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SoCalDesertRider

Willow

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Hey everyone!

Well here are some new Willow pictures and an update. Along with some pictures from our last trail ride with Allie and Cricket.

Willow: She has got to be one of the most willing, smartest, level headed, generally good natured horses I've worked with in a long time. We've had her for a month. She's absolutly amazing on the ground, leads, ties, picks her feet up, pivots, flexes, backs. Anything you could ask of her, she'll do it. If she's not sure how give her a minute and she'll work up the courage and do it anyway, no matter how scary or new it is. She also takes the saddle like a champ, even with all the rigging (breast collar and back cinch). When we first introduced the saddle we used my little sisters saddle that weighs like 5lbs and is bare as bare can get. Lounged her with it... she was great. Then we did my saddle which is heavier but I still stripped it bare. Lounged her with it.. still took it like a champ. Then we introduced Courtney's saddle. Which we left everything on. We did it all up and lounged her with it. she was fantastic with it. No buck no rear no freaking out.. nothing. She acted like she'd done this her whole life. I swear this mare was born with a saddle on her back. She bridles and carries the bit.

We worked with her on then taking a person. Mostly just moving the saddle and leaning over and getting her used to jumping like your going to mount.. etc. At first she was a little freaked out about us jumping up and down next to her and wasn't sure how to handle the weight difference when mounting but she settled down in like 5 minutes. Then we worked on getting on. Court would stand up in the stirrup several times then partially swing on then eventually she got on completely. We worked on this for a while, along with adjusting the saddle once you were on. That she wasn't to sure about but she still stood great. Now we are at a w/t in the round pen. She's doing great. Changing directions, breaks, flexing, giving to pressure. I swear she listens to leg cues then our older lazier horses.

She's quick, very quick and I have a feeling the first person to ride her and not pay attention is going to end up on the ground and it won't be her fault. They'll ask her to do something and she'll do it.... but quicker then they expected her to listen. She's already done this with Court (not dump her but unseat her) and turning. She doesn't hesitate, she just does it.

I am so in love with this filly and can't wait till she gets a bit bigger so i can ride her. Court's riding her for the rest of the summer and off and on through the winter and by next spring hopefully she'll of grown a bit so I can ride her next spring.

Anyways. Enough Rambling onto pictures. :)

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Gorgeous filly! She sounds like the born broke type, young with an old mind. Consider yourself very lucky :smile:

Just an observation, please please please tighten up your rear cinch. If she were to start feeling a little froggy, or kicked at her belly to get a fly, she could definitely put a foot through it with the way it is. There are some good pics on this thread http://forums.horsecity.com/index.php?showtopic=47013840 :smileywavey:

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Sarah - We did tighten it and kept tightening it. We've gotta put something on it to keep it from getting loose again. It's meant for Cricket. We tighten it and within 5 minutes it's loose. So either I'm going to punch more holes in it, or try to find the other back cinch I have somewhere lost in the tack room. No worries :) I know its supposed to be tighter, and it drives me crazy being so loose. We're fixing it though :)

Edited by SoCalDesertRider

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I think if you make sure the girth is tightened up till you can just fit your hand into it, you might be surprised.. maybe add some holes.. only other thing's to note.. " CUTE HORSEY" Way adorable little thing.. but your seat could use a lot of improvement.. weight your feet in the stirrups, (toes are pointed down most of the time.) Dont just let your legs hang there, by getting the weight in the feet, it will push the toes up, and will also make it harder to be tossed from the saddle.) It looks like your slouching and just putting all your weight on your seat bones.. your weight should be primarily in your feet with just a little in your seat. I love the quiet hands, will give a great start.

Please dont take this wrong, but Your saddle is too big for that fillies shoulders as well.. you might maybe get a wither pad underneath it so the saddle doesn't fall forward.. In the last pictures, you can see the pommel sitting right down on her withers, this could and usually will cause shoulder pain.. it will also cause the saddle to Rock, on the only point it really does make full contact, and will cause pressure point pain there. I have a friend who has a hubby who didn't listen that his saddle didn't fit her horse.. took him hunting last fall, didn't even ride him, just used him to pack everything on the saddle.. when he got back he was devastated at what he had accidentally done to her horse.. he has since devoted his time to finding the right fitting saddle.. so this fall he can take his horse and not have bloody sores on his back!! hard lesson to learn, but at least he is trying to remedy the situation.. I just dont wish your mare to have the same experience. (BTW his was bridging, too small, yours is rocking, too big.)

I love the soft expression on your filly, she is really showing her smarts..

Edited by kitten-kat

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That is a cute as button filly! I love her!

I agree about the saddle fit. Find a good fitting saddle and continue the training, you'll be golden! So happy she's so willing for you.

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Wow she's looking so great now! What a beauty!

I'll have to second what Kittenkat said, and add that I feel Court (and you) should wear a helmet and have a heeled shoe. It doesn't matter how docile the horse, anything can happen, and then it can be too late if something really does happen. I am guilty of riding in my mountain sneakers a few times...and every time, at one point during the riding, my foot got lightly caught in the stirrup. If my horse had suddenly taken off or thrown me, my foot would have been stuck there. Of course everyone is differing in opinion about the helmet/shoe thing but I just thought I'd throw it out there anyway. I used to ride without a helmet too...until I got thrown a few times and decided that it was too close a call.

Keep up the good work! She looks so relaxed and willing...you certainly got a diamond in the rough and I'm jealous :drool:

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I just thought I'd stop by a share a couple pictures I got of her from a few nights ago. She's doing really well. She's walking right up to us to put her halter on now. So she is allowed to go out into the pasture with the older horses since we can catch her now. She loves it. Man this girl is fast too!

Anyways,

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Have a good day :)

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