|finally, a dragged arena!|
I started him on the circle at the trot since he's been getting worried about missing his left lead and starts to suck back from going forward at all. Once we'd trotted around, I asked for the canter and bam--left lead first time! His canter was a little harder to work with this way since it's his bad side. He was bulging out in his neck and I had to really push him into a bigger canter to keep his head from curling in too much. However, he was trying to work with me and wasn't getting fussy about it. The first time over the jump, I turned him too late and ran him right into the base of the jump, but he gamely went over. He landed on the right lead so I asked him to trot then pick up the left again and he got it the first time again! After that, it went pretty smoothly.
Another walk break, then the left canter again to go over the 2'3 vertical. He was a friggin' superstar. Didn't rush, didn't overreact jumping it, just went right over like an old pro. I know they're tiny baby jumps, but I'm starting to look at it like, "There's still two more months until our first event!" instead of, "Oh, shit. There's only two more months to our first event!"
We finished off by going over the 2'3 vertical, cantering out alll the way to the rail to the outside of the cone (he likes to dive in as soon as he lands), then turning and jumping the 2' vertical on the circle. It wasn't great, but he was being honest and trying hard given the difficulty of the exercise for a still sometimes Baby Horsie. His canter got a little discombobulated so it wasn't great going up to the second jump and he was lugging out to the right like crazy when jumping, but we only did it three times before calling it quits.
|BM's dogs enjoying the 60* weather.|
Robert was put in charge of being the calming influence. The palomino--Sunny--just turned four today and this was only his third or fourth trail ride so he was a little nervous. He behaved himself very well though until the very end when we were head back up the hill to the barn and he started doing baby rears and bucks in place because his mean mom wouldn't let him take off the rest of the way. Bobby got put in the lead in front of Sunny whose nose was then buried into Bobby's backside to chill him out.
Bobby is the bomb dot com on trail rides. He can lead, bring up the rear, or go in the middle. He stands still while the other horses leave him. He'll keep walking on the buckle when the other horses trot off, and he'll turn around and go in the other direction without a second thought. Plus, he's amazing sure-footed for such a big, gangly galump. I've never had a single problem with him going up or down hills. Red spent the first whole year of retraining going down hills sideways because he had no clue what he was supposed to be doing with his feet.
Anyway, there you have it. I can finally say that this horse is headed firmly in the right direction and I'm helping him get there. Go Bobby!