Bobby was in sleepy snuggle mode when I walked in, but his entire left side was covered in dry pee, including under his chin, so I was like, "Um, pass, you dirty goat." After I got him slightly less disgusting, I indulged him and we had a good head rub and ear tug.
There was enough wet snow still on the ground that things were pretty slippery. As much as I wanted to go out and spend two hours on trail, I had to nix the idea and instead we did our first conditioning work of the year. Almost as much fun, if only because it wasn't arena work. The field we worked in has mowed paths that make a big triangle. We "walked" the short side, "trotted" the long side where the ground rolls up and down, and then turned and did a "slow" canter uphill on the opposite long side. We did three sets.
Our walk was a jig, our trot varied between extended and lengthened, and our slow canter featured prancing leaps and the occasional test of brakes--as in, "Hey, rider lady. Do you know how to pull the E brake? Let's see!"
|bobby did this move while cantering...|
|and this move. (pics are my former pygmy baby mable. aww!)|
I never felt like he was out of control, and I never felt like I was going to get dumped or run off with. I kept a firm grip on my breastplate and let him do his thing. Cheekiness aside, he was on the bit the entire time and I could feel how round and up his back was under me. (I will say that I think the trick where you practice your trot lenthenings in an open field was patented by an eventer doing condionting work.) When we were done, I bridged my reins in one hand, stuck the other in my pocket, and he marched home perfectly polite and still perfectly connected through his entire body. A great way to spend forty minutes.
|long walk home.|
His canter is still a little wild. We spent most of it working on slowing down off the seat without breaking into the trot. He curls behind the bit and tries to lean on me when we're having this discussion, but unfortunately for him, I spent six years riding a horse who lived on his forehand and it's one of the few issues I am completely confident in kicking in the ass. When we were done, he was going on a circle carrying himself with a soft rein. Sucker.
We ended with the first full run-throughs of Novice B and Training A. Novice B was a little hairy at parts, but by the time we moved on to Training A, he had his brain in gear and did a relatively nice test.
Here's the thing about Bobby. He has his Baby Horsie moments at home, he can cop an attitude, and he can be a downright ass when he doesn't want to do something, but when we're at shows, he is one hundred percent business. He has no interest in fooling around. He's there to do his job, he's intense in his concentration, and he's a little bit of a show off. He sees the tack starting to come out and he won't even take a cookie. He just stands there like a statue until it's time to go. He was in competition mode for Training A.
|not a face that says, "i'm fancy."|
I can't wait to start showing again.
|waiting for him to finish drying off, hence the sweat marks.|
such an unfortunate looking dude.