited you are about this, I felt the same way with Aero a few months ago :D