Happy Easter to all! I hope you spent time with family and had good food or, if you are like me, went to a horse show instead!
I went to the barn on Saturday and cleaned Remus up. After I shortened his mane a bit and washed it, he got trimmed all over (except for those pesky porcupine quills) and his tail washed and all four legs. And then I let him in the stable area to graze with his cooler on and his lead line attached. Um, yeah. It is all fenced in. So I should have been safe.
Remus took off when I came to get him to put his sheet back and turn him back out with his buddy. And the big field (No one is on it yet) well that gate was open. So there he goes, FLYING. Lead line trailing…sigh. And it is some lush grass. So he was like go away Mom, I am going to go eat. This field is huge and hilly and had to traipse up and down after him on those hills.
I had a bunch of carrots in my pocket but he did NOT want to be caught. I wish I had my phone with me (it was back in the barn) because he was snorting and leaping and having a grand time. But if I had had my phone with me I probably would have thrown it at him and broke it. I was so mad. The cussing was real.
ANYWAY, after feeding the peanut gallery ( the horses came up to the fence to watch the fun) all the carrots, I finally caught the beast and we did a lot of back up, halt, walk work the whole way back up to the barn area. He knew I was a wee bit irritated by then. Then after finally getting his sheet back on him he went back in the field and rolled. I considered leaving him behind when I move to TN. He was that much a pill. HA.
Luckily he wasn’t that dirty when I got there in the morning. He had laid in some manure on his hip but that came off easily with a brush. And I brushed his tail and mane out and while not perfect they did look better after their wash up the day before.
So I tacked him up and loaded him in the trailer and headed to Nottingham. And got behind every Amish buggy going to Easter services. It was fine but I was a bit stressed getting there.
I finally arrived and it was pretty chilly still. Weatherman when you say it is going to be 60’s and sunny, I would like at least one of those to happen. I understand you are right only 1 percent of the time but hello?? (I ended up wearing my fleece into dressage I was that chilled).
We went into the tiny indoor to school and luck would have it there were four other horses in there. It is tiny so to get any work out is hard. Remus was actually pretty good considering all the distractions (and the pile in the corner of jumps and poles got a hairy eyeball from him every time around). We did some trotting with stretching and then I collected him and pretty much had a horse that was pretty nice. Then I cantered and he was pretty good albeit he really couldn’t get moving in there. But rather than pushing it I chose to stop and go wait my turn. No reason to piss the beast off. Or wear his batteries out (#conserveenergy is Remus’s motto).
His dressage test was almost a pleasure to ride. Well he did buck right in front of the judge at the canter (after he was already in the canter not at the departure per normal). But overall I was so pleased with him. No media (everyone was riding their own horses at our test time but that is cool…), he was collected, and together, and listening and never really gave me any attitude except for the one buck and I think he was just mad at the footing, to be fair is its pretty deep there. He got a 36.1 (I was shocked when I saw he got an 8 on his halt and a few 7’s dabbled with some 6’s within.) Who is this horse? What happened to Remus? It was the first test I had ridden that I felt some day in the future we could be competitive.
Remus may not be a brilliant mover but he is a steady eddy at the trot now which is something we have aspired to for years. And his canters were his low scores (nothing shocking there, right) but once we figure that out we can maybe get the total package. He got 5.5 on his canters (one he bucked in so he totally deserved those bad scores) and the judge’s comments were correct about his canter: Hollow, needs more bend, and needs to come from behind more. Yep. And I need to push him more at the trot too from behind now that he is getting this thing of being steady and keeping his head nice and listening to my legs and not throwing his head up in the air to rebel against work. He can do this thing called dressage. Oh and the most amazing thing was when the judge wrote at the bottom of the test: Nice pair with some quality moments! WHO? US? SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! I was so pleased.
Then it it was off to jump! Tanya was nice enough to video. Yes we need more forward canter, yes it was not great but we were clean! Remus WOULD not canter when we first went into the ring but once he realized we were going over jumps he was fine. There were a few new jumps. The purple jump is so pretty in fact. But Remus did his little peek so you will hear me fuss at him over that. He went over them all though. No rails either. WHEW. They were set definitely at 2.3 (Sometimes they are a bit soft height wise at this venue, but not this time). And we got third!! The two horses ahead of me were only a few points off from my dressage test so that is huge too. Usually I am the one in middle 40’s, not near the front runners!!
And I had not jumped since Sally (in fact, I hadn’t ridden since Sally). So not too shabby at all. So I am glad Tanya made me sign up (you did make me, Tanya!). Also got to see Hannah there with her horses and I got to watch Tanya ride her new horse Ellie in her first dressage test (next time, Tanya you are jumping!). It was a great morning and now I am home exhausted!! Enjoy the video:
And the final thought I want to share with you all is how mangy and moldy my buckskin is right now while shedding. UGH. Anyone else’s horses going through a molting stage of this sort? Horse of a different color for sure! HA!