So tell me the truth

One of my blog readers was chatting with me on facebook and said “tell me the truth are they really all that good? You never write anything bad.” I chuckled because looking over my blog there really isn’t too much here that is negative. Perhaps people think that I don’t write the bad stuff and make everything sound better than it is.

I can honestly say I write about everything here and I don’t leave a whole lot out. The horses really are that good. Yes, they have their moments but I do know that I have written about those 🙂 It’s very rare that I get a horse in that is difficult. Young and silly maybe but truly difficult not so much. I can think of only one horse that was something I didn’t want to ride. We sent him off to a cowboy who thought perhaps the horse had neurological issues. One of the reasons we try not to sell anything out of the field that we haven’t spent time retraining is because of cases like that horse. You just never know what you have until you start riding them. We want to make sure they are what we say they are when they move on to their next careers.

Even I am surprised by just how good these horses really are. This weekend I was showing Areutrue to a potential buyer. He’s not truly for sale but she is somebody that I know and would be an awesome home. Allie and I figured the worst that would happen is that he would sell but we really wanted to keep him a bit longer. Areutrue is another one of those horses who had a long race career. He just turned 8yrs old and man is he one classy horse with an amazing brain. He’s broke to death for a horse with very minimal training and he’s just so eager to please. I introduced him to some jumps and he immediately figured it out. Smart!

As soon as we get him out to the ring my neighbors get out their new toy. They have two 4 wheelers and they race up and down the field right next to my riding ring revving the engines and doing all sorts of crazy stuff. Now it was already cold and windy so combined with this scary object making loud noise you would think this horse would have every opportunity to be bad. While he was aware of what was going on he still managed to be on perfect behavior and focus on what we were asking of him. She couldn’t believe just how behaved he was for all the crazy going on around him. When we finished up we must have stood there for 30 min just chatting outside the ring. He was standing perfectly still with his lip hanging. I just want to hug him all the time 🙂 He’s clipped and looks so good. Pictures are sadly lacking but I will get some soon.

London Lullaby is just as cute as can be. He also got a clip job over the weekend.

I had taken a few days off over the holidays so I got London back to work with a little lunging just to refresh him about the basics. I don’t really want to drill lunging but he does need to learn how to lunge. You can see he wants to be a typical baby and stop near the side going towards the barn. I was working him over by the black barrels just to let him work near them so he wasn’t surprised when I rode him around them.

We had clipped him and given him a bath after his clip job. It was a really nice sunny day so I let him air dry in his paddock and then brought him out to ride. It was super windy and he was a bit spooky but not half as bad as Junior was 🙂 I wanted Kurt to give me a lead not productive since Junior was spooking at everything. We got 10 min into the ride and London started being a bit of a turd. He wanted to keep stopping and then he was turning around biting at my leg???? I had no clue what his problem was but he was fine when I got off and lunged him. I got back on and he was good for about 5 min and then started doing it again. I really think it could have been that he was itchy from his clip job?

I rode him the next day and he was a puppy dog. I also changed the bit back to the herm sprenger duo which I think helped. I didn’t like him in the metal bit. I’m always working to figure out what makes them the happiest. He’s really soft in the mouth and I want him to feel like he can poke his little nose out and stretch anywhere he wants. He’s so naturally balanced that he just wants to carry himself uphill.

I think he just looks much steadier overall in that ride. However, he was a bit short moving which is unlike him. He seems fine now so I think maybe he just played too hard in the field.

I will finish this up by talking about my horse. Letterman is really going well and just feels like a different horse. Remember back to the days when he was so cranky and lacked a forward button. I think with these older horses it can just take a really long time for their body to catch up with the work and a new way of going. He’s always been a good-looking horse but he’s has muscles in all the right places.

I asked Kurt to take some pictures of him for me so I could see how he was looking. He also had some days off over the holidays and was feeling a bit ripe. He enjoys spooking at things just for the heck of it. He’s very safe to ride but he keeps you on your toes. I like that about him though because I need a bit of excitement. I don’t want a horse that is super boring.

See the spooky eye…oh boy he has to go down the scary side of the ring past the black barrels of death and the scary cavalettis in the corner.

Ha, um a little much inside rein but that is to keep him from spooking every which way.

The horse that used to not care much for jumping has now turned into a brave bold jumper. He enjoys leaving strides out and cantering away from the jumps. He used to land in a heap on the other side and couldn’t figure out how to make is body work 🙂 Now he lands and goes weeeeee that was fun!

My favorite thing about Letterman is that he is just such a fun ride out on the trails. We went out on Sunday and I opened him up for a good gallop. Man oh man is that a blast. He is just so damn fun to gallop. He never touches the reins and he just goes. We really covered a lot of ground quite quickly. He’s easy to pull up and he will go to walking on the buckle right away. I love that he doesn’t get tense or play around. He’s gotten so much braver as well and I’m sure that will only improve with time. Yes, he spooks but he’s not bad about it. I swear sometimes he does it just to make me laugh.

I thought that I was pretty content just having lots of fun horses to ride for CANTER and my clients but there really is something special about having an amazing ride on your own horse. While I love Junior he’s clearly been taken over by Kurt. Letterman and I have bonded and I’m already looking forward to spring so we can get back out eventing and paper chasing!



3 responses to “So tell me the truth

  1. That evil eye picture is very funny. You can see how smart he is

  2. Jess, your work is amazing!

  3. Rebecca Macchione

    I can vouch for the truth in how good Jess’s Canter horses are. I am the proud and happy owner now for one month of Burg Hill, now Fergus. I flew all the way from Utah to Delaware to try him out. I felt good about doing that because of all the blog posts, emails, and YouTube videos and a sparkling fun phone conversation with Jess. It was clear to me that it would be worth the trip and indeed it was. One of the beauties of the CANTER retraining and rehoming program is that they have everything to gain by being completely honest and up front about these horses because their purpose is not to make personal profit but to find lasting homes for these wonderful horses. I highly recommend that anyone looking for a nice horse seriously consider one from this program. PS…I feel very confident that Jess would only send a horse home with you if she believes it is the right match for you and she has a very good eye!

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