With the days getting longer though, I've found myself with a little extra time now that my rides with Banner have been short & sweet. Its been perfect timing for continuing to bring Charms back into work. I've been trying to hit a lesson with him for the last few weeks but the stars just haven't aligned for that to work out yet. I've managed to maintain a good 3 days a week with him for the last few weeks (although sometimes it's just been lunging instead of riding) and I'm pretty thrilled about how he's feeling.
I'm working on having a soft connection with him so he maintains a softer mouth as I bring him back & so far its been working really well! We have established a solid walk/trot/canter again both ways (although hes definitely stiffer to the right, which unfortunately is my bad way too) & are getting some lovely moments in all the gaits. Bringing him back is reminding me of so many memories with him and I'm loving it. I'm not really sure how to describe it in a way that really makes sense, but getting back on Charmer always feels like "home". I just know his tack & his gaits & his quirks like they're a part of me.
Yesterday I decided to step it up a notch and bring some jumps back into the mix! We started off with a pole obviously and he was comically bored by it. When we cantered the pole I had a moment where I expected him to do something dumb & stopped supporting him and he broke to the trot like the perfect child that he is. I get all in my head about jumping in general, but for some reason with Charmer its worse (probably partly because his bascule jumps me out of the tack 80% of the time). I finally laughed it off, got my head screwed on straight & jumped him like I know what I'm doing and he was a super good kiddo.
We started off with a teeny crossrail and he was great! Slightly awkward over some of the jumps because we were trotting them and they were so little, but he was quiet and an appropriate amount of forward for the fences. Raised it to a slightly bigger crossrail and he was fantastic to the left, but got a bit more strung out/wild to the right. Our neighbors horse came over to observe & he was distracted (he could see her going right but not going left) and it is naturally already his worse direction (stiff in his right hip). Managed to settle him down enough for one final good jump after a few slightly extra excited ones going to the right, and ended on a lovely jump back to the left.
|Large BOING for little crossrail|
There is one more show of our winter series on March 14th & I'm tentatively hoping to bring both of the kids to that. I need to get Charmer back up to jumping about 2'3" in order to take him (that's the height that the morning classes start) & I need Banner to get out of his weird funk of just randomly being a jerk for no real reason at all. Both of those things are definitely feasible goals if I can get my life together enough to really pursue them.
Hopefully I'll keep up on blogging (one of my goals for this year!) & keep you guys posted on if I get Charmer back up to height & Banner back to normal soon!