Terry took Tabitha in the riding sessions of the Joel Conner clinic. Here’s her report:
I really like this mare!! Every ride is better than the last and she is changing so quickly. Her ground manners are impeccable and she is safe enough for anyone to handle. She no issues standing tied, picking hooves, grooming, saddling, standing for the farrier, or getting vaccines. There really isn’t a bad thing I can say about her.
She did amazingly well in her first riding clinic with Joel Conner. She was settled and ready to work each day. Joel helped me smooth out the half circle exercise. Tabby started out drifting too much with the front and not fully yielding her hind up under herself. She’d also rush to bring the front over. Slowing things down and helping her think through rather than racing is a big help. Since the clinic, we’ve been working on this and it’s like night and day. She now can make it around with the hind quarters then front quarters more balanced and smooth. Another exercise that’s working well is figure eights. We were doing these before the clinic but Joel pointed out that figure eights are essential for developing balance. We are doing this at both the walk and trot. Once again, slowing things down and helping her find balance and peace are making a huge difference in her demeanor under saddle.
It’s very clear when Tabi is balanced and relaxed. Her neck lengthens and her shoulder motion is free and soft. She also lets out about a dozen deep relaxing blows and really gets comfortable to sit on. Our big goal for the clinic was learning to get her gait smooth and lined out. Joel rode her a bit to show us how to accomplish this. We’ve worked on it since the clinic and things are going great. She is finding balance in the trot to canter transition and I am working on timing to support her. When she is right, she is a very smooth ride. All Tabi needs is miles to strengthen and confirm the good things we are putting together!
We’ve been taking light hacks around the property. So far she is very brave and not worried about being alone. I’m looking forward to getting her out on the trails in the next few weeks…I have a feeling she is going to shine!
Gallery photos (click to view):