The big field to our north was harvested and the footing could not have been better, so we went over and had a hack warm up, followed by dressage. He had a few days off since we were traveling since Thursday, so he was a little on his toes for the first bit. By the end, he was doing some nice work.
GREAT xc school at Walnut Creek tonight. Sadly no jumping pictures or video. He is gaining a lot of confidence and starting to look for jumps. I let him gallop on a bit and then come back for jumps, like he will do on course in a competition. We did dropping into water, up and down banks, ditches, trakehners and a small corner. I was teaching a lesson while schooling him, so he got a lot of breaks while the other horses and riders went.
We went to the Middle River Ranch schooling HT and he loaded, unloaded and settled in just fine. I should say that he is a little hesitant loading, slightly enough that it doesn’t even really register on my radar, and it is improving .
The property received enough rain overnight that Linda and I agreed it was prudent not to jump, so we did two dressage tests only. We changed his bit after the first one, something which I have a personal rule against doing at a show, but he was fussy enough in it and it was a schooling show where one can try these things, that we thought it was worth a go. We borrowed a french link from my friend Kelly Still Brooks and this is the second test. I had been riding him in a Myler with tongue relief, thinking I was doing him a favor. Other than the trip-to-halt combo, it was quite a good test for the state of the training. Good man, Al!
Out for a hack where we worked in all gaits including gallop. I shot a lot of video off him. He did very well. He is loading into the trailer better (we had to trailer to the place that we hacked today) and settling better in new places.
4.35 mile hack with two other horses on the Heart of Iowa Trail. He led and followed and went in all gaits. Very good.
Took him to Ted and Ro Crosbie’s Sky of Fire Farm near Redfield and stood through a ceremony, hacked with others at a walk and then schooled some xc jumps in the melee that a group of schooling foxhunters tends to be. He kept his head admirably and jumped some biggish hanging logs in good style and with confidence. Then stood at the trailer with hay and water with the other horses like a trooper while we brunched. Very very good day.
We took what was planned to be a quiet hack tonight, but he was a bit happy to go and a bit of a handful. He settled near the end.
Getting much more confident. Learned about ditches today and we both had a lot of fun.
Walk, trot and canter in groups on a hack. He did very well.
Had a dressage school, working on connection and transitions. Just focusing on basics. Went well.