Those of us in the mid atlantic are cussing winter on a daily basis. It has made riding difficult at best and frankly us horse women are just not happy when we aren’t riding. I am in good shape from dealing with frozen everything, carrying hot water, pushing hay through snow and just having to fight with every piece of equipment on the farm. The boyfriend was watching me throw around some alfalfa bales the other day and was impressed. Those suckers are a good 50+ lbs and I can now lift them easily! I think all of us are really going through our hay supply to keep the horses warm and happy. My thoroughbreds can put down some alfalfa!
My ring has been frozen for the most part. I have ridden or lunged when the weather is at all cooperating. Truckee continues to improve daily. He is gaining weight and I see his shape starting to change. I really really like him and find him to be freaky smart. I have a good eye for a horse and he is a horse that might not strike you as anything special standing there but I think he has talent to go right up the levels in eventing. There is just a certain feel and athletic ability about him that really makes me think he has what it takes. I love the way his brain works. He also moves across the ground so light. He is very uphill and light in the bridle. Contact is still a work in progress but it’s coming along. I have spent some time lunging him in the pessoa system here lately to encourage him to come from behind and push into the bridle.
I have to say that watching him get adjusted to the feel of the butt rope was about the funniest thing I had ever seen. I laughed until I cried (which is hard to do while lunging a horse) because he just has the most interesting reactions to things. I put the surcingle on in the barn and it has the system all set up. I went to the ring and gently slid the butt rope into place and didn’t attach any of the front peices knowing he likely would have some sort of reaction on the butt rope. OMG!!!!!!!!!! He took one step forward and went WHAT THE HECK and then it was boing…boing..boing..boing all around the circle. He bucked until the rope went all the way under his tail. I was dying laughing. I got him pulled up and repositioned and started again and he was totally fine. Then I hooked up the front part (basically like vienna reins) and he was excellent at the walk and the trot. I thought I would try a smidge of canter. Oh lord…it was bucking bronco all over again. Stopped to adjust the butt rope and did the canter again and he was fine. He really cantered well with the pessoa. I love watching them react. His reaction is OMG..I’m dying..get it off..oh okay..no big deal..back to work. Totally cracks me up. Wish I had it all on video!
He is very professional to ride but installing all the good basics on the lunge line helps a ton. He is built uphill so he needs to learn to stretch over his back and relax his back and topline. It all comes in time.
Our one difficulty is getting pics and video. We have found it’s easier for Amanda to ride and for me to do the video/pics although we need to practice the other way. This was middle of January video of Truckee. He’s going even better now but you can see the progress in just this piece. This was his first time jumping.
I think that I mentioned I bought a new horse. Yes, I jumped back into the resale game. I admit to being a bit nervous about it all since I am still going through the divorce (final at end of March!) but I can’t put my life on hold.
A friend emailed me that she was going to sell her horse. It’s a long story but basically Rockin Fun was a CANTER horse that was donated and I retrained. I started him on the flat, over fences, trail rode him and took him xc. Then he was sold locally and did some trail riding and paper chasing. He was sold once more to a friend who has done a bit of everything with him but mainly trail riding. He rides out western and the cool thing is that she could just hop on once a month and go and he was always great. He is just a really quiet TB with a great brain and a can do attitude. He’s 10yrs old and 16.1 h..and chunky! I had to giggle when I saw him because he is so darn round. I always loved him so I am pleased to have the opportunity to work with him again. I just thought he would be a good project to get back into shape and resale. He rides english, western, jumps, trail rides, paper chases, goes xc, rides out solo, rides in groups and more. Everybody needs one like him!
He really hadn’t done much of anything so he is out of shape and lacking muscle. We rode him in the ring and then I trail rode him. He was awesome on the trail and happily lead or followed and jumped logs in lovely style. Amanda hopped on again for some pics/vid this weekend.
He hadn’t done any real flatwork in a long time and hadn’t jumped in over a year if not more but he was so game!
This week isn’t looking much better in terms of weather. I think we will all get rides in tonight but supposed ice storm coming in later in the evening and then they are talking about more snow later in the week. Oh well, you just have to ride when you can and keep muttering spring is around the corner :)
It will be nothing but mud everywhere for a bit but such is life at this time of year. It will all pass..so I tell myself when I am trying to remain positive. I have a lot of good things happening in my life at the moment so apparently the positive thinking is working in my favor.
I need to get some updated truckee pics and video here shortly. I have a barn full of fun horses to ride. Now if we can get the weather to cooperate, life will be even better.