withxabandon (withxabandon) wrote in theroadtogoldeq,

It's so hard to hand the reins over..

Last week, I was reminded that we are not all invincible, nor do we know everything, no matter how much we would like to think so - especially when it comes to horses.

I have always been the biggest supporter of the idea that to be a good horseman (or woman in my case!), it is important to always learn, always expand, and always be willing to hear someone's opinion or accept a little bit of help...

With that said, some of you know that my six year old APHA mare, Countess Sugar Verse, has been trained 99% by myself. No one has been on her back in a training context (my sister sat on her and I led her around a few weeks ago) in roughly a year, so we have been making lots of progress, I am sticking lots of feathers in my cap and patting my own back often.

This summer alone, she has developed a consistent carriage and headset at the walk and jog but we have yet to master the lope. We spent two long riding seasons at a near standstill while this mare did NOT want to move forward, no matter how much you coaxed, cajoled or sweettalked her, and if you tried to FORCE her (ie a smack with the reins or across the arse with the lungeline), she would act up. It was a huge battle to get her to WALK FORWARD in the beginning but now her upward transitions toward walk and jog are wonderful, it's just the lope.

I have been trying with minimal success to get a lope out of her - we have been able to get six or seven steps (on the correct lead) and even up to about half a circle's worth of a lope but not much more than that. I finally was convinced by my mother (also my trainer and the person who has trained all of our horses) that she would hop up on her one night when Angel was really "trying" me, and she was able to get several circles out of her at the lope, on the correct lead. The mare needs some time to balance herself out, but we are beginning to make progress again. It's hard for me to admit that maybe the mare needed a different touch, a different handler to "convince" her..
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