I have three horses in training right now at Circle F stables. My goal is to have them all driving by spring. Each one needs a custom approach in training to work with their learning differences. One is my Morgan mare Chloe. She is 11 years old, green broke to ride and has lots of energy to put towards learning. Second is Missie, an 11 year Standardbred mare whom is well trained in riding and driving but has had a couple years off. Third is Teddy, a six year old Fjord whom is green broke to ride and has real pony attitude!
Missie has great work ethic and just needs to ease back into work with out getting burned out. I try to keep the indoor fun with lots of activities to keep the mind activated. I will use cones, trot rails and even a cross rail jump to walk over. I did ground work the first week for us to get to know each other. By the end of the week, we were ground driving and getting back to focus. It is great to be able to ride Missie as well. From the saddle it is easier for me to get a working walk and traveling straight than from me driving her from the ground.
Teddy is really starting to understand light steering and a working walk, not just a fast walk in any direction he wants. After settlling into the new barn and getting into a routine, I decided to ride him. I can't stress enough how much we got accomplished due to me being in the saddle. It takes a lot less energy on my part to get him to move straight and freely. When we went back to ground driving, he didn't fight with me to get back to the door. Now that he is moving forward and freely, I can start having him pull chains and eventually a drag. I am excited.
Chloe is having the hardest time adjusting to the new barn and routine. She is literally chomping at the bit and pooping at least three times while in the cross ties. We have been mixing ground work, ground driving and riding. I changed our routine today and it helped a bit. Standing in the isle bothers her the most. So today I decided to work her litely first, then go to the cross ties. Then I tacked her and brought her back to the indoor for more work. We did a little more then went back to the isle. Each time she thought she was done working, she calmed down. At week five, I feel she should have settled in a bit more. I have to remind myself that she has made progress, just not as much as I was hoping. By the end of each session, I am always left excited to come back tomorrow!