Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Leaping Lena

Love and scratches for the spotty horse!
Lena says it is time for some spotty horse love on Spotty Horse News and she's right. Luckily, I was still at the barn last night for her latest jumping lesson with Allie and took photos and videos that I hope do them both justice.

Allie is a friend of Katie's who has been riding since she was 8 or 9 and rides really well. Soft hands and legs, good balance, just the right amount of input. She thought she was just going to get to ride a horse a little just to keep from (as she put it) going insane. "But I've learned so much with her!" Allie exclaimed while trotting around me in the arena last night.

Cow horse over poles
Lena is a cow horse and she has a lot of natural propulsion on top of a high level of athleticism. When she is unsure of what you're asking or decides you are not directing well enough, she has been known to use her power for a little bit of evil.

"She would come up to a jump and try to go sideways, but if you just shut the gate, she says 'okay' and moves forward," Allie said, smiling. Lena is smart and a little crafty, but she--like most horses--prefers to be told what to do. Allie's biggest challenges have been directing the energy but not squelching it and teaching Lena to think instead of just react. Forward is what you want, forward is a good thing, but forward with a brain engaged is even better.

And Lena is learning to think as she leaps. Lena is learning to relax and stretch down. Allie is learning how to train (convince) a smart, sensitive mare to do something she wasn't bred or trained for and to relax and have fun in the process. Well, Allie is usually pretty relaxed which is good because Lena is not. Or she wasn't, but she is beginning to be.

Steve is thrilled. "I am so lucky," he chuckled as we watched the videos I took, "to have someone training my horse and doing such a great job with her!"

Lena is lucky, too. And more than pleased to finally have a post dedicated to her glorious spotty self.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Goodness i hope that is not a sunburn on Allie!! lol she looks so red!