Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Two bay boys

Lease horse (LH) and I had our first jump lesson on Monday. He is FUN!!! We kept it short and simple because he still needs more fitness, but true to good event horse fashion, he rocked right over the liver pool he had been spooking at for the past couple of weeks. We're working on (re)establishing forward. He has expressed that he would rather poke along at a pleasant but not really moving gait and when I ask for more with leg or a light tap he shakes his head and prances a bit; it's a really cute response. But as he gets more fitness and we figure each other out, he is more and more willing to give me his truly lovely forward gaits from a light leg. He also does flying changes, I asked VERY dramatically in the middle of our little course Monday and he obliged and then bucked a bit to express that I definitely did NOT need to SHOUT at him. 

Yoshi has been back in work for 2 rides. The first on Monday, I was not sure how he felt. It is hard coming from LH and going to him. LH is a LOT more supple and so it was a tough comparison. Yosh definitely felt short in both front feet at times, but seemed to be moving better and better as we went, so I kept at it and sent a report to his vet. She wanted him worked every other day and will be out to do chiro and recheck him a week from Friday. 

Today was my day "off" after 2 overnights, so I typically wouldn't have ridden, but I'm trying to be uber scheduled and regimented and manage my time right to balance two horses in two different places. So yesterday I flatted LH and today it was Yoshi's turn. The weather warmed up today but came with a LOT of wind. And Mr. GY got a new tractor that Yosh is uncharacteristically tres suspicious of. So he came out of his pasture wanting to be high as a kite and stare at the tractor. 

But I walked him in to the ring to work on the pillars from the balance through movement method and he settled right away. I feel like we get pillar one (soften the under neck muscles) and pillar two (shift the center of gravity back) but pillar three (abduction) is still an amorphous mess for us. However, regardless of how well we are executing them, he seems to really really enjoy the work. He went from wide-eyed 8 YO TB on a windy day to mellow and focused in the ring. We worked our 15 minutes there and then I tossed him in the cross ties to groom. For the first time EVER he did not once grump at me while grooming. It was amazing. He also stood square and under himself with his hind legs for the majority of the time. I don't know if it is his hock injections or the balance through movement work we're doing, but I was amazed. 

He also has become VERY in tune while in hand in general. Ms. GY, without knowing much about the work we've been doing, commented that he was very, very well behaved and pleasant to walk over the weekend. She walked him some while he was on stall rest post-injections (side note, I adore her and the care they give him) and picked up branches in the pasture one day during their walk. She said he was so polite and stopped and started easily, just following her body and voice cues. This has not at all been a focus of our in hand work, so it is really, really cool to see how attentive and cued in he has become without any reprimanding or "yelling" with lead or voice cues. 

Very cute and very relaxed

Standing under himself, relaxed, and square... COOL! 

Under saddle I started with a LOT of walk work bending and counter bending. Monday I think I wanted to just see how he felt so I rushed through our usual bendy warm up and suffered for it. And compared to LH, Yosh is a stiff, stiff pony. But he really benefited from the walk work today. He had a few goofy moments, but overall felt really good and again felt better as he worked. 

Ms. GY asked if we wanted to go hack around the neighborhood and since Yosh had politely asked to go out on a walk instead of into the ring when we started, I joined her. Our vet wanted him only worked in the ring since that is the softest footing, but he really does like the pasture or trails better. We went on the soft sandy roads and skipped the lime rock areas. Yosh had a fantastic time. He was full of himself and looking for excuses to spook the whole time. At one point, Ms. GY said she wanted to canter her horse. I knew Yoshi was not going to accept being left behind, so I figured leading the way would work better. He bucked and carried on and tried to grab the bit and run and generally had a grand old time. I held him to a fairly polite canter though since we're not really supposed to work too hard at this point.

Fingers crossed his feeling good continues over the next week and that his vet is pleased with his recheck next Friday. LH is getting some vet work done Thursday and then will have a light week and then we'll take him out schooling XC in prep for our first event together in March!  


  1. i honestly don't think i'd be able to keep two horses going at this point lol, but LH sounds super fun!

    1. Yeah, this is definitely a 9 month trial of it. We will see how it goes! Having them in one place would be much easier, but LH has to stay at JT's, so I'm trying to figure it out.