Monday, November 7, 2016

wheels of the bus go round 'n round!

I gotta say, it feels really good to write lesson recap posts again. This past weekend saw a couple new landmarks for Charlie (bc basically everything we do these days is a 'first' one way or another haha).

Specifically: Charlie went on his first off property field trip with me, and rode in his first jumping lesson!! Very exciting stuff guys - we hauled over to OF for my erstwhile weekly jump lesson with trainer P, meaning I got to ride with Brita again for the first time since our bridal-themed paper chase in September!

new friends and old friends, together again!
Hard to believe it had been that long... but things were already basically over with Isabel by that point, and the bottom fell out a bit unexpectedly with Wick right after.

But. We are back on track now. And I had the pleasure of meeting Brita's newly leased project mare, Bella!! Cha-cha-cha-changes, y'all.

trying to figure out where i hid the carrots
Anyway, the trailering experience was fine. No, Charlie didn't suddenly jump up the training scales to become a perfect self-loading horse. But I got impatient. I was too eager and hungry for lessons and riding with my friends to wait for that day lol, so I planned ahead and enlisted the help of a second warm body.

exploring the grass at OF
We already knew from when I first brought Charlie home that he's a pretty straight forward horse to get into the trailer with two people, one leading at his head and another applying pressure from behind (and to close the door).

Obviously that scenario won't work on the many occasions when I'm going places by myself.... But whatever. For this weekend, I got the help of a barn mgr at Charlie's barn to go to OF, and Brita helped put him back on the trailer to come home. Good 'nuff for now.

back at my old stomping grounds!
It was totally worth it. This was also the first opportunity for one of my longtime trainers to actually physically lay eyes (and hands) on my new horse, and I was eager to hear trainer P's thoughts.

Verdict? She likes him! She observed that he has the build to make a very elegant picture when he's more trained up (fingers crossed lol) and she liked his canter too - describing it as ground covering and rhythmic. Music to my ears since I'm basically reduced to a state of drooling bliss while cantering him.

She also only half jokingly encouraged me to take LOTS of pictures of him now to fully document this "before" stage haha. Yup, I'm on it, I promise!

pony introductions!!! and note trainer P's hand delivering scritches to the ever-willing Charlie haha
The actual ride itself was pretty straight forward. I was late to the lesson (bc relying on favors from other ppl to help put your horse on the trailer means that you wait on them with patience and gratitude) so Charlie got to experience being saddled up all by himself at the trailer.

And even did the slightly long-ish hack up to the arena totally alone too, and very quietly at that! Which obvi only further whetted my appetite to take him on a real trail ride lol.

#futureeleganthorse
Once we got up to the arena I let him walk around for maybe 10ish minutes while the other horses started jumping. Then a bit of trot, wherein P took me to task for not focusing more on putting him to work. She encouraged me to raise my expectations, especially with regard to contact.

Charlie was going around softly enough for him, not high and braced, nor low and leaning. So I was basically looping the reins at him as a reward. But P said that wasn't quite right - that horses don't think deeply enough on the subject to understand that contact happens in some circumstances but not others - they just need to know that contact is always a thing. Consistency and such.

bella is CUTE
We cantered around briefly, about a lap or two in each direction. But mostly, we just kinda walked. And watched the other horses go. My objective for the ride was less "serious lesson" and more about just getting that experience. Letting Charlie soak it up and hopefully enjoy himself a little in the process.

she couldn't be more different from wick, but brita's already making good progress bringing her along!
Tho we got our turn too when P set up some ground poles for us. Charlie is basically a ground pole expert now, so he graduated quickly from that exercise. Then onto a cross rail with placing pole - again another exercise Charlie has done and seems to understand. 

Next up a small vertical - which he knocked a couple times bc snoooooze. But then P added a back rail, which started by just resting in the cup on one side, with the other side on the ground. So not a true back rail - just a suggestion. Charlie saw that and lifted his shoulders WAY up over it - exactly the reaction P had hoped to inspire. Good boy! Then obvi he knocked it all down the next time bc boring haha. 

go little race horse, GO!!
He was unfazed by the full oxer too. Clobbered it once or twice, but gave it a few nice efforts too. We finished on the trip captured in the quickie video below. What a good pony!!


He gets a little quick in the trot when we start jumping, but isn't really pulling against me. Nor does he land super strong or anything (as far as he knows, the game is just jumping one thing then stopping. he doesn't know about courses yet lol).

Trainer P wants me to focus on not letting him get overly quick, but the main priority is to give him his head and let him figure it out.

so freakin happy with this horse
All in all I could not have asked for a better or more promising first outing with this guy. My plain with a good brain OTTB just took it all in stride, with a soft relaxed eye and easy good nature. I think I'll keep him haha.

55 comments:

  1. Yay Charlie!!!! I'm glad you are getting back to your normal lessons. I know how much you love lessons :)

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    1. Ha omg I needed my fix SO BAD! It's cool tho, I see the light at the end of the tunnel!!!

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  2. Aw, this makes me so happy!

