Since life has gotten in the way of riding for the last few weeks, Charmer had gotten almost 2 weeks off. So of course our ride started out sassy. His stride length was approximately two inches long, and all of his energy just wanted to blow up. When we cantered, every stride was this funny little bounce and I could practically hear him saying "I just want to buck so bad". But he did his best to be a good horse and only threw one little baby buck - and I couldn't help but laugh at it. After about 10 minutes, he finally settled down and got a good rhythm going.
We worked on a fun little exercise of trot poles and canter poles, and he definitely started out putting extra strides in, or speeding up to make the distance, but after a while he settled, and thought about his feet and lifted instead of getting long and flat, and it felt great!
There is a functional animal in there somewhere, I know it! I am working really hard to find it. He is really getting a lot of great moments, and as we start stringing them all together, he is going to be such a rockstar.
We rode in our arena one other time this week, and then I was helping out at the barn I train at this weekend, so Charmer got to tag along on Saturday, and we had a lesson in the afternoon.
He has been pretty excitable in the pasture lately, and at the beginning of our rides. This is probably to do with his feed change - we have changed him over to alfalfa hay since he has been having so much trouble keeping weight on, and I recently changed his grain to a higher fat and protein content, but I think his excitement has much more to do with the hay change. We have also finally gotten into true fall weather, meaning that it is getting colder, and I'm sure that has something to do with his fiestyness lately as well.
He warmed up okay for the lesson. He felt a little tight in his left hind, but that is the leg that always tends to be a little short, and when trainer looked, she said my hips were twisted as well, which probably contributed to how weird it felt. Once she got me sitting straight, it all felt 100x better. Charmer still felt like a little ball of fire though. He hasn't had any problems with horses running up next to him or behind him in over 6 months now, but he took advantage of a horse cantering up from behind to start to bolt and throw a hard buck. I let it slide because I figured he was just feeling a little exuberant.
Then we went down a 5 stride line of tiny cavalettis and Charmer bolted through them. We tried again, the other direction, and the same thing happened. So we cantered on a 20-ish meter circle for about 5 minutes while Charmer settled and pulled it together. I felt bad for the poor two other ladies that were lessoning with us. I knew this was going to be one of Charmer's "days". He definitely took up most of the attention of the lesson, but it actually ended up being less extra time than I thought he might take.
Trainer CP asked if I wanted to get off and lunge, and I simply responded with, "honestly I would rather just stay on and work through it. His antics aren't scaring me, and I feel like its easier to work through when I'm on top rather than on the ground". I'm pretty sure I surprised just about everyone in the arena, including myself, with that response. That would not have been my response a year ago. I would have been like "I'M OUT! See ya!". That was just another moment where I realized how much my confidence has grown lately, but more on that in another post.
Charmer got a significant portion of the ants out of his pants, and we just started jumping with everyone else. Charmer's antics really don't intimidate me all that much anymore, and since we can't jump at home (yet - we are working on standards though), I like to get all the practice in at lessons that I can.
Charmer felt great over the jumps. I mean, really fantastic. Even with his dumb behavior in between the fences, he really seeks the jump and eats it right up. I mean we used to have problems with the jump, and everything in the middle. Now at least we have gotten the jump part together!
We can't leave out his pretty glorious dolphin leaping though. It was pretty entertaining. He came back almost every time within a minute or so, but it was funny nonetheless.
We had some really great jumps, but after nearly every one he had to take at least 5 strides of being stupid. I think at some point, it was just out of habit more than actually him feeling like he needed to bolt off.
|One of my new favorites|
He's got some pretty cute form over fences now, even if he is kind of weird after them sometimes. And of course, in the last five minutes of the lesson, his stupidity had to catch up with him somehow...
You see that? Yeah, that is his shoe. Right front to be exact. And of course Mr. Sensitive cannot handle life without shoes, so he is currently having his foot packed, loaded with cotton, stuffed into a diaper, and wrapped in vet wrap until Farrier can come out and fix it.
You see that piece of the shoe on the far right of this picture. Yeah, that part of the shoe is perpendicular to the camera, so as you can see, he really mangled it up when he pulled it. I have decided that Farrier doesn't get this shoe back. I think I'm going to have to hang it on the wall or something, because Charmer really made art out of this thing.