Progress!
First things first, I have to brag a little bit about the progress that we’ve made over the last few months.  The side by side picture is Mae, last week, on the left, and then Mae, in the beginning of April, on the right.  Notice how much better (also relaxed) she looks, especially along her back and her rear!

Besides the fakery lameness that we experienced last week, I’m really happy about where we’ve come this past month.

My favourite thing about Mae now is that she utterly enjoys being doted upon.  One of my fellow OTTB owners at the barn reminded me that as racehorses, although they were used to being handled, they are not used to being pampered and loved on.  Over the last month, as it’s gotten hotter, Mae is slowly enjoying her weekly baths more and more, particularly the neck massages and scratching around her ears.  She’s flinching less and less at pats on her head, neck, and back.  People = treats and good feelings, and that’s 100% the association that I want her to have.

Under saddle, Mae is muscling up and carrying herself in a more balanced and consistent fashion.  Oddly enough, it’s been remarked that she’s one of those horses who looks bigger with a rider than without.  She gets tired more quickly than my energizer bunny Ryon but, on the flip side, has very smooth gaits.  “You can balance a wine glass on her at the canter” was the feedback from one of my fellow riders.  Even though she has auto changes, we have gotten it to where she picks up the correct lead both directions at the canter depart.  Mae feels more confident when she’s in the arena with a “buddy” horse than by herself.  She is also more well behaved the more tired she is.  I’m still itching to take her out on the trail, but she’ll need a few trail friends as well as some desensitization before we do that.

She and I haven’t been jumping since her ulcer upset, but my trainer has started working her through low courses and teaching her the basics of form and how to use her body.  I can’t wait to challenge this mare and see how she does with it.  She’s got a good mind (stubborn but willing), and her body and health are finally in the right place.

I’ve made our goals a little more lengthy for June to include my horse-related goals as well.  I’ve been on a break from lessons basically all spring, and I’m ready to start working more regularly on Mae with my trainer.


Mae’s June Goals

Build endurance (particularly in the heat)

Continue to work on intro to jumping

Continue desensitization


Rooth’s June Goals

Resume weekly lessons (we’ll see how long this lasts without work getting in the way again)

Darken saddle

Jumping with Mae

Lease out Ryon (here’s his ad on Dreamhorse if you’re interested!)