It wasn’t just the bunnies that were out bouncing recently. Bob and I had another lesson which proved successful as it seems he decided he wanted to learn. Our school isn’t the biggest, but we managed to get a grid of five fences and a start off pole at each end diagonally across it. The exercise was to show Bob that poles didn’t immediately mean rushing. We started off poles on the floor walking and halting over them, turning or leg yielding round the wings just to make it different. Gradually the poles left the floor although they stayed low apart from the centre one which was raised a few feet. The spacing was that of canter poles so it made it like a row of bounces. Initially Bob was a bit unsure as he’s a very forward and big striding horse, but once he learnt his striding he went up and down in both directions happily. I continued this exercise with him and Autumn a few more times over the week then removed the poles either side of the centre jump to make it less bouncy, both horses thoroughly enjoyed it! Autumn is like a new horse; I can’t believe she is turning 25 in a few weeks! Bob’s also enjoying getting back to jumping and has learnt to listen to my legs again and carry himself rather than fighting for the bridle – yay! let’s hope it continues.
As I’ve had more time due to days off, I’ve been able to work Aria too which has been entertaining, she’s responding to voice commands well and responds correctly. The only thing she did that I wasn’t too pleased by was nearly take my head off as I freed the lunge line from between her front legs when she decided to turn in and step on it, little madam - she still has the sass but hopefully she is becoming more focused!
I think, like other fellow equestrians this bank holiday weekend, I spent a fair few backbreaking hours still collecting the sodding sycamore seedlings from the paddocks. The other winter field is now clear and the spring/summer one has had a lot of work done. My other half mowed the worst part as there was no chance of clearing it by hand, whilst I handpicked on the top section with my bucket. I recruited my two non horsey sisters one day who came up and spent two hours collecting across the right-hand side of the field - bribed with chocolate, cakes and sandwiches. We made a huge dent in the seedlings and although still lots to go, I’ve been trying to do some clearing every day - fingers crossed when I move the horses in a couple of weeks it is done! It’s such a worrying issue with the number of seedlings this year and I want to get rid of as many as possible to limit any risk, but boy does it hurt your back after a while.
I’m hoping as the weather begins to improve, we are inching closer to the time the horses live out and there’s no mucking out till the late Autumn. I’m sure a lot of fellow riders will have a cheer and sigh of relief when the horses are out for the summer!