A week of firsts for Carson

First, thank you to everyone who’s chimed in with advice and opinions on the wedding posts! It’s helpful to have so many perspectives!

Onto the fun stuff:

Tuesday, I was itching for something to do, so I headed out to Richal’s barn and immediately set up $900 Facebook Pony‘s zigzag jumping exercise. I set the two end jumps as small crossrails, the middle two jumps as ~2’3 verticals, and had some barrels as standalone jumps off to the sides of the zigzag.

I tacked up Carson, who was much more motivated to move forward in the outdoor arena. He’s a big, heavy boned, warmblood-type Thoroughbred and is a much different ride from nimble, speedy Moe or dainty Gina. Carson feels powerful. His turning radius is approximately equivalent to that of a Mack truck, so the rollbacks were difficult for us. However, he was very eager and willing to go- that’s never a bad quality!

I convinced his owner to get on him and pop him over some fences- she is a dressage rider for sure, but she’s a good sport (and good rider) and put Carson through the exercise with very little trouble. After she’d gotten him through a few times, I raised one of the verticals to a solid 3′. I told her if she kept her leg on and kept him straight, he’d sail over it without a problem. On the first approach, Carson ducked out to the left, but his owner admitted she hadn’t been very committed to going over. On her next approach, she was much more confident in where she was going, and he stepped over it like an old pro!

Just jumping like a good event horse should.

I was absolutely tickled that he had zero qualms about going over, as he’d never been asked to jump anything bigger than about 2′ until a month ago.

Yesterday, Richal invited me to go on a trail ride at a nearby lake with her, Carson’s owner, and a couple of her eventing friends. We arrived at the lake just after noon, ate a quick lunch, and headed out on the trail around 1 PM.

I was on Carson, who’d never been on a trail in his life. He was curious without being spooky and fearlessly led the way for the first half mile or so. I was relaxed and had him on a loose rein while I turned around and chatted with one of the eventers about foxhunting. All of a sudden, he gave a mighty snort, leaped straight up, and somehow teleported sideways. I fell off in total surprise while Carson trotted down the trail. He was eventually chased down (apparently, he just kept trotting along as if he had some destination in mind), but not before he destroyed his reins. One of the eventers offered her curb rein, so I was back in action before long. 
The rest of the ride was fairly uneventful- Carson got belly-deep in the lake (on his first time encountering water!), he didn’t mind when the other horses crowded around him, he was content to trot along the trail when everyone else was trotting, and he plodded over rocks, fallen trees, and plowed through branches, sticks, and vines.
Bringing up the rear on the road.

Riding along the lakeshore.

Playing in the water with his pals Diamante and Andy.
Left to right: new friends Linda & Rio, me & Carson, Richal & Diamante,
Audrey (Carson’s owner) & Andy
Map of the ride from the GPS tracker app.

It was definitely a fun time and I was happy to meet some more eventers! (I was beginning to think they didn’t exist here.) I’m proud of Carson- from jumping big jumps to handling the trail, he was a superstar this week. Onto cross country next week (hopefully)!

Author: Stephanie

Equestrian, amateur cook, people person.

7 thoughts on “A week of firsts for Carson”

  1. What a good boy, he sounds like a fun find. When did you say you hoped to move your two to that barn, or are you already there?
    Sounds like a good bunch of horse people to be able to hang out with ☺

    1. He is a very fun horse; I wish I had enough money to buy him (and enough money to pay his board every month, haha)! I am planning to make the move to this barn at the end of the month. I'm really excited to have horse friends there!

  2. Just bought this horse, I fell in love the first time I rode him. His name is now "Moose", because of his big ears. It's so cool to read about him on here, and see the pictures!

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