Saturday, 10 May 2014

Splash-tastic

I had yet another really great ride today. Part of me remains in disbelief over the amount of fun I’m having, but the other (bigger) part is just enjoying the moment and not overthinking anything. Sorry, no new pictures today, but I’ll put a few older ones in to break the monotony J

We were stuck in the indoors again. Even though the sun was mostly shining, it was super windy and there were some storm fronts moving through. I got the ride on Splash once again, and I was a bit disappointed to be honest, as I do love Checkers. While I was waiting for our lesson, the barn girls were all chatting about their favorite lesson horses, of which there were a few. That discussion of course led to least favorites – it seems there is only one least favorite, and that is Splash ‘because he is so lazy’. I’m one of those who doesn’t think horses inherently come ‘lazy’, but hey, whatever.  I couldn’t help but feel a little sad for him.

Apparently I\m the only one who can't resist a cute pony face
 As it turns out, I didn’t need to waste any time feeling sorry for him, because Splash continues to rise to the occasion. Oh boy, did I have a forward horse today! I don’t know what’s got into him lately, not that I’m complaining, he’s so much more fun when he’s not trying to suck behind your leg. I’d like to hope we are finally on the same page, because my coach has been in just as much disbelief as everyone else over his new engine. I’m feeling hopeful about it because he still lags a bit at first, but once he is sure that you really want forward and are going to let him go, he’s game. It’s not like I’m nagging him - he wants to do it.  We started as usual with lots of death by no stirrups and two point to warm up, then had a fun, twisty course to challenge us. The focus today was on getting our changes more accurate – lots of dressage-y type work with flying and simple changes at certain points of the arena. Mr Splash has a bad habit of really dropping his inside shoulder to the right. Soft and bendy really aren’t consistently in his repertoire as yet. My instinct is to use more outside rein and inside leg to try to balance him, which inevitably led to wrong leads. Once I remembered to pick up my inside rein and stand him up that way we got on track. Some of our changes weren’t hunter pretty, but we got it done, and for the two of us that’s something to be happy with.

Ginger doing her invisible lunge line routine. Nothing to do with anything, but I did promise you pictures :)
The actual jumping went well, with the highlight for me being one of those perfect moments where we were totally with each other and nailed a difficult tight turn, and in style – my dressage coach would have loved it, all collected and balanced and ever so pretty! Buddy got a little over exuberant towards the end of my ride when we let loose a bit to make the ‘big horse’ strides, and got a little too much in party mode, getting a bit of a humpy back, then trying to take off.  Since he literally feels like a big pony, and isn’t the most athletic guy, it wasn’t scary feeling at all, and I was laughing while I dealt with our new found bucking freight train wannabe. (Who IS this new person who laughs in the face of ‘danger’? ;) Splash is adorable because he is so proud of himself after, and acts like he’s all that, all puffed up and looking as impressive as he can. Even when the ride is long over and I lead him back to his paddock he prances and acts like he’s in a post parade at the track or something, then when I turn him out he waits and stares me down for the treat that he knows he deserves J I think it’s safe to say he’s totally won me over with his enthusiasm – it’s infectious and it’s hard not leave the barn smiling. 
Pretty sure Splash thinks this is him these days:)

1 comment:

  1. Splash sounds adorable! I totally know that "puffed up" look that horses give when they are feeling pleased with themselves because my previous lease horse used to do it after a particularly challenging lesson or drill team practice!!

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