Thursday, February 16, 2017

2nd Friday Lesson With Harold

So I know yall might be tired of me bragging on my horse, but he really is pretty darn awesome. Just sayin. ;)

So last Friday I decided split second as I was rushing over to feed Harold before driving my oldest to school, that I would just load him up and let him eat his breakfast on the trailer. That way I wouldn't have to go to school, drive all the way home again and then go back to town. I knew I would be a little early to the shop to drop off the kiddos (meaning, my mom doesn't get out of bed early well, lol and wouldn't be there yet) but I figured it was better to be early rather then running late.

Of course Harold was pretty excited he had grain in his manger and hopped right on, all four legs this time, lol. And after I got to the shop he just chilled in the trailer munching on his hay while I waited. I settled both kids in with some breakfast and put Hailey in her jumpy hanging from the doorway and Shelby watching some youtube and figured my dad could handle it until my mom got there.

I learned that morning that I would be sharing the lesson with a home schooled girl on her little gypsy vanner. He's so cute! But like pony sized, lol. He can have a bit of an attitude and I had never rode Harold in the arena with another horse before. Well, I've never rode him with another horse before period actually! I wasn't really worried but it did add a element of the unknown for sure!

So I pulled into L's right before the girl I was riding with and we tacked up pretty much at the same time. I have rode with her several times in lessons so we knew each other fairly well. She's sweet.

Harold did great standing in the cross ties and I had him ready to go in quick order. I decided to walk him around in the arena first before moutning up just to make sure he remembered all was cool. He makes me smile every time we walk into the arena when he puts his head down and checks out the sand, lol.

Harold did great with the other horse. It was pretty amusing how he would speed up to follow him and then slow down to wait on him when the other horse got behind him, but he quite doing that after a bit.

Uh, yeah, the arena is not scary, mom

My first ears picture in a lesson with Harold!!
So it's been more then one sleep since the lesson (hah) so let me see if I can dredge up what we did. I'm sorry but having a major brain lapse. The main thing I remember is we CANTERED! I know! He was so awesome. I was afraid I would have a lot of trouble getting him into it but he was actually better then Charlie is! And got both leads each time no problem! Go, Harold, go Harold! (I will say I had to imploy mister whip a few times, hah) He also gave me some great trot work yielding to the bit.

We did some trot poles again but this time in a circle like we do in regular lessons. He did pretty good! Here is a video of one of our canters and then the poles.

Yeah us!! Of course my butt was bouncing out of the saddle nearly the whole time and my heel was up, but hey, we did it! Poor Harold needs some definite muscle work to strengthen him up for better position, but all in good time! I'm just so excited we were able to get leads, no bucking or other antics, and pretty good departs! Those are all huge wins for me!

So I watched the other girl do some jumping and and let Harold get his breath back. We are definitely not ready to jump but it was fun to just chill in the arena and watch. After that it was time for some treats and a brush down and a drink for Harold (he drank like a bucket of water! Thirsty boy) and off to get my kiddos!

Whatcha doin?
Monday lesson! The rain stayed away and we got to get a lesson in, whoop. I was on Charlie this time, which I was happy about! I've been on Goldie for the last three lessons I think. I don't know if she thinks I like Goldie or what, lol. Anyway, I had a lot of trouble this lesson unlocking his 'give to the bit' button. He was being a pill about it, just throwing his head up and pulling. I finally figured out I could ask for it on a circle and usually he would give it to me. He did unlock his mouth a bit towards the end of the lesson but then it was time for jumping!

So I haven't been in my hunt saddle for like over a month now, it felt really comfy but I haven't jumped in forever exept for that bit in the lesson last time. And it showed! I was so loosey goosey over the fences with a swinging leg. Sigh. So I'm hoping to fix that next time! I know it just takes time and repetition. I was pretty sore the next day but not too bad!

Last night I was able to get Harold out for a short work out before church. I wanted to ride but knew I didn't have time so I just grabbed him and suited him up in his bridle and surcingle. I then stood on a feed bucket, jumped up on my belly and swung my leg over and rode him bareback to the round pen, hah! What a good boy. We even opened and closed the little gate to the pasture! 

So he was pretty up that night, it was windy and quite cool. I think he was also a bit nervous about round penning since the last time I worked his butt off. I made sure he wasn't afraid of the whip and then sent him around. This time I had a lunge line run through the bit and over his poll so I could have some more steering control. I warmed him up without side reins both ways and then hooked them up. He did a lot better then last time and I really saw a lot of improvement with his give. He hardly ever pulled on them and I got some good work out of him. I even had him moving out at the walk and trot a lot faster then normal. We may be able to canter a bit with them next session as long as the footing is good. But I may need to get his fitness up a bit more at the canter first, I don't want to overface him.

We also walked and trotted over three ground poles a bit too. It was kind of soft footing around them but he did good figuring out where his feet were. One time he hit them wrong and actually cantered two of them. Good boy!

I found out I will be showing Goldie at least at my first show of the season. I hope I can become better partners with her before then! L wants me to come and watch the March shows and then start showing myself in April. Can't wait!

Well thats all for now. I'm hoping to be able to work Harold with side reins again today, although hooked up to his dressage saddle, and then ride after. Since I know we can canter without dying now, I might do a bit of that if the ground has dried out enough!


PS, If anyone is out there reading, I'd love to hear from you! Share your blog if you have one so I can read yours! :)

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