5 rides, 4 days!

2 Apr

The Easter Bunny came and delivered lots of horse-time this past weekend!

Friday:

I went out to the Boss’ only to find the Trainer there! I thought he was going to be gone…apparently not. He’s on his way out however, and that makes me happy. He wasn’t there any other day so I can’t really complain.

I continued with my groundwork on Corona and he was great. Like last time, there was no spooking at my stick & string and we seem to be learning the cues for hindquarter and forehand yields slowly but surely. His backing up is really improving and I even got to use it in a real-life uncontrolled scenario! Flash-forward to CG and I putting the horses out after our ride…I put Corona out first with Roller and CG was bringing out one of the racehorses. Rip charged through the gate (naughty!) but CG still had the lead on him, at the same time, Roller and Corona trotted up to him and chaos was about to ensue and the teeth were barred, butts were turning, and poor CG was not in a good place. I was standing at the gate and I yelled, “CORONA! BACK UP!!” and he actually listened to me! He backed up a couple of steps and didn’t lunge at Rip, I was so proud of him and this gave me warm fuzzies that our training is paying off.

Flash back to our ride – Corona was FRESH! All the horses have the springtime sillies right now. That, combined with the melting ice/snow that cracks under their feet on the track, makes for a bit of an uppity ride. CG was working with Grace, who was also super peppy, but since I had done groundwork with Corona first, she was almost done her ride by the time Corona and I started ours. Corona was good, we didn’t do too much due to the footing, but I have no complaints.

After the Boss’s, I headed over to TB’s to have another go on Amber. I’m pleased to report that I didn’t feel the need to apologize to the poor girl afterwards! Our ride was great – it started off a bit rough, but I worked on flexion and keeping her focussed on figures just at the walk, and then only when we were getting in tune with each other did I ask her for a trot. I was also fortunate enough to ride with a girl who leases TB’s fancy dressage show horse – he was second level champion and third level reserve champion this past season, so my jaw was on the floor as I watched him work. It was really inspiring to say the least. I was really chuffed afterwards as well as TB came to see us when we were done and Laura (the rider of fancy show horse) said that Amber and I looked fantastic out there. YES!!!!!!!!

Saturday

It was a horse-less day, went out of town to my bf’s family for Easter dinner…we did see lots of horses on our drive, but I have nothing to report about them…

Sunday

Started out the day at the Boss’ with CG. Continued groundwork with Corona and he was quite good considering the wind was howling and the horses in the paddocks were running around like maniacs. I managed to get some really nice hindquarter yields which made me very happy. I’m going to be focussing on the hindquarter yields as they are key to moving on to the exercises I have in store next J

After the groundwork, I tacked him up and we joined CG and Roller on the track. I focussed on getting Corona to pay attention to me at all times and we did lots of leg yielding, turns on the forehand, turns on the hindquarters, and shoulder-in. The footing was horrid – the snow and ice was melting, but it was just falling apart in chunks and literally collapsing from under us. I was so proud of Corona however, as a couple of times he as was walking about a foot from the edge of the “iceberg” and it just slumped down under him…the look on his face was priceless, he stopped dead in his tracks and just looked at his feet to see what the heck had just happened. No spooking! By this time, there were also quite a few puddles around, so I used them to my advantage and asked him to walk through them (he has been known to be finicky about water in the past), no problem!

I did a bit of trotting but the problem with the spring sillies is that it is contagious – when one horse has it, they all have it! We asked the horses to trot, Roller decided to canter, Corona subsequently thought he was a racehorse and that was the end of Zen-Horse. I settled him down and decided to go the opposite way of CG. Temper tantrum ensued with Corona squealing like a pig and launching himself in the air. Of course this was also the exact moment the Boss and her friend began watching us. Perfect. I managed to get a nice walk out of Corona and once he relaxed again, we called it a day.

After the Boss’s, I went to TB’s for a ride on Quinn. As always, he was a dream. He stood like a rock for me to get on and then once I was on, he began his moonwalk. I did a few corrections and once he stood still for a few seconds, I asked him to go forward. We had a great ride and worked on our canter. He is good at picking up his left lead, but won’t pick up his right. TB came in at the end of our lesson and got me to do an exercise where we pick up the left lead canter, canter the long diagonal, and then right before turning the corner, we trot and ask for the right lead. I still couldn’t get the lead, but this will be a good exercise to practice. On a very positive note, TB did comment about how my hands look much better and clearly I have been practicing!

Monday

I went out to the Boss’s again for some Corona time. The weather was horrible!!! The temperature had dropped to about -3 degrees and the wind was howling. There was debris flying around and even on the drive in, I could feel the wind blowing my car around. CG was there and we were going to ride, but then she had to leave early. I debated whether to ride, do groundwork or just have a spa day with Corona (he has the springtime muddies along with the springtime sillies)…I decided to ride because I wanted to see how calm Corona was in the bad weather with no other horses around. I’m glad I did, because he was great! There were a couple of spooks at a plastic feed bag blowing around, and a flock of crows, but otherwise he was pretty good. We did a bit of trot up the long side of the track where the footing was reasonable, and continued plodding through puddles which now covered one entire short side of the track. We were only out for about 30 mins, but I was frozen…my eyes were teary from the wind and it just wasn’t pleasant.

After our ride, I gave Corona a good grooming and he really seemed to love it. He was covered head to tail in mud, except for the parts his rain sheet covers. Before our ride, I had just brushed off the dry parts which luckily were where his girth lies. By the time we had ridden, most the mud was dry and Corona seemed to enjoy the pampering.

I’m pleased to report that there was no aggression on any of the 3 days…not for tacking up, not for untacking, not for brushing, not for anything! I wish every weekend could be four days long…only 4 days until the next one!

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