February 10, 2013

First (TWO) Rides!!!

So I clearly failed to update throughout the week. To make up for it, I have a ton of pictures and video from my first two RIDES on Echo!!!

Monday / Tuesday went pretty much as planned last week. No working the ponies, just chores. Wednesday and Thursday I played a little with both Dakota and Echo but nothing major. 

Friday morning my friend Erin came to the barn with me. I wanted to back Echo again, this time with a saddle on. I also planned on cleaning stalls and getting everything ready so all I had to do was bring in the horses in the evening since I had things to do and wanted to be semi presentable after coming from the barn (aka no hay in hair or on clothes). Also Friday (Feb 8th) marked 4 months of Echo's arrival in Michigan so I wanted to take new 'progression' photos.

I lunged her and put side reins on loose to get her use to a little bit of pressure and wiggling on the bit. Just to get her use to things. She went amazing around the arena. It was the most comfortable I've seen her move with tack on. She even was kind enough to do her extended trot and let me drool a little. 

After letting her burn a bit of energy, Erin leaned over her and backed her a few times for me before swinging herself onto Echo. Echo was unfazed. Next it was my turn. I backed her and took a few steps around with me laying over her. Still... unfazed. We lined back up to the mounting block and I got on her! She flinched once, when I put my foot in the iron to get on. By flinched I mean, took 1/2 step and looked at me funny. I dropped my stirrups so that I could move my legs around on her sides and be able to escape fast if needed. Erin led us around 2-3 times around the arena. Next she walked next to use but loosened up on the lead rope so I essentially had control. Finally, since we had a long lead rope on her I walked Echo in a few circles around Erin, got off and had a major party with my rock star mare.

Friday Pictures
My new view!
1) Yes I basically rolled out of bed before going to barn 2) Yes my paddock boots are not even tied 3) Yes those a roping reins... - Don't judge.
Yes her mane is a nightmare. It was greatly improved Saturday after our ride.
Saturday I wandered to the barn around 3:00 and was hoping K would be willing and able to help me again with Echo. I wanted to get on her two days in a row to make a point with mare face that this is the new goal of our training sessions. I put my real reins back on her bridle, put side reins on again and lunged her around. She definitely had more energy than Friday so I lunged her a little longer.

K came in arena and we put a lead rope on her bridle but so it wouldn't interfere with my rein holding and pressure. Worked on starting and stopping, which went REALLY well. I barely had to close my fingers on the reins and shift my weight back and she stopped perfectly. My biggest challenge, which was all me... She feels strange to sit on! Dakota is VERY narrow. I almost feel like I'm sitting with my legs straight down. These two rides on Echo are leaving my hips thinking I'm trying to speed up the replacement process. Next time I ride = lots of stretching and pre-ride aspirin.

Saturday Photos

Video is still rendering and processing on YouTube so it will be in tomorrow's post! Farrier is coming early this afternoon to trim both horses. As I think I previously stated I've reverted back to my old slow guy. He has done the best job with Dakota since moving back to Michigan. He is just super, super slow at trimming but its for the best in long run! I'm anxious to see what he does with Echo as well. 

K will be gone so I have to bring everyone in and feed tonight. S is coming out with me for the farrier appointment and to help with chores. Depending on how Dakota feels after his trim I may lunge him and let her ride him lightly around. Echo - I plan on doing more of her mane, it's about 1/3 way done. It will still be longer than 'show ready' but much more presentable than its previous state.


  1. Judge McJudgerpants.. Just kidding! Sounds awesome, glad Echo is such a good girl!

  2. Woohoo, happy days!
    May you have many more successful spins ahead of you! :D