Good grief, I have not posted in awhile so I thought I would give an update on Jasper. He’s been in training for about 5 months now. We’ve had some ups and downs but things are definitely on track now and he is doing well.  I’ve started lightly riding him myself and he has been great. He is filling out nicely and is in much better shape than when we started. He turned 4 last week. I cannot believe it, time has flown. He certainly has turned into one stunning looking horse and a sweet one to boot. Everyone at the ranch just loves him, it’s really quite comical. Oh, but can he be stubborn. Anyone of you Parelli-ites with a left brained introvert horse knows what I mean! But his spirit is what I love about him, too. Here are some recent shots with his trainer riding him.





Happy New Year to all my blogging horsey buddies!!!

I’m looking forward to what this year has in store. Yes, the economy is tanking, but I still have a smile on my face (and I’ve stopped reading the newspaper!) My husband and I have been thinking about a change for awhile now. I love California but it is getting ridiculously expensive to live here. And since we both run our own businesses from home, with no kidlets, we can transplant fairly easily. So next week we are heading on a short trip to Aiken, South Carolina to check out real estate. If you haven’t heard of Aiken (no relation to Clay), it is MAJOR horse country. 
Some interesting things about Aiken:

  • It’s located between Augusta, Georgia and Columbia, SC
  • It is home to polo events, steeplechasing, fox hunting and every other discipline you can think of!
  • Hitchcock Woods is just outside of downtown, it is the largest urban forest in the United States. This nearly 2,100-acre longleaf pine forest has 65 miles of marked trails available to hikers, runners, equestrians, and carriage drivers. And has 130 jumps throughout the trails.

Owning a home with some acreage and a barn and pastures would be a dream come true. Looking out my window and seeing Jasper frolicking in a pasture would truly be wonderful. And he would of course have to have some friends…

If anyone knows lives in the area or has some insights, I would love to hear them!

Me riding Jasper

Things were progressing nicely with Jasper in the smaller indoor arena so Debbie decided to try the outdoor arena. After lunging him and walking him around the various jumps and obstacles, she rode him. Here he is walking.

And here he is first time trotting outside. I am amazed at how sensible about everything he is being!

I’m a little behind with my posts, we’re on week 5 and I’m posting week 3! So here goes. It’s amazing to see the progression on video clips! In this clip, you can see Jasper’s walk is much less stiff and unsure after a week of Debbie working with him.

And here he is trotting! Yeah! And Debbie said it is smooth, too! And yes, that is his breath you see, it has been brr cold here in California! I love how he glances at me as he’s trotting by like ‘hey mom, look at ME!’ What a good boy!
Jasper looks pretty relaxed and happy with his trainer and new location

Jasper looking pretty relaxed and happy with his trainer and new location

Week 2 and here is Jasper being ridden by his trainer at the walk in the small indoor arena. This arena is great because it keeps Jasper focused. He looks a little stiff, but that’s to be expected. Things are progressing nicely!

Jasper greeting me at the gate

Jasper is settling in. And after barely sleeping and stressing and one trip to the chiro for a pinched nerve in my back, I’m ok now too!

When we went out to visit him, he was still pretty nervous. He was very glad to see me, though. I was planning to take him for a walk but I thought he was a little to spooky for me to handle so I kept him around his stall. There are already people feeding him cookies!!
At that point I thought it was going to take awhile for him to get comfortable. But the trainer worked with him all last week and by the time I went there on Friday to watch her work with him he had settled down considerably, I was amazed. She’s been turning him out every day and she told me that he tries to get any horse turned out in the paddock beside him to play with him. He was turned out when I arrived and sure enough, a horse was just being turned out beside him and he popped his head over to say hello to him. He’s made a friend with the trainers horse, she says they play all morning so she tries to turn them out beside each other.

Looking for a friend

He was pretty relaxed when I was grooming him and MUCH calmer than earlier in the week, thank goodness.The trainer had walked him around the facility quite a bit getting him used to everything and besides shying at some things he’s been pretty good. She’s been working with him in the round pen, then the small indoor arena, then moving up to the large circular outdoor arena, I had told her he gets difficult in a larger space. She said he was doing fine, I’ve done great groundwork with him, he definitely knows whoa, she was bridling him no problem.In the round pen

Well, on Friday he decided to be a bit of a pisser, of course when I was watching! It was good to see how the trainer handled it, though. He was doing great in the round pen and she moved him to the circular outdoor arena. He was doing fine up until someone decided to work a horse right beside the arena and I think it scared him or he just decided to take off, but he revved up his engines and I swear he did about 5 loops galloping around the arena, calling out to every horse in the

In the round pen

In the round pen

facility! Well, we knew he would run out of gas eventually, and he did, he stopped and faced the trainer and snorted as if to say, I am DONE now. And then, being Jasper, he was all kind of sorry looking about the whole incident. This was the first time he had taken off like this, the trainer says ‘wow, he seems kind of lazy at times when I work him, but he really goes when he wants to’ Yep, and THAT is why you’re riding him before me – lol. She worked him a little longer just to let him know if he does that, he still has to work, and he was fine even in the area that he spooked so it ended on a good note. But was he tired! I just kind of chuckled and said to him ‘bud, you’re in boot camp now!’

So he has already reached the point of testing the trainer – she knows it isn’t going to be a total cake walk. But I think she’ll do fine with him. She said when we were putting him away ‘you know, he’s very smart…almost TOO smart’. WOW, only said that a MILLION TIMES!