Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Toby Challenge and Hola's First Ride

not food

Another good lesson with Hola. In fact, we had a good lesson with Toby and I was given a challenge by Betsy.

Toby, as you know, is an older dude and set in his ways to a certain extent. He's always giving out his opinions whether you want to know them or not and he's basically happy when you keep him on his toes when you're in the saddle. Toby and I always seems to take a good bit of time before I can get him to be round and on the bit. We rode serpentines and circles and once we got his brain engaged, he became supple, elastic and round. Betsy's challenge to me was to get him supple, elastic and round earlier in the ride. So it's my mission to accomplish and Betsy gave me a month to work on it. I love a challenge...

Now to Hola. He's such a good boy and settling down very nicely. I can now cross tie him in the aisle without him wiggling around, he's quiet to brush now and his poops are looking awesome! I will be writing another post about his poops but it is important to note. I think that Hola has/had ulcers which would explain some of his unsettled and anxious behaviors. But each week, he is quieter to tack up and easier to handle.

He marched around on the longe line. I had told Betsy how terrific he was just he day before and evidently he wanted to make a liar out of me. He started with his twitching and pulling on the draw reins. Ironically, once he got it out of his system he marched around like a trooper and was PERFECT in the opposite direction. Then Betsy got on him. This time I didn't lead them around. Betsy walked him all around and worked on getting him to give to the bit. He was chewing the bit the whole time. He seemed to like the work and did give to Betsy just a wee little bit. It's a starting point and he wasn't fighting it. Gold star on his forehead!

Here is a video of our work. Beware! It's absolutely the most boring video but for this proud mother it was a huge step towards getting him to the show ring. So without further ado, here is Hola's first ride as a dressage horse:


  1. Boring? Not at all!! Ollie looks like this dressage stuff is going to be a piece of cake. Look at his overtrack! Very good and yes, giving some. Always a good sign. I'm excited for you! Congratulations.

  2. He walks out very nicely and straight, not weaving around like so many young horses. I think he's doing great! My DH vet has said I can ride Russell again, so I'll be back in the saddle again soon (like, as soon as it stops raining....). I'm getting a set of long lines so I can do more from the ground, too -- all the benefits of schooling under saddle and less wear and tear!

  3. TBDancer - doesn't he have a huge overtrack?! I love that.

    SprinklerBandit - definitely a good day!!

    Michelle - I'm about to do ground work with Toby because I've seen the benefits with Hola. Good luck to you and I'm happy that Russell has the doctors blessing to go back to work!