Horsetraining by Steffi Raspel
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Vivs Country Girl MONA

Vivs Country Girl - MONA

I alread worked with so many horses, especially young horses, but i was never writing about that horses and their training. Now I decided to let join my work while saddlebreaking and training.

This is Mona, she is a 2 1/2 year old filly by Vivs Dun It.

I was already working with her on the ground when she was 1 1/2 years old, she was not knowing a lot back then. I teached her picking up the feets correct, lounging her, standing tied wearing a lounging single, get to know plastic...and also trailerloading!

Then Mona was going home to her owner to just relax on the pasture, now she is 2 1/2 years old, we took x-rays of her legs to see evreything is just fine for starting her under the saddle, and yes she is fine!

Thats where i want to start taking you with me to see how i am working, how Mona is making progress or not

Mona arrived at the stable, got one day to just arrive and the second day i started working on the ground, to just check what she is still knowing while lounging: I was touching her body with the stick and also the string and she was little sensitive om couple places. I just repeated it again and again, till she was fine. She is still going on the lounge line as if she was doing it every day. I am teaching the horses to turn that hindquarter away from me on the lounge and she is just doing all pretty correct.
So i was going on like that for one week, letting her go between me and the wall to make sure she is just ok with all, the only thing she was not liking and where she got worried about was standing in the cross ties on the washing place... There we need to get more comfort and relaxation.

After one week i putted a saddle on for the first time, she is already knowing the preasure on her belly from the lounging girth one year ago. I am always letting the horses look first and go on with putting the pad on and off and on and off. You can´t do this too often! I need them to be just relaxed in this moment. Same game with the saddle, on and off and on and off... I tell you guys your muscles can start hurting while you do that all allone!
So cinching her up very quiet, waiting for her to relax. And she was relaxed.
I am walking around then for a few steps and stop directly and let her just relax, waiting for her to lick or chew to get rid of that tension. Then walking and stopping again till she is just fine with that. Mona is letting the tension see very good with that little riples over her eyes and that her chin is starting to be short. When she looks like that i will always stop her to relax.
So far all is ok, i started lounging her in walk and jog, she is just perfect. And so in lope she bucked for couple jumps, i just stopped her and get her relaxed again, and let her slowly go again and lope off, then she was fine. For me this is always already enough for the first time, I am not that type who is letting a horse buck like hell to get it out of them, i want them to know that there is just no reason for bucking, so i will just stop them.
Normally my young horses are almost never really swetty, also mona is not.
I  just did that lounging with thge saddle on for couple days, touching the saddle with a lot of nooise, moving the stirrups till she was just doing great, and i can saddle her without worries while she is standing tied.

In Mona her case she is a horse which is really touchy feely when things are touching her belly, because of that i introduced the cans to her, rubbing her everywhere first, letting her smell it.

After that i placed one can on the side of the saddle: Please if you are not used to young horses and not used to read them and their reactions good enough don´t do this yourselfe!
For mona it was ok when it was placed ther, she turned her head, watching the can and i walked her off at the louge: When she was finishing one circle and was still quiet, i turned her hindquarter away, give her a break to tell her with not reacting on it she is doing good.
The same in Jog and Lope, one time she was getting little bit worried when the can was moving a lot but i directly turned her hindquarter and get her relaxed again. 
Then i did it with one can at the other side, the other side can always be different, but with her it was again just fine.
Next day i placed on every side one can, no reaction from Mona, its for her now really okay that there is an object moving, so my legs will not be a big deal :-D

A few days i did working her, jumping up and down next to her, putting a foot in the stirrup, hanging on her from both sides, whiloe hanging there toughing her everywhere, rubbing her hindquarter with my leg. I did that till she was just fine again.
So i bend her head and just got on her, waiting and then off again, and on and off... 
Till she relaxed also with me sitting in the saddle.

At this moment she is only wearing a halter with a rope on. I was walking her couple steps and just let her stop again when she wanted to, she is only doing very smaal circles on her own, cause she is not knowing what she needs to do. And when she stops i just rub her on her neck to tell her she is doing great. For me this is enough for the first ride, she will remember this very positive without beeing tired.
Next time i got help, I am not always having someobne around to help me but when there is it´s nice to use this help. So i was getting on mona and my sister (who was visiting me from germany) was holding mona. When someone is on the ground it is giving the horses little more safety. And I had the opprtunity to rub her everywhere, move my legs and hands to make sure we are not getting somwhere an issue.
First walking around like this, there was little tension, and again i just stop and wait for her to relax.

And what do i need to tell, Mona is just doing it great. So we also did ride on the lounge in walk and jog, again stopping her after one or two circles to tell her she is doing great.
I  don´t like that idea to make them really tired here, cause i am sure they will link working with us then with getting tired and also with pain in their muscels, at this moment i realy want them to learn that it is fun to do things together with humans. Thats how my vision is abaout horseriding, getting a team with your horse!!
And till here it feels pretty good with Mona :-D 

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