Since I haven’t written about my adventures with the foster horses in a few weeks so I thought I’d devote a post to them.
I haven’t been back on Amber since that terrible ride I wrote about here https://pacesandtails.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/one-of-those-rides-the-sequel/. Originally I was planning on just riding Quinn once, but then we had such a nice ride that I rode him again last week, and then again on Monday. Also, the vet was coming out last week to give Amber a look over to see if there was any medical reason for her odd behaviour so I wanted to wait until I heard the results just incase. The good news, is that there’s nothing wrong with her! The vet thinks that maybe she released a large egg this cycle and it caused her some discomfort (forgive my terminology, I’m used to geldings!).
As I’ve mentioned before, after my show with Corona on May 19, I was having a bit of a pity party for myself and feeling a bit down about my riding capabilities based on his behaviour in the ring. I wasn’t really looking forward to riding Quinn the next day, but I felt obliged to go out since I hadn’t been able to get out there the previous week. I tacked Quinn up and took him to one of the outdoor rings for the first time. The ring is right at the front of TB’s property, directly in front of her front porch, but there’s lots of trees and bushes hiding the front porch so it’s not terribly obvious if someone is sitting outside watching you. I was having a great ride, doing lots of figures, working on flexion, leg yields and transitions and Quinn was being fabulous. Out of the bushes I heard TB yell, “he looks great! Very springy! Are you going to canter him?” I guess she had been watching the entire time and I didn’t even know. We cantered left and did a couple laps of the ring and some circles, but I couldn’t get him to pick up his right lead no matter what I tried. This is now my mission with him – right lead canter. I actually don’t think anyone has got it with him based on my understanding from TB but she assures me that she’s seen him canter right in his field so he can do it.
After I’d finished up, TB came over and reiterated how good Quinn looked and how my aids were bang on the entire time and how impressed she was. I would have been flattered on a good day, but I think with the self-doubt that had crept up from the show the day before, this was exactly the kind of pep-talk I needed!
As a cool down, I took Quinn up to the big field at the back of TB’s property where she has some x-country jumps and galloping track. We had to negotiate some horse-eating monsters (haying equipment), but it was a nice change of scenery. It was really humid that day and the track went by the forest so the bugs were insane. We had to turn back early because both Quinn and I were absolutely covered in mosquitos despite our bug spray.
I rode Quinn again on Monday night and we had another fantastic ride. He was feeling pretty good and was full of beans compared to his normal self. We have some more training to do at the “mounting block” as it took about 5 minutes of positioning and repositioning before I could get on. In the outdoor rings, there aren’t “real” mounting blocks the way there are in the arena. I was trying to use an upside down milk crate so I think that had something to do with it. Every time I’d move the crate beside him, Quinn would step away with his hind end or back up. I thought maybe he needed some time to investigate the crate, so I let him have a good sniff and mouth it. Eventually, I was able to get on and I decided to include some standing still work into our lesson.
After our ride, TB asked me if it would be ok for her to take some photos next time I rode Quinn. She wants to get on with marketing him to his forever home as he really is ready. It would be sad to see him go, but also a happy occasion and what the whole point of this is. I know that he could make someone a wonderful partner, and also it would mean another horse in need could then come to TB’s.