We went down to celebrate Fort Leavenworth Hunt’s 90th anniversary weekend. Pretty much all the pictures and video below were shot from Max’s back. He was well behaved for everything, with only a few green hunt horse moments. Good man!
This picture of Max and I leading the field in Burwell was featured as the header on Foxhunters on Facebook today. Pretty cool.
Max had Monday off after the weekend of hunting and tonight he taught a lesson with me. I had Missy Monson ride him. She is one of my more advanced students who has ridden training level eventing. We worked on leg yield, use of the inside leg in cantering and spiral out on a circle in walk. It was a nice low key lesson, perfect to loosen up sore muscles after a hunt weekend.
We were leading second flight again and he did very well. At one point a few riders were having trouble with the coops, so Max and I went back to get them and then gave them leads back over the coop. He was impeccable.
Very good man.
We were asked to lead second flight on the hunt today and Max did very well! He did get a little nervous twice when horses bumped in to him, but he got over it. He jumped, he galloped, he walked, he waited when asked. He even watched hounds with interest and let them pass by with aplomb.
He did have some nerves – it wasn’t a perfect day – but it was pretty good for his level of experience.
We left in the morning and traveled easily to Burwell, arriving in the early afternoon. The horses were given the day off to recover from the trip.
On Friday morning I took Max for a few mile relaxed hack, ponying Elliot. They both did very well.
I picked up Max from Alison at Irish Run. Alison was kind enough to share him with us when we got an arthritis dx for Eddie two days before the Burwell Hunt weekend.
He trailered and settle in beautifully and spent the evening with Bravado and they were like peas and carrots.
Alison provided him with a pretty blue, new halter and I did a little beauty shop treatment on his mane, tail, fetlocks and whiskers and he was ready to leave for Burwell in the morning!
Just wanted to give an update that in the -20 WCIs we’ve been experiencing, Max is doing just fine. We won’t be working again until the temperatures will be at or near 20 in the afternoon. He is out during the day with lots of hay in his run in, out of the wind and in the sun, and comes in a stall at night. The 6 horses in the barn at night heat it up quite nicely. I’ve loaned him a New Zealand rug, which completely cuts the wind and is wool-lined in the top.
We got home from the hunt in the late afternoon and the weather was still nice with the threat of very cold weather overnight and the tomorrow. So I rode Max, starting with a long walk warm up. Then on to trot work with a focus on balance and then moving on to leg yield. Left is more difficult than right, and both are improving. I finished with leg yield to canter depart in a bow tie pattern which went swimmingly. He had his best canter departs yet.
Started out with a hack around the south field. We scared up a few deer and he didn’t over react. Nice. He stepped over the scary black dirt transition to the soybean field just fine. We went past the tree where Jay was using a chainsaw. No problem. When we got back to the arena, we did some work in walk and trot leg yield ending with leg yield to canter transitions which went very well another good day.
It was a lovely day. so we went off on a hack for warm up. He had a bit of a hesitation at the same spot he did last time we went out – at the strip of bare ground at the edge of the field. To his great credit, the hesitation was much smaller than last time and he went forward without a lead or any other unusual measures. We walked around the large field behind our place and then through the tall grass, over a few small ditches, along the road and home.
Then we worked in the arena and had the best work we have had to date. He had some moments of real throughness in trot, which is excellent!
A few moments of the trail ride: