Hi, my name is Josey and I am cute.
I have talked about Josey a few times and I feel like she needs an offical introduction. I met Josey's owner through an internet site dedicated to rescuing horses. She was in another state and oddly enough it turned out she was moving ten mins from where my mare is boarded. We hit it off right away and I am going to force her to be my friend forever whether she likes it or not. Having good no drama horse friends are a must. I started riding Josey at the barn she stabled at when they first moved here.
Josey is a 10 year old half Clydsedale half Appaloosa. I haven't sticked her but I would say she is about 15.2hands. She has a HUGE trot. It feels like you are on a much bigger horse. She moves like a dressage horse. I attached a video but it doesn't do her justice. It is a tiny arena and incredibly deep. I was holding her back because I wanted to work on bending. You can't see how much she floats because the arena bogs her down.
Here was my assessment after the first two rides. When I first got on her she would be a little fussy when asked to trot. At first we thought she was being lazy but once she gets going this horse really trucks along. She's more likely to get going too fast. She is a big mover but has mostly been ridden in the mountains not in an arena. She seems to be apprehensive about turning. She will do the duck her shoulder in turn at the touch of your leg move but actually balancing while doing a real bend is hard. She either wants to pop a shoulder out or tries to go straight. She is also ready to drop to the walk from the slightest word from your seat. With a big trot like hers I am sure she has been pulled down to the walk by people who can't stay balanced. The other issue we are working on is her canter. She REALLY doesn't like to pick it up. I decided that she wasn't being lazy she just didn't have a real understanding of the canter command. If she has been a trail horse her command has probably been "go faster" on a straightaway with running into the canter. Being in a small deep arena is hard for a horse that only has experience with straightaways.
The thing that I love about her is she is sensitive. She knows how to slow down from just your seat, and is light off the leg. She didn't seem moving out at first but after just a couple of rides she is really confident moving forward. She is also understanding that she can do different speeds in the trot and slowing down doesn't mean breaking gait. Even though she is still getting the concept of bending she turns like a dream from the seat and legs. The things that are the biggest pain on the ass to teach a horse who is already started are already in place with Josey. If your horse responds to your seat for go, slow, and turn all the hard stuff is done.
Her canter is currently a work in progress. After watching her on the lunge I confirmed my suspicion that we weren't on the same page for a canter command and that she isn't very confident turning while cantering. Because of that we haven't been cantering under saddle. I want her to be really confident turning without having to deal with a rider on her back first. I also want her to canter from my voice command. Then I can pair that with leg/seat cues under saddle.
I have only been able to ride her once in the new arena. It is big and the footing is perfect. Not too deep, not too hard. I was all set to ride her today but I was called in to work. She seemed to like it. She was forward and relaxed. I lunged her yesterday. Her canter was already better in the bigger arena with better footing. Previously it took quite a few tries to get a canter out of her and it wasn't balanced. Yesterday she popped right into going one direction without running. The other way was a little more challenging but still much better. I just love this horse. She is so smart and willing. She is also very talented. I see her as being a solid first/second level dressage horse with the right rider. Her owner just wants to love on her and take an occasional trail ride so she is looking for a someone to lease her. I know once she has a few more arena miles on her she will be a great dressage partner.
Josey under saddle <<< Don't judge my terrible riding! This girl is still getting her riding legs under her after years of putzing around bareback.
Don't touch my blanket!!!