Backing Surprise, September 26 & 27, 2017

It’s time to get our three year old Hanoverian filly Surprise started under saddle. I thought you might enjoy following along as she takes her first steps into her under saddle career. I started her lunging, which was easy – she did walk, trot, canter both says from the first time. Then I acclimatized her to the surcingle, which had some dramatic moments when tightening the girth 😀. That soon blew over and we moved on to saddle and bridle, which went smoothly.

I lay across her back last week which was a non issue, so it was time to call in a pro to continue. We chose Terri Braithwaite to back her. Terri has been working with horses professionally for over twenty years and has backed many young horses successfully. Watching Terri work with a boarder’s lovely young Westphalians I’m impressed with how quiet and effective she is in bringing them along.

Terri began by lunging Surprise. Surprise stays very focused on Terri and she gives to pressure when she feels the limits of the lunge line – good!

Then Terri puts weight in the stirrup, first on the left, then the right, several times each. I was surprised that she didn’t use a mounting block but Surprise stood very still and calm, and there’s nothing in the way for her to trip on if she moves.

Terri actually sat on her the first day she worked with her, but I didn’t get a photo. This is from the second day, when she took a few steps:

Surprise is remaining calm. She trusted Terri right away and draws confidence from her. I’m looking forward to her next lesson and will keep you posted!

Thanks for the photo and video Joanne Kane.