|"We're the two best friends that anyone could have!"|
(Also I haven't taken the decorations off of Spud's cart yet
so he was still very... patriotic lol).
Nothing is better than coming home from a vacation and finally getting your butt back in the saddle! I was pleased to find that Annie was not only sound, but her leg was looking pretty good. There was some residual swelling along her fetlock, as I mentioned previously in my last post, but part of me thinks it was from her standing around for the week I was gone. It had been insanely hot, so I know the horses weren't doing much aside from nibbling hay and standing around.
Anyways, I lunged her briefly the day we got home and was happy to see she was good to go and took her out the next evening with a friend who drove Spud.
It was so hot that I opted to go bareback and Annie was a good bean - for not being ridden for over two weeks I couldn't have asked for a better ride!! We didn't go too far, but did the loop around the subdivision which is a nice 3.5km if you take the "short" streets (which we did).
|An awkward bareback photo, but scritches for a good pony!|
The day after that, I hacked Annie out with Nicole and her horses, AJ and Flash (she ponied Flash). Annie was VERY excited to see AJ and was a bit of an idiot, but wasn't anything unmanageable. Just mostly spooky, fast walking, and not wanting to halt. I'm glad that she is mostly reasonable when she is a turd-nugget, so there's that?
Again, because of the heat, we did the loop around the subdivision but did the long route (which had us double-backing down one street) and we covered around 6km. When we separated ways to go home, I used that opportunity to trot around a bit to play around with our forwardness. I was happy to see it was still there - mare moved off my leg promptly and was pleased to do so. I'm sure it had more to do with the fact she was PHYSCHED to see her buddies after so long (Nicole hasn't been home for a few weekends so we haven't seen AJ in a while).
|Looking pensive pre-ride, haha.|
The next day I opted to school her - we had done two days of little loops and I was happy to see the swelling was gone as well as she felt strong and ready to work. I didn't want to overdo it tho, obv, so we headed to the ring for a light hack of sorts.
My friend visiting from Alberta drove Spud again and worked him in the large meadow while I rode in the arena. We didn't do too much, but I opted to push for a good ground covering gait above all else and we did some canter.
I do recall she was more focused on where Spud was, so she got into trouble for not paying attention but overall, seemed like she was being pretty good (from what I can remember, haha). I don't remember a ton from some of these rides (bc they happened a week ago), but I do remember that I promised her if she was good, I'd walk her home and I did indeed walk home so she must've been pretty good, lol!
|I ended up hopping off and taking this sun-glare photo bc it looked pretty.|
I also ended up walking her home bc she did a great job in the ring.
Annie was given the next two days off as I tried not to die with the incessant heat and humidity (seriously you guys, it's bad) before we returned to the arena. I have wanted to put in some good schooling but I also didn't want to beat things into her - the Summer is coming to a close and we've completed most of our shows for the year. It's time to take a bit of a step back, leave the ring a little more (although admittedly I haven't been in the ring as much as I was last year) and enjoy the ride. So on a whim, I decided I'd limit my schooling to twice a week. Other than that, we trail ride, hand-walk, groom, graze, etc.
|She is clearly so excited.|
I have to remember that despite Annie's age, this IS her second year under-saddle. Taking a step back to enjoy the horse and work on other things isn't a terrible idea, and although I've been pretty good about not getting too wrapped up in showing and circling round and round in the arena.
Anyways, our second ride in the arena was short and to the point. There were people camping at the grounds and Annie was a bit spooky in the beginning, but otherwise didn't care. There were quite a few kids running around, asking me questions and running up and out of the show office so there was quite a bit of activity. I knew the people, as Spud attended their kid's birthday, so they were able to pet Annie and say hi for a bit before my ride. The ride itself was good once Annie concentrated on what we were doing. We spent some time at the walk because she felt a bit hot (she was NOTTT happy to be out solo-style after having company for the last few rides back haha).
She settled quietly into work and we had some really nice transitions. We did quite a few trot-canter transitions because I've kinda glossed over drilling the transitions into her - we get one or two good trot/canters and I'll leave it alone instead of practicing them in succession for the opportunity to practice. If that makes sense? I felt pretty pleased with her and didn't push anything since it started to get warm so we headed back to the barn.