We are getting out and about in the horsebox now which is fab! I met up with another friend and went for a ride round the fields at her yard, she prewarned me there were two river crossings but not that the biggest and deepest was at the start! Autumn didn’t like the fun ride one, so I wasn’t sure how she would react with these ones. A bit embarrassingly, and despite my friends’ horse going through and even standing in the river, she had a full-blown tantrum of rears and kicking out for a good 5 to 10 mins before she did her usual, shook it all off and went through without an issue! The second crossing she didn’t bat an eye lid at and was fab going back through both on the way home (I think she secretly liked it!). We are really enjoying all the off road riding and it makes a good change from being in the arena for her, plus I think the water work is also helping her! We will definitely be doing it again.
I have been jumping more with Autumn in the arena again as it seems like she wants to step up to what Bob’s doing (and perhaps out do him on occasion!). We’ve started jumping higher incorporating raised canter poles, and the other day I built a double, including an oxer, which she jumped so well I had to keep upping the height! She’s definitely back to being my brave girly!
Bob’s been very good and loaded again in the horsebox, we did have a slight scare as a dog nearby spooked him and he ran out hitting his head again. After a thorough check over to make sure he was okay, we decided to get him near the box and just get his feet on the ramp, but shockingly he went a step further and followed me in standing quietly. I certainly didn’t expect that after the incident so was over the moon! We’ve been doing our own jump training at home between lessons which has been going well! He’s also been wearing ear veils a lot more to see if they help with the flies and I have noticed quite a big difference which is positive. I even tried the noise cancelling ones I bought him the other day and they definitely worked as he didn’t seem to hear much and was more settled (also looked quite confused according to my other half!).
Aria – well here is a turn up for the books. My partner called my bluff at the weekend as I had been talking about the work I was doing to gear up to riding her, so he said why don’t you just do it (thinking I would back out).
To his shock that afternoon I grabbed the saddle/bridle (and my mountain horse bodyguard jacket!) and off we tottered to the yard for me to have a sit on her! As I tacked her up I realised stupid me had not fully checked the saddle and I was missing my stirrups and leathers! I had a hunt round the yard but no spares could be found, so I thought okay well I will just lunge her in the tack in that case (feeling a bit defeated). She was well behaved and couldn’t care less about the saddle. A couple of tantrums about the bridle but then settled as she’s back to her original loose ring. After this I thought right, lets lean across her – so I did it a few times – no reaction. I said to my partner I felt brave but couldn’t really get on from the mounting block without stirrups so came up with the idea of the arena fence. A couple more leans across her then I slid gently aboard! A squeal of shock from her but then she just stood there calmly. We did a short walk and then stupid me forgot the horse I was on and tried to guide her with my legs – cue a bucking tantrum. I stayed aboard, settled her and we had another small walk which went well, then stupidly I touched her with my leg again and another tantrum this time bigger including a rear or two! She didn’t get me off though (thanks Bob for all the staying aboard skills you have given me) so I settled her and told my partner I will sit there for a couple of minutes as I didn’t want her to see that as a way of getting me to get off. We stood calmly, then once dismounted she got several treats and a good scratch alongside lots of praise. I was beaming and my partner was a shade greyer in the face - don’t think he will call my bluff again!
How’s everyone coping with the grass growth at the moment? We’ve got loads so are sectioning the fields and strip grazing them, but now also have the task of battling the areas of weeds we have neglected. Some are the same size as me – going to take a few weeks to clear them me thinks! Wish us luck!