Wednesday, September 30, 2020

It’s All Good


The weather is getting cooler, the leaves are changing, and Autumn seems to be tiptoeing in gradually up here in the northeast.  We’ve had some very cool nights and mornings with frost and then we had temps in the 80’s.  The bugs are not as bad as this past summer, although fly masks and grazing muzzles are still required for now.


Rosie and I have been working together fairly consistently.  This past weekend we saddled up and headed to the outside arena by the barn.  We’ve set up four cavelletti’s for her to walk over in a circuit that makes a circle.  She seems a little stiff in her hind end and neck so the cavelletti work should help her with that.  We also work on her bending on both sides.  The goal is to make her more flexible.  We’re getting there but everything takes time.  Carrot stretches are also on the agenda.


Rosie has always been fine longeing over cavelletti, but it must have been a different mindset for her when I was in the saddle.  Her first instinct is to just say no and stop and assess the situation. A little squeeze and off she goes over them.  She never puts up a fuss if you just ask her nicely to do what you want her to.  My daughter brought Hanz in to join us this day and she was very distracted by that.


Rosie “What’s HE doing in here, I thought I booked the arena for a private this morning!” 

Me “It’s okay Rosie he’s just here to keep you company.”

 Rosie “Humph, if I needed or wanted company, I’d ask for it” with a big tail swish.

She proceeded working but was very unfocused by what Hanz was doing and where he was.  So, after a while we ended on a good note and retired to the barn for after work treats.  That seemed to pacify her.


The next day we saddled up again and to say she was really not in the mood would be an understatement.  After mounting we walked up the long side and turned the corner, that was when she spooked at something in the woods. Now Rosie’s spook is one I’ll take any day after all the dangerously spooky horses I’ve ridden over the years.  She just stops in her tracks and looks at what’s scaring her.  If I don’t react, she doesn’t either.  I just tell her what a silly mare she’s being and there’s nothing to worry about. Then a little squeeze and she’s willing to go on.


We proceeded at the walk for a few times around the arena and I thought a nice little trot would be in order.  Well Rosie disagreed.  She eventually picked up a trot but had her ears pinned back.  This was new and something I’d never seen her do before.  Okay, let’s try the other direction.  Hmm, same ear pinning. There is nothing physically wrong with her and the saddle fit is fine. I think the problem was simply that she doesn’t like any contact with the bit. When you loop the reins like a wet noodle, she seems fine.  I’m guessing it’s a holdover from her western training, but I have no idea.  I do know that she is going to have to learn to accept some following contact with the bit eventually. We’ll work on this a little piece at a time and I’m sure she’ll be fine with it.  All horses are different, and it just takes patience and creativity to figure out what works with each horse’s personality and preferences.


That’s it for now. Stay well.


Quote for Today

When riding my horse, I no longer have my heart in my chest, but between my knees. 







  1. I’m absolutely wowed by your photos! Gorgeous! And also by you being in work with Rosie. I’m doing nothing remotely related to tacking up and getting on a horse. It sounds like she has some definite opinions and I love that you allow them but have gentle ways of moving her into the direction you want to go in terms of contact, etc. She is in excellent hands for sure!

    On another note, Keil Bay is doing a wonky thing with his hind legs. Last night he was walking normally, no swelling or heat, no injury I could detect, normal eating and eliminating, but when he stops to graze or just stand, he is putting a rear leg out to the side. It was the right leg last night. This morning it’s either the right or the left, and it seems to just alternate. Sometimes he stands normally. He backs up with no problem. I have a call into our chiropractor and our vet as it feels to me like maybe he’s torqued something. The night before last we had a big windy storm and things were blowing about some. Of course I’m stressed completely out. I kept him at the barn with the donka boys last night, and this morning he had shavings on his back so I know he laid down and got up again. I have to remind myself that he is 31 and I too have wonky body stuff at my own age, so this is likely a similar thing. But you know how hard it is when something’s not right with our animal family members! Looking forward to reading more about you and Rosie in this lovely season!!

    1. Thanks billie. I've always found that mares definitely have more opinions that most geldings. I don't mind it makes them more interesting to work with. She's a very good girl and you can reason with her...but gently.

      Hope you get an answer about Keil Bay. He is getting older and like you say more things occur as we age. Grady has the same problem with his legs but he has shivers and he has a lot of trouble backing up. So I'm sure Keil doesn't have that. It could be as simple as he tweaked something. Good luck, I'm sure he'll be fine.

  2. Ah mares and opinions. Could her teeth be bothering her? Or maybe just working three days in a Row?

    1. She's not usually bothered by working and she didn't get ridden three days in a row, I broke it up in the middle with just stretches. Funny you should mention teeth we have a dentist coming out very soon. So that's a good possibility.

  3. I was hoping you would post Fall photos!! SO beautiful! Our leaves are just starting to turn. Colors are stunning this year in photos I've seen from my photog friends traveling northern WI/MN/MI. Nice work with Rosie! Some horses are just ear flatteners (shy of pinning) with faster gates, not due to anything in particular. Although in this case seems out character. No doubt you will figure out what is best for your sweet girl. Koda gets super distracted around other horse/riders. It is good to mix it up. No doubt Rosie's favorite exercise is carrot stretches.

    1. Hi aurora,
      I agree the colors are really great this year. We'll try to figure out the ear pinning this weekend. Rosie's favorite exercise is "NO" exercise. She's gotten too used to having time off this summer. The carrot stretches are good for her though. Food keeps her motivated!

  4. That's such a nice quote. :) Your Rosie sounds like a lovely mare...and like all mares that I've known; a mind of her own. But that's what I love about them. Enjoy your cooler temps and all those beautiful colors of Fall.

  5. Hi Lori,
    Thanks for commenting. Hope to see a post from you someday soon. Let us know how you and the gang are doing.

    I love mares too and like working with them.

  6. I like the way she spooks, too! That’s interesting about contact. Foxy is like that. She’s a broke to death western horse. She came with a hackamore and responds to a loose rein. I’ve never tried to switch it up. All my other horses go either way, but definitely prefer a loose rein. The teeth are always a good idea. At least you can rule it out.

    Your place is always gorgeous, but especially magical in fall.

    1. Hi Linda,
      Where have you been? I keep looking for a new post to see how things are going with you. I've been worried something might be wrong, so it's good to hear from you. Hope all is well.

      They all get their teeth done on the 18th. So we'll see if that helps. Rode her over the weekend and she was a very good girl. I just love this mare.


It's so nice of you to take the time to visit. I appreciate your stopping by and commenting on what I've written. Even though I sometimes don't have the time to reply to each comment, I do enjoy reading them.