I think we may be having a repeat of the year we moved to the yard as all we seem to have at the moment is the wet stuff! The fields we worked hard on over the summer are now completely sloppy, brown messes. I have luckily been strip grazing though, so I have protected some of the field for when it eventually dries up.

The horses were very happy at their first full turnout after a couple of days in from the rain – it consisted of Autumn trotting like a racehorse down the drive, with Bob on the other side of me fluffing himself up and snorting the entire way to the field. Entering the first field to walk across to the turnout and there was an explosion of energy – Autumn continually bronking sideways the whole way to the gateway, Bob squealing, pulling back and spinning, and not to forget Aria who blasted into the field at 100 miles an hour throwing bucks and kicks in every direction.

Horse

I just unclipped the lead ropes for safety and decided to get the head collars off once they settled. That didn’t go to plan. Autumn was fine and Bob was fairly calm as I approached. I undid his head collar and he turned away to go in the other direction… not sure what happened next but he managed to crack me across the face, bending my glasses too. It wasn’t until I got home that I saw the huge lump on my cheek, then later in the day the black eye started to appear, just in time for my onsite day at work! Horses, eh?!

Speaking of the giant sod, we are getting on well with progressing back to jumping. I’ve set up a few jumps at home to get him thinking. This time it was three set up along the diagonal with a stride between each fence to help slow and focus him. We used the same setup in our next lesson but modified it part way through to just two fences with three strides between them and higher fences. (He did try and do it in two strides several times.)

Horse running

Bob loved it, but I was a bit nervy at the start as he was really forward, which did show as I got left behind a few times. Riding a big striding, forward and very powerful horse can be quite daunting, especially after some of our history and I do criticize myself a lot, but my instructor is really helping me and by the end of the lesson we were a lot more together. Bob is enjoying his jumping and I’m getting braver by the day, jumping him when on my own again and setting up combinations to make us work and think. His “tantrums” are becoming a lot less frequent and, where before they took quite a while to overcome, including time to refocus, they are over in at most one or two minutes now and he is much easier to get back onto what he was doing.

We have one more lesson before Christmas (so I may even add a bit of tinsel to the big lad, provided he doesn’t try to eat it) and then I’m going to look into arena hire and possibly a small show for January now to get us back at it. Let’s hope I get a big pair of brave pants and some superglue for the saddle for Christmas!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

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