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Women & Horses by Mary D. Midkiff - horseback riding fitness techniques for women

Women & Horses, knowledge for the female equestrian; female equestrian fitness training and riding tips

Women & Horses VIDEOS

My Friend Jimmy Video

January 30, 2012 - Jog and Canter
Jimmy and rider Diana Lewis go along at a jog/trot asking him to give a little
more when he seeks his balance and breaks to canter then finds it again.

Meet My Friend Jimmy

Swift Taylor's half brother "My Friend Jimmy" arrived at my stable in late September as a yearling. He was a very big colt already just under 16 hands. But just as beautifully put together as his sister. We agreed to geld him a few weeks after he had settled in.

He is a two-year-old now and has been under saddle and doing ground work for about 45 days. He is similar to Swift Taylor (Rita) in his display of affection by curling his head around you and holding you against his chest and by the way he looks to me to lead and guide him through his training. As long as I show him once that he's safe he will trust and go ahead. Over time I will need to do less and less but for now in his development he is gaining his confidence in his surroundings and belief in himself.

I approach Jimmy as I do with all my horses by wiping out the nostrils and applying The InBalance Horse oil blend inside his nostrils, around his muzzle and do massage on the corners of his mouth and around the gums. This settles him and gets him to learn to let go of any tension or stress before we start our exercises.

Jimmy acts out occsionally in-hand and wants to play like he's a stallion. I know he is a young male and he is in a paddock by himself surrounded by other horses and misses his boxing matches with his buddies. So I do not punish him for wanting to play as long as he respects my boundaries and stays within himself. If he is aggressive, biting or pawing I might pinch him on the shoulder with my hand like his mother would do, then ask him to do some work on the line and he quickly stops and behaves like a gentleman. He continues to settle more each week and loves our long walks together.

Under saddle, however, he is a perfect gentleman and behaves like a well schooled hunter. His natural balance and ability to carry the rider's weight is remarkable for such a young horse. He looks at new things but does not spook or get flighty and trusts his rider to send him forward. He has been a joy to bring along. Because of his size and development we are going slow. He is ridden 4 times per week and has one day of ground work with me. We walk all over the farm both under saddle and in-hand, jog in the arenas, walk around the racetrack, and practice going over and around multiple objects.

Here are some early photos of him back in October 2011 as a yearling and a couple of videos showing him being started under saddle in December. Notice how willing and balanced he is right from the start.

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