Saturday, October 6, 2012

Loving life!

Our group; 6 of us!
The requisite trailer pic

Long uphill

A JUMPIC pic?  It's bad, but it's real!

I had a GREAT ride on Squeaky today:)  I had a GREAT ride on Squeaky yesterday:)  I almost had to create a blog post yesterday just to brag on how awesome he was.  Thursday was a very average day.  He didn't feel awful, but he never felt good either.  It was just average.  Yesterday I had planned to ride in the dressage tack and I did, but I took him to the flat front pasture to school him.  He was AMAZING!!  So light and fluid and forward and happy:)

I kept my hands and arms SO light and soft.  He stayed nice and round in the bridle with hardly any effort on my part.  His feet positively floated across the pasture.  He did the nicest spirals I've ever gotten out of him, both directions; good bend through the body, excellent responsiveness, and always an ear flicking back towards me.  Canter transitions were decent, and the downwards were EXCELLENT.  He went canter/walk with zero trot steps between.  He halt was balanced, he backed on contact AND went back forward again on contact rather than running backwards.  I was pleased beyond words.

Today was the third time we've done the Kingston Downs hunter pace.  It is always a good time.  GORGEOUS scenery, big coops, and sketchy stone walls:)  The track was a totally new one we'd never done before, and it avoided any water crossings this time.  There were less jumps, though:(  Only 5 coops and 2 rock walls, one of which I didn't do because I just didn't trust the footing.  It's not worth it to me for my horse to hurt himself for .2 seconds of fun!  Only the first jump "sucked", the other 4 were super.  I gave him about 100' to get to it, I had his wonder bit in and I was holding his face, and of course we came into an iffy distance.  He opted for deep since I didn't have him very forward, and he popped my leg off pretty good but I didn't jam my finger, woo hoo!

I grabbed my trusty neck strap at each jump because he has a history of giving me a HUGE jump over at least one of them because of the orientation of the coops to the landscape; for instance, at one of them there was a low hanging tree branch and you had about 3' to get a decent approach to it ... AND the left side was completely open, almost like a corner jump.  He was perfect.  Didn't hesitate or peek just flew over in perfect stride:)  The rest of the jumps were great, it was only the first one that wasn't too good.  We did quite a lot of walking on a loose rein (no jigging, yay!), quite a lot of trotting ( he didn't fight me to canter, yay!), and quite a few flat out race horse gallops.

There were NO kickouts, no ill behavior, no refusals, and lots of easy willingness:)  LOVE it when that happens!  Muffin is the 4 legged love of my life:)  I cut 6" off his tail yesterday to get a good bang on it; it grows REALLY fast because I had it that short for the May-Daze HT.  It looked fabulous, if I do say so myself:)  LR comes tomorrow to hack him around in a pasture, and I'm happy he will have the opportunity to stretch out and work out any kinks from today.  As for next week's schedule, it's as always!  TBD:)

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