|Mikey tried on his new Back on Track Mesh Sheet last Monday.|
He loves it.
|Tuesday we rode, hand grazed, then dug ticks off the horse.|
Back on Track poster child. Just needs his no bows on to make it complete.
Thursday was Mikey's 16th birthday. Yay Mikey! I pulled more ticks off of him for his birthday after a quiet ride.
Friday was Nickels' 4th birthday. Yay Nickels, you made it to 4 years old! Go you for outliving your life expectancy. He enjoyed some extra attention and a steam while I got a shower. Penny was not happy to be locked out of the bathroom (see paw under the door).
|"I want to sit in here while you shower. Do I have to let Penny in?"|
|We're outside! And I didn't get bucked off!|
I learned that Cody taught me several things over the winter. The first I talked about on here before, the second is more relevant to Saturday's ride as I finally made it happen with Mikey:
- The horse can't come through to the left when I have my left hand/elbow/arm locked and tight and heavy. I learned to give and relax to get motion back in my elbow, which is something my trainer has been after me for a long time. Cody cemented it. He would not come through if I locked my elbow. I got an immediate reward from Cody for softening my elbow. Two way street on the rewarding for softening thing, who knew?
- This was more relevant for this ride: When Mikey shortens his neck, give my hand and send him forward instead of taking my hand back and giving him no where to go. Go figure that the answer has always been forward. I never worked it out myself (or rather convinced myself to do it) because I was worried about Mikey imploding. Cody just did it to evade and waited for me to figure it out, so I got to find out giving and more leg works to lengthen the neck. Once again, doh!
After Mikey figured out the pattern, trot in canter out, he was gung-ho about the canter part and leaped the first two poles in one bound. He wanted to jump so badly. So when I got him back together in trot, he shortened his neck and tucked in his chin so that he could hop around when I took up the rein to get contact again. But I didn't fall for that! I diffused him almost immediately with a giving hand and more leg. It went against everything I felt, "I'm riding a bomb. I should hold it together, not add leg!" As soon as I diffused him, he was perfect. No jumping around, no being naughty, just soft and listening. Not to say he didn't enjoy an inverted romp through the canter poles and ignore me in there, but he stayed with me until we entered the poles and came back to me immediately as soon as we left the poles. He did have trouble picking up the right lead in the poles- not sure if that's a failure on my part (crookedness), a strength issue, or an I hurt issue. We didn't pressure him to continue until he (or I) got it right, I just made sure to do a simple change immediately after the poles.
I did feel a couple bad steps behind when we tracked right in the trot on our way back to the poles. I asked him for some more throughness and they went away, so I'm really not sure if it was disconnect I felt or an I hurt. Something to keep an eye on.
We changed the pattern to a pole across the school at X, then track left to almost the rail and go over a pole, back around to X, then track right to almost the rail and go over a pole. Mikey got excited about this- he was hopping the poles until I forced him to be more through. We did it in trot first, then canter. Ideally I would have encouraged a flying change over the pole at X, but I didn't want to wind him up or ask too much, so I asked for a simple change in trot as soon as we were straight and before the pole. He got very through, very round, and super tuned in after a couple rounds. He was also very tired by then. We did more work Saturday than we had any other day since he's been back to work, so we were done. Everyone else continued as the poles became jumps, and we watched them go around.
Guess what's really scary? Trees falling. Guess who spooked? Me. Guess who looked and did nothing? Mikey. Across the street from the farm someone is logging the hillside and the trees are super loud when they fall. I'm sure being in a group helped Mikey. It also helped that it's been going on for at least a week so Mikey is used to the sound and I wasn't aware it was going on.
|Mikey and King. I swear their field has a ton of green grass. I don't know why I always end up taking pictures near the woods.|
Sunday was no fun, even if it was productive. I paid the price for a fun Saturday by working at the house all day Sunday, no Mikey. He did a lot on Saturday, so I'm sure he appreciated the break. Husband mowed the lawn, I weeded and moved plants around in the big garden bed. Then we both attacked the big garden bed in removing all the weeds and leaves and extra dirt before mulching it.
|The umbrella tree, all mulched and awaiting grass seed.|
|Panorama of the front, all neat and tidy.|
I hate gardening and taking care of the outside. I wish I could hire a gardener. I'd rather clean stalls than pull weeds.