It’s been a bit of a busy couple of weeks, with Bob having a lesson each weekend, alongside myself and my partner doing some long walks with the local walking group (I will get fitter!) and more yard maintenance and sycamore seedling patrol.
The lessons have been going well with the first focusing on jumping a single fence down the long side of the arena - almost ‘letting Bob loose,’ but using other obstacles/distraction on the other side of the arena, so we always did something different before or after the fence i.e., trot poles, circling a filler, stopping between two fillers, or going over zig zag poles. This really got him to switch on and not get too excitable. The second lesson was aimed at jumping two fences down the long side with nothing between them and he started off well. We also had an arch of canter poles to the other side of the arena that sometimes have the middle pole raised as a small jump to mix it up a bit. This all got a bit exciting for Bob as the jumps went up and the lesson’s progressed so we had a few hissy fits but I was able to ride him through them and get him going again which was a positive. We finished the lesson calmly with walking and trotting over the poles then walking towards one fence and a few strides out letting him go forward to jump it, and the same with the other, so he finished on a positive with no hissy fits.
Autumn’s been on fire recently with her work and has been loving it, she had a few days off last week after her annual jab as she seemed a bit off colour, but I rode her at the start of the week with the fences still up from the lesson and she was raring to go. I let her jump a few times and it was like being on a younger version of her - she puts Bob to shame! I have decided I am going to try her out at an equestrian centre for some low level jumping as she thoroughly enjoyed herself and I genuinely think she misses doing it (just not on grass). I’m really looking forward to our fun ride we have planned on Monday and I’m sure she is too as I will let her have a few gallops. She did give us a scare yesterday though, my neighbour brought some apples up for the horses (and as a belated birthday present as Autumn turned 25 last week!), so I cut one up for her to feed Autumn. Autumn was munching away happily until about the fifth piece where she started to choke – both my partner and neighbour thought she had just got too much in her mouth, but I recognised it instantly. I luckily cleared the obstruction, kept an eye on her for five minutes after, then just in case gave her a tiny bit of sloppy mash and all was well. It really scared me but also my neighbour as she said she didn’t realise it could happen as It was only a piece of apple (and something we have fed Autumn previously), so although an awful experience it did highlight the dangers of feeding horses you don’t know – I was there and supervising and it still happened, if that had been someone in a field with a random horse who knows what the outcome could have been! I have used it as an example on my Facebook page just to help raise awareness.
I’m hoping with this batch of dry weather we have had I can finally get some fencing up in the summer paddocks to move the horses in and get them living out! I am on high seedling alert though and will thoroughly go over the section I give them to make sure no more of the sods have begun to sprout. Roll on no more mucking out for a few months!