Shardonnay’s (Shardy) Mohegan Boot Camp

Shardonnay’s (Shardy) Mohegan Boot Camp

Shardy had been enjoying life with two other horse friends, living the dream. 150 acre paddock, not been near a float or a saddle in over 8 years.  She was enjoying a spell on the family farm (near the Stirling Ranges) whilst I her owner (Kris) was working long hours and dealing with the lost of her father. Time drifted when life threw to many huddles and challenges over those years.

In late November 2018, Shardy’s world was turned upside down.   She found herself in a float heading for Perth to be delivered to Mohegan, under Karen’s care, training and guidance.  Karen’s promise to me is to bring the dream of Shardy and I enjoying our equine partnership together.

Shardy’s journey with Mohegan….

First 2 weeks of light ground work.  Spring clean, Day Spa by a visit from Paul, Perth Equine Hospital and a good hoof trim by Russell.  Shardy was carrying too much weight for her small framed hooves and they were way too hard due to running on clay paddock for many years.  Lots of trips to find boots, Lanolin to soften them before the next trim.

Karen & Olivia worked with Shardy at a very steady pace both in the round yard and arena to shift her weight and she was placed in a lean paddock.  Shardy’s re-introduction to the saddle went well with no fuss from Shardy.  Once the teeth were done, the bridle was fitted, the training began. Lots of ground work, then some light riding to get Shardy’s fitness up and some shape into gorgeous Palamino body of hers. Within 4 weeks she was looking great.

12 December.  Karen, working hard to settle Shardy into the change ‘she just needs to find solace and comfort in her own fur at times’.  ‘Change upsets her, every week she is getting better’.  ‘She’s tentative on her toes, tight in the left shoulder’.  Lots of equissage sessions held settle down the aches and pains

17 December. Pictures and video sent by Karen showing Shardy happy having her first wander around Mohegan on her own after a workout.  She loves her time out of her yard.  She is blending into the Mohegan lifestyle well.

20 December. Pictures were sent of Scout and Shardy hanging out together and kissing.

21 December.  Karen takes Shardy out for her first ride outside of Mohegan with Scout.  Pictures sent with Shardy’s head out the float door ready for the journey. Karen films this first ride using her new GoPro and sends it through to me.  It was a very precious emotional moment for me, and it was heart warming to see that golden mane and Shardy’s ears so animated.  Beautiful work Karen.

22 December.  First training on the trail outing to Bullsbrook for Shardy.  Shardy was very hormonal, over stimulated by the other horses and did put on a bit of a performance.  Karen handled Shardy with style, poise and grace. Using her as a training opportunity for the other riders.  Karen was narrating to us all, in the moment, what she was doing to correct Shardy and the techniques she was applying to get Shardy to focus on her as the leader.  Very powerful learning for all.  Karen affectionately referred to Shardy as ‘her spinning top’. Many circles were made on the trail that day.

Christmas message from Karen….Zippy & Shardy were hanging out.

29 December.  Early morning workout when well.  I arrived for my lesson on Sunny. An opportunity arose for me to sit on Shardy.  First time in 10 years.  We went for a walk together. What a treat.  I allowed Karen to take a few pictures of the moment.  Not one for pictures myself, so these will be kept hidden in my phone.  A special day indeed.  Thanks Karen & Sunny for nurturing me for the last 6 months, allowing me to take baby steps to building my confidence and courage to get to this very moment.

5 January, message from Karen…”will be taking Shardy out next Thursday.  She is loving her routine, new life.  So happy for you both…”  Love your work Karen and enjoy getting the message update, photos and videos.  All part of the magic of the Mohegan journey.

7 January. Paul, the vet, rang to confirm all of Shardy’s tests were within normal range and that we need to focus on managing her weight.  I told him that Karen has done an amazing job in 4-5 weeks since he has seen Shardy.  Message from Karen “Shardy was unsettled on last trail, hormones galore but still a good girl”

12 January.  I was able to saddle and bridle Shardy for Karen.  As she was very unsettled Karen instructed me to take her to the round yard for ground work whilst she was running a lesson with other ladies.  I was able to get Shardy to settle and better connected with me after about 20 minutes.  I then gave her to Karen to ride whilst I rode Sunny.

17 January.  I am back at the office writing this blog, with the desire to keep up with my weekly lessons so that I may join Karen and the other confident Ladies on the trail with Shardy.  Thank you Karen & Olivia for the amazing Mohegan experience.

Shardy getting some loving from her new best friends, Karen & Olivia