This blog chronicles my journey as I retrain my OTTB mare (or she retrains me).
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
I got Freya as a 3yr old OTTB filly. She never ran because she bowed a tendon while in training. Thankfully the bow wasn't deep and she was sound when I got her. I started her under saddle when I got her....Big mistake. I wasn't nearly good enough to ride her the way she needed, and she wasn't strong enough to do what I was asking of her. Here is a picture of Freya as a 3yr old.
As you can tell, Freya was just not fit and she need about 150+lbs on her. I was insisting that she travel in a collected frame and not haul on the bit. I messed her up pretty bad.
After about 3-4 months of me wanting to give up she looked like this.
She put on about 100lbs and was going very nicely on the lunge line. But when I would get on her, all hell would break loose. She wouldn't stand still for me to get on. She would run off as soon as I got on her. She was herd bound and went up as soon as I asked her to leave the gate. The list goes on and on. I prayed a lot. This spring/summer I switched barns, which was a mistake. Freya again dropped weight and she looked awful. The only good thing to come from moving to this new barn was that Freya learned to be independent of the herd and to trust me. When I looked at my horse and saw how much weight she had dropped, I moved back to the previous barn . This is Freya at the end of June.
When we moved, Freya perked up and started gaining weight. Her ground manners were perfect and she was a DREAM to ride under saddle. This is Freya last week.
She still has a few problems, but for the most part, she is a good girl. I am currently working on jumping and having her carry herself through turns...she likes to drop her shoulders and counter bend. So yes, we have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go.