I brought Leo in and tacked him up. He was surprisingly clean for this time of year! I cleaned his hooves and noted they were recently trimmed, but didn’t think anything of it. I tacked up and fed cookies and played with him, then set out across the gravel in front of the barn and down the road. He was very lethargic! I wondered if he was sick, actually. I turned him around after about 50 yards and came back to the barn. Cindy took his temperature and we both gave him a good once-over. His expression was bright and playful and he was interested in everything. We concluded he had sore hooves from the trim. Dang.
Then I brought Tag in and after grooming and tacking took him out to maybe ride with Jenny Mlosic who was riding by. I got on him outside and it was like his nerves were outside his skin. He actually did a mini bolt (for like 5 strides, but it was enough for me to think better of a trail ride without some ring work first at least.) I got off, took him in the indoor and had a lunging session and it took him a surprising amount of time to settle, considering that he had been allowed to run around in the indoor before tacking and really didn’t do much. Silly guy. So I got on in the indoor and had a good session. Sorry I did not get a picture. Boo.
Next up was Elsa. I tacked her up while she mugged for cookies like this:
She is quite hysterical. We went out and had a fairly long hack out in the DNR. During it we did some work on staying on pace on a more slack rein, which went well. Here’s some walk work in teh woods:
Beautiful day. Larry on Leo and I on Elsa went out for a hack. Elsa was really clean considering the mud in the paddock and she is fully committed to spring shedding as evidenced by the floor after grooming.
I thought I took a picture of her cute face, but alas I did not.
On our ride we walked down the hill to the end of the road, had a little interaction with the funny black dog with the white feet down there, and trotted back up the hill. Elsa was ready to go and Larry and Leo were enjoying each other.
We continued our ride past the barn and on, in walk, trot and canter to the Dalandar cemetary and then a little jaunt further south to the pavement. On the way home Larry was working on right lead canter and ended with some lovely work. My picture does not do it justice.Elsa was a little on her toes for the first part of the ride, but came around nicely at the end. We walked home from the T intersection. A lovely day.
Leo was very happy to come in from the mud we are experiencing today and he was also hitting me up big time for cookies. I groomed him and tacked up and we headed down the road while the sun was still out.
The footing on the road down the the river was by turns muddy and almost icy, but no problem for Mr. Surefoot. We walked down and trotted back up.
Then we trotted and cantered over to the cemetery, which he enjoyed very much.
Heading home just as the sun goes down.
Tag came in with pretty muddy legs so I cracked out the hose and hosed them off. It was about 50 degrees, which felt warm to us all. At least he will get to have clean legs for the overnight and tomorrow the mud should start to dry up. I rode him in the indoor with Kelly and Elsa. We did a lot of walking to warm up and then a lot of stretching in trot and then on to canter, in which he was a little fresh to start out. I let him have a bit of a play and then we got down to work and he did very well!
I brought him in and he was very eager to interact, and made many cookie faces like the above. I groomed him and remarked to myself that he looks very good – shiny and in a good weight for winter. That said, the girth was a bit of a challenge to attach, he’s in plenty weight.
We went out on a hack around the prairie including a spin around the hickory grove in the twilight. He was very good other than not wanting to stop a few times, but I could not fault him too much since I know all the horses are a little fresh after what I am assuming was time off during the very cold weather.
He gave me a couple of very round, slow dolphin bucks on the far side of the prairie when we were cantering. Nothing to worry about – just feeling good! Sadly, did not get it on video.
From the moment I haltered him and brought him in, it was evident that he was excited to have some fun. He was a funny goofball in the crossties, mugging for cookies. We tacked up and went down the road to the river at a walk.
Then we trotted back up the hill and he was swinging along exuberantly. Then we went out in the prairie and did some trot and canter work on the way to and in the hickory grove. We jumped the logs on the ground a few times and then moved on to the log pile to the barrels, which went really well.
Then we hacked around the prairie in trot and canter:
Though I wasn’t quick enough to get video of them, we walked home with a seven deer escort!
I brought him in and took his blanket off and noticed this:
Yep, that be a blanket rip. This stuff really works great if you are interested.
I tacked him up and played some games with him, including “where is the cookie?” for which I got this face:
I I rode him in the indoor with Kelly on Elsa. After a long walk warmup, we did some transition work and some lateral work, including turn on the forehand, which he is good at, and turn on the hindquarters, on which he could teach a class. Well done. I did pick up a whip and install a little “more for free” in his walk and the second stride after the canter depart, and he picked it up quickly. He did very well and we both had a good time.
Thanks to the wonder of iPhone, this picture makes it look brighter than it actually was…
The sun is sinking pretty early this time of year and by the time I got in the tack with Leo, it was a bit beyond sundown. Regardless of the dark it was a lovely evening as November goes, so I proceeded for a walk hack down the road toward the river. It was very peaceful. He’s a little tender on the gravel so we stayed on the edges.
Then we went for a hack around the prairie in all gaits, followed by taking his bridle off and letting him graze some of the grass in the meadow.
I tacked up and Kelly on Elsa and Leo and I went for a dusky ride around the prairie, stopping for some trot and canter work in the hickory grove where he was quite good. Then we hacked around the rest of the paths.
It was a breezy and cool evening which makes one wonder if winter can be far behind. For some reason I could not find his bridle so I borrowed Elsa’s and modified the size. They take essentially the same bit. We warmed up in the arena and he was stellar. We went for a hack around the meadow twice, which a fair amount of trot and canter, but some walk thrown in for good measure. He never missed his right lead tonight and was happy to go. The only catch tonight was that he thought the below patch of fountain grass was haunted. He did go by it but he was highly suspect. Good man. He also extorted a lot of peppermints out of me with his cute face.