Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Update late April.

It is nearing the end of April and it has been a very early spring for us here in Prince Edward Island. As a result we have been able to work regularly in our out door arena and the horses are on pasture.

We like to get the horses out early even if there is not much grass growing. This eases the transition from haylege as they stay in side until they have eaten from the feeders and then go out to the pastures during the day. We do not worry about slowing the grass growth as we have lots of pasture even if it's growth gets slowed.

We have been training the three year olds and they are coming along "slowly but surely". The "C"s Crispin, Calypso and Crispin are all different in their personalities and pace of training. At this time they vary from doing walk figure eights with a rider to being led in the arena with a rider sitting on them. They are all super eager to work and it is always a major hassle at the gate as they all want to come out first. Always rewarding working with the young horses as they progress every training day.

Two of the "B"s (Four year olds)Bolshoy and Bastion are on break for a couple of weeks until Meg returns from Virginia where she is helping Martha school Bagatelle and Wiseman.

The "E"s now yearling are all in a growth spurt and are developing nicely. With the good footing they are showing us their moves !

We are watching two mares. Waltzlina (Jet Set/Haarlem) is due to Johnson later this week. She is all uddered and looks like only a few more days to go. Veganieta (Jazz/Zeoliet) is due a week later to Contango. She looks on schedule and we are looking fore ward to our first Contango foal.

No pictures of anyone at this time as they are all partially shed out and do not look their best !

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Spring Training

We are currently working with the “C”s which were born in 2007. They are Calypso (Sandreo/Jazz), Charlton (Concorde/Hamlet) and Crispin(Sandreo/ Jet Set).

Our training plan is to halter break the foals and then do some in hand work with the yearlings. They learn to walk and trot with us and be groomed and handled in general.
In the fall of the two year old year we teach them to lounge and tack them up. They may do a few steps with a rider leaning over them. We lounge them lightly but they learn to lounge and to accept the bit and trot and canter with the stirrups down. The stirrups bumping against them desensitize them to contact on their sides. They learn to work with the bit in their mouth . We do a lot of work at the mounting block asking the 2yr old to stand while a rider stands on the block on both sides. The rider does all the things a bad rider would do. This includes whacking the saddle to make a noise and clapping hands over the top of the horse before mounting. This, hopefully, prevents any surprises when real riding starts. All three C’s were started on this routine last fall and then given a winter break.

We have started back with them this spring and the first step is to review last season lessons. Then we move on to sitting on them and then a few steps with a rider and then on to some walking while being led. Then a few trot steps working up to walk and trot of the lead. By mid summer they should be able do walk-trot figure eights. Last summer we were able to take all three of the “B”s to a show. We only showed one but the other three went in the warm up ring and behaved well. We go slowly and always “quit while we are ahead”. By late summer they should be ready to hack out with an older horse as a steadying influence.

This is all accompanied by lots of trailer rides. We do not have an indoor arena so to work in the winter/spring we have to trailer the young ones to an indoor arena. This takes time but getting them off the farm and trailer savvy is a big part of training.

The “B”s are doing what we think four year olds should be doing. They are doing walk, trot, and canter and getting in condition. They have learned to go “on the bit” and are getting various experiences. The ones that are not sold will go to some shows and continue to get various experiences.

Working with young horses is a very rewarding experience as every day they learn something new and progress one more step in the training process.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Bastion NPF

Megan had a lesson on Bastion with Erin MacQuarrie. The weekend cooperated with an unseasonably warm 25C temperature. Bastion(Sandreo/Floristan) is now four years old. We started him under saddle last year and then gave him a break for the winter. He started back with Megan last month and has quickly started to work into the contact. We took him to two shows last year as a noncompete and he behaved like a professional.

Bastion is for sale and would make a great mount for an rider who is looking for a young horse with unlimited potential.