Thursday, October 16, 2014

Bringing Up Baby

I've had McKenna just over a year, September 30th was our anniversary. We can currently walk, trot, and canter fairly nicely, with most of our trot work on the bit and moving forward.  We've started trotting cross rails and small verticals. I feel comfortable enough to start dropping my stirrups on her. I had hoped that we would a lot farther along after a year...cantering courses, showing, etc.  I haven't taken her off the property, but hopefully that will change soon.  I am proud that my trainer has only gotten on her once, and only rode her for about 20 minutes before having me get on.  I do have another trainer ride scheduled for her on Sunday, mainly because I've only seen someone else ride her twice and want to see how she goes.

First Ride
Obviously from the time I got her to the end of June I had Buddy and was having a very hard time trying to work both of them.  It didn't help that McKenna was very babyish, needed lots of turn out/lunging before I got on, and was prone to some not so fun antics.  She liked to come up with her front end and spin, and on one occasion she stood straight up with me.  I'm not sure how I managed to stay on, all I remember is grabbing mane and my martingale strap and praying. Now however, she's much more mature and while she still spooks, she doesn't try to rear and spin and can go back to work without loosing her mind.

"Me spook? Never."
My plan after Buddy sold was to put McKenna into boot camp and be able to hit a schooling show or two in the fall.  Mother Nature and McKenna had other plans.  It was one of the hottest summers here, almost two moths of 90+ degree weather.  While I grew up in that weather in SoCal, I've adjusted to Oregon's much more moderate climate and was dying.  I'd ride on weekend in the mornings, and in the afternoons during the week when we had cooler days. 


McKenna lost four shoes in three moths, always the left front.  One was 36hrs after our farrier put it back on.  My farrier kept saying that her feet are pretty nice for a TB, and that she shouldn't be loosing that many shoes.  I put bell boots on her 24/7 and she ripped the first pair off within two days.  But the second pair lasted a month and we didn't have any lost shoes during that time. She currently has clips on the front and that has seemed to help.

Our current plan, to be discussed with trainer on Sunday, will hopefully be to continue trotting fences, start cantering fences, and introduce lines.  I'd really like to be able to a schooling show in December and at least do cross rails, if not the 2'.  She's very much a jumper, but not many shows around here have lower level jumpers.  Most start at 2'6" and I'd like to give her some experience at the smaller heights first.

My current favorite pic of us.


  1. It's amazing how much time it takes to bring a horse along. Now that she is maturing I bet you will make much quicker progress. How old is she now?

  2. Even her body is maturing and filling out! She looks great :D

  3. Love that last picture!

  4. Congrats on your anniversary! Starting small sounds like a good plan :)

  5. progress is progress regardless of pace. sounds like she's doing well and starting to feel more mature and confident. good luck setting out a plan with the trainer :)

  6. Every horse progresses differently, so don't get down, you are doing great working laying the foundation and being there for each other.