PostHeaderIcon JR’s Journal – 2005 Update of the Past and Present


JR is out of Jack’s Sensation and Bob Blackwoods demonstration mare…Yankee bloodlines.  I bought him when he was three days old.  I saw him fox trot. The Yankee side of him is very athletic and can do flying lead changes.  I needed a very athletic horse.  I doubted Velvet would make it through the lead change tasks of level 3 and JR was to be the backup L3 horse.
JR was supposed to be about a 15H horse, but he turned into a 15.3 hand horse.  Jenny started him and he fox trotted / flat foot walked right from the time when she first started.  He is breathtaking.
Eight rides after I started riding him, he could do nothing but pace.  After some time asking the big horse god in the sky, “WHY ME!”, I decided to take the blame.  I decided my body must have been stiff with fear, off balance and this put JR into a position to stiffen up his whole body and VIOLA…pace.
Right before I started riding JR, Velvet and I had a crash.  Velvet did a hard fall coming down from a canter…her shoulders were locked up and she couldn’t stop.  She fell.  My Australian Saddle didn’t allow me to fly over her head.  It held me right in place and I crashed right beside her.  She rolled on me and broke my leg.
After I recovered, I had these fears about cantering.  I was only about halfway recovered when I started riding JR.  JR’s gait is BIG.  When that long legged thing canters, there’s a lot of sky.  I couldn’t stay in the saddle as my body went rigid with fear.  He started cross firing and I had to give him back to Tony and Jenny to learn how to canter again.
So, JR and I have had to make a lot of adjustments.  I had to teach him not to pace while he was wearing a rope halter.  I had to learn to relax when he cantered.
Just this year, I am able to canter him without thinking about fear. I no longer make embarrassing seat-flopping noises when we canter around the arena. We are having a good time trying to get flying lead changes on the straight.  Just this year, we tried to get the fox trot on a consistent basis. He no longer paces, he hard trots instead.  He prefers the running walk and I’ve decided to let him.  He does a beautiful fox trot going down hill
JR’s personality is People-Loving.  If you hurt his feelings, he hangs his head and looks like a whipped Australian Shepherd.
He’s six years old this summer.  He might actually stop growing this year.  Riding him and developing him is exciting and challenging.


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