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Christine
 #51 
I love the color palette of your herd [smile]. All beautiful and very fortunate to be part of your family
char
 #52 
I like the name *Eli* too...*Lobo* *Mandy* and *Sassy*... maybe *Mandy* will be BESTIES with *Eli*, you just never know... but hey, this herd would be a great Disney movie.[smile] Each hoofer is soooo UNIQUIE in their own rite/personality. Thanks so much for the update/photos.PRICELESS
Jurita
 #53 
Second ride on Eli since he has been home. Just short rides in the arena and over in the neighbor's field.

Rode bareback today because he has a little bite mark on his back and I didn't want to irritate that with the saddle. Rides went pretty well but he needs some work on a couple things. He will need to learn how to back and eventually sidepass. He also uses his big, strong Fjord neck to "plow through" things so that is something I am going to need help with. He really wanted to go today but since I was bareback and the grass was wet I kept him at a walk and a slower trot.  It's been awhile since I trotted bareback.   [tongue]
Donna R
 #54 
You'll have him figured out in no time, Jurita.  I can't imagine riding bareback at more than a walk.  I think I used to go at a faster pace years ago.  Or was that a dream?   [confused]  Anyhow no thanks any more.  You'll probably have Eli doing tricks too.  Lucky horse! 
Jurita
 #55 
First trail ride on Eli and I thought it went really well. We saw a few things such as cars going past, a deer, and a guy on a bike but Eli was good about it all. I did have to coax him through the mud.

We did our first lesson too. It went pretty good but he was a bit distracted by everything that was going on. The indoor arena is attached to the barn and there are also two large doors that stay open so there was a lot to look at and hear. People were doing barn chores, the horses outside were running around and it was pouring rain. But we did pretty well. We are just taking it slowly and figuring out what we will need to work on (Bending, flexing, etc) He is backing okay now so I don't know if I wasn't communicating effectively or he was testing me or what but regardless it still needs a little work.
Karen-MHWF
 #56 
Yaaaay!  Glad the first venture out went well, and things are going good!  
doreen
 #57 
Ditto what Karen said!  Good job!
Lisa B
 #58 
Glad to hear Jurita!  Pauli and I will be seeing you on the trail soon.
Jenni O.
 #59 
It'll come together in time. Just have to learn some buttons and install some of your own.

Eli did really well, I thought. He lead, he followed, he didn't get upset when it appeared I was trying to smack him with a rein...I really wasn't. Pea was balking and Eli came up beside us just as I gracefully flicked my rein back to get Pea going. He's also very cute.
Jurita
 #60 
I know I just posted on Eli's thread but I am so excited I had to share this...

Just did some riding with Eli in my little arena. I rode bareback because I didn't feel like putting the saddle on. He did very well. He was much softer and responsive today. He even stopped several times by voice command. A couple times when he didn't I just used my seat. Once or twice he was a little naughty and kind of "forgot" to stop. We did a little trotting too and I could get him to stop or transition from a trot to a walk with my seat. I am starting to see some potential here.

 I think I am going to try and work him 3-4 times a week even if the sessions are short sessions. I figure that is better than once a week for a longer session. I am also ordering him a new bit that he is more accustomed to and once which will fit his mouth better. 

Not sure if..

A. He knows more than I am giving him credit for
B. He is testing me
C. He catches on really quickly
D. All of the above
Jenni O.
 #61 
I'm going to pick D, but also going to say that in time you'll catch up to him and he won't know THAT much more than you. [wink] And he might not always be testing, some of those times are miscommunication. I think the sessions several times a week is a good idea. Hope he likes his new bit!
Priscilla
 #62 
I have a feeling he knows more than you think, as well as the testing theory. He was recently with an excellent trainer that always puts good dressage basics on all the horses she rides. You'll figure him out, just stick with it.
Karen-MHWF
 #63 
I am a huge fan of the short sessions.  I've seen horses do some amazing things with using the short sessions a few times a week versus one long session once a week.  There is no doubt Eli is very smart, we could see that in the short time he was here.  I'm sure he has a good knowledge base himself, it can just take a little time to get that communication between horse and rider spot-on.  You may be in that phase of "knocking some of the rust off" right now too, since he sat and didn't do much of anything for almost 8 months before he got here.  You two do make a great pair!  
Karen-MHWF
 #64 
I also want to give a little background on Eli here so it can be more clear about what he knows and what his life has been up until now.  

