dancinghorse: (WorkingEphiny)
This was a big week for the Divine Miss E. No, we haven't sat on her yet. But she made serious strides toward being ready for it.

Monday was challenging. The wind was ferocious. She was out of her head with hormones.

Bear in mind, we have not been able to get this mare to show heat signs. She has normal structures but nothing seems to have gone on in them. A year and a half as Pooka's pasture buddy resulted in nothing, and he never appears to have bred her.

This year, she's finally unblocked whatever was blocked. Our first session with her had its wild moments, and she seemed Very interested in the stallion.

Monday, she was exactly the same way. I checked the calendar. 21 days. Yep, Miss Late Bloomer is finally blooming in that direction.

We could feel the sparks coming off her during her grooming. She was calm, comfortable with the routine, but there was a definite undertone. We decided not to saddle her, but to do groundwork and obedience work instead, and free-longe her if she was inclined. J started off--we alternate so she gets used to the idea of working with multiple people--and did a little leading work, but she was not cooperative. As in, levades and sudden eruptions. I instructed J to turn her loose and see if we could free-longe.

None too soon, either. Directly in front of J, Ephiny went UP. Full vertical courbette with three feet of air.

In case you wondered what Ephiny's Air is...Milestones )

And in Tia news, because Tia will not let big sister outshine her, while I rode Capria, Tia mirrored us exactly through a longish sequence of figures in both walk and trot, moving to voice and whip instructions (whip touching shoulder or pointing the direction to turn) as well as body language from me as well as Capria. She actually cantered up to us when we started, and attached herself to Capria's inside. Capria didn't mind a bit. Capria is good with this pas-de-deux thing. It's in the genes.

Though when Camilla decided to make it a pas de trois, Tia's baby brain got a little fizzy and she took off at a wild gallop. She's not ready for that yet.

At this rate, I'll end up with a full quadrille. O_o
dancinghorse: (Tia)
Ephiny's education proceeds apace. Yesterday she had a more casual session than usual. Grooming, check. Feet, check--she's so good now about picking them up and putting them down. Cavesson, check. Not saddle; we were headed for some groundwork, because she's been throwing her shoulder into people who want to lead her.

So of course she didn't do that this time. She was quiet, focused, and attentive. Her right side has been an issue; she does tend to push into my hand on that side, but the wild defensive kicking is gone. (It's not structural or pain-related--S worked on her and said it's psychological. No known reason in this life, but...) We did the gentle rocking and the stepping over and the "move your butt, honey" exercises, and we got sleepy eyes and long, soft neck. Finished off with a request to bend just in the atlas on each side. Left was easy. Right, less so, but the fierce resistance she used to show was gone. Eventually she relaxed and stretched and flexed.

She liked it. She wanted more. We finished with Tia practically in our faces, demanding in boldface for a turn.

Oy, war mares. Oy, alphatudinal young Lipizzan war mares.

First she had to cope with the cavesson being fitted. Headflip! Grab leadrope! Chew on leadrope! Then there was discussion of where I belonged. At her shoulder, I said. Right in front of me, she said, with much imperious pawing. At your shoulder, I replied.

Then, rocking-exercise time. No, she said. Not doing that. Do not want. But it feels good, I said. Relax. See what I mean. OK, she said. But busy now! Bored now! Go backwards now! Come here, I said. Try it. It's nice. OK, she said. Busy! Back! No!

Eventually she relaxed and gave a little. The pawing eased up. I tried the less-is-more strategy. Worked even better with her than with Ephiny. (Hmm--not as tough as she looks, that girl.) I pushed her a little, and she got just a teeny tad bit overfaced, but she calmed down and gave and flexed and that was enough.

And she wanted more, too. Which is good. She was feeling cranky, pushy, wanted to be in charge, as can happen with young alphas when they first get the memo about obedience. We'll be working on that for a while, as we did with Ephiny and Camilla, and yes, all the way back to Capria, who was not always the Perfect Schoolmaster. Not hardly.

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dancinghorse

August 2017

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