Are you guys following my instagram yet, @withawesterntwist ?! You should, i'm pretty funny (... ;) If I do say so myself), plus I post day-to-day/way more than here. Just saying.
Lady had much of September off for a variety of reasons. At the beginning of the month, I felt she had been going really well, and was a little muscle sore, so I gave her a week off. Then, she got bad diarrhea. After a WEEK of this business, and a vet out saying to just keep doing what I was doing, she finally got better. That was when the Calgary Futurity started, so my horse was a distant dream. So finally, after three and a half weeks, I finally started riding her again. Lady loves being a pasture puff, she thinks that is her calling in life.
Lately she has just felt really sloppy, and lazy to me. I knew that some serious work on the flag, and with cows, would wake her up, and get her more engaged, but I just felt like I wasn't able to get her there. When I purchased her, her previous owner - a horse trainer - told me that I would need to "pull on her quite a bit" to get her right again after so much time off. After trying to do that, I knew that my timing (if it had ever been there) was pretty non-existent these days, plus, I had gotten soft... I didn't want to pull on my mare, I just wanted to pet her. No wonder she was becoming complacent, her rider was as well.
"I would rather be doing nothing with Jingle, thanks."
So, on the 22nd I hauled her over to the trainers I've been working for, to get her tuned up before the snow flies. Poor Lady, welcome to #bossladybootcamp.
Day One was a big one for my girl! We moved cows to various pasture for the better part of 4 hours. Lady was a fricken rockstar. In her previous life, she had worked in feedlots, and it shows. She is a gate opening, closing, side passing machine. It's effortless. Plus, she is the type of horse that just knows where to be when you need her. At one point, the cows broke free from us, and were headed the wrong direction. I kicked her into a lope and literally slide-stopped her on pavement, I am not kidding you, sparks flew, and she didn't even care. Another time, we had to rush in front of a car that was careening down the dirt road to stop it before it hit our cows! Again - she couldn't have cared less. I was very proud of her.
The past two days we've worked the flag, and with my boss' coaching, I felt her really start to tighten up today. Which is really exciting. Cutting is a very mental game of side-to-side, and working the flag really shows that. For the past two days, we've been working on cleaning up her turns. Lady's turn from the right to the left is very sloppy, she sticks her right rib cage out, which causes her to fling into the turn. However, to fix that, I need to focus on engaging her rib cage more when we stop at the left, so that once she leaves that particular turn, she is keeping her rib cage out of the way so that her right stop is a lot cleaner, and prettier. Makes sense? Probably doesn't... that's really just a lot of words with right and left put in there hahaha, but what i'm trying to say is that we are working on our turns, and sure enough with some well-timed pulls and kicks here and there, Lady is tightening right back up onto the flag.
Today she stopped and turned so pretty, my jaw literally dropped. What a cool mare. I can't wait to see what she's like after some serious consistent tuning... she's going to be a force for sure. #bossladybootcamp has thus far been a big success... I'm just hoping that the weather stays nice, because as of right now my boss doesn't have an indoor arena, or access to one nearby, so once the snow flies... bootcamp, and my fun new part-time job, is effectively over.
& just because it's cute... :)