My two in one training project!

If you’ve read my stuff for any period of time, you know that I believe every broodmare should be broke to ride so that she can have a second career when her producing days are over. In Bessie’s case, she was just sold to a 12 year old to start that second career at the age of 10. She’s not old, nor are her producing days necessarily over, but she’s put three nice fillies in a row on the ground in the past three years, and as far as I’m concerned, her job is done – an easy life of carrots and riding lies ahead of her!

We know Bessie is green broke but that’s all the history we have. She was an auction purchase, four years ago. She is papered, so we know where she came from but have few details about her past life. She happens to be my mare Kit’s daughter – they came through the sale together. Bessie arrived here on Friday and I let her and the baby settle in for a few days.

Last night, I went up and decided to put my Dr. Cook’s bridle on Bessie and just do some basic groundwork. I led her around the field and worked on “ho.” She barged past me a few times, and then caught on to what we were doing and was stopping on voice command within a few minutes. Backing up was a little harder – this is clearly not a maneuver you learn in Broodmare School – but she did it.

Then I “sacked her out” with a saddle pad. Threw it on her back, hung it on her head, all over her butt, threw it up in the air. Bessie never moved. So I sacked out the baby. Baby didn’t care either. This is not at all a skittish baby. She has no real concerns about Fast Things, Flying Things or Crackling Things. You can touch her anywhere. She’s ready to move on to halter breaking and picking up her feet.

I led Bessie up to the hay feeder and put her next to it. Bessie stood like a statue while I laid over her back, put my leg over her, etc. She was great. Tonight or tomorrow, when I have a helper, I’m going to get on her. I’m also going to get a halter on the baby and start working with her in earnest!
And yes, I finally rode my VLC. He knows Bessie is on the property and apparently remembers her. (Do they remember mares they’ve bred? They must.) So I turned him out in the arena and he just galloped like a fool and hung his head out the end doors and screamed, screamed, screamed at her. He never gets this excited over a mare, and I was kind of concerned it would affect him under saddle. Nope. He was fine. Never whinnied once under saddle and he even stood perfectly still twice for mounting last night (the second time because I dropped something). He was actually a little on the lazy side. He’s started pulling an old trick again the last few rides – the attempt to veer into the middle without warning. I don’t know if it’s general pissyness because I’m riding with the bit (but with the reins loose – I’m still riding off of the halter reins) or he’s just hot and doesn’t want to work that hard or he’s just bored because all we do is schlump around this dusty indoor arena and do figure 8’s and circles. Well, not exactly unusual baby horse behavior. I just have to stay on my toes so I can counteract it before he gets off the wall in the first place. I definitely can’t complain – one week off and he came back just as if I’d been riding all along. He seems like he’ll be one of those horses where you can give him time off and hop back on and it’s like he never had a break.
Tonight – more Honey and Bessie!
Published in: on July 15, 2008 at 4:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

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