Now that our round pen is up, I have the ability to work with Jubilee a lot more now. I really needed a round pen to start up her work, so I could get her energy out in a safe way without a line in the way or without me on her. And, getting her ridden will be much easier in the pen for the first few times. I’ve lunged her several times on the line and she’s always been perfect but extremely sassy, so it was hard to really let her get all of her crazies out and keep myself safe on the other end of the line. Yesterday I decided to turn her out in the round pen, let her walk around for a few minutes to investigate, then I got her going. I learned that she really doesn’t need much from me during lunging – she works great off of vocal cues. I brought my whip out just to get her used to it’s presence and the sound of it since she’s still slightly skiddish around it. By the end of the day she was letting me rub the whip on her back without flinching or being uncomfortable, and didn’t seem to mind it.
I lunged her for about 15-20 minutes and then tied her and tacked up. She still hadn’t broken a sweat and still had a ton of energy left. I hopped on and she stood well, but didn’t want to walk off which is normal. Mom walked in to get her going again and she followed her for a bit and finally started moving off of my cues when mom went to stand away. She’s definitely a follower, lol. I rode her for about 20 minutes or so, just getting her to walk off, praising her when she did so, and did some backing. I also let her into a bit of a running walk for a lap around the round pen but had to slow her back down when she decided to sling her head and try to go faster. 😉 She has a bit too much of a motor but her brakes aren’t quite good enough yet, but that will all resolve with some more work.
I made her stand, dismounted, then mounted up a couple times to see how still she would be, she passed every test. She’s very polite with mounting and dismounting which I appreciate.
The kids were up at the farm, as well as my step-father and my step-sister (We’ll call her L) so when I dismounted we let the two kids hop on her for a quick lap with me holding their legs and mom leading. Jubilee most definitely isn’t a kid broke horse, haha. She did good although wanted to go a little too fast in her walk and we had to get her to slow the pace down a bit so the kids wouldn’t get scared. Her walk is so smooth and fast, much different than what their used to with Red.
She was still not sweaty in the least, so I decided to untack and then free lunge her for a few more minutes. Just asked her to go, and let her pick her pace. She decided to canter. She did this by herself for at least 20 minutes (slinging her head, kicking up, having a blast.) and I just stood there in the middle like..are you serious?
I stood in the middle for awhile and then grabbed my whip and joined in her play, which made her extremely excited. Kept the whip close to my side so she wouldn’t break into my personal space and risk me getting run over, haha. She did very well, stayed respectful. I’ve never seen a horse that loves playing and running with humans so much.
After a minute of keeping her in a nice circle, we started having fun. This was my first attempt to ever do liberty with her, and I didn’t quite know what to expect. She loves to play, she chases me in the pasture almost every day, but I really wanted to end the day with successful join up – not just mindless play, but her focused on me completely. I got her to join up the first time, then let her loose again, and it was absolutely fabulous, the best liberty session I’ve had with any of my horses. No force or me having to drive her to continue or to stay focused on me.
We quit after about 25 minutes. She still had no sweat at all other than a tiny bit where her girth and pad had been, she wasn’t even close to being out of breathe, and was still prancing around when I went to put my stuff in the corner and got ready for join up again. I called for her, then stayed with my back to her and waited. I didn’t quite know what to expect with her. She’s naturally much more aloof than Red and Stormie. She will play and have fun, but won’t seek out a ton of affection. She would look at me, take a step forward, then stop. This went on for at least 10 minutes before she finally circled around me and put her head down to me.
She ate grass in front of me, I stood, and she followed.
She walked with me to her halter, I held it up, and she dropped her head right into it, followed me back in her pasture, and stayed around me for a few minutes before I walked off and she went to get water. Very, very successful day. 🙂 She won’t get worked today. I’ll probably do some free lunging with her tomorrow weather permitting. Red also got lunged for a few minutes before dark last night, did some jogging around the round pen after dinner and he was good!
Y’all be keeping a dear friend of mine in your thoughts and prayers – she has had to make the hardest decision we ever face with horses, and she is laying her partner to rest tomorrow. I’m going to her farm this evening to take photos of her and the mare of some of their last special moments. We all know how hard that is.