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.
Kelly and Elsa, and Leo and I started with some flatwork in the arena. We started a little late because we helped catch Moondancer who decided to go on a trot about the property and was having a grand time of it.
Leo was a little slow off the leg in his lateral work, especially leg yield to the left, but he got better and better with patient work. As a result of that suppling, the right lead canter was very nice.
Then the four of us went out on a hack to the cemetery. He was delightful. His tempo and rhythm are a treat to ride and we all had a wonderful time! Afterwards he got a nice rinse. I offered him a chance to roll in the arena, but he was more into going into his stall and having supper, which I couldn’t argue with!
It was a beautiful evening for a hack out and we started with a brisk walk down and trot back up the hill. Then we did canter work in the meadow, including walk canter, which is a really good exercise for him in muscle building and might be good for you for really learning about positioning the horse’s body for depart. He did very well.
Then we hacked in the hickory grove and he mentioned that he would like to eat the thistle flowers on the way home. Some horses love them!
I rode him out with Kristen on Sif. She needed to work on her horse leaving another horse on a trail ride and her horse being left by another horse on a trail ride, so we got a lot of trotting and cantering in, as well as waiting around while she went away, during which Leo got to eat some nice prairie grass.
In our forays away, we addressed right lead canter, which is a little harder for him, so he tends to ignore the aid for it as if he doesn’t hear. Probably a fitness thing. It works to put him in haunches in, or one could think to remember to use the outside leg to hold the haunches steady. Attention to keeping the outside seat bone back also helps.