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Another Great Ride....thank You Sunshine

Posted by BellaLuna, 30 January 2012 · 3,090 views

I didn't get to ride Emma last week at all because it rained and rained and rained....but it cleared up for a couple days and yesterday it was beautiful and sunny and I got to go for a nice long ride with no time constraints, it was awesome.

We spent the first half-hour working on getting her to stand still to mount. I would lift my foot to the stirrup and when she would move I would lunge her for a few minutes and try again, or sometimes back her up and try again, it took a long time for her to realize she was making more work for herself.

At one point she thought she would get out of the work by kicking at me as she was trotting by, at the exact moment she lifted her leg to kick, she slipped in the mud and fell. I had to try really hard not to laugh and just made her get up and keep working, I think that was pretty much self correcting and I doubt she'll try that trick again.

Once she stood still and I was in the saddle she started to move out right away so I stopped her and made her stand a bit before we moved out. After that, we had a great leisurely trail ride. She was very calm and willing and I enjoyed our time together. After a bit of riding, we stopped and practiced mounting/dismounting a few more times, only had to lunge her once before she stood still this time.

Emma is a lot of fun to ride and we are going to have so much fun together. At this point I am only riding her at a walk, the ground is still wet and I don't want her slipping and falling again. We are still working on getting a better/faster "whoa", which will make me feel more confident as well.

I can't wait until our next ride, I really wish I was able to ride her every day, maybe in the summertime when the days are longer I can get in an evening ride after the twins are in bed.


The New Dream...welcoming Emma

Posted by BellaLuna, 17 January 2012 · 116 views

I hated selling Luna, I regretted it before I'd even finished the sale, it was for the best...but with her gone there was a big pony shaped hole in my life.

I needed a pony I could just get on and ride, ready to hit the trail. I scoured the local ads for months looking for the perfect the pony. I wanted a mare in the 13h range, with a calm, easy demeanor who was suitable for any lever rider....What I got was Emma.

Emma is a 5 year old, 13.2h appaloosa/paint pony. Not only is she adorable, but she is ready to ride. We went for our first ride together on Saturday and she did wonderfully well, she did try to test me a couple times when she didn't want to go the direction I chose, but I was calmly persistent and we went my way every time. When we first headed back to the barn she tried to speed up uninvited a couple of times and we had to change direction and try again but after a few tries she walked back to the barn on a loose rein.

I have had her just over a week now and here is my assessment of her:

The Good-
leads well
calmly allowed me to soak her hind foot when it was sore
puts her head in the halter willingly
moves off of the bit pressure very well, soft mouth

The Bad- or needs improvement
moves about when saddling
moves when mounting
hard to "send off" when I want her out of my space
would like a stronger/faster stop

The Ugly-ponytude will not be tolerated
pinned her ears and threatened to kick when I approached her while she was eating in the paddock (didn't actually kick and I made sure she regretted even thinking about it)
turns her butt to me
We have some work to do on manners but as she learns to trust and respect me we will smooth over those rough patches.

My plan is to work on simple groundwork and gaining respect exercises everyday so that she can learn that I am a fair and consistent leader. At this point I can only ride twice a week so those rides will focus on standing still to saddle and mount with lots of mounting/dismounting and maybe softening that "whoa" to get a better stop, the rest of the rides will be out on the trails just getting to know each other better so that we can become a team.


Sometimes Dreams Change....selling Luna

Posted by BellaLuna, 11 January 2012 · 159 views

When (surprise!)I found out I was pregnant with twins, I knew my dream of training my coming 3 year old filly "Luna" was not going to be possible, I had planned on starting her under saddle and she was on track to be great, but training takes a lot of time and work and I knew I could no longer make that kind of commitment and I really didn't know how long it would be before I would have the kind of time needed to train her the way I wanted to.

I had three choices, put off her training for a few years, send her to another trainer, or sell her, I had worked so hard on her groundwork and training so far that I couldn't bear to just let her sit as a pasture ornament for years and forget everything, so I decided I would send her to the trainers. I found a great local trainer and we discussed what I wanted to do with her, I was going to send her for 60 days, but as the reality of my pregnancy and twins settled in I realized that I still wouldn't be able to ride her when she got back from the trainers...sadly I realized that for her to reach her best potential, she needed to be with someone who could continue working with her regularly, I decided to sell her. It was heartbreaking, she was my dream horse, but sometimes dreams change.

Luckily she found a great new owner at a great barn where she is being loved on,and ridden and it's the perfect situation for her.





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