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Author Topic: Freckle's Dixie Ditto  (Read 322 times)

gaitedappylady

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Freckle's Dixie Ditto
« on: September 07, 2014, 08:52:16 pm »

I picked up this cute 14.2 hand 14 year old SSH mare last weekend, threw her in the trailer and took her right to a weekend campout and trail riding with a big group of horses (and Cliff and Jiminy).  This little mare is super fun and game, lots of forward energy, but well mannered and sweet.

She does neck rein and she knows how to go forward, she stands for mounting and dismounting, etc but beyond that she doesn't know a whole lot.  However, she does great on the trail, crosses everything, easy to rate on hills, etc.  She doesn't understand leg and thinks any kind of leg means go faster.  She also has a pretty prominent racker's bump, so I have decided to teach her to relax, soften, lower her head and left her back, and then my plan is to get her lunging in a relaxed frame and learn how to bring that back up and work from the hind end.

I worked her in a snaffle bit tonight on the lunge line, and at first she was really rushing and just taking off.  She was trotting, but she was still ventroflexed, and nervous with her head way up in the air.  I kept asking for transitions and changes of direction and she started relaxing and her head started coming down, and I was finally able to get her to walk both directions in a relaxed frame.

I am also teaching her to pick me up at the mounting block, so we worked on that, and her standing still for a few minutes after I get on.  She really wanted to rush off at a rack - I guess that's what she is used to, but I kept her on the rail and asked for a walk.  We then did some circles and figure 8's in the round pen, and it took awhile for her to realize that I just wanted her to walk and relax.  I rode for about 30 minutes and towards the end she was really starting to drop her head.  She is more stiff to the left than to the right.

She doesn't back well either, so that is something I we will work on the ground more and then under saddle.  The good news is, she has a great attitude and is already a nice little trail horse - she just needs a little fine tuning.  I am going to teach her to side pass and turn on the haunches and forehand.  Getting my Lee Zeigler book back out and I am also going to get my Larry Whitesell CD's out again and watch them, as I know they will help with getting her to use herself right.

She is super sweet, really fun and OH so smooth.  Just love her!
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Rita, N. Texas


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gaitedappylady

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Re: Freckle's Dixie Ditto
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2014, 04:19:45 pm »

I have had very little time to work with Dixie since my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer right after I posted about Dixie, and she's been through 2 surgeries since then, so I've been really busy with that and work.

However, she is a really nice little mare.  The little time I have worked with her she picks up on things really quickly and has a good attitude.  She came off a trail string, so she is not used to being away from her buddies and I totally get that, so I've been doing little exercises to remind her that I am in charge and I will keep her safe even away from her buddies.  Today I lunged her in the yard and got her walking quietly, then took her to the front yard and she of course got nervous because she was away from the others.  I worked awhile and got her going up and down the culvert in the front without rushing finally - it took about 10 minutes of work to get her to just walk up and down quietly. 

Then we went out to the fields.  I was glad I had my longer lead rope because she got really strong out there when I was lunging her and almost got away from me.  But I was able to get her stopped and we started again.  Go left at a walk, then speed up a little to a running walk, then back down to the flat walk and whoa, both directions.  I really have to be very subtle when I cue for forward, because she really wants to just rush off.  When I finally got a nice quiet walk both directions and a good whoa, I stopped and let her graze.  We did this 3 times and by the third time she really understood that if she was quiet, she got to stop and relax.

Last weekend, all the grandkids were over.  Alaina and Ryan (both 8 years old) both got to ride Dixie and she did well for them.  Alaina and Ryan are both brave little riders who like a forward horse, and she did great with them. I am very happy with Dixie.  She is a good family horse, not spooky, and super smooth at all her gaits. 

This Spring Hannah is most likely going to live in South Dakota, as her heaves got pretty bad this summer, and we didn't even have a really hot summer.  I know it is best that she go because I know it will prolong her health and her life, and she is a wonderful little mare.  :)

So, we will be looking for a Hannah replacement.  It's gonna be tough.  I am so glad we have Dixie!
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Rita, N. Texas


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