I didn’t get to post this week because my trainer had to go out of town unexpectedly and I stayed with her daughter. It was a great week though! I had a wonderful ride on Liam yesterday. My trainer’s daughter rode her pony at the same time and we practiced the movements in all the first level tests. Liam was awesome! I thought it would be hard to ride the bending line from the corner to X back to the next corner at the canter (doing a little counter canter returning from X to the corner). Liam loves flying changes, so I wasn’t sure if he would understand turning back to the wall and not changing leads. But he LOVED it. The first time I turned him, he kinda went “Uh, mom, are you sure bout this?” Then we got back to the corner and cantered on and he went “Light bulb moment! I can do that!!!” and hurried around the short side to try it again. We did it both directions and he was great.
Then we tried a little canter lengthening up the long side, which he informed me was his specialty. Unfortunately, collecting him back up in the time for the corner is going to take a little more practice! We did some trot leg yields, sometimes they are incredible and sometimes they got a little crooked, so we will have to keep working on those. His 15m canter circles are getting really easy for us, and the 10m trot circle is no problem. I think we will be in good shape this spring!!
This week we also had a new ottb mare on trial, and I am just in love!! Her name is Mattie, and she quickly earned the barn nickname “Lovely” because she is just so sweet and elegantly feminine there’s just nothing else to call her! I usually prefers geldings to mares, but I kinda want this girl for myself. She is a 17 hand bay that has has competed training level with her previous owner. She has had some time off, but came right out and went to work like she had been training with us for months. I just love her attitude and gentle nature. I hope she’s here to stay!!
I also got to do some flying changes on Bliss, the almost 18 hand warmblood we are trying to rehab and return to soundness. He has had 2 years off and now I’ve been riding him everyday trying to build up his level of fitness. Some days he still comes out a little hitchy, but he’s getting much much better, and most of the time looks darn sound now! Fingers crossed, I love this one too!! He’s a big chestnut, and previously was trained to Prix St. George. He has a lot to teach me, and I don’t mind going slow while he is building himself back up. The lead changes were quite an unexpected gift, I was having fun with his canter (Boy do big FEI horses canter different than my little Liam!!) and my trainer said to ride across the diagonal and ask for a change. Presto-chango there it was! So we did it again. It was awesome.
Yesterday I also had a great ride on Jag and on Penguin. Jag had another consistent steady ride, which is what we’ve been hoping for with him since he got fussy this winter. I’m hoping his fussiness is just a case of thoroughbred winter sillies since it comes and goes, but he has a date with his vet coming up just to be sure there’s not a tooth or something bothering him. Penguin’s good ride was another unexpected gift. He is capable of great work, but sometimes he likes to test his rider and really make you work before he’s willing to perform. For whatever reason, he wasn’t in that mood yesterday and just gave me a very enjoyable ride!
What a great week! Tonight’s the IDCTA banquet and quite a few of my barn friends will be getting awards, then hopefully next week it will start warming back up because we are back in the single digits today!