Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Another extra face

Alongside playing with lesson ponies all last week, I was also officially introduced to the newest dude in the barn. Shooter's actually been here for about a month coming up from Virginia, but his mom is an ER doctor and her schedule doesn't overlap with mine so I didn't know much beyond what I was briefed by BM and from handling him for turnout. Being a doctor, J doesn't have a lot of spare time to ride Shooter, and she was looking for someone to get on him a few times a week to keep him in shape.

BM volunteered me for the task and J and I met up so she could show me how he goes and give me his full story.

i spend most of my time with him telling him
how jealous of his luscious forelock i am.

He's an eleven year old 3/4 TB 1/4 Percheron who's had dressage and eventing experience, but sadly now has neck arthritis. Despite that limitation, you can tell he's had a lot of good training put into him. It's nice to get on something that has such a solid dressage foundation and just goes and does his job. He is, however, what I would describe as insecure.

He gets a little spooky, a little distracted, but instead of it being dirty it's more like, "OMG, please hold my hand and tell me everything is okay!" Yesterday was only my second ride on him, but I think I've already got some good tricks in keeping his sensitive brain on track. Shoulder-fore on a circle helps him, and he likes his lateral work a lot.

me: let's take a good picture so i can send it to your mom!
shooter: like this?!

I'm super pleased to get the ride on him because it will help me take the pressure off of Bobby. I see jumps set out, or I pull into the driveway and see all the cross country jumps, and it gives me a bad case of grabby hands. This is the first time I've dealt with a horse that I have to take footing into serious consideration with (also probably the first time such rock hard footing has ever been a factor--stupid drought), and it's hard for me to put the brakes on fun things.

It's especially hard when said horse really wants to do the fun things, too. I tacked Bobby up in his jump tack yesterday morning and we went to the outdoor to repeat the exact same ride we had last week where he threw a tantrum, got stuck in a corner, could not horse, and went mysteriously sort of lame. Unsurprisingly he was a lovely soft creature because jump tack meant surely there were jumps coming so YAY.

bad horse.

I rewarded him with a short school and a trail ride afterwards with W where we did pop over a few jumps out back. I had to resist doing anything else because as we were walking by the jump field, Bobby not so subtly angled his way into the gate. Bobbys love the jumping, landing on cement be damned.

Today Shooter got the day off and Bobby and I went out for a leisurely trail ride.

strolling between the alfalfa

Fortunately the back fields are lush grass which means the footing is still soft and springy. We did a little course of cross country jumps a couple times for something to do. Bobby was happy to frolic around jumping whatever I pointed him at and then coming back to meander down the trails where the ground was harder.

Tomorrow Bobby will probably do such exciting things as getting his hind feet trimmed and being chucked outside after extra cookies while Shooter will get to carry the work load.


  1. Shooter is so cute! So exciting to have a new pony to play with!

  2. So good to get some extra horsing in!

  3. Lolz how do you keep collecting these majestic, elegant statuesque horses around you?!? ;)

  4. Shooter looks like a standup guy :)

  5. Cool new ride! The ground here is like cement, too. I've stopped jumping at home because I can hear pony hoofies echoing on the ground and that just... does not make me feel good about jumping!

  6. Another pony to ride around on! Score!

  7. Nice! He seems like a fun second ride :) What are the limitations with neck arthritis? Haven't heard of that before in horses.

    1. For him, he can't do any collected work and I guess he gets pretty uncomfortable working over terrain. I actually can't tell anything's wrong with him when I ride him because he's quite light and round all on his own, but I try to let him have lots of stretch breaks.

  8. That hay field looks like so much fun to ride in


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