Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Proof that Charlie still exists

I realized the other day that my blog has recently become more about the other horses I've been working with instead of "my life with Charlie." Oops! I assure you he is still here and he's doing fantastic :) He looks like he's spent the winter on summer grass, nice and fat and shiny (except for those rubs from his old blanket). And I couldn't ask for a happier horse. What a difference from a year ago when my goal was "...to canter with Charlie and achieve tantrum-free transitions." (For a recap check out this entry from March 2013 ... around 1:30 into the video is a good example of what I was dealing with at the time).

I work with Charlie pretty much every day after I train the other guys. However "work" is a loose term in the winter. During the colder bleaker months I like to just have fun and do whatever feels good that day. It keeps us both from loosing our minds from being stuck inside.

The video below is from the very beginning of my long line session with Charlie one day. Unfortunately Dan's phone died right before Charlie really relaxed and started working but if you've seen any of my previous lunging videos you can appreciate the change even from the beginning.

Sometimes we do the round pen, other days I hook up some long lines like above. Occasionally I'll just let Charlie loose in the ring and do free ground work, interrupting our sessions with a grooming session or play time, throwing things around (balls and ropes and such) to get him used to weird noises/sights.

Of course I ride too, sometimes getting motivated enough to do a concentrated flat lesson (usually after I watch some particularly inspiring professional equestrian video on Facebook), but I just as often will hop on bareback. I love that I can pretty much just get on and go now without worrying about what kind of horse will be beneath me. The video below was after he hadn't been ridden in a week.

Charlie's canter is so much more balanced than it was even 6 months ago and he's able to hold himself up a lot better and control the impulse. We're still working out stiffness in one direction but it's improving every day.

Happy horse


  1. i envy your ability to ride bareback! i did that when i was younger but it has been so long.....i know i should do it more often, it would be great for my balance!

  2. He looks so good. I think that turnout is making a huge difference :)