Monday, March 10, 2014

Finally got to test the outdoor

Dirty horse does a hand walking lap
Thanks to the confluence of daylight savings time and warm weather, I finally got to ride Fawkes in the outdoor for the first time at the new place tonight.  Woohoo!!

But first, jumping lesson happened on Sunday.

The ring was hectic, which I think is great for desensitizing Fawkes, but he definitely does not approve.  Add a relatively young kid playing with a puppy in the viewing area, and it was going to be another one of those days.  I swear I am going to send him home with kids and puppies and water slides and balloons and dancing bunny rabbits until he just gets over it.  Although that imaginary household would be a very strange (and awesome) place.

Barn cat Caramel is hilariously crazy

Lots of the same relaxing exercises as last time.  One decent spook where I got lectured for over reacting.  Yeah, that is one bad habit I need to work on.  Getting dumped over his shoulder a few times when he does his reiner spin and bolt has given me a couple defensive traits.

But as usual, trainer was right and me not reacting helped him not keep reacting.  More human abuse on the flat - really trying to get my ankles away from his sides but crap that hurts.  I toe out by nature and have bad ankles so it is basically all difficult and painful.  However, it is all helping solidify my base so whine less and work more.

Over fences work was great.  Did a line with a one stride to a three stride and then 2 single diagonal fences.  The only difficulty was getting straight to the first fence in the gymnastic (a-ha! that explains our crappy rides to the line last time).  Other than that, Fawkes was dead on.  Got his changes, great distances, and was super brave. Still spooky in the corner, but you know, just run past that and jump something, right?....
Watching the camera man
For Fawkes, we were working on keeping calm between the fences and not just building adrenaline and going faster.  And for me, staying in half seat and supporting him without driving.  A really good lesson and my legs hurt so much that pushing the gas pedal on the drive home made me wince.  That must mean I am doing it right.
Not paranoid at all

Tonight was all about just getting into the outdoor and not freaking out.  Not the most auspicious start as when we got there, a horse was having a bit of a bolt fest but we just sat in the middle and watched.  The crazy cat also ran around the ring for a bit and you could actually see Fawkes contemplating the danger of the tiny mountain lion.

Kept it super low key with lots of walking, some trotting, and a tiny bit of pole work to keep him happy.  Plenty of other horses were out there with us which I think helped.  I could feel his tension at this strange new place and he did a little nervous teeth clacking, but he kept it together.  I am always crazy proud of moments like that.
So cute, but that mane is a nightmare.


  1. He is such a cute dude and I want a 'dancing bunny!' Also, my toes used to turn out terrible, but hour and hours in two point and galloping position have made them straight. You might give yourself a bit of a two point challenge while walking to warm up or cool down:)

    1. You give me hope! I have been trying to implement more two point, this is extra motivation