It does fill up when it gets cold and rainy, but I have a feeling that's what it's going to do from now on. With the warm weather we've been having lately, even with three solid days of hopping over jumps and trail riding, his leg has been as tight as it gets.
On Sunday and Monday, we stayed in the arena. Only two pairs of jump standards have been hauled back into the ring since it got its new footing, and being too lazy to muscle the doors open and drag those behemoths back in myself, I made do with what was there.
I warmed him up over a little 2' vertical on the quarter line first. I was expecting serious dramatics to be honest. He hadn't jumped in a month, and the last time he did jump it was a mix of 3'3" stadium jumps and big ass cross country fences.
Bobby, however, was apparently possessed by some drugged up Hunter horse who lopes along without changing rhythm and maybe even needs some leg to move up for the distance.
|very enthusiastically waiting to go for a trail ride.|
I added in the other vertical on the center line set at 3' with the same result, and then looped between the two for awhile. We chipped once to the 2' because I didn't add enough leg (since when is that a thing?!), but that was literally the only bobble.
It was very weird. Awesome, but weird. Hunter Horse Bobby is ready for your show debut, Lauren.
Monday was a repeat performance, only this time I'd crossed my stirrups for the entire ride. I trotted the 2' jump first out of chickenness only to have Bobby actually just trot right over it and continue trotting away after. That ended up being more uncomfortable than cantering the stupid thing, so we stuck with loping quietly over jumps for awhile before finishing off with a trail ride.
|i'll take this weather in november every year!|
Yesterday I decided there was no way I could jump in the ring again when it was 70* and sunny outside, and my horse lives in a giant pasture filled with mini cross country fences.
Bobby has also been getting very stuck in the right lead canter during our dressage rides, and while that lead has been beautiful after he's cleared a few jumps, I thought I could do a good strong flat ride out in the field and work on getting him forward and softer with the allure of the great outdoors.
|so fast. much dressaging.|
Bobby marched out into the field and immediately tried to go shooting off while I adjusted my stirrups. Bad britches. I got him walking and trotting normally without much effort, had a perfectly decent left lead canter, and then tried for the right.
Bobby threw out some of his favorite evasions--swinging his rib cage out the opposite way I wanted it, putting his head on sideways and bending his neck the wrong way, and hollowing out his back to better optimize teeny tiny tense steps.
I let him do whatever he wanted with his giant lug head which meant his ears were often above my helmet, but whatever. Instead I focused on moving his haunches around where I wanted them, and eventually he lowered his head on his own (see the floppy reins in the video below) and deigned to go to work.
He did get to do some jumping to celebrate, and then a few more jumps just because before I took him out back and let him have a gallop around the conditioning field.
Not so exciting rumpus video:
Despite him being a little cheeky out in the field, it was nice to feel a little fire from him again. I'll take the kick ride in the arena any day of the week, but there's nothing more fun than having your horse take you to the fences out on cross country--going sideways because brain hurt and tiny fences included.
We finished the ride with some no stirrup rising trot and canter in the ring to make sure his brain was back in his head, and then a long bath to wash the sweat and dried pee off of him. I'm going to have to clip him for the third time already today or tomorrow. I don't know why he thinks growing a full winter coat back in after two weeks is a good idea when it's been in the high sixties and low seventies lately.