Today was ... interesting.:) First, I rode a new "baby" named Audrey. The girl that was training her got bucked off a different horse and broke her ankle. The mare needs to keep getting ridden, so I have the ride for now. She's about the size of a fine boned large pony, and fiesty! Very nervy with her head; even me putting the reins over her head caused it to be stuck high up in the air. She is a super cute mover, though. Huge step, suspension, and a natural up hill head carriage. Got on, and walked around; kept light contact and she tucked her head much better than Tiki does. Walked over 4 poles on the ground, and she was good. Went to trot, and she is BOUNCY. Worked the trot until she settled in, did lots of reverses, and all was good. Once she'd settled in, I asked for the canter. EXPLOSION! She definitely had a little baby temper tantrum, and leaped around for a few seconds. Tightened my girth, trotted some more, asked again. She leaped into the canter, swapped out behind, crow hopped a bit, then settled in. Reversed, cantered again. Leaped again into the canter, but no more bucking/crow hopping. Sooo, finished there. On to the Tiki pony!
Gave him the quickest grooming of his life; no curry comb, mane comb, show sheen, etc. That was a first for me. His leg was a little swollen from a cut he sustained the night before last. I wasn't hugely concerned becase he's proven to swell up without much provocation. I'm wondering if I should let him be "naked" until I can pick up some decent splint boots, or have him turned out in the ancient smbs I had him turned out in last night. He cut the leg the night before last, and other than some oozing blood, it was fine. Had Joyce turn him out with the ancient smbs, and today it was swelled up. Coincidence? Plan to get some of those shiny Davis splint boots for turnout because he has been interefering in the splint area, but the other night was the first time he's drawn blood. Anyway, he'd walked up fine, so I wasn't worried about riding him. After mounting up, it was amazing how solid he felt compared to little Audrey. Trotted and he was LAZY. Lazy, lazy, lazy. Next time I ride him in the ring, the spurs WILL be on, lol. Tried to get him to bend, like usual. He was fine. Not bad, but not superior, either. Was pretty quick about things. Cantered right, and he got it on the 2nd try. Cantered left, and he was fabulous. Trotted up to our free jumping jump from yesterday; the little swedish. He was more perfect than he's ever been. DEAD quiet to the jump, hopped over very sweetly. Went 2 more times with the same results. That was tracking right. Reversed, cantered left, and went to canter the oxer ... he got distracted with the gate, broke gait, cantered again and missed his distance. We recovered and tried again. I used a stronger inside leg this time and half halted to keep him a little more "bouncy", and this time he was picture perfect. This was actually our first perfect canter jump EVER, so of course I stopped there. Cold hosed his leg, applied some liniment gel, and had to run. He was fantastic today! Planning to trail ride him with a few friends tomorrow:)