I’m pleased to say Aria is continuing to be a lot more mobile in the field, and although I can see she is more cautious when it’s wet, she’s happily wandering round the field and her sass is coming back – hmmm, is that a good or bad thing I wonder? I’ve not done any work with her yet as we had the farrier yesterday, so I’ve wanted to wait until she’s had her feet trimmed, then give her a few days before we start some gentle walk work.
Autumn’s been happily enjoying the majority of the time off; she’s done a bit of ridden work and lunge work to keep her ticking over, but nothing too strenuous. I did have a small jump up in the arena for a session I did with Bob at the weekend, and the minute she saw it I felt a spark in her – she was adamant she was having a few jumps! My partner was watching and, after we had done the usual warm up, I let the reins go loose and asked her the question: did she want to jump? It was answered very quickly, as off she went, straight into canter without being asked into canter, and headed for the fence! I only let her do a few jumps so as not to overdo it, but she absolutely loved it. I have found a local equestrian centre that is doing a few small-scale indoor jumping shows over the winter, so I may take her to one, just for the very small heights, and see if she wants to do one round.
Bob’s stepping up his training. We are doing a lot more canter work, raised poles, and we even left the floor a few times (jumping, not naughtiness). I had scheduled a lesson for next weekend, but decided to defer it to during the week, as I am hoping to take the big lad out to our local show because it dawned on me that he hasn’t actually attended the one that is literally a stone’s throw from us. Provided we get him there, my plan is to do In Hand Veteran; anything after that will be a bonus. But I am keeping the main aim small to reduce any pressure on either of us, as I find this helps a lot, rather than at the show me panicking if something goes wrong, then worrying about having to do the later classes I have paid for.
We practised loading him at the weekend in preparation for the show, and the weather was certainly not our friend – big strong gusts rustling the trees near the car park. Both my partner and I thought it was going to be horrendous. Bob, on the other hand, had other ideas – we approached the ramp, he had a momentary blip of about three seconds, then he followed me on and pretty much pushed me out the way so he could get in the correct position for the partition to be closed! Gobsmacked didn’t even cover it. We closed up the horsebox and he happily ate his dinner in there before unloading calmly – who has swapped out my crazy loading horse for this calm level-headed one? I say all this now but just wait until show day… it could be a different story!
I’ve given him a haircut for the show as his mane was wild, and he really hates you fiddling with it, so plaits were out (can’t say I wasn’t pleased). He looks nice and smart with a hogged mane – just need to do his forelock now.
Now I’m off to ask the weather gods to be kind: no rain or wind, please, for Saturday!