Saturday, he also had the day off, but I did get on Pilot. After tweaking his leg in the paddock, he's had a couple of weeks off to recuperate. I rode him Thursday as well--that time just doing w/t in the indoor to assess soundness. Yesterday, we went up to the outdoor and worked on such strenuous things as steering, and going straight, and being more forward than a dead slug.
|flowers! so much more exciting than paying attention!|
Pilot's such a good-natured dude who doesn't put up a fuss about much of anything that it's easy to forget how unbelievably green he is. We spent a lot of time doing figures all around the ring, trying to get him to listen to my legs for steering, but having to give several "Hellooo down there! We're about to run into the fence!" tugs on the reins. It doesn't help that he has to gawp at everything around him. I also had to use every muscle in my body to get him to go forward. Pony club kicks, saddle humping, arm flapping, you name it--it all came into play at one point. Who wants to go forward when you can watch other horses instead? The baby brain is a magical thing.
Part of his problem is that someone must have taught him early on that if he frames up, he's good to go. So when I nag him enough that he tunes in, he curls his head up and then gets pissy if I keep asking him to go forward. False framing isn't going to get you out of work, dude!
|he does try though. he'll be a dressage pony eventually.|
Today, I recruited Hubby to go up to the xcountry field with me. Unfortunately, the majority of the jumps have been torn up by joint effort from bears and horses, but there were a couple of little logs that were Pilot sized. Hubby got on Bobby western (and booted) to chaperon us. Once Bobby escorted us across the tiny stream, Pilot took over and marched up the hill on a loose rein, taking everything in with a big, forward stride but no snorting or tension at all.
|how cute is he?|
We broke off from Bobby once we got to the top and explored by ourselves. He stayed alert but relaxed--not bad for a 4yo who's never been up there, never been on a trail ride, and never had to go off by himself in a strange area before.
I eventually had Hubby and Bobby lead us over the tiniest jump in the field--a little branch. We walked over each way once before Bobby put the parking brake on and we were left to do it ourselves.
|ain't no thing.|
I moved him up to the cherry log beside the branch next. He was extremely impressed by it and launched his front half while barely remembering to bring his back half along at the last second.
|"what are my back legs supposed to be doing?!"|
I know my position leaves a lot to be desired, but I'm glad I took such a defensive back seat because he popped his head up so high on landing that he almost cracked me in the face even with how far I was sitting back--I had mane up my nose!
|blurry, but hubby killed the camera almost directly after this. AGAIN.|
We went over the log a few more times before trotting up and down some of the steeper terrain and calling it quits. He's out of shape and his baby brain is easily distracted, so I didn't want to push my luck and end up making him sour. I think he enjoyed himself though.
|bobby wasn't sure if he was jealous of his lack of|
participation or not.
Everyone gets tomorrow off. Bobby is going to go back out with the boot on his RF for a few more days before trying completely barefoot again. Hopefully that will make him less sore. Poor dude.