|bobby looking none to pleased with his dressage braids for his hunter show.|
Before any of this though, I worked both boys. I still haven't found a blemish on Red, but I think he's enjoying our comprimise. He waits very patiently while I groom him and Bobby, then starts nodding his head like he does when he wants something while I tack Bobby up. He crosses over to Bobby's right side by himself as soon as we get out of the barn and stands patiently while I drop my stirrups and mount. I think he really enjoys getting out of his stall or just standing in his pasture and being a part of the fun ponying game.
I rode around the usual four fields, but each day I mix up which sides we walk, trot, or canter (on Bobby's part) on. So yesterday Bobby cantered one side of two different fields, trotted four sides, and walked the rest. Today, he trotted four sides, cantered three, and walked the rest. Red chose not to do a slow canter while Bobby cantered. Red's stride is twice as long even though Bobby is much taller. (Which is another reason it is so strange that he was doing such a slow, pokey canter under saddle--back pain from the saddle being too wide?) Instead, he chose to do a lovely floaty extended trot while Bobby loped along, ears up, easily keeping pace.
Bobby is much better to canter out in the fields than in the narrow arena. I've been keeping my stirrups long so that I can practice sitting the canter and I feel like we're both starting to figure each other out. I've been keeping the image of drawing my heels back to his hocks and I kind of grip with my calves a little bit to keep them there. My legs aren't swinging so I know I'm not gripping with my knees which I tend to do when I'm tense. I'm also really following him with my seat, but keeping my upper body very still. I'm happy with how I'm riding the canter, and I might even be helping him out some. I'll practice in the arena in the next few days.
After we were done with field work, I loosened Bobby's girth, took off his bridle, and put him in his stall to have a chance to drink while I hosed off Red and turned him out. Since it was soo muggy outside, I decided not to ride in the arena afterwards. Instead, I lunged Bobby for five minutes at the trot in each direction with side reins on. I really want him to build up his topline and neck so that I can get him to flex at the poll and bring his chin in a little. I think it will help him not be so strung out all the time. Big horse woes. Sigh. He got bathed, braided, and put in his stall with a big pile of hay to munch on while I did all my show readying.
I gave Joe a grooming when I was done with everything. I left the stall door open enough for him to stick his head out (with the chain up), but he was content to just stand there while I curried and brushed him. He wasn't as good with his feet today. He was fine with his back feet, but for his RF, he didn't want to hold it up for me. I dropped it once when he laid down (literally), but I persisted the second time and even though he was pulling a little and wiggling, I finally got it picked out and gave him a peppermint. He was good for the show sheen this time and munched on the bottle while I brushed out his tail. I managed to get his bridle path done, but he's definitely a little head shy. I had to sneak the scissors in in between showing him how nice it feels to get your ears scratched. I'm going to bring a disposable razor to trim his muzzle since I don't think he's quite ready for the clippers yet. He needs his ears trimmmed, too.
I gave him Bobby's hanging jolly ball that Fran had given me when she put Pick Off down since Bobby pays it zero attention. Joe thought it was a great toy and even though it was a little scary at first, he came around quickly and gave it some good bites and tosses.
|"don't watch me check out this scary thing in case i freak out and embarrass myself."|
|"did you just move?!"|