Obviously it has been awhile since we have done any updates on Mona - Basically around the turn of the year and the weather being so iffy, her owner decided to turn her out in the 80 acre field across the road while she wasn't doing anything. 

Last week we got a call with someone interested in looking at her. We took her out of the field yesterday, hopped on to make sure she would be OK, gave her a little beauty treatment for today when they came to try her out. Things went SUPER. She remained the same quiet, even tempered Mona that we all know and love. They purchased her on the spot and made her way to Maryland with her new family. They plan on showing her some and eventually breeding her some as well.
 
 
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

 
 
Well we are back to work and she's still green as ever, but ever so good.....
I can't really say much about her, we don't do too much, but I can however provide you with a video to show you how she goes........


Video was taken for a potential client so there are lots of conformation shots in there as well.....but hey if you are interested, let me know!
 
 
Poor Mona has been taking a slight backseat with all of the fuss over my other two sale horses Leo and Arkie. Before Fair Hill and juggling work and riding, she only worked as much as was outlined on here. Since then we have battled with Sandy (although not hard...) and the weather aftermath of less than perfect riding conditions.

I just wanted to check in to any Mona fans and let you know today she will be back in full work and ready to roll!
Her owner at this point just needs to find her a home, any home, so if there is any interest, you can scoop her up cheap. She's a proven brood mare, great to work around and a simple horse to just get on and ride around as I am finding. She doesn't know much about being fancy but certainly is wiling and able to learn if you wish.

 
 
To be absolutely honest, there are a few things I will say about this horse: number one she is fricken HUGE. I am slightly intimidated, however she's awfully narrow so shes easier to ride than I had anticipated. Number two, I wish she was younger because I would probably never let this one go, ever.

What struck me first about this horse (now mind you, I had met her once, never handled her and now am walking up to her and her buddy in the pasture) is how MASSIVE she was. Second thing I noticed as I grabbed her friend and started to leave the pasture, is her giant rangy walk. Even with a blanket covering her, I was amazed by how through in her shoulder she was, with almost made me switch the halter and grab her first....haha

Anyway, she is a special case as she is older and has not had much done with her (at least recently). She never raced but has been fussed with. As I said, I don't know her that well and she is built to be athletic, I don't know how well her body knows how to use itself (ie. if I dont want you up there any more I know what to do to get you off? I ride alone 9 times out of 10 so thoughts like these are frequent.. haha) continuing on, I stuck her on a lunge too just to see what I was in for. She has beautiful large movement that just easily sweeps the ground.  She too would not canter on the lunge, so alas it was time for me to hop on.

I started immediately with her with just getting her to move her feet just from side to side. I did not want to plug my leg on and be all "lets go!" if it was not something she was used to and it had clearly been a long time anyway. We spent some time just standing, then moving left just a little, then right just a little, and back and forth. Once she started to relax I then decided to try and walk forward and we did so. She was a little tentative as my jumps are freshly painted and very bright, so we kept to small circles between 10-15 meters that spiraled up and down the arena, keeping her focus on me but still touring what she was unsure of. 

Her trot was actually really super. Nice, straight and forward an easy ride. Her downwards transitions are to die for, smooth as silk and right on the money. Our goals for ms. Mona will be to get more relaxed and through (which now that we are over ride #1 should be a lot easier) and soften her topline. I am going to play with bits for her. I started her in a KK loose ring, but I am not sure she liked it so I am thinking more along the lines of a nice fat snaffle for next time. Also just accepting the leg a little more than she does now and moving forward, through and relaxed will be our goals. 

And in case you didn't already know, riding a 17h monster of a mare is a lot different than riding a 15.1 h stout fat cat....what a difference :)