If you celebrate, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. I was thankful for some time off work to be with family. I also ate entirely too much but I declared it a guilt free day and allowed myself to indulge. And indulge I did!!
I also took this entire week off, minus Friday which is my surgery day and is booked full for me, to stay home and enjoy Wyatt time. Nothing beats being with my buddy.
Monday was all planned out for a trail ride to break the monotony of flat work in the swampy arena. It is too wet for me to feel comfortable jumping though I do miss it and hope to get some jump time in soon. With rain in the forecast the end of the week, it may not happen until spring. Or I find a covered arena with a trainer who will respond to me.
But then Dusty got home super late after removing plastic from a Boykin’s stomach and it ruined my chance. It was back to the arena and neither of us were too thrilled with it.
I set up the first exercise from the Jumping book: two parallel ground poles set to be ridden between as a focus for circle work. The goals: symmetry, geometry, rhythm, bend.
H’Appy was being a puppy on a string through the entire tacking process. He never pawed, ate the cross ties or tried to eat me. It was his best behavior to date and I felt good enough about him to forgo lunge work before mounting.
It was a good choice. He was calm, never put a hoof wrong and listened the entire ride.
He was also pokey, behind my leg and doing his best to get away with a western pleasure shuffle instead of an actual trot. My legs were screaming at me by the end of the ride. I may need to buy a crop for days like that if they continue but for now I’m happy to have a horse who wasn’t bucking, trying to run off or fling his head into the next county.
The exercise went pretty well as far as the goals were defined. He was rhythmic, had bend when I asked properly and stayed on the circle I created. I really need to unlock my upper body and remember to look around the circle and plan better but that will come.
I was smiling the entire time and laughed at his attempts to get out of work by sucking back. It was such a good feeling to trust he wasn’t going to do anything stupid and be able to correct him and it not turn into a fight. We will likely have rides like that again, but he is starting to come back around.
I eventually grew bored of the circles and became a rebel by creating figure eights, going over the poles and going around them to not include them at all. Variation is the spice of life and all that.
At the end I decided to give the canter buttons a try. I haven’t purposefully worked on the canter in a while and was thinking maybe some canter work would spice him up. I was wrong. He remained pokey the pony.
He did give me prompt canter transitions though. They were hollow and head up since the trot was sucked back and behind my leg but he was prompt and didn’t try to run off with me so it was a win for the moment.
The entire ride was exhausting and way too much work but it was also a ton of fun. Someday we will reach a good balance of energy levels. For now I’m thrilled to be enjoying him and getting to work once again. If it ever dries out I’m dying to get some time over sticks again and to continue to build his fitness so that come spring we can get some solid work in and maybe hit up a show.