Riding Major the Puzzle Pony

I continue to ride Major as often as I can, usually 3-4 times a week and we are working on not fearing the outside door of the indoor arena since that will be where we will be riding mostly now that the snow is going to be flying soon.  He seems to be alright with it during the day but at night he gets jumpy by the door, he is getting better about it so we can work on other things.  I enjoy the weekends when I can ride him in the outdoor arena, it would be nice if they had lights around the outdoor so I could ride him there after work when it is dark but unfortunately there are no lights.  Major had someone else on him besides me for the first time, it was a my 6 year old grandson and he was very good although when my grandson moved in the saddle he stopped and wouldn’t move but I did finally get him moving again.  He is such a good boy to take such good care of me when I’m on him and my grandson!

I’m once again taking riding lessons, it’s very different riding a lesson horse then riding Major but I want to become a better rider for Major.

 

 

Riding Major (3)
Lunging Major before riding him.

 

 

Orion on Major (1)
My Grandson on Major, he moved in the saddle and as you can see Major stopped dead in his tracks.

 

Orion on Major (2)
Orion takes his first ride on Major

 

Riding Major (1)
Riding Major in the Outdoor Arena

 

The Changes in My Life

 

Trail Ride at Letchworth State Park

It’s been 2 years since I compressed two vertebrae and cracked a rib when I was on Major and fell off.  I’ve come so far since then, my life has changed so drastically from what it was back then.  I lost my job of 18 years because of the injury, but I now have a job that I really love doing.  My relationship has grown with Major, first working him from the ground and now riding him.  I love walking trails but that isn’t something I can do any longer but riding the trails on horseback doesn’t bother my back at all, so I can still go out on the trails.  I’ve learned so much about training and caring for my horse from some very wonderful people.  I feel so blessed that out of tragedy came so many new opportunities in my life.  I can’t wait to see what the next year has to bring.

Trail Ride at Letchworth State Park

I had the opportunity to go on a trail ride today at Letchworth State Park, I was a little nervous about it but very excited about going.  I wasn’t sure how Major was going to act since he has been so nervous around the barn but I wanted us to have this experience and I’m so happy that I decided to go.  Major was very well behaved; in fact he was having as much fun as I was!  We were hoping that the trees still had plenty of color but a lot of them had already lost their leaves but it was still a very beautiful ride, the weather was warm for the ride as well!  I feel so blessed to have gotten this opportunity!

Major & I crossing one of the bridges at Letchworth State Park Trail Ride at Letchworth State Park (3) Trail Ride at Letchworth State Park (2)IMAG0063 IMAG0060

Major Spooked

My barn mates and I decided to go on a trail ride after work earlier this week and one of the dogs was with his owner but stayed behind as we left for the trail ride.  The dog decided that it would be a good idea to catch up with us and came out of the woods behind Major who promptly jumped and took off at a run, I stayed on him and got him back under control within 500 ft!  So very proud of myself for not panicking and very proud of Major for responding to me so quickly!

Major and I are now on our own, my trainer has moved to another barn so we will no longer have training sessions but that’s alright, we have a very strong foundation to work with.  I continue to work him everyday with a day or two off.  He still is terrified to canter, but when we are both ready I’m positive it will just come naturally for him and me.

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A Breakthrough

Major_9-7-14 (8)

Major and I made a breakthrough this past week, I’m able to keep him moving forward, slowing to a walk from a jog which has been a problem for Major but this week he is doing much better at it.  We are now working on moving off the rail and then back onto it and it’s going very well!  He’s not getting so aggravated during the riding sessions, such as turning and trying to bite at my boot…I laugh when he does it but I know it’s not funny but it’s just my boy and his personality, he really wants to be the one to call the shots but gives in without too much fuss but he always has to try.

I was so happy tonight because I called him and he came running to me for the first time, it made me feel so good that I’m becoming as important to him as the herd is!  Before I owned him I don’t think he ever had his own human to love and care for him, instead he was just part of the herd so it really warms my heart to see him getting a stronger connection to me!

 

Trail Ride

It was shaping up to be a beautiful day today, so I went over to the barn to ride Major in the outdoor arena, the barn owner was there and brought her horse out to the outdoor as well after working them both we decided to go on a trail ride, so off we went into the woods.  Major behaved himself very well except for getting close to the other horse’s butt, but the other horse was not happy about leading so Major and I took the lead and that was a lot of fun, he wasn’t sure about going through the mud but decided it wasn’t going to swallow him so he went across it without any issue.

We came across a huge boulder which he was nervous about but I let him sniff it and he was fine with that too!  When we were almost back one of the boarders and my trainer was coming onto the trail so we went on another trail ride with them!  It was an excellent day and we all enjoyed ourselves on this wonderful sunny cool day!

Trail Ride_9-7-14 (2) Major_9-7-14 Trail Ride_9-7-14

Little paint, big Paint!  They look so cute together!

My confidence is back!

I was riding Major in the indoor arena this morning, he was listening to my cues and moving along well.  At the end of the arena is a gate going to the outside that leads to the road which is in sight of the outdoor arena which Major has been in and we have ridden in it a few times.  This morning one of the other boarders was riding her horse to the outdoor from the barn, Major saw her out of the corner of his eye and he jumped sideways!  The amazing thing was that I was able to stay on and move with him without any problems!!  I was so proud of myself and Major stopped immediately after jumping remembering that I was on his back and also realized it was just Star who was out there.  I’m not sure how to get him to calm down by the gate, he is so afraid that he is going to get eaten by something outside.  We ride next to the gate consistently and there are times I just stand with him at the gate to show him there isn’t anything that will hurt him as well as bringing him through it but he still is nervous about it.  Not sure how to solve this issue with him but at least I know I can stay on if he does get scared and jumps again.Major_8-24-14 (6)_pe