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.
|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.|