Jewel SAFE Show 2Volunteer rider Claire has taken on Jewel as her special project. She has been working with her since just before the SAFE show and there have been some great changes since then. Here is an update from Claire about how things are going so far:

Jewel is an absolute delight to work with, especially now that she and I have gotten some valuable help from Joel. I’ve started being more clear and assertive when asking her to move forward, but also just “getting in and getting out” so she has a better chance for success. We went from ears-pinned, crow-hopping when asking her to just trot, to moving out at walk, trot and canter off of practically just my seat (with a few “reminders” here and there!). As Joel suggested, we have been practicing backing circles and short serpentines to help her carry more of her weight on her hind end as oppose to her front end. Jewel has a bit of a club foot and crooked leg so it will help her a lot to keep the weight off of this foot as much as possible. Because she is so heavy on the forehand, backing circles has been challenging for her but she is starting to develop a really nice reach. We are also still working on yielding the hind correctly—when I first started working with her she tried to do this with no bend in her body and pivoting on her inside front foot (which means she is just bracing), but now she is starting to step under really nicely with an actual bend. We still have a lot of work to do, but she is coming along so well! Her personality is just fantastic, she is very quiet not spooky at all. I get the sense that she just wants to be around people and to get along. She is such a great little horse, I love working with her!”