Ruby and Pearl: Day 14 horse training milestones

Ruby 'walking' around the round pen

Ruby ‘walking’ around the round pen

Today I took the mares out for their daily ride. I left the other one so that she couldn’t be seen by the one I was working with. It worked better.

Jigginess is a vice or a fault in which the horse can’t walk steady but wants to push faster. I’m training with a goal that the horse will move at the speed that I tell him to go and not faster or slower. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced jigginess in a fresh colt or filly. They have to acquire it somehow.

I don’t think Ruby has had enough experience with riders to have acquired it yet. She is just nervous enough or afraid that I can feel the possibility of jigginess boiling under the surface. Today I devoted my training to walking quietly. She is still very worried with me on her back. I have to keep more contact with the reins than I would like which is no more than an ounce or two. I would like her to walk quietly with a loose rein.

I spent an hour on her back attempting to keep the training experience calm. I could still feel the tension and fear almost the whole time. She is much better than she was. Nevertheless, I have to pay attention to her at all times. We are making some headway. Today she was able to stop and stand without pushing and snorting and stomping. She stood for a couple of minutes quietly several times. That was a milestone. Today she was able to go around me in the round pen at a walk. That walk was another milestone. When she first came into the round pen she was ripping around it at breakneck speed.

Pearl was back to herself again. By this I mean consistent progress. Yesterday was a bad day for her.

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