Hello all! I've been spending the past week with Kait at her wonderful barn in Amenia, NY.

  We figured now would be as good a time as ever to see what kind of jump Mona has in her!  Clearly, she's got some scope! She is quite game and an extremely quick learner.  Very consistent in her stride, thus hitting correct distances is easy for her.  So far she appears to have very nice form, and could probably make many take notice in the Hunter ring. As the perpetual cross country hound I am, I think she'd make a spectacular Hunter Derby horse! 
  By the end of day two we were jumping a single 3' fence from the canter! We started with trotting a little cross rail, progressed to cantering it, and then to a small vertical all on day one -- they were just too small for her!  Today we put them up a bit, and they are still small for her.  She has not shown any inclination that the quick progression we've made is a concern, she is unbelievably level headed! While she is still quite out of shape, she has taken ever challenge in stride and will clearly only improve upon her amazing-ness when she has more power from behind. Love her! 

  Her flat work is also wonderful, she is however, a big leaner.  Which is no surprise with how green she is.  I figured I'd try removing her noseband for a bit, because it felt like it was just one more thing for her to lean on. Without it she fussed a little less - I've been able to get a few stride at a time where she starts to move softly forward INTO the contact, and starts to push more from behind and through her back.  It is not super exaggerated, and she can't hold it for long because it is so new to her, but its in there (but boy do her ears flop!).  We've decided that the head weaving she does is without a doubt an avoidance of the bit - so working with getting her to accept the contact and move more into the outside rein will be the next move.  Once she is more solid off the inside leg to outside rein, gains more lateral flexibility, and strength from behind, it should go away. 

  Kait has done a wonderful job getting her started, and it is so much fun to be back at it with the real greenies again (Ryker no longer counts)! Tomorrow we'll do work on lateral movements, which will be a really good way to help her stretch and strengthen her hind end. :)

Enjoy the videos! 
In case any of you were wondering what Mona is doing now....
Mona has been really super as of late. I have been focusing a little more on her over Arkie as Ark tends to just be how he is, simple and easy and quick to pick up on anything new. 

Mona on the other hand definitely needed some work but we are FINALLY getting somewhere. She is starting to come round and soften her mouth and poll quite a bit, we are getting some flexion and suppleness and is turning into a very fun ride. We were going to try and get some video today but I was just not feeling the weather after being outside all day bu the time her ride came around.

Anyway, she's doing well working through trot and canter poles confidently. I may start her over some small jumps just to see what happens with that, I am unsure whether she has been formally jumped in her lifetime but it won't hurt to start her slow and see what she likes and doesn't.

She has a great attitude about life, even though to me she can be a bit of a mare, she's not one bit mean or malicious, just slightly lazy as most thoroughbreds tend to be (I am not being sarcastic). Once you can get in her head a little bit however she works and does whatever you want when you want. I think if this were the spring we would be headed into a very fun summer and lots of dressage training on this one, but for now we will take what riding w