Finding that Left Lead

Everything has been pretty quiet recently and just chugging along as normal this July. I do not particularly love the heat this time of year, so I try to plan all my vacations and time away during this month. Montego has been feeling great after his hock and stifle injections. I think the stifles were the key we have been missing for finding a more comfortable canter. I am excited to see how the next month continues with our training before our big show at Devon at the end of August.

always puts up with my shenanigans

Both horses are getting ridden about 3-4 times a week which I do not think either are complaining about. It has been hot and like me both my horses are heavy sweaters and prefer cooler temps to the warmer months. After my dressage lesson in July, I have been riding Luna more in her dressage tack to try and get her to balance a bit better through her entire body. She has really been a horse that I have needed to take a lot more time with to help her figure out where to put her feet and move correctly. I have mentioned before just how much of a challenge I had this Winter and Spring keeping her Left front shoe on her foot through her shoeing cycle. I am not trying to jinx it but she’s been doing much better on that department lately. My farrier thinks a lot of it has to do with her strengthening her hind end and also growing a deeper foot which helps her shoe fit a little more closely. I think her Professional Choice Bell Boots are helping A LOT, but also think she is finally maturing into large gangly body.

we go hard in the matching department

Part of these growing pains are her new reluctance to pick up her left lead under-saddle. Luna is a big runner in the field. Being a baby she has lots of energy that she needs to zoomy out of her. You guessed it, in the field BEAUTIFUL left lead canter, no issues. Put her on a lunge line and she will pick up her left lead canter about 50% of the time from left. She likes to pick it up about 25% of the time going to the right too, so no explanation there. But under saddle, she will not give it to me. She will just counter canter around like its no issue. Probably makes sense she was a shitty race horse if she hate this lead SMH. After taking her to the dressage lesson, I felt she is definitely much stiffer going left than she is right. It is like riding a 2 by 4 that direction. Trainer B sent us home with a couple different suppling exercises to try to even out that left side to be more like the right.

when its hot we go bareback

After a couple of just walk trot rides, I finally attempted to ask for our left lead canter. She gave me the right lead two times before finally picking up the left lead. I praised her a TON and ended on that note. I think the suppling has made a big difference. She just bulges in her should and does not want to pick up that lead. I am having a saddle fitter out again to make sure all the saddles that I found actually fit my horses again, just because I am not convinced her jumping saddle fits her 100% which could also be making a difference.

my favorite personalized moody Luna sticker

As we get into August, I am not completely out of the humid muggy weather, but planning on continuing to get both horses ridden as much as I can with a couple of outings thrown in for the both of them in between. Really happy with where they both are and so grateful I get to have two amazing horses in my life.

C’est la Lune “Luna”

As promised, a full post all about my newest girl Luna. Starting 2021, getting a new horse was definitely not on my radar. I was still traveling pretty heavily for work and keeping Montego in shape was hard enough. But then COVID hit and I found myself having much more time with no traveling. As much as I have loved entering in this new to me dressage world, I still missed my roots of jumping and Montego made it pretty clear he was not going to be my jumper anytime soon. It wasn’t until a boarder was moving from our barn in July that really had me start looking. Of course I am a sucker for following all of the OTTB sellers on FB. I constant ooo and aww over the lovely horses that places like Cobalt Stables and Benchmark Sport Horses post.

About three horses technically “failed” before finding my Luna girl. The first was from the place where I ultimately ended up getting Luna from had this lovely 17.1 2015 bay gelding that I instantly fell in love with. He had some super smooth gaits and I think would have been a really fun project, but ultimately ended up not having a super clean vetting with some hints of early Neuro issues that I decided to stay clear from. The people at that barn get a ton on TBs in off the track so I let them know if they had anything else they thought would be suitable to definitely let me know.

2013 B Gelding

The second guy was a cute 2013 bay gelding that CANTER PA posted and had a ton of interest in him due to his super calm personality on video. I was able to get in touch with his trainer early and get a vetting on him, but again with my luck presented with some lameness issues and bad back x-rays.

2017 G Gelding

The last one was honestly no fault of his own, but I almost just bought a right off the track 17h 2017 gray gelding from a Facebook track flipper. While he might have ended up alright, I wasn’t going to be able to do a PPE on him and had no idea of his attitude at all so ultimately decided it was in my best interest to pass unless it was something I could at least climb aboard or put hands on.

Over the three months I was actively looking, Barn 1 messaged me back letting me know they had an awesome 16.3 mare come in, but did not know if I wanted a mare. Personally, I am one of those people that loves them. I think their brain and personality can be so fun and something you do not always see in a gelding so I told them I would love to come see her. Enter Chick (Luna’s previous name). When we got there they pulled out this beast of a mare, my friend even made a comment that she did not look like a TB. She had come in having some really bad feet issues due to bad short trim, but as we were all just hanging out talking about her she was just the sweetest thing, nuzzling for treats and no typical mareish attitude at all.

First Picture!

The next two weeks I ended up riding her, vetting her, and she passed all the tests! While the journey finding her was a bit longer than I expected, I am very glad I ended up the horse I did.

Luna is a 2016 Bay Thoroughbred Mare with the cutest white marking on her nose. It looks like she just plopped it in a bucket of paint. She is registered with the Jockey Club as Chaney’s Chick (hence her name before) but never raced and I am unsure if she ever really made it to training to race. She lacks a bit of speed which is kind of important or so I hear for a horse to be good at racing. She is by Declaration of War out of Good Time Sally (Forestry). I actually was able to find she has a full brother that is a year younger still racing on some local tracks.

I am really excited to see where our journey takes us together. My goals are to ultimately make a very Ammy friendly horse that I enjoy taking off property to shows (jumping and dressage) and the occasional XC schooling. I would love to get back to jumping some higher heights again and I think she is just the horse to get me there.