T-A Mora Enchanted Iris

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Barn Name: Iris Mae
Iris is a Lippit Morgan that we purchased from Thornapple Farms in Ohio after losing our very treasured friend Sarah May (also a Lippit Morgan). Iris and Sarah are closely related, a fact that Linda Ashar of Thornapple farms thankfully took the time to find out for us.

Iris Mae was six months old in this picture, she will be 4 in February of 2010. Regular handling, leading, grooming and loading on trailers from the time she came home has helped enormously in her progress. Having no formal training myself, I don't accomplish what the trainers seem to make effortless in a short period of time. Instead I develop a relationship with my horses, instill basic discipline, and I take my time to communicate to them what I want.

I started Iris Mae on basic ground work on the line in January of 2009. She learned word commands (like whoa!) she learned to move away from pressure and she learned to pay attention for longer and longer periods of time (like half an hour).

Next we learned to drive on the long lines with the help of a friend who had an extra line on her for those "bolting" moments. Iris Mae definitely has a mind of her own and I find that it takes a bit of time to let her decide that she must comply and that it's really fun. She's a Diva through and through and she likes to do things that she sees other horses doing so it was not a problem to introduce her to saddles, surcingles, bridles, bits....she thinks of these things as decoration. (I did have her teeth checked and floated before introducing a bit.)

Next we worked on standing at the mounting block. We stood there watching other horses riding in the arena and I think she was entertained. It was just a natural thing to put my foot in the stirrup and get on her after a short time of leaning over her and patting her on the opposite side. The first day I had a friend on the lead rope when I got on and off (its a big arena) and then she led us around at a walk.

Iris Mae is worked on average 5 days per week. We are now doing walk and trot (she has shown no indications that she wants to canter) and there is plenty to learn about bending and flexing, staying on the rail, doing circles, stepping under herself, trot poles, leg yields.....we'll canter next year.

At this time I want her to enjoy her work, relax and find a comfortable stride both indoors and out. I also spent some time in the summer ponying her through some parks (great fun except she tends to want to be the dominant horse - uh oh!)

Update: Iris was working so well, until Christmas of 2009...sometime over the Christmas season she pulled a ligament in her hind leg, below the hock. This is a very serious injury so I laid her off of work to recover. Months later, almost recovered and thinking of starting a light exercise program...she panicked when the neighbour's cows got loose and charged the fence...gouging a hole in her chest...it looks like she has a few more months of recovery ahead! Check out the pics on our "Wound Treatment" page.

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Iris Mae - Two Years Old
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July 2009
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Iris Goes to the Park 2009
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Irises - 2007
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Iris Mae Driving - Three Years Old
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January 2009
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Ponying at the Park
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Do You See What I See?
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Iris and Courtney Show off Iris's new HPS Halter