Kuincey at Finishing School

Kuincey on longe line
Kuincey went down to Campbell-Urban on July 4, 1998, to finish learning those things I hadn't been able to teach her. The first time I visited, in late July, I forgot to bring a camera. These pictures were taken on August 21, 1998. Here Rick is getting the kinks out on the longe line.

ground driving
Rick found that ground driving Kuincey helped her relax. This is not something to try at home in a big open field. After I watched, Rick coached me through a session in both directions. That deep soft sand in the round pen gives both horse and trainer a real workout. Although this picture doesn't show it, she was stretching her neck down, with her nose below her knees at times.

Trot in round pen

Here she's wearing side reins in the round pen, and trotting right on out. She is a cresty little mare, with the usual very flexible Arab neck--but here she's not really overbent.

canter in round pen
But though she's now balanced in the round pen at the trot, she still loses it at the canter. Here she's counterflexed even though the inside side rein is a good four inches shorter. Stiffness in the body has always been this short-coupled little mare's problem.

Rick riding at trot

Rick working her in the round pen. She reminds me of one of the illustrations by Tom Lea for _The Hands of Cantu_. It's easy to imagine her as a Conquistador's mount. This trot feels wonderful--very springy and also very powerful.

trotting in the arena
In the arena, she moves out with the same authority, but the rider has to supply the lateral cues that the round pen was giving. Still, when I rode her out here, I wanted to keep going and not come back. Even though she has difficulty with lateral flexion, she is beginning to do leg yields without arguing too much.

cantering in the arena
About the time I figured out where to stand so that I was out of Rick's way *and* had the sun behind me, it was my turn to ride, so this is the only canter picture that's any good at all. Her canter is much more definite, and also smoother, than a few weeks ago. She's responsive to both legs and hands--surges forward when asked for more, but comes smoothly into your hand and yields willingly. It felt so good I wanted to take her home that afternoon.

Instead, I decided to leave her for another month, to confirm what she's learned so far. Nine days later, Rick called to tell me that she'd been injured in a fight with another horse. She's now been stitched, bandaged, and is on stall rest for a couple of weeks at least.

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