Horseplay Training - Experiment. Play. Learn.
Located in Lawrence, Kansas.  Contact Liz at 785-393-4852 or liz@horseplaytraining.com for sales and information.
I've been riding since I was 7 years old, but Uno was my first horse to own, and my first horse to train.  She is a Saddlebred/Trakehner cross.  Her great grandsire was the amazing Saddlebred Wing Commander.  Folks around northeast Kansas may be familiar with Jana Wagner's late Trakehner stallion Macht, who is Uno's sire.  I bought her 5 years ago when whe was 5 (she'll be 10 on May 5, 2007) and though advertised as green broke, she only knew what a halter and leadrope were.  So, with a lot of help from my coach, we learned about the saddle, bridle, and a rider.  Below are pictures from various points in her training.

What a cute horse!


Very early training, learning to accept a girth, voice commands, and bit pressure.


In the early days, we'd have to lunge before we rode, because Uno is very cold backed.


One of our earliest rides.  Our very first ride was just before Thanksgiving in 2005, so this is probably early December.


This is around July 2003, at an interim home.  She's finally developing a topline and some self carriage!


September 2005, at our new home.  We'd been here since August, 2003, but in Feb. 2004 Uno came up VERY lame, turned out that she'd severely strained her left hind suspensory ligament.  After a good long lay off, we started riding again in October, 2004, and started getting coaching in Jan., 2005.  A very good friend took this picture, and had it blown up and framed as one of my 30th birthday presents.


After 6-9 months of consistent riding and coaching, Uno's back was strong enough to just do some calisthenics before we ride, instead of lunging.  Here she's demonstrating a nice range of motion (she used to only be able to get to her chest).


More pre-ride stretching.


A nice walk from my little ADD horse.  I've never come across a horse with more energy.  I met the woman who owned Uno's father a while back, and he was apparently the same way, they'll go until their legs give out.


This is a great frame for Uno.  She used to go very much like a Saddlebred, neck straight up out of the body.  She can fake a frame better than any horse I've ever met.


Here's a decent canter frame.  She's got the concept of working over her back at the walk, she just doesn't think she can do it at the trot and canter.  The previous several pictures were all from March of 2007.  She's now starting to offer some long and low at the trot, but the canter is still quite a challenge.  Though, recently, I found out that I'm leaning at the canter, and Uno has NEVER liked having her balance messed with.


I like to do this with my green and out of shape horses.  Not STRICTLY green, they have to accept side reins and bit contact.  Here I have an outside side rein with good contact, and I attach the lunge line like a draw rein.  This helps the horse to learn to carry itself in a frame, with an inside flexion, and develop those muscles before having to worry about balancing a rider too.  This is late May 2007, to help Uno with her canter work.


Did I mention that Uno can jump?  This fence is only a hair over 2 feet in the middle, and this wasn't even the top of her arc.  I'm not kidding, her knees were up to her jowls.  The extra effort of a green jumper.


I swear she was a dog in a previous life.  She LOVES hugs and kisses, and will actually beg for treats.  Nobody can resist her. 
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