Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Best Laid Plans

Today I had planned on doing some work on the mounting problem, a short schooling session and pole work finishing with a few baby jumps. However turns out the little mare (sexy wee beasty that she thinks she is right now) and her paddock friend had broken the tape and so all the horses were in together. The new pony and she were very pally wally - very much in love. I have never seen the mare act like this before: she obviously likes her men tall!

The skies then opened. I put the escapees back where they were supposed to be, and decided it might be sensible to put the little mare in the orchard a further fence away from the new pony; who immediately became distressed at his girlfriend being taken away - but WOW what a trot he is capable of! (Had had Mum in tow with camera, but she went home when the rain came)

I thought that today was probably not the right time to do some work on the mounting problem, let alone any schooling. And so decided to simply feed everyone. I was very relieved to find that the new pony was waiting to be let into his little feeding area (out of sight of the sexy beastie) and so love took second place to his tummy.

To recap however....

rode the new pony in the paddock (everyone else safely ensconced out of our way behind tape). First real schooling session and very impressed to find that he took both canter leads without problem, and for a big horse is really quite well balanced, albeit hard work to keep up together and going forward at canter. Very impressed with the feel of his trot, and quite excited about what he might be capable of. He is a little stiff to the right at all gaits, so did some flexing work which he very quickly cottoned on to. Was very pleased to find that all in all he seems to work in a pretty good frame and doesnt feel at all on his forehand, which most young horses seem to.

He is also, already, becoming lighter to the leg aids and understanding of what I am asking. (Initially there was basically little or no reaction to the leg)

I also did some turn on forehand, and beginnings of leg yeild and was blown away by how quickly he worked out what I wanted. Willie took literally weeks before the penny dropped with leg yielding, but then he used to worry if he didnt understand. This guy thinks about it, hesitantly started to move (at which he got made a big fuss of) and then 'had' it.

Yesterday however, took him and Willie to WEC. Was his first time in the sand arena there, and there were others riding and jumping, but nothing too exciting I thought. But I simply could not get on him. He would stand at the mounting block and when I got up on it he moved away. After an hour of quietly trying, someone came and gave me a hand holding him while I mounted.

Then came some rather interesting movements!

He was absolutely hell bent on returning to where his friend was (in typical young horse fashion) and so we got the leaping sideways, slow round the top of the circle, then some more sideways....although he did start off cantery leaping. Thank goodness he is super comfortable and his antics were not in the least unseating! - (so far)

However, he gradually became more accepting, and so after we had done a couple of relatively relaxed circles I got off, and got TOWED back to Willie: although he was fairly polite while I ran up his stirrups.

Next trip to the centre I may leave his paddock mate at home?

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