Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Thewifedoesntknow Training Blog: Week 12

Part 13 in a weekly series of training blogs about Thewifedoesntknow, a Thoroughbred mare made famous by a viral YouTube video and who is now in training to be a show hunter with New Jersey-based trainer Carole Davison. 
During the week, I read it in Carole's texts. While Carole tacked up Thewifedoesntknow, I heard it in her voice. And when I watched their training session, I saw it in the way she moved... Last week's schooling session at the horse show took Ally-Gator up a level in her training. It seemed like the horse show excursion gave the mare a boost of confidence. Sometimes, taking a horse to the next level makes the lower levels seem like a piece of cake, and this is how Ally responded this week.
 When they warmed up on a stretchy loose rein at a trot, Ally floated along, gracefully rounding her neck a bit. In the beginning of her training, a loose-rein trot was something that she could only hold for a few strides. Now, she is able to stretch into the bit and really swing her back.
 At the canter, her stride is fluid and balanced. She has always had a really nice tempo at this gait, but now she can carry herself with less help from her rider.
Carole's recent training sessions included work on circles at the canter, as well as cantering poles on the ground. The circles are helping Ally work on bending and suppleness, and she's gaining confidence over the poles. During their session on Monday, they cantered two lines of poles in each direction. Ally is learning how to relax and come back to her rider between each pole, which is crucial training for a good hunter.
Over fences, Ally shows great promise and scope. She takes the cross rails with confidence, and shows a world of potential for ability over bigger fences.
With a little chill in the air this week, I saw a hint of Ally's new coat coming in. She's getting that glossy September sheen. 
As a testament to her former career, Ally stood calmly while a hay truck drove up to the barn and unloaded dozens of bales of hay. Many racehorses handle machinery and vehicles very well, since they saw quite a bit of them at the track.
Horses and Hope 2013 Calendar
With the help of Gina Keesling of HoofPrints, my 2012 debut calendar contained over 100 photos of auction horses. Thanks to the support of horse lovers all over, it raised nearly $40,000 for One Horse At A Time, helping hundreds of horses in need directly, and untold others indirectly through increased public awareness. Now that we have one calendar's worth of experience to draw upon, the 2013 version promises to be even more exciting, even more creative, and as always, inspirational and positive

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