Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation, Inc. ----Discussion Forum

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OH MY GOODNESS...you ride a draft and forget the sled???  Where on earth is your mind???  LOL..you guys look cute as a button sled or no sled, and sounds like you had a wonderful ride.  You don't need a sled til you are ready to drive anyways, right?!  wink wink
Perhaps I wasn't clear enough. The "sledless sled ride" was Eli dragging me across the field at the end of the lunge line. But I let go before I hit the barn. 

While I may provide endless entertainment for my neighbors I am pretty sure I have ruined any chances of the wife convincing her husband to get her a horse.  
Donna R
Jurita, you crack me up.  You would be a most entertaining neighbor for sure!
Donna M
My neighbor passed away last year and his house will probably be for sale in the spring. It has a barn and very nice pasture. Could you move in? It's so quiet and boring up here. Just watch out for my electric fence if you go sledding (with or without the sled). Lol
Jenni O.
Donna, lol! Jurita, way to ruin it for Nancy. Although maybe the neighbors think you're doing that on purpose, and having a great time. It's actually barefoot skijoring. You're so good you don't need skis.
I know I recently updated but....

Not going to be taking lessons for awhile. We are pretty much unable to trailer at this point. Once our side road and driveway get bad they tend to stay bad and we have a couple of real scary spots on our road. Also, my instructor is going to be taking a few weeks off in the near future.

But I can try to get in a few rides here and there at home. It isn't the same but it is something and better than nothing.

And today we cantered!!!   It wasn't much...a few strides... but I was working more on the transition than anything. I asked him five different times and each time he went into the canter about a thousand times easier than the day we tried it at lessons.  I was pretty proud of him today. So, that is the main reason for the update today.   

Thanks for the words of encouragement you all sent me earlier. [smile] I wanted you all to know that I did read them and took them into consideration.
Jenni O.
Yay!!! See, they aren't all crappy discouraging days! I swear those tough days happen so we are super happy about the good days. Sucks you can't trailer out, but I guess if your instructor will be off, it's good timing.
Jurita and Rogan/Levi (Eli)

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Eli update:

When I first adopted Eli we obviously had some issues. He was not respecting the bit at all and he had also bucked me off a couple times. I seriously thought I was going to return him. "Plan A."
Instead I went to "Plan B" and decided I would keep him and send him to a trainer who is willing to ride a bucking horse and who could help with our other issues. The plan was to send him this March/April but that was delayed and new date of May was set.

I continued to ride Eli at lessons once a week and also did several trail rides until the end of November. I rode a little at home then this winter just to send him the message that he is expected to work (he's a bit lazy & out of shape) plus I didn't want to deal with any Spring crazies or send him to the trainer that way. I also changed bits under the advice of a Fjord horse trainer.

Recently I have been getting back to the barn where I have the room to ride and people to ride with that I just don't have at home. I have done a little trail work as well as some arena work plus I am starting lessons again. The barn owner approached me and talked about the big improvement she sees with Eli. My instructor also commented on how much better we are doing especially considering we have not spent a whole lot of time under saddle really. This helped me recognize the improvements myself. Eli is much more responsive and respectful of the new bit. I think he is more respectful of me and I am hoping he is seeing me as the leader. He is softer and more responsive and there has been no bucking or threatening of bucking even when he is asked to do something a little difficult for him. (I think he considers anything above a walk difficult) Last week we rode in the outdoor arena which is next to the road. We encountered all kinds of things including ATV's, people on bikes, sandhill cranes, a truck hauling a large object partially hidden by a flapping tarp, etc, etc.  Although I lost his attention a couple times I was able to bring it back to me and he never had much of a reaction at all. I just stayed calm and relaxed and thought "If I am relaxed my horse will relax." Good desensitization work, right?!?!  Plus, we are starting work at the canter! It isn't pretty right now and it is a lot of work for him but it is still progress.  

After talking to the barn owner, my riding instructor, a couple friends, including Karen, and taking time to think things over I have gone to "Plan C".

I am canceling the training and will continue to work with Eli myself. I will have some support from the people at the barn as needed but I have decided that it is best that I continue this work myself and continue to build/strengthen the bond with Eli. 

Sooo...wish me luck!