Eli never got a real solid foundation on him in regards to training.  He was owned originally by someone in Iowa who did little to no riding.  He got 30 days of ground work and a touch of under saddle work when he was 3 and then he sat.  He went to the trainer Priscilla speaks of at the age of 4 or 5, and she had him less than a month and then he was sold to someone.  He was ridden at this new home, but did not get the ring work that he really needed to teach him to be soft and supple.  Those people decided that it was silly to keep him as they were just not using him, then last year he went to this trainer again and she had him for about a month or less.  This trainer did work him in the ring and also took him out on the trails, and he was learning things in the ring.  Then he was sold to the person who donated Eli to MHWF, who did not ride him a whole lot.  So....Eli has some riding background, but I'm sure does have a lot to learn.  It will be fun to watch this journey with Jurita and Eli!  

doreen
 #65 

Great updates on Eli, Jurita.  Sounds like you are doing great and I too love multiple short lessons for training.  Glad to hear you are having fun!

Jurita
 #66 
Thanks Doreen. Unfortunately we've had setback. I guess that's how it is with horses sometimes. One step forward..two steps back.  [frown]
Jurita
 #67 
Today was our second trail ride. It went pretty well but we had a big spook when a man on a bike came out of nowhere. He came around a corner in a heavily wooded area and it was like he popped out of no where. I think we might have scared him too.

I also found out Eli would rather take me into the trees than walk through water puddles. Not fun! With a lot of work/fighting/arguing he finally went through some puddles. The last one he went through really well. Fortunately our riding partners Jenni and Pea patiently waited for us while we worked on this. Thanks Jenni!  

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Jenni O.
 #68 
Someone just does not like getting his feet wet. How do your legs feel today, Jurita? Thanks for loaning me the saddle, and it was no problem waiting. Pea didn't mind the snack break.

The bike encounter was...interesting. Jurita stayed in the saddle but was facing the other way and missed my graceful "fall". Is it a fall if you land on one foot with one still in the stirrup?

Eli seemed pretty unfazed by things, other than that. He also looks great in his black English tack.
TriciaK
 #69 
Nice photo and good work!
John
 #70 
Well I think we all can say our horses would spook at a bike coming from nowhere out of the woods.  Sounds like Levi is doing great though.  Those scary puddles take awhile (as we all know some are 200 ft. deep)

Is it just me that notices such things, Jurita seems to smile in her pictures now.  Some past ones looked like she was taking a calculus final in college.


Krissy
 #71 
Haze and my friend's horse, Stormy (Percheron/STB), were at trails by our barn which is open to dogs, bikes, etc. We were in a field and about to enter the woods, when a bike comes flying out...a TANDEM bike. Both the boys were like, NOPE! And whirled around and took off in opposite directions. The bikers stopped immediately and waited for us to tell them it was okay, but woo! That was an interesting experience!

Glad to know that things are going pretty well! We've battled the puddles as well, and after so many years, we can now slog through water of any size. It'll happen and you're already well on your way! Good job on not letting him get away with it! LOL.
Christine
 #72 
He is so dang cute, keep smiling
Jurita
 #73 
Yeah..he has some "moves" alright but I'm pretty sure they aren't dressage moves!
Jenni O.
 #74 
Haha! Maybe you aren't sitting deep enough? More leg? You know I'm kidding. Good luck at the Fun Show tomorrow!
doreen
 #75 
Well you had an adventure anyways!!  Each little thing you accomplish moves you forward...just keep reminding yourself that...and one day you really will look back amazed at how far the two of you have come.
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