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Back Under Saddle

Thankfully I have the Best Farrier Ever* and he was able to come out last Friday to fix H’Appy back up. Since it was only a week before they were all due anyway, I told him to go ahead and do all three. This time of year they grow insane amounts of hoof so I knew there would be plenty of work.

This four week schedule is killing my bank account, but it keeps them happy and sound.

Proof his ears are up and happy the majority of the time

*He is the BFE because a) he comes when I am at work and doesn’t mind me not being there and then also always offers to put them back in whatever field I want when he is done, b) he texts me info and doesn’t mind my million questions and c) he takes pay pal so I can just send him the money once he texts that he is done. I love him. He is never allows to retire, get hurt or move.

It took until last night to ride though. Friday it poured. Like can’t see anything, flash flooding levels of pouring. Saturday was freezing cold and rainy and the Hubby was off running a 100k for funsies, then Sunday was Easter and we had family stuff to do and Monday Hubby didn’t even get home from work until after 7pm due to an onslaught of emergencies and we had stuff to do.

Last night though was the night. Finally.

Really starting to like the orange ear view

There is a nice open show going on at a nearby facility and I had it on my calendar to attend and do the cross rails and 2′ divisions except I can’t now due to something else that we need to do on Saturday instead. I’m pretty bummed about not going as it is a facility I know really well. They did however post their courses on FB and I took that as an opportunity to set it up at home.

The 2’ course. A simple hunter outside line, diagonal, outside, diagonal course. I’ve not seen one with the distances written out before and was happy to have a full map to build from.

Or at least half of it anyway. I only have enough supplies to make 4 jumps. Having not ridden in a week, I decided to lay out the exercise as ground poles for the night and start back slowly with my plan being to turn them into verticals tonight or tomorrow. I hemmed and hawed as to which four I wanted to do and eventually settled on the left half with the two on the long side and a diagonal line from upper left to lower right.

H’Appy really tried to hold it together. Really he did. Not only had he had a week off, but Dusty was by the gate raking up grass from me dragging it before I rode and Wyatt was taking up the near end making a hot wheel race track that I was not allowed to ride over. It was a lot to drag his nosy little attention away and I was so very proud of him for holding it together as much as he did.

The half I was able to set up which allowed a nice variety of patterns: straight over, circle over any number of components, cutting between. It was nice though I did wish I could set up the entire course

There was some flailing. There was some head tossing. There was some cantering. There was some flying leaps over the poles. There was a whole lot of drift to their end of the arena. Going over the poles heading towards them was an exercise in slowing my posting and using my core to contain him. Going over the poles away from them was an exercise in leg on.

But honestly? There was also a whole lot of listening to my half halts. And a whole lot of trotting nicely away from the boys. And a whole lot of reasons to tell him he was being a good boy and give him all the pats.

He had every reason to fall apart and he didn’t.

Shoofly Leggings are back on for season three. I may have to replace next year but we will see.

Once they left he settled right down to the task at hand and got over himself. I asked him to trot nicely going over the long side poles set at 60′, turn right and keep the same tempo all the way back to the gate and over the diagonal poles set at 72′ going away then we circled back and went over the long side poles towards the gate, left turn and out the diagonal line.

Once he did that entire exercise calmly and with an even pace (with properly timed half halts and leg from me where I knew he’d either speed up, heading to the gate, or slow down, heading away, which I got better at as we went along) I walked him out of the arena to cool down in the pasture. It’s a new habit I’m trying to do at the end of every ride to get him used to riding out there.

It wasn’t perfect and there were a lot of self reminders to lower my hands, quit rushing to my hands and use my leg more, tighten that core and for the love of all things shiny have a damn plan woman, but it also had a lot of moments of relaxation, thoughtful paths and nice pace.

For the first ride back after a week off due to the lost shoe and weather, it wasn’t half bad.

8 thoughts on “Back Under Saddle”

  1. Whenever I can have a horse professional be out there without me it’s a total win! So I think your Farrier definitely deserve the moniker BFE! I’m very excited to see what is in store for you and H’Appy as the weather continues to improve into Summer!

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    1. He is such a good guy. Nobody else was willing to come out if I wasn’t there and wouldn’t work evenings or weekends which made it impossible. I can’t take a day off work every month for the farrier

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  2. What a bummer about being unable to head to the show! But very clever to set up the course at home to practice.

    And yeah, your farrier needs to be immortal and healthy forever. He’s a unicorn.

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    1. I’ve always paid but since owning my own business I really understand needing paid for the work you provide. I never argue about the cost. It’s $215 for shoes and two trims which makes me want to vomit when he has to come out at week 4 but he is worth every penny so I pay immediately

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