Willie- Rides, Groundwork, and a Baby!

Many thanks to Alison for providing this terrific update on former WVS runner, Willie the Whale.

Willie has been wintering well living on the farm. He’s integrated really well with my two other geldings (a quarter horse and a paint horse) and is often caught playing with the young paint. 

I had high hopes of entering the RRP with Willie this year … but that got put off because my husband and I found out some exciting news – we are expecting our first child! 

With finding out that we were expecting, I put my RRP dreams on hold. I knew I wouldn’t have enough time to adequately prepare, and that wouldn’t be fair to Willie. 

Learning new things

Willie and I have had quite a few really good rides under saddle! When I first got him, one of the hardest things for him was standing at the mounting block, but he’s doing really well with that. In fact, I’ve even taught him how to sidepass into the mounting block for me! Before I got too far along in my pregnancy, we were working a lot on collection and self-carriage. He was doing a great job and really putting the dots together, especially at the trot!

And continuing with groundwork

I’m about 28 weeks pregnant now, so unfortunately, my saddle time has been limited. That just means that Willie and I have gone back to good ol’ groundwork. Lots of lunging, and like I said, I even taught him how to sidepass into the mounting block for me! We are also working on learning lateral movements on the ground (this way when I can get back on him, it’ll be super easy to translate to under saddle!). I’ve attached a photo of William doing a “leg yield” on the ground for me. 

I’m so anxious to get back into the saddle with him! My due date is May 16th and I’m anxiously awaiting spring and summer to get back to my training goals … although, it’s been fun coming up with creative new challenges for Willie and me on the ground. 

To read Willie’s previous update, please click here.