I can hardly believe it's been a week since my last blog attack. Time flies when real life intervenes. B has been a happy, cooperative boy this week and thankfully he does not have any new scratches or dings. Way to go Beamer.
After our triumphant first show, B was allowed to bask in his genius (he, he) and have a couple days off before his lesson on Wednesday. We longed outside to warm up, but quickly took the opportunity to ride inside when the arena became available. The wind was so bad that my eyes were watering. Not happy 4-year-old riding weather. Wednesday was a day of adjustablity. As we worked on slowing the trot down while maintaining the tempo it was amazing that there was already a passagey feeling developing. As we picked up the canter to the right B had an extra jump in his stride and I found myself laughing and smiling slightly uncontrollably...focus... I often find myself reverting to that little girl who is experiencing her first ride on a pony. Ya, he's seriously that fun. I think the feeling is mutual as my trainer even commented on how happy he looked. We wandered back to the barn where B was allotted his mints, carrots, apples, cookies and supplements before heading back out to his best bud Lance.
The weather was kinder on Friday so B and I were able to enjoy the great outdoors. He was happily swinging along on the longe line so I hopped on board looking forward to a pleasant ride. As we walked around the ring and practiced our diagonals I got the feeling that B was more interested in seeing Lance than dealing with me. Actually, he told me so. As we walked around the corner away from Lance, I asked B for a bit more swing in his walk. He halted and looked around to Lance, who was mocking him as he ate the delicious spring grass. We got through that little sticky point but then came the trot transition. Dun dun dahhhh!!! I asked. B thought about the idea, but ultimately decided it wasn't necessary. Having worked on his responsiveness in the last two lessons I bit the bullet and boxed him with authorittiii (Lisa would be proud). Well my trainer said he may get scared, but "You have to get a reaction." I got a reaction alright, in the form of a "I'm outta here" gallop. Well, he responded, right? He went a few strides, but I was able to bring him back to the trot fairly quickly. I could tell even as we sped across the ring that he was trying to understand what was happening. When he took off, I, of course, pulled back with my reins a bit high for leverage. He has never felt pressure back on his mouth anywhere near that strong. Luckily, he must have been paying attention during the last months of his training where he learned to give to pressure and it releases. Clever, clever boy. He has never had a side rein within 200 feet of him and he is so sensitive that I barely have to take the rein for him to soften. It is pretty remarkable watching young horses learn, even through the not so fun parts. I kept him trotting on the circle then we walked and I gave him a pat for responding. Yee haw, adrenaline rush. As much as my heart was in my throat for those few seconds, it was a good thing. What? Well, I'd rather have him learn how to react after a spook in the sand box then out on a trail where there are a million other challenging elements. Wait a second. Do I sound like one of those parents that thinks it is better that their teenage kid drink at home with them than out on the street? whoa. Ya, um no. These rules are for the B only.
After his mini episode, B reacted promptly to my leg in each transition. ha ha...nice. Awww youngsters. Sometimes it takes a little shock and awe to got the point across...and by shock and awe I mean to the rider. After his workout we went for a lovely trail ride in the woods. B spooked a tiny bit twice but in his defense, it was one mean lookin bunny rabbit. We stomped through puddles and mini half ditches without a problem and I got my workout ducking under 10 foot high tree branches.
The rest of the week proved relaxing. B's summer coat is coming in and I can't wait to back in one layer of clothing.