What started out as a pretty good week on Monday has declined a bit for Florida.
Monday's ride went well. I had been weaning down on the amount of groundwork we had been doing prior to mounting & Monday resulted in the least amount of groundwork with our best ride yet. Tuesday & Wednesday was still pretty decent, but Florida had a few tighter moments, even on the ground, than she had been having the previous week or so.
Today, it was obvious that she was in heat. I had to spend a fair bit of time on the ground both before & after our ride as she was really wanting to get tight. Under saddle, I had to encourage at the lope with the end of my reins again. We hadn't had a day this tough since we'd been out of the round pen. Had she not been going home tomorrow, I probably would have opted for a groundwork day. Looking back, a lot of her tighter, more nervous days/weeks were likely correlated very closely to her heat cycles.
I also had my video camera set up in the middle of the arena, which was new & likely didn't help matters.
This week, we've touched on more Vertical Flexion at the Standstill & at the Walk. While we haven't gotten to the point of asking for a lot of duration, she's done pretty decently with this.
We've also focused on Backing a bit more. It's still pretty basic as she gets a bit tight, but she's got the idea.
Lately, she's had a bit of trouble taking the left lead. We don't have the body control to set her up correctly, but it takes a bit for her to find it on her own. She has a tendency to look to the outside when going to the left, which plays a large part in the lead, something she did in the round pen as well. I suspect that & her yawning has something to do with the notch in her cheek. I'll show you more about that when you pick her up.
**Putting together some videos from today's footage & will add them when they are ready (may not be until Friday afternoon)**
Reviewing your goals listed in the Training Agreement:
1. Comfortable with humans
2. Good to Catch & Saddle
3. "A horse that I could say was well started."
She's made tremendous strides in how quiet she's gotten since her arrival. I do feel that she's likely going to be more of a 1-person horse. She's gotten very comfortable with me through the relationship & trust we've established, but she doesn't seem to give that very freely with new people. Keep that in mind when she leaves what's been familiar to her for the past four months.
She's been great to catch now. A lot of improvement in this area since her arrival, too. She'll frequently walk up to me to be caught, or if she's busy eating, I can easily walk up & catch her.
At this time, she doesn't pass for what I, personally, would say is WELL started, though my standards for the horses leaving my program are incredibly high. But I believe you're aware of this & have opted not to extend her time to get her to that point as you've got someone else set up to ride her when she leaves LNH. She's got a start on her with many of the basics (lateral flexion, yield HQ, W/T/L, basic stop, back, & the start of vertical flexion at the standstill & walk) but is lacking a bit more body control that I like to send horses home with. She definitely still has tight moments here & there as well.
I've sent over your final invoice. Don't forget about your overdue invoice from July 1. With the overdue invoice CW22-3 ($55) & the final invoice CW22-4 (-$23.06), your total due upon pickup is $31.94.
We'll get squared away on that & load your feed up upon your arrival, then we'll catch Florida & I'll show you where she's at under saddle in the arena.