Thursday, December 15, 2016

A year of Taran conformation shots: How far we've come

This time last year, Paddy had just re-injured himself (soft tissue in RF), and Brego, who was my plan B riding option, had just ripped off a huge chunk of foot that we were going to have to wait for months for him to grow out. I wasn't about to not ride, so I pulled poor Taran out of the pasture and he became my primary riding horse.

He was a pretty rough customer, since he hadn't been ridden consistently in quite some time. He was muscled upside-down, and had no topline at all. 

December 23, 2015

After just a month, his topline had improved dramatically and his butt was starting to fill in.

February 1, 2016

By March, the giant muscle on the bottom of his neck was becoming less prominent as his topline continued to fill in.

March 6, 2016

He started looking more like a normal horse in April, although this particular picture looks even better because his neck is stretched out...

April 10, 2016

Our May pic was kind of awkward, but you can see that he's continuing to fill in. The area right in front of his withers continued to be a challenge.

May 22, 2016

He spent most of July with my trainer since I was out of the country, and she evidently fed him extra as well as worked him: 

July 16, 2016

I think he backslid a little in August (you can especially see it in the base of his neck) since I was trying to figure out how to ride him more over his topline and not doing a great job of it.

August 20, 2016

He looked a little slender in the October shots, but this was after four days at Regionals where he didn't eat very well. The top of his neck, right in front of the wither, STILL hasn't filled in much, and you can see the hollow right behind his wither too.

October 9, 2016

Since October, we've been working on a lot more collection and laterals in preparation for 2nd level. I'm finally getting the idea of fluffing up his shoulders and really riding him through (sometimes, anyway), so this has helped fill in the muscles behind his withers and the top of his neck in front of his shoulder. His butt is looking more rounded and beefy, too!

December 14, 2016

Let's just have one last comparison look, shall we?



Damn. He doesn't even look like the same horse, other than the cute, kind expression!

30 comments:

  1. Wow. It's amazing how much they can change with correct work. Love this comparison.

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    1. Correct work really makes a difference!

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  2. Wow - the change is his neck is fabulous! Nothing but correct work can make that happen. Well done.

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    1. Heh... he actually has a normal horse neck now!

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  3. He really does look like quite the sporty dude now!

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  4. So cool! It's amazing what dressage training will do for a horse.

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  5. Hot damn. Dressage is magic. Work. But magic work.

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    1. It is magic, but jeezus it's hard magic.

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  6. It's all due to your HARD work, Jen. I love seeing him looking this amazing. Thank you!!
    ps: you can ride him as long as you like. :-)

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    1. I think Taran did most of the work... ;)

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  7. errr... just reread my post. Ignore one of the ing's. lol

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  8. That muscle on the bottom of his neck melted away and went above! So much better all around. And Paddy photobombing the last two shots made it that much better, ha!

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    1. Paddy photobombs EVERYTHING. Because I'm not taking pictures of him and obviously I should be!

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  9. These kinds of posts are my favorite! Fantastic comparison. Love the neck

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    1. The neck has been the hardest part.

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  10. Replies
    1. I never would have believed how much he changed if I didn't have pictures.

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  11. He looks so fabulous! Also, I love that Paddy just knew there was a camera and made a cute face too.

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    1. Paddy always knows when there's a camera. ALWAYS!

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  12. Love the comparison.

    Also loving the Paddy photo-bomb!

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  13. You swapped ponies. I know it. Def not Taran in both pics ;)

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  14. Wow, the sudden change in July is amazing. He looks really good!

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