The weather this weekend has put me in a great mood! Not to mention the horses are on their best behavior.
It has been super busy this week. Sea Flip left for his new home and the same day I brought another horse home that was going to be vetted for a client. Now that he has passed the vetting I am happy to show him off. His name is Meadow Mobster, a 4 yr tb gelding, who will be here for retraining and then eventually be resold.
I was relieved when he passed the extensive vetting because I had already fallen in love with him. I had met him at the track earlier in the year but he was to keep racing a bit. His trainer is one of the truly great trainers who always puts her horses first. All her horses get the best treatment and lots of time on the farm. This guy is totally sweet and laidback about everything. He has been so easy and I am looking forward to getting him going.
Parker and I have been having amazing trail rides and had a great lesson but I am going to talk about Indy’s Chic first. As someone who sells a lot of horses it is always a bit frustrating to me when people overlook truly good horses because they aren’t tall enough or maybe they are mares. I already know it will be a challenge to get Dee sold which is a shame because she is going to be awesome. Kurt and I headed out for a trail ride. Now, I am riding her once or twice a week right now simply because things have been busy but my schedule will free up here soon. The last ride was a trail ride as she was slightly nervous on the trailer and tacking up but was good. This time she marched herself right on the trailer. Unloaded with just a gentle pull on the tail. Stood perfectly quiet to be tacked up. She lead the whole trail both trotting and cantering on a loopy rein. She isn’t bothered by a thing. You just smooch to her if you want her to go a little faster and just a gentle whoa and she slows right now. She has an incredible attitude about everything and is so very smart. We got back and wouldn’t you know the mare who had stood and shook at the sight of the trailer self loaded right on! She figures things out incredible quickly and just tries her heart out for you. I want to get her going a bit more before doing a full scale advertisement but if someone is looking for a really nice partner she is by far the sweetest and most willing mount you could ask for.
Parker is always progressing although he is not quite as easy as Dee. He is getting much better but he still has a lot of I DON’T FEEL LIKE IT attitude. I packed him up for a lesson with Jen (local h/j trainer). She had met Parker the day after he had bucked me off . She had gotten on him because she thought he was so cool watching him go around on the lunge line. She really liked him but expressed that I had a lot of work ahead of me 🙂
I have been working but the weather had gotten in the way and Parker needed a bit of an unconventional approach. I believe the major issue is that he is defensive in his mouth and he is slow with not a lot of self initive to stay in front of the leg. I have just been trotting and cantering on the trails on a loose rein to get the forward part installed first. We have made a ton of progress in that area!
The nicest thing about Parker is that he is an old soul. He is never bothered by new places and is not a spooky horse. I believe that he trust me now as he never seems to be nervous about things and doesn’t have that worried feel anymore which is most excellent. We began with a bit of flatwork and he was his normal fussy self starting out. It is difficult to push him forward w/o running him off his feet and getting him to take a feel is a challenge. He gets behind the leg and inverts or if you half halt he again drops behind the leg and inverts. He uses any excuse to slow down and take a break 🙂 We worked on forward and back to get him a bit more adjustable and got glimpses of good work. Of course I can always be steadier with my hands and elbows so I am part of the equation that needs work. It is much easier to be steadier on a horse that is not going up, down and all over with his head just because he feels like it 🙂
Then we worked on the canter which is improving drastically. He is struggling to get into the canter because he is so so so lazy and wants to run into it and then gets totally offended when you sit and kick him. I am working really hard to keep him in the canter and keep the canter uphill and balanced. It is a lot of hold, push, half halt, hold and push. Jen was very suprised at how good it is looking and how is overall attitude has improved.
I think that Parker really hasn’t found his balance yet and he seems to lack steering on his own as well. I am the type of rider that gives direction but I don’t want to hold the horses up or steer them every second. They need to develop a sense of independence and he seems to lack that. He almost ran into a standard a few times cantering as he just falls all over the place if you let him. That will come along with more work and fitness.
Parker is not a TB who maintains fitness either! He hangs in front of the hay feeder all day eating and doesn’t walk around much. He was pooped by the end of the flatwork and I am very aware of his attitude and not pushing beyond the point of where he can physically and mentally handle. We did a bit of jumping which was again hilarious! I have only jumped outside of the ring over small logs so I knew nothing about what he would do. Jen thought he would see the jump and run a bit and then rush on the landing. I bet her that he would see the jump, slow down and then go dead on the landing. Watch the video and see who won that bet 🙂
He seems to jump the front part of the jump and they just die in the air and on the landing. She had me using my stick on take off to get some more energy out of him. We did a little grid and the wheels fell off there. I had him pefectly straight each time going to the first jump but upon landing we had severe left driftage to the point me knee was almost taking out the standard. I could feel he was getting tired so we got it right and then quit while we were ahead. He needs a lot of work on straightness and thinking for himself. He also needs to learn to finish the jump not just jump straight up and then die in the air and on the landing.
He seemed to enjoy himself and I love the feel of him over a jump. He just needs more fitness to really show his true talent. He stood nicely on the trailer while I rode my other horse and then went home and took a nap 🙂