Her name is Zip! You may have met her before, but this is The New Zip! Zip 2.0! Improved, and fat-free! (Truthfully. She’s been working out.)
Here, Morgan was working her out on her trailer-loading skills.
Once upon a time, The Old Zip had some serious trailer-loading issues.
The New Zip scampers on and off a trailer with no hesitation.
We visited the trainer’s farm on Tuesday evening. This was Morgan’s first time since she got back home. The trainer spent a couple of hours training Morgan on how to do some of the basic groundwork exercises–backing off, flexing, lunging, yielding hindquarters, etc.
Then it was finally time to ride!
Note the horse trainer’s awesome horse barn. I love the hay storage directly overhead. There are even little doors where hay can be dropped straight down into the hay racks in the stalls.
Special wash stall:
Bridles and saddles, take your pick!
One of the trainer’s beautiful Rocky Mountain horses:
Morgan could hardly wait to get on Zip.
Morgan rode around the arena and the trainer gave her some quick pointers on English-style reining. Morgan has always ridden Western. She has a Western saddle. And she can keep having a Western saddle, but she’s going to have to learn to use the reins English-style. Zip has clearly been ridden quite a bit in the past, and she has no knowledge of neck reining. The trainer recommended that Morgan learn to use the reins English-style. Easier to retrain Morgan than to retrain Zip.
We don’t know anything about Zip’s past. In the time she’s been with the trainer, he has worked her hard on respect on the ground, which she was in need of brushing up! She started out not really wanting to do anything, probably because she hasn’t done anything for awhile. She has been ridden in the past, quite a bit, based on her display of immediate knowledge of a random variety of cues he has tried out on her. She may have been shown in the ring in the past. She may also have been used on the trail in the past. She operates really well on the trail. She has clearly been trained in English-style reining. She refuses to canter, no matter how much he tries. She isn’t gaited, though she appears to be a Standardbred (probable mix of Standardbred and Quarterhorse). She responds easily to commands to walk and trot and stop. She’s a companionable horse, friendly with people and something of a lapdog.
Most importantly, she’s a safe horse, not spooky, a horse I can trust Morgan with to ride out to the upper pastures on my farm, and up on the trails, and thanks to Mike Trader at Soggy Bottom Farm, she is a respectful horse now. She had it in her all along, we discovered. She just needed a firm, knowledgeable hand to bring her perspective back under control–and train us to handle her.
I felt perfectly safe letting Morgan take her out of the arena and into the wide open pasture for a joy ride.
Morgan didn’t have to be told twice that she could take Zip out on her own. This, this, this is what she’s been wanting to do!
And the trainer said, “You really lucked out with this horse.”
Then it was back to the barn.
I didn’t get a chance to ride Zip myself. We’re going back for a trail ride, hopefully tonight (if the weather cooperates), but I’ll let Morgan ride Zip and I’ll ride another horse. I knew that would happen. Morgan would come back and I’d have to give over to her–which is fine. I can ride Zip later, at home. I had my time at the trainer’s while Morgan was gone.
Our new horse Zip 2.0 is coming home on Monday and Morgan will be riding the pastures and trails on our farm–finally! And as for Patriot…….
He’s going next, and we’ll find out just what he’s got in him.