Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wimbley's Journal

In the beginning couple of weeks, I basically did just walking and trotting Wimbley four days a week, letting him get stronger and more balanced under saddle in the free gaits, with little to no contact and just letting him pick the tempo. He was very gangly and awkward, but he had such a willing disposition, and an interest in trying to figure out what I wanted him to do.

For two and a half months, I worked on introducing him to the different aids from the leg, seat and hand, and taught him to move forwards and sideways away from the leg, to give to the hand, and work in tune with the rhythm of my seat aid. It was all about relaxation, rhythm, suppleness and understanding what the different aids meant with no pressure.

In June, I found a wonderful schoolmaster for Edie.  Her name is Dancing on Air, and she is a 16 year old Hanoverian Mare, who is trained through Prix St. George.  She is the one who Edie is learning on and having fun with.  Edie is very committed to her dressage education, as well as to her other riding passion--Polo.  She rides her dressage horse 4-5 days a week, practices 2-3 polo horses twice a week, and has polo matches 1 or 2 times per week.  She is amazing.  But I digress.....

July, August and half of September were too hot to ride, so Wimbley (and Dance, the schoolmaster) got a very long break in the training and conditioning.  This was the first time I have ever taken so much time off due entirely to the weather, but I was afraid that either the horses or I would get heatstroke.  Edie was in a cooler climate for much of this period.
I also said that I would tell you the story of Wimbley's full name.  Manuel found Wimbley on a farm in Tennessee where he was turned out with several mules, who had obviously taught him the ways of the world in terms of manners.  He was calm and respectful of space, and not mouthy or pushy, and he remains so to this day.  He loves people and attention, and every once in a while he gets a bit nervous if you do something unexpected or scary, but he never reacts by kicking or becoming angry.  We were trying to decide a fitting name for him, and we wanted to acknowledge his rather unique heritage, so.....  Senor is to honor Manuel, who is Mexican and started him kindly and gently under saddle.  Wimbledon is for his English Thoroughbred ancestry. Von is German (because his higher education is going to be dressage). and Mule, of course, is his family name.  So, we present to you, in his full name,      Senor Wimbledon von Mule

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