Terry has been working with Zoe, and Joel Conner rode her several times at the last clinic. Here’s what Terry had to say:
Zoe has steadily been progressing with acceptance of the saddle. She is still tight when it goes on, especially if she has had some time off. Joel rode her a few more times this past clinic. She was much more accepting of the bit than last clinic. He rode her in the large arena with the other horses during the afternoon riding sessions. Helping her navigate through and around the other horses. Overall she did very well. Her expression is improving when asked to make upwards transitions.
We have a few items on our homework list. Her groundwork needs to improve. She has braces in the half circle exercise that if corrected will make her less tight when riding. She has a bit of an issue changing eyes. More rope work and just wearing the saddle a ton more is going to help. We also need to really get the “join up” work cemented. She is still not joining up very quickly or fully turning loose to the process. She is a bit on guard especially when the saddle is on. More miles and time will help along, with consistency in her training. With other horses moving off to adoptions and other volunteers riders helping out, I will be able to commit more time to her.
Zoe is a very gentle mare to handle. Sometimes in our groundwork sessions, she can give a bad expression but is easily changed and she moves off. We need to do more rope work for her hind end. She still tries pulling away when asked to pick her hooves. You can easily correct her with a confident hold but she can improve on this. The scars on her legs show struggles in the past with getting caught with fences and wires. It is important we help her learn to give to pressure on her legs instead of resisting and getting injured.
Zoe is available now for a person with experience starting horses. She is uncomplicated and only requires miles to be a great riding horse. I imagine she will be ready for more of an intermediate rider early December.
Gallery photos (click to view):