Austin the good man

It was about 9 when I arrived. He was about to go out in the pasture, which he knew because he already had his supermask on. Despite this, he walked over to me when he saw me with the halter and went willingly with me to the barn. Awwwww…

I groomed him and fed him cookies, tacked up and headed out on the trail. We went down the owl trail, back up the marathon trail up the hill, to the first hazard in the woods at the top of the hill, down the crazy trail (that I can’t believe people drive their horses on!) to the lower hazard off the hay field, cantered around the hay field using both leads equally, then went back up the crazy trail in walk. Then we followed the marathon trail to the south, a lot of it in canter, which went well. We walked the last 3/4 mile home. He gets stuck to the left sometimes and doesn’t want to volunteer to bend right. Other than that, he’s pretty well a treat. We both had a nice time.

Hack with Charlie

Charlie is our foxhunting specialist and it is time for him to get legged up for the season. Magee rode him and I rode Luke on a hack to the ghost barn. I had Luke lead most of the time because he needs more experience being brave. Though his favorite thing is to be behind the rider’s leg, he is getting better about it and managed quite well. Went about 3.5 miles. Good day.

Magee test ride

I rode Eliot and Magee rode Luke on a hack out. I do this once in a while to see how he goes for someone else and get feedback and a different perspective. We did about 2 miles in the buffer strip of walk, trot and canter. He got behind the leg a bit at times, but for the most part they got along well.

Pippa has a day of it

Pippa was out grazing when I arrived and she let herself be caught and settled into the cross ties just fine. After grooming, I did some in hand work and she seemed to be a little stiff to the left, but she improved and cooperated just fine. Then I got in the tack. She backed up about 5 steps when asked to go forward, but she eventually went. Her walk work was usual, a little behind the leg, but came around. Trot was pretty good actually, and then we did some sidepassing, which went quite well.

In canter work, she was kicking out at the pile of jump rails in their holder. Every time we would go by she would kick at it and land bucking. She got over herself, but it was a little unusual. She settled in and we had some good canter work. Then we went out for a hack. A friend was walking with my dogs ahead of us, which Pippa thought was interesting no end. She walked along fine. When we got to the other side of the cornfield, something (nothing any of the humans or Lottie discerned) scared her and she whirled 180 degrees and did a leap and buck that nearly got me off. I was none too impressed and when she settled I was very glad. I did not punish her because she did stop quickly and she must have been scared of something to do that. It just isn’t in her nature.

We walked back to the arena and did some walk, trot and canter work, which went well.

I can only think that, since she is two years old, her young brain just gets overwhelmed with too many stimuli. I will be more thoughtful with what I present to her.

Cantering over the field driveways

Luke is getting stronger and more fit and it was a beautiful morning this morning. Out we went for a solo hack. We actually had a nice mile walk to start out, just focusing on him coming over his back and through to the bit without bracing. When he got on board with that, we did some trot work, including trotting over the field driveways from the highway to the field. When you trot them from the ditch, the make a nice balance exercise.

Then we did a fair amount of cantering, about half a mile, took a walk break, and then cantered over the driveways, where he managed to stay in balance, take a nice one stride across the top and keep the tempo appropriate. Very good. Rinse and done for the day.

A bit tight

Another morning ride as we had to leave for WI by mid-morning. We went out for a hack and had a fair amount of discussion concerning staying in front of my leg and staying soft in his poll. We came to a polite agreement halfway through the ride and things got much more enjoyable for both of us.

He really is a lovely soul.

Pippa comes to Field Day

Jon and Margaret brought Pippa over to Field Day for a roadtrip experience. It was also the maiden experience for the new trailer, so exciting times all around. Pippa and Lottie unloaded well and settled into the washrack just fine. We tacked up and road in the indoor.

Pippa thought it was pretty strange that she was in an arena and could see outside as well, but dealt with that pretty well. She was suprised a time or two by Luke moving outside, and had a big shy at that, but she recovered well. Then I got off and held onto her reins while I opened the overhead door, which, like many horses, she thought was pretty scary. However, she got over it as I walked her through it several times. Then I got on and walked her through it and she did fine.

Lottie and Margaret and Pippa and I then went on a hack around the pasture. The traffic was whizzing by on the state highway, but she was mostly non-reactive to it – just lent it an ear for some of the louder traffic, but didn’t react.

At one point she sniffed a log jump and then put her hoof on it, which knocked some bark off it and scared her. She whirled 180 degrees, but recovered quickly. Funny girl.

Then we hacked back in, untacked and loaded her back into the trailer with no problem. Great day.

Beautiful day for a hack

We rode in the beautifully cool morning. It was in the low 70s with low humidity at 9 a.m. We hacked down the owl trail to Peterson Park and went east to the bridge. We stepped over a few downed branches from the recent winds. Then we went into the meadow and did some canter work, which went very well after I convinced him that right lead really was a requirement sometimes. Very nice day.

Luke gets adjusted

Postural rebalancer Al Garcia came out to work on my horses, so we added Luke to the list. Al found that Luke’s 2nd cervical vertebra was twisted right, his right jaw was out of alignment and his left shoulder was down. Luke seemed to enjoy his adjustment and let out a big sigh several times. I’ll give him tomorrow off to let things settle.

More goodness

When I arrived, Margaret had Pippa in the cross ties and groomed. Nice! I tacked up and went out and did some in hand work which went very well. Then into the tack and walking around the grassy areas around the sand ring, which went well. Then some more formal work in the ring, with serpentines, sidepassing and some light canter work, which went well with only a few exceptional strides for bucks. Her canter felt more balanced than it did just last week. Very nice. It is interesting how these young horses develop in plateaus and bounds.

Then we went out for a walk hack around the corn field, which went well. Then Margaret got on and rode her around in the arena, which went well.