Thursday, February 29, 2024


Goggles and I headed back to Majestic this week. As hard as I tried to line up a trailer buddy for him, horses gonna horse and friend's horse had an unexpected allergic reaction that set his skin on fire. So solo with half a tube of GG it was. Goggles loaded in about ten minutes and then started munching hay. I loaded my tack and then closed the escape doors. His face had a very certain look about how he felt about the fact that this wasn't one of those practice sessions where he got on, munched some hay, and got off again. 

He rode quietly though and unloaded mostly politely. Someone was weed eating in the distance but he mostly refrained from standing on me while trying to watch. It was a great test to school solo TBH. Hillary was awesome and volunteered to be our ground person in case of emergency. She also caught some video which was very much appreciated. 

Whatta grown up kid walking on a loose rein

Fancy prancy


He was very, very focused on where the other horses were on the large property when we were walking, but once we started trotting and cantering he mostly focused on his feet. He wouldn't focus enough to look at the starter fences I tried to walk him up to though, so when we trotted at it, he was surprised. 

Oh no! I am surprised! 


Oooh now I understand

We popped a variety of starter fences and only had to straight line halt after one when he was downright rude. Otherwise we focused on the finesse between forward and taking over. He generally is very game which is a very good thing, but he still has to be rideable. Other than a glance at a natural log that is SUPER spooky, he was brave to everything.

He hopped the baby ditches down in the far field and the actual big kid ditches at the top of the hill like they were NBD. 

Baby ditch

Big kid ditch

It took him a second, but he went into the water without a lead horse for the first time ever. Once his feet touched he had a bit of a baby moment, but he didn't dump me in the water, so all was well. We splashed around in there and did the up bank out as well. 

We finished up on the banks. Down he was nice and casual, but up we had to do a few times until he popped up without a party after. We finished on two nice soft trips up and called it good there. 

Didn't quite go with him enough here

Feeling him out there was awesome. He picked up where we left off pre ulcers, and he was fantastic. He functioned completely on his own and got more and more rideable as we jumped things. 

It's really interesting heading out without a coach. JT has given me so many tools to work with, it's a useful skill to practice applying them without her perfect timing. Also since that's what happens out on course at shows, its good to log a few miles of practice that way. I have to think for myself about things and occasionally I think sometimes it makes my reaction times a bit better because I'm not waiting and listening for the direction from her. This was especially true when managing him on the back side of fences. The flip side is that I'm positive I let him take a few more trips over one specific fence speeding up the last two strides and then taking a long spot than I should have. But it forced me to analyze what was happening and what tools I had to fix it. We came around once more and did a few walk trot transitions on the way to the fence and then I half halted two strides out and thought about landing and circling. And wouldn't you know it, he waited and jumped it really well. 

"Ride him like he's trained"


  1. you guys look great, nice work!! i definitely appreciate getting out both solo and in lessons, like both approaches can be sorta complementary to each other. glad you felt it was a productive session!

    1. Thank you! Certainly left without guidance all the time Goggles and I would be a wreck, but it's nice to try applying it solo.

  2. Man I wish I had someplace like this nearby. Love the photos.

    1. We are so so spoiled by the places within a one hour drive.