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  3. YAY! Everything about this is awesome! Here's to new ponies and lessons and progress! :D And he really is the cutest TB! (Can't say horse ever since my own would take great offense hehe)

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    1. I can only hope he turns into half the horse that Duke is!!! :)

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  4. What a wonderful first lesson off property! He just takes everything in stride, doesn't he?

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  5. Oh, Emma, I am SO happy for you. He's so perfect.

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    1. thank you!!! you have to come up and meet him!!!

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  6. SO MUCH HAPPY!! Everything in this post is absolutely wonderful! Time for a group outing to trail ride Fair Hill, methinks!! :D

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    1. i REALLY want this to happen!! just gotta figure out that bus situation ;)

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    2. Great post re Charlie and jumping yay. AND Keep me on the list for Fair Hill! I am ten minutes away! :)

      Go buy a new bus you know you wanna!! :)

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    3. ha you know i want to too!!! ;)

      and send me an email at fraidycat.eventing at gmail so we can coordinate bc i am SO SERIOUS about trail riding lol, and i know brita really wants to go too

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  7. 😍😍😍
    Also, he looks friggin' enormous in the photo with Brita and Bella and I love it so much haha. Yau for lessons!

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    1. lol fun fact - he joined a new herd last week and when i turned him out for the first time in darkness, had a hard time recognizing the other horses. saw one and thought it was one of the little school ponies (cute!). but nope, not a school pony. definitely a full sized horse haha. Charlie just basically dwarfs everything!

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  8. Hahaha he basically just trotted over that oxer. Charlie, not impressed.

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    1. haha yas and i love it! jumps definitely look small from up there!

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  9. charlie dwarfs brita & her new horse. thats hilarious.

    hes sooo relaxed about jumping, that's so fantastic. and I'm a little jealous. I never posted runkle's early jump lessons because they were.... so retarded...

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    1. ha he's pretty much relaxed about everything! and yea brita and i like to joke that we somehow managed to switch horses - bella is petite and sensitive but with lots of talent if she can be properly challenged. and charlie is... just kinda happy to bop around without thinking overmuch about anything lol. oh. and we also legit traded tack for our new creatures...

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  10. Awwww cutie! Love that he's so quickly bored with everything (although that comes with its own set of issues)

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    1. ha very true - tho i'm less worried about that right now bc while he is easily unimpressed, he is also a very good thinker and learner. he figures out the game quickly and so far has continued to play along.

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  11. Glad you and the boy were able to get out and have some lessoning fun! Love the comment P made about raising expectations and contact- that's very good food for thought for me as well.

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    1. definitely good food for thought. and one of the major reasons i am such a lesson junkie. all too often i can get complacent when schooling on my own, and will settle for mediocre when i should push for better. thank goodness for trainers who will kick my butt and keep me (and the horse!) honest!

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  12. Aww, Charlie! You definitely don't belong on the short bus, old smarty pants!

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    1. lol he says he prefers the 'extra long, extra wide air ride, thankyouverymuch' haha

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  13. Yay lessons, oh man do document everything because the changes happen so fast and yet not at all (watched pot scenario I think.) For some reason I find the "everything's a first" exciting yet annoying with horses I dunno. lol

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    1. yea in some ways it can be exhausting to try and mentally prepare for all possible outcomes bc even tho he's so good, i still want to be prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt for a green moment in a new situation. which means i'm constantly tabulating what's 'new to him' and what isn't. documentation is key tho!

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  14. Charlie definitely looks like he has brain to spare, which is the absolute best. But clearly those jumps will have to go way up to really impress him!

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    1. ha right? 'brain to spare' --> i like the way that sounds!!

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  15. Ohhhh he's all legs and things! I must meet him. So cute, and nothing beats that attitude!

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    1. haha oh boy is he all legs!!! nothing quite reinforces that sense more than when he gets those legs tangled up and trips and it feels like we are going to lawn dart straight down through the earth's crust haha. he's a good boy tho - can't wait for you to meet him too!

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  16. I love how relaxed he is about everything!

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  17. Good boy Charlie! Bring it on, Emma.

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  18. I just love everything about this. EVERYTHING

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  19. He's so cute. Y'all are certainly on the right track!

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    1. thank you! he's made it quite easy so far!

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    1. thanks! i feel excited too - and am eager to see how things continue unfolding!

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  21. Charlie sounds like a total & absolute gem!

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    1. he's just a really good dude!! i hope he likes the job!!

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  22. Yay for hauling and willing friends. And even better about the great first lesson!!!

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  23. This makes me so happy for you guys!!!

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  24. Hooray! Such a good boy. I luvs him!

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  25. This makes me so ridiculously happy for you guys, what a great boy to be so good

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  26. Haha loving the oxer video. 'Mmm yeah there is an obstacle here ya know? I got it covered though, no stress'

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  27. This is so exciting!!! I love folowing your progress. He sounds like such a good natured horse!

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  28. He has such a huge stride! So proud of you guys!

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  29. Exciting things are coming!!!!!

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  30. Love this. Seriously, so happy for ya!

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