Heike B
Good luck Jurita!  Your posts have shown some of the struggles you and Eli have had - you certainly have your hands full.  But, it's clear just from the forum that you don't back down from a challenge.  It sounds like you found a great support network; I know from my own experience that even just being around other riders and horses makes a huge difference.  You should be proud of how far you have come! 
Jane Liess
Good luck, Jurita!  It sounds like a great plan to me.  As long as you're making progress, who cares how long it takes?

Yay for you!  That comment about him considering anything more than a walk work made me laugh.  I think it is fantastic that you are doing it yourself.  I came to the same conclusion after spending all winter wrapping and unwrapping Inigo's leg, we had become very close and the trust was there and I wanted that to continue therefore went in search of a trainer who was willing to work with us as a package deal and come to my place for the training since that is where he will be ridden.  I love her and she has done wonders for us.  I am wishing you and your boy tons of luck and lots of fun!!! 

Jurita, you have the passion and knowledge (of what you do know and what you don't) and the sense to learn what you don't.  Levi will be great.  Keep us all informed.  I think many of us forget to post our accomplishments and failures which I for one learn from reading from all.

If you can teach Mandy - you are a pro [smile]
Jenni O.
Good luck! You'll do fine, you're doing great. Curious, what is the new bit? You probably told me and I forgot.

BTW, you always look good on him, so even when you're struggling, it doesn't look like the horrible picture you probably have in your head.
Good for you both!  You and your little Pooh Bear will do great [smile]
Thanks everyone for reading my posts and for words of encouragement.

It's not all bad. We have really good moments too and it seems like at each lesson we do a little better each time. I hope to maybe ride 2-3 times per week this summer.

Eli has some really good qualities too. He is a smart horse.  He needs a leader, as all horses do, and a leader that says "Yes, you CAN do this. Yes you WILL do this. No, you don't have to worry about this." He isn't a horse that feeds off energy of other horses so if another horse acts up around him he tends to just go "Ok..whatever." He is a huge baby and loves people. (Yes Christine, "Pooh Bear")

Jenni O. It is a Kimberwicke bit but I also have the other bit on my other bridle. I can't recall the name. It is a double jointed snaffle.. kind of like a French link. The Fjord trainer told me fjord horses have different mouths than your typical horse. Lower palates, thicker tongues and lips.   

Jenn, I am going to be watching your progress with your new horse too. [smile]

Jim, his name is Eli, not Levi. [wink]
Jenni O.
I think you got the horse you need. [tongue] Miss Smarty Pants, I saw what you did there.
Jurita, anyone who can do what you have done with that wonderful mini mule....can do an awesome job with this challenging horse.  You go for it.  You got the gusto!!
Donna M
Jurita ~ you are one of the people I've come to know and admire through this forum. I respect how you work through issues with all your equines. I've learned a lot from you. Great job with Eli.
Someone admires me, AND has learned from me?!? Wow. Thank you Donna for posting that. You always have such kind things to say. 
Great update Chopoltie on Levi.  Keep them coming, you 2 are doing well together [cool]
John B.
Fritos, I was wondering what type bit you think works best with Levi?
Third trail ride of the year and we went with Jenni O. and Pea to Copper Park. It was my first time there. Very nice trails but it was quite wet. I thought both horses did great. We crossed a few different bridges including the larger one in the photos. Eli was hesitant for the big one at first but I got him on it, turned him around for the photo op. then continued on. Eli does not like water and we came to a small wash out I guess you might call it. I saw it ahead and said, "Oh great!" Jenni and Pea crossed it.  
I rode up to it and upon closer look I said, "Oh this isn't bad. Not bad at all."  Eli and I were stopped and just standing there and I am looking down at it and the next thing I know is we are airborne! I think he just reared up and jumped it.  His best attempt at Lipizzaner moves perhaps?
Jenni turned around just in time to see it. She said she turned around and saw his front hooves. I don't know what it looked like but it surprised the heck out of me. Wish we had it on video. I would have loved to see the expression on my face!   Jenni and I both sat and laughed about it for a few minutes.  

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Donna M
It looks like you had a beautiful setting for a ride and Eli might have done his best impression of Pegasus! From the smile on your face, I'm guessing you might have enjoyed yourself. He is coming along nicely and you two look great together. 
John B.
Looking Good Dorito
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