Born November 2006. Brought home to Cassie's Farm March 2009. In her first 2 years she had been well handled, familiarised with things like tarps, and taught to float load, all using fairly conventional methods.
Apr 2009 - pushed through a fence by one of my horses, bad wire cut to near hind. During her treatment for this I did a lot of TTouch work with her, and once the leg was healing well I started doing TTEAM leading, obstacles, and the labyrinth. When I had a second person helping, doing TTEAM Homing Pigeon was particularly useful, to teach her how to balance herself and lead in her own space.
Jan 2010 - 3 years old; started doing Connected Groundwork with her, S-walking etc.
Feb 2010 - started familiarisation of saddle pads etc. Walked her up the farm in Homing Pigeon. In the beginning a couple of times something would unbalance her - either mentailly, eg a distraction, or physically - and she would rear. Homing Pigeon was invaluable here, to help her rebalance, keep ourselves safe, and above all allow us not to pull on her.
Mar 2010 - took part in a TTEAM clinic, at home. Tay was perfect in the arena on her own, but having a second (strange) horse in there blew her mind. Once again, Homing Pigeon saved the day when she did a couple of vertical rears! Outside of this, have ponied her up the farm a few times from my older mare.
end 2010 - for the rest of 2010 I continued with Connected Groundwork. She had a very short attention span and tended to explode (rear) when either she'd had enough or was out of balance. She was heavy, and fairly one-sided. Mentally she was still very immature at 4 years old, though luckily her growth pattern was pretty level.
Jan 2011 - Started ramping up the Connected Groundwork, including 2 rein walking,and 1-lining. Not at all sure about me being in that position on her right hand side initially, and is heavier on her right. 3 months off from Feb - May.
Jun 2011 - still has a short attention span, and still rears occasionally. I stand my ground, letting the line slide through my hand, and basically wait for her to come back down. She would have very easily learned to intimidate someone who backed away from this threatening spectacle. (In a previous life, I would have 'shanked' her or yanked on the line until she came back down and 'behaved herself'. I know now that that just teaches the horse to brace. Also, she wasn't being 'naughty' and needing to be disciplined - she was just showing me that she was out of balance.) Slowly she became more balanced, particularly on the right, and this behaviour vanished. Introduced trotting poles.
Jul 2011 - Saddled for the first time, fine.
Sep 2011 - Started sitting on and off her, no movement yet. Introduced 2-line work. Mentally she seems to finally be maturing and is taking everything in her stride. She is nearly 5. Even if she hadn't been set back by injury, I can't see how this horse would have been ready to start work any earlier.
Oct 2011 - mounted and asked for our first steps; initially just back 1 step, halt and stand, forward one step, halt and stand, etc.
Nov 29, 2011 - This month we did some groundwork sessions under the supervision of Peggy Cummings. In her 1-line trot work I've started asking for much more forwards (just a few months ago this would have produced and explosion, but now she is ready and able to do what I'm asking); she is releasing her neck much better. Today, we had our first proper ride, with Peggy leading us in the roundpen. Really good, very relaxed.
Nov 30 - Ride 2, on 1-line with Peggy in the round pen. Carrying herself well.
Dec 8 - Ride 3, in the round pen, on our own with Peggy watching, then following Sam on Stella to encourage a bit more forwards. Trotted for the first time, a few strides, 3 times.
Dec 12 - worked her in-hand in the Peggy Cummings clinic, and she wasn't at all phased by there being several other horses working at various speeds. These last couple of months she seems to have grown up in front of our eyes and hasn't put a foot wrong.
Jan 2012 - introduced canter on 1-line; she picks up both leads easily, but is stiffer to the right. More work on transitions up and down.
11 Jan - Ride 4, alone in round pen, working on steering (lots of rotation, inside leg wiggle, and rein sliding.)
14 Jan - Ride 5, in round pen, with Sam on Stella. We followed them in walk - Tay walked out better - then up into trot. A few strides at a time, about 4 times in each direction.
16 Jan - Ride 6. Rode in the arena for the first time, and alone. Walk, changes of direction, halts. Good.
17 Jan - Ride 7. Rode in the round pen alone, walk, then trot. Good; getting about half a lap at a time now.
29 Jan - Ride 8, after some time off. Rode in the round pen alone, walk then more trot. More forwards now.
30 Jan - Ride 9. Rode in the arena, alone, walk and then trot, short distances.
2 Feb - Ride 10. Rode in the arena, while Sam rode Stella. We followed them a bit, which got a more forward walk from Tay. Did some trotting, on our own and following Stella. Steering in trot needs some more work! Very relaxed and well behaved. Then, had our first ride up the farm, even being passed by the quad bike. We probably only went 300m and back but she was good as gold (and exhausted!).
Update, Dec 2012 - I rode Tay until the end of Feb, all good, but she felt very stuck as I started to ask for longer trots, so I stopped riding until I got some body work done. Then she became very grass affected; I ended up putting her on a track system to restrict her grazing. Since then she has had hormonal and other problems that I still haven't quite identified (reactive or sluggish, slightly unpredictable); I'm currently awaiting the results of a saliva test to see what is going on with her!!