Yesterday was not so much of a pony day as a do-everything-else day. I did drag Hubby along to the barn, but it was to work a little more on the cross country course. He fixed the zig-zag fence, the ladder fence, and the ditch. Then we built a new jump. We were going to make it an oxer, but the logs we're using are just way to wide for the level of everyone in the barn so we left it as a hanging log.
|heights from left: 2', 2'6, 2', 3'|
|2'6 for all--they're set on a slope|
|digging out the posts in the ditch|
|tah dah! boards that lay flat!|
|hubby's fancy xcountry knot.|
|the new jump-2'7|
Here is Hubby pole dancing/ packing down the dirt:
To make sure you get your pony picture fix for the day at least, here are a few of the wild herd that were helping us:
|Benny and Diesel|
After slaving away (Ha! Maybe on Hubby's part!) under the brutal heat and sun (it was seriously 85 degrees yesterday), we took the hounds down the the Covered Bridge Festival in Elysburg where there were actually no covered bridges to be found. It was a craft fair sort of thing and we made out like bandits for under $20--homemade icecream, kettle corn, honey sticks, a cat nip toy for the Fat Cat, and way too many dog treats for the girls.
Today, I rode both Red and Spyder. I had a really fabulous ride on Red in the indoor. I worked mostly on myself today which obviously helped Red go better. My main focus was just keeping my hands picked up and kept apart; I tend to let them rest on his withers/neck and keep them clenched together. I don't know why, but it's obviously a really bad habit. Red went well because of it and was actually bringing his chin in without having a nervous meltdown and dropping his back to the ground. He also picked up his right lead the first time during warm up and even though he broke to a trot during one of our circles because his shoulder was dropping to the ground, I gave him a tap with the dressage whip and he leapt back into it.
I ran through the Novice A test once. I love how much easier it is than BN B! I almost feel surprised when we're done because there's no drama involved from either Red or I during the whole thing! He did miss his right lead the first time I asked for it during the test, but he got it the second time and he did the rest of the test super well. That was definitely the first time in a loong time I've finished a dressage test smiling. Now, as long as I don't psych myself out going cross country, we might consider our Novice debut something to look forward to!
|he only made it ten steps past the gate before taking a|
nosedive into the hay.
|Spyder scoping out Emily.|
Spyder (Abetter Return for those interested) was super stocked up in the hind from something that was going on with him yesterday and he took awhile to work out of it. I longed him in side reins at the walk and trot for about fifteen minutes first, then we had a good w/t ride. He is SO responsive to your seat it's crazy. I wish Red was like that! All you have to do is sit a little deeper and he either slows down or stops; sitting a bounce across the diagnol made him come back down the walk until I gave him a cluck and a squeeze when I did it the next few times and he figured it out.
He's the type of horse that really wants to please you and tries really hard to understand what you're asking, but he is only five and he's only been off the track for a couple of months and he's a monstrous 17 hands so if he's still as green as grass.
BO had told me Saturday that his canter was coming along really well, but I have no idea what she was talking about after trying it today. He was a hot mess. He trotted at mach speed for several strides before lucking into the canter, then proceeded to race around the arena, taking advantage of me trying not yank on his face every chance he got. I decided very quickly to "Fuck that" and worked on getting a calm, steady trot to finish things off. After several half halts that would have slowed a runaway six horse hitch, he got the idea and went around really nicely.
I rode him up the driveway back to the barn and he was totally fine. He looked around, but he wasn't tense at all and was very lah-de-dah about the whole thing. It probably wasn't much of a variation from walking back to his stall from the track. Gotta love those OTTBs!