Fergie - The journey - From Pasture Puff to Dressage Diva

Discussion in 'Horse Chat' started by mooselady, Nov 17, 2015.

  1. mooselady

    mooselady Senior Member

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    Fergie is my new (ish) prospect for Western Dressage next year, she is a 15 year old Morgan/QH X Belgian, stands 16.hh. She had been a pasture pet for a couple of years, came to the barn as a trial but was not suitable, so it was suggested I try her out. Despite a few misgivings I eventually went ahead and bought her story here Introducing two new girls - Pic heavy

    So now she has been with us 6 weeks, for a lot of that time we were in harvest, and busy with fall work so have not been able to ride her as much as I would have liked, but we have made progress.

    She has a great walk, and a lovely free walk, my challenge has been to keep her head steady and to get her to bend, she seemed confused by the notion of bend, and it was a great learning experience for me, she is a lot more sensitive than anything I have ridden for a LONG time, and there is no hiding, if my hands get at all heavy she just ducks behind the vertical. I had to learn to keep light, but still ask for that bend.

    The jog started being AWFUL, I just could not get her to jog in any sort of steady pace or rhythm, I was getting worried, so much of the test is done at a trot, we just had to have that. At my last lesson we had a breakthrough, seems that I have always used both seat and leg when on the down beat of a posting trot, and nothing on the up. So I had to work on using my calfs when up, and my seat and thighs when down....and WOW, what a difference, I had a great flowing active, rhythmical trot, did not worry about her head, just so pleased to have that trot...next step, see if I can find it when sitting.

    The lope is so cute, very rocking horse, but lots of work needed, she has never picked up a wrong lead but is horribly counter arced, we have only done a couple of lessons including a lope, she needs to get fitter to be able to really work on this one.

    So we are making a lot of progress, and I am excited for the future. She has had her teeth floated, no issues found beyond normal age changes, a lot different to the horror of Gibbs first dental visit. She also had her first Chiro adjustment and cranial sacral massage, straight after my ride this week. I was interested to see what the therapist had to say, she saw Fergie when she was last out, while she was still on trial, and was the next person in line to try her if I turned her down, Oh, and she breeds Morgans. The good news, nothing major was wrong, a little unlevel behind, shoulder out a little, and a little out of line on the back, but nothing to show any issues with saddle fit, no soreness. The interesting thing was actually looking carefully at her and seeing her eyes at different levels, and Jess's findings of real tightness all around the poll, top of neck etc. While she had stood really well for everything else, the gentle pressure on her skull kind of freaked her out, she went from head down lip chewing relaxation, to what looked like near panic at times...it was obviously an intense experience for her. After the treatment she was still very agitated, was pacing in her turn out, and the BO said that she was asking to come in every time someone went past. It will be interesting to see how she rides next time.

    So here we are, ready to start on the real work......first show scheduled for March
     
  2. hoofs2118

    hoofs2118 Senior Member

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    Subscribed! Excited to watch your journey, sounds like a great one in the making :)
     
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  3. CrossMeOut

    CrossMeOut Senior Member

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    Following!
     
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  4. prairiesongks

    prairiesongks Senior Member

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    Me too! You and this mare have come a long way already with many breakthroughs in a short time. Congratulations on figuring out the trot and getting her more comfortable in a single day!
     
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  5. equinitis

    equinitis Senior Member

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    I am excited for you and the future with this mare!
     
  6. mooselady

    mooselady Senior Member

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    Some pics....

    I am used to Gibbs reaction to being turned loose in the arena to roll, especially in the winter when blanketed, he LOVES a good roll in the sand...turn Fergie loose and I get this look "you want me to WHAT"

    13th Nov.JPG

    I'm beginning to believe that geldings are more like puppies, all wiggly and eager to please, want to be "good boys" Red headed mares, more like cats, "what's in it for me?"

    I actually got a half way decent pic during her treatment, the quality is awful, but it it the best shot so far, this mare is the most unphotogenic animal on the planet I swear. Apart from looking like a pony, people meeting her are amazed at how big she is in person...she is just plain weird looking in pics

    16th Nove2.JPG
     
  7. prairiesongks

    prairiesongks Senior Member

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    ML, I don't think she's "weird" looking in pictures and I bet she'll be cuter when you clean and clip her next spring. Welcome to the "Red Mares Owners Club"!
     
  8. mooselady

    mooselady Senior Member

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    17th Sept (1).JPG

    Giraffe like and white eyed...Oh, and I know the angle is deceiving but look at her eye levels in the arena pic
     
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  9. prairiesongks

    prairiesongks Senior Member

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    She's certainly not a halter competitor, but those white eyes are pretty typical of red mares! They are noted for letting you know that a discussion is coming:ROFLMAO:.
     
  10. mooselady

    mooselady Senior Member

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