Now that I have free time again, I’m attempting to put together a plan for the summer. The horses are all woefully out of the shape; I don’t think I’ve ridden at all since closing hunt last month! All three horses look healthy and shiny and came through winter in good condition.
I have decided to retire Moe from competition. We had a perfectly nice schooling show season at First Level last year, and I have zero desire to take him to rated dressage shows or pursue Second Level. He celebrated his 24th birthday on May 2, and he’s as sound and cheerful as ever. I plan to spend the summer logging trail hours for the Thoroughbred Incentive Program’s Recreational Riding Program. A friend’s horse-crazy daughter loves him and wants to take lessons on him this summer, so he may get out to a couple of schooling shows and bop around at Intro Level. You know, if he doesn’t get back into the habit of bucking his lesson children off. My plan for the summer is to ride him once or twice a week.
Gina reached the the 25-hour recreational riding mark earlier this year. She seems happiest trail riding and foxhunting, so I’ll continue to do that with her. The hunting season won’t begin until November or December, but Gina needs to stay legged up through the summer. As I mentioned in a previous post, I’d like to learn to whip. Gina is definitely my best candidate for a whip horse: she’s steady, reliable, and doesn’t mind going alone. And she’s smart- she pays attention to the hounds. In the field, her ears are constantly flicking to hear the pack and she’s always got an eye on the hounds. Learning to whip is more of a project for myself, but I do need to get Gina used to a hunt whip and keep her in good shape. My plan for the summer is to ride her once or twice a week.
Problem child Candy has been much less problematic since starting daily ulcer medication. She still does weird stuff sometimes (like stand in her stall and tremble after eating breakfast) but is overall better. I’m cautiously optimistic that she’ll turn into a useful horse. I want to incorporate ground poles and cavaletti in our dressage rides. Ideally, once she’s comfortable with those, I can introduce jumps. (That seems very far away right now, though.) My big goal is to get Candy back in the hunt field. I hunted on her while Gina was pregnant; she was so frazzled and stressed that neither of us had a good time. This summer, I want to trail ride her or hack her in the hay meadow once a week. My plan is to ride her two to three times a week.
A week’s worth of rain made everything pretty soggy, but I think it’ll be dry enough to get out next week. I’m anxious to get back in the saddle and working towards some kind of goal!