Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Past Weekend

This past weekend was the warmest it's been since November! We had temperatures in the 50's, but we're back in the 30's with more potential snow this week... and it's snowing right now. UGH! And snowing again today - right now! :( This post is too long to proof so sorry if some of it makes no sense.

Saturday, I got to farm and a few people were out being the weather was AWESOME! Before I got there, there were lose horses, one that tried to get down in a puddle with a rider, galloping horses, and a crazy one out in the riding ring that was "grazing" aka tearing up the field and acting nutty. Despite all of this, I tacked up hoping for the best. A woman was on her horse that said we could ride together if I got on and got moving, but I wanted to warm up before I decided to ride with anyone else. I went out on the track and did w/t all the way around in both directions. Man, I had a lazy and calm horse. The other woman came with me, and she would canted next to my trot. Yes, the QH canter is Spyder's trot! He would try to go faster as if he was racing her, but he responded to slowing his speed very well... and so we went on a trail!

First, we went in the trails between the track for warm up. There was a lot of water so we got to practice pushing through (but he just followed). Since he was so good, we decided to do some hills. We weaved in and out of the cross country jumps that are up on a "hill" (in south jersey, hills are like 4'). He was SO good! We went over to a cross country ditch jump (which was filled to the brim with water) because the woman I rode with wanted to get her horse over it. She's got reins with clips so she hopped off and had to work her horse up to it. She tried away from the barn, but I told her to try the other way so her horse would be more willing. I wanted Spyder to stand still while all of this happened, and he was a perfect angel for it. Her horse got over it in both directions, and we proceeded to the bigger trails! I have decided those clip reins are awesome for getting over things your horse may be hesitant about. I need to get a pair (or buy clips to hook my reins on to like the lady I rode with showed me she did to her other bridles)! She was always a trail rider so it gives me a better idea of what I might need to get/do to get moving on the CTR stuff.

On the trail, I was told we'd come across a "bridge." This bridge was a cement piece that allowed water to flow through a hill. It was very wet and muddy on both sides so I was just hoping I could stay on because we ran into KILLER guinea hens right before the "bridge." AHH! I could feel Spyder's heart beating between my legs, and I was praying he didn't turn and run. The rider in front of me allowed her horse to stand and look which eased Spyder, and then she pushed her over the cement thing. I gave Spyder a few minutes to calm down before asking him, and he pranced over the bridge with fear/grace. We stopped to look at the guinea hens since we were a few feet closer to them, and the horses from the farm where they were galloped over to the fence to greet us. Once both horses calmed down and took a breather (us too), we headed back to where we came from and did a loop back to the track. We cooled out on some trails headed back to the barn that were ALL water, and Spyder was again an angel going through even after encountering deer on the track.

Sunday was another beautiful day, and I got to the farm around 8:30. It was already 50 out! I tacked up after getting my boots cleaned off from walking in the mud to retrieve the fat horse that wouldn't come since he was eating hay. We went out to the big field after warming up on the track, and I could tell it was going to be a good ride. We worked in the trot and got a consistent speed going, and then we moved to canter. We did some cantering only because he decided he wanted to when I asked him to keep up his speed in the trot moving away from the barn. Since he wasn't cranky, it was a great day to work on it. To the left and the right, the transitions were good, and there was no grunting or kicking. Warmer weather is so great for behavior and it was the best/most smooth canter to date. I sat back and down in the saddle and we moved out on a large circle. It was GREAT for being a while.

After the ring work, we went around the track alone. No one was out, but I thought it was a good idea since the finger incident happened, he was listening, and the day before he got to have a friend and behaved. We went out to the hills, and it was PERFECT. We walked up the first few, trotted the next few, and cantered up the last. We kept weaving like we did the day before, and Spyder even JUMPED up the one like it was a bank. There was water at the bottom of the hill (maybe 10" wide, and instead of walking through it, we went up like a bank. I am still hesitant on the actual bank at the farm, but this is proof it'll be fun when we get there!

We went into trails in middle of track and went through a ton of water to get out alone. I did have to push him through the first few larger pools of water, but he finally agreed to go. He put his head down, and I wasn't sure what he would do in the middle of the water. The breeders had took him for a swim before, and I know the horse the day before decided to lay so I gave him his head and let him make up his own mind. He just played with the water, then drank it. Good Spyder! Now hopefully this will be something he can start to do while continuing forward. I decided to end the ride there, and went back to the farm through the woods between his paddock and another. I ended up riding about an hour and a half in total. It was WONDERFUL!

This coming weekend looks cold and wet, but Spring is so close. Daylight savings time is right around the corner!

Sweaty horse for once!