Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Thewifedoesntknow Training Blog: Week 19

Part 15 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.  
I FINALLY wrapped up production on the Horses and Hope 2013 calendar, and it goes to print this week. After several weeks of editing, archiving, researching, and all kinds of other fun things, I got to stop by Carole's barn and visit Thewifedoesntknow, also known as Ally-Gator.   

In New Jersey, the autumn leaves are starting to peak, and the horses are all enjoying the brisk air. Ally had a spring in her step while Carole warmed her up. Her neck has become more elegant and smoothly muscled. Her chest has spread more, and her engine? It just gets bigger and bigger. Her flatwork shows great progress. She has always had a very nice walk and canter, but now her trot is catching up with her other gaits. In this photo above, I see more push from the hind end and lightness in her forehand. 

Her canter has always been lovely, but it just gets better and better. Everything comes easily to her now. Her strides are fluid and relaxed. The walk-to-canter transition is improving on both leads. She accepts contact from Carole. This mare had a good work ethic on the track, and she continues to love to work in her new career.
 I thought Ally's flatwork was impressive until I saw what she's now doing over fences. She approaches her jumping with the same enthusiasm that she has during her flatwork.

As Carole schooled her over a variety of fences for our photo session, Ally's athletic ability was breathtaking. She simply floated over everything. It is clear that she is capable of jumping much larger obstacles when the time comes. For now, Carole is taking her time and building a good, confident foundation on the mare. They mostly work on schooling grids, poles, and simple lines, but it was a thrill to see a sampling of everything this mare can do now.
 Through a one-stride gymnastic line from a cross rail to an oxer, Ally showed scope and power.
 Over a little brush box, she showed confidence.
 Over a single vertical, she showed adjustability in her distances. She has the stride, the step, the style, and the form for the hunter ring, but I could also see her doing well as an eventer, since she has so much power and is such a confident jumper. Whatever she ends up doing, she will have her own fan club and personal blogger/photographer.

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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