Thursday, March 22, 2012

Stella - the story so far

I knew Stella very briefly before she became mine. The first time I laid eyes on her I was blown away... the trainer brought her into the barn and I was immediately googly eyed. THIS was a fancy mare. I begged to stay and watch her go. It became very clear that she lived up to her stereotype as a "chestnut Thoroughbred mare" - hot and high strung. But a lovely mover when she relaxed, and not spooky to speak of... just a worrier. It was at this point that I was informed that she was for sale...

Fast forward about a month, and here we are. Stella has been with me for almost 2 weeks now, and I just adore her personality. She is sweet, friendly, affectionate and personable, but she is definitely hot and anxious under saddle. She longes meek as milk but as soon as you get on her, the energy level goes waaaay up and her busy brain takes over.

I think some basic dressage work will be very good for her... I feel like she was asked to do too much too quickly, and now she is always expecting to be hit with that same pressure again. I am focusing on lots and lots of boring flatwork, trying to get her to relax (she has a tendency to move a bit like a sewing machine when she gets tense - lots of up and down movement, not much forward). She is 100 times better at the canter than at the trot or walk. But no matter how "up" she gets, she doesn't make me nervous, because (unlike her predecessor Gia) she doesn't really spook at all.

Even in this quick video taken just after I got on, you can see that she really wants to curl up behind the bit. It's going to take a LONG time to get past that. For now, I don't really care how she goes as long as it isn't behind the vertical... so we spend a fair bit of time trotting around inverted, and I don't care because at least that way I have contact with her face.

You can see how inconsistent she is in this trot video (and also how agitated she gets - notice the snorting and bit chomping). I just try to stay as quiet as possible. Seeing this video made me cringe because HOLY COW I am posting all over the freaking place. Yikes. I really need to work on posting more quietly.

Anyway I wanted to show these videos as hopefully the beginning of our journey together. I'm in no hurry to accomplish anything special, so it might be a long journey, lol... but that's okay.

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