Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Almost time!

Wow, has it really been more than two weeks since my last post? I'm sorry for the lack of updates! I'm still working with Sangria daily (if possible). I am feeling really good with where she is at in her training - she's not as far along as I had hoped she would be for the competition, but with the obstacles we've faced, she's farther along than I expected the both of us to be. To be honest, our biggest block has been my fear of her since our accident. Every single time I step into the saddle, I am hit with a pretty major anxiety attack - what if she bucks, rears, bolts or worse? She hasn't acted the way she did back in April since that fateful day, but the images sure float through my mind when I get on. I wonder if that will ever go away? Luckily, it doesn't happen when I ride other horses! :)

Over the past two weeks, I've worked on continuing to build her solid foundation. We walk, trot and canter with ease now. I've been riding her with Cowgirl Spirit Rescue Drill Team a couple times a week. We've been to a competition where we faced a very dark arena, loud music and lots of people. We've been on lots of trail rides, been swimming in the river and have even gone back to the scene of the crime - the beach. I was able to walk, trot and canter along the waves. That was a huge milestone for us!

I've also had three other people ride Sangria, after a BLM inspector (who came out to verify Sangria was being properly cared for) asked if I felt Sangria was safe for other people to ride. I quickly realized that I needed to have others ride her. If anything, Sangria does better with a rider who doesn't have the baggage I have with her. While Sangria is solid and safe, she's also very dull and unresponsive. I don't know if this is just who she is (dead sided, not soft in the bit, etc), or if it's a result of my timidness with her, or a combination of both. Either way, I have started to ride her with more energy - demanding responsiveness right away.

Things that I am going to work on in the next week before we leave for Sacramento: quicker response times, correct leads and picking up a canter from a halt. We are able to side pass, haunch turn and fore turn, though they are slow and sluggish. She has an amazing stop on her, but I think that's primarily because she loves to stop working! LOL

Either way, I am proud of Sangria's and my progress. I don't think we will be competitive in Sacramento, but I have done my best with the situation we were dealt and couldn't be happier. She is going to make someone a very, very fine horse! Here are a few pictures over the last couple weeks!


  1. Good Luck in Sacramento, Juliane. I am sure you will both do well. Just remember that if your horse is trying to tell you something, listen to it. I think the day you got hurt, Sangria was trying to tell you something was not right, but you did not listen. (I hope that does not sound rude because I do not mean for it too.)

    Do they bid on the horses the same way they did in Albany? I hope the bidding is higher than it was at the Horse Expo. I felt sorry for some of the trainers who had low bids.

    Sangria is beautiful and you have gotten her into great condition.


  2. Juliane, you are a winner no matter what happens in Sacramento! To come back from such a horrific accident and continue on with Sangria is a testament to your tenacity, perseverance and courage. You are to be commended for not throwing in the towel, like so many of us would. Go into this competition knowing you are already a winner and I'm sure I speak for many when I say you are an accompished horsewoman we all look up to.

    No worries!

    Kerrie in Selah

  3. You have made huge strides with her, think of what a short time period you've had compared to the many years a horse spends getting truly finished for the ring.

    You've both come a long way.

    The foundation Sangria is getting is much more than hammering one basic discipline into her or deadening her to the arena work- she is being exposed to groundwork, arena work (including the competition trail elements), beaches, drill team, plenty of time trailering, etc, bathing/clipping, etc and so much more. To me, those are all things that contribute to a well rounded horse. Since the goal is for her to be a useful good horse for whoever buys her, I think she's getting a great foundation.

    Along with that, I think you've learned and grown a lot as well. I've really enjoyed reading your blogs because you have the ability to call out the lessons you are learning as well as those the horse is learning- too often people just rant in their blogs or even worse- blame everything except the trainer.

    I am just really proud of you and Sangria - you're going to do just great in Sacramento. You're going to have lots of us there with you in spirit, cheering you on!

  4. Julliane, I haven't checked your blog in awhile, and am so happy to learn that Sangria and you are doing so well. You've done a terrific job working with her, and someone is going to get themselves a very nice started mare! Best wishes in Sacramento this weekend!!

    by the way, do you get comments that Sangria looks like a Morgan?