Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Great Lesson and Trail Ride This Weekend!

Hey all!

So lots has been happening, let me try and recap.

Riding lessons have been going good! We have been doing some dressage and jumping both in each lesson lately. I have been riding Goldie pretty much exclusively. Which is fine with me! We get along good and it's been nice to be able to concentrate on my equitation. Plus we are hitting our first show together the 23rd!


I was pretty excited when L said I was getting good enough at jumping that I can start being counted on to keep track of my horses stride and make sure to lengthen or shorten it if the distance isn't going to be right. 

Jumpy, jump!

Last night I rode Prince, a horse there for some training. He likes to pick up the wrong lead and also hasn't been rode right at home in regards to contact, etc. He's a QH that looks a lot like Harold size wise and color (although much less wide in the body, I felt like I was riding an Arab!).

He was a good boy! I got him going on the bit well and we just had a few wrong leads on his sticky side. I will be back on Goldie next week L said so we can get geared up for the show in a few weeks. 

So Harold news!! The last two Fridays we have had a lesson with L. The Friday before last was an 'okay' lesson. I didn't get to warm him up like I usually do at home and we just kind of jumped into work. I never did get him to settle into the contact like I wanted. We did canter some and it went pretty good, really. He was a calm, good boy as usual. Afterwards L was riding one of her new lesson horses so I put him in a pen with some hay to chill and watched her. It was neat to see her ride and work a horse.

Harold: "Nap time?"
In between the next lesson I did a lunge session in his pasture between Hailey's nap. I have been really interested in the art2ride program and think it would be great to help get Harold's back raise up and strong. Check it out! Art2Ride. I wasn't ever able to get him to do what I wanted though, gotta study some more and try again.

Not engaging like I want
So the program basically has you working the horse at a good pace to get them moving over there back, which in turn drops their head. The lower the head the more the horse can stretch and use his topline. After so long doing this (months? Year?) they say you can start slowly bringing the horses head up. If he stays engaged and rounded through his topline, he's ready. If not, you need to keep building muscle with his head down.

Anyway on to this past Friday. It was a awesome day. I dropped the kids off at Lee's moms and went on over to L's. Got mister Harold out and was able to warm him up by myself which was great. I did what we usually do at home so I had a soft horse ready to go when L got there. I still was having trouble at the trot so I remembered I wanted L to ride him for me last week, just to see what she thought, and to actually feel what he does so she can help me ride him better.

Well that was the best idea ever. She got him going SO WELL. She was able to work through some blocks we had had and unlock and put in some puzzle pieces we had been missing. After she rode him about 15 minutes I jumped on and was able to get him going well too! It felt amazing. She was yelling out how good he looked and that it was just what the judges wanted to see in First Level work. Hah! First Level! :D

Floaty feet!!


So anyway, was a great breakthrough and I was able to duplicate it two days later also at home. He wasn't quite as soft but his new 'buttons' worked and I was happy! Plus we were working in a uneven pasture, so I couldn't expect the same quality of work.

Go pony, go!!
That day was SO warm and I had time to give mister Harold his first bath in ages! He loved it because he got to mow the lawn at the same time, lol. The girls played in my tail soaking bucket and had a grand time also. I drug out their water table later and they loved that too. The day before we went to my parents lake house with a couple and their two girls that we are good friends with from church. We stayed the night and played all day. It was a great weekend! We are so blessed.




 So another fun horsey weekend is planned for this week! My friend A is having a birthday this weekend and she wanted to know if I wanted to go to a equestrian center/day camp to trail ride with her and also work in the arena. I was like uh YEAH! So Sat after 11 (she has a massage appointment early in the day) I'm gonna drive about an hour to the camp. I bet we will probably work in the arena first (she's bringing her young horse to work in the arena, and her older trail savvy mare for the trails) and then hit the trails.

I have never trail rode with Harold, which is funny since that was what he was used for exclusively, lol. So I hope he hasn't forgot and doesn't throw any shenanigans! I have never really liked trail riding per say. It has always made me a little nervous, which doesn't make sense because that's all I did as a young girl on a safe old gelding. Anyway, I'm pretty sure he will be great. Plus A will be there with her good mare to help us if needed. I'm excited about getting to work Harold in a good arena again.

Well that's all for now! We are supposed to get storms and tornado weather today, so no riding. Tomorrow or Friday I may be able to get a work in though.

Until later!
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