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!|
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|
|exploring the grass at OF|
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!|
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|
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.
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|
|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 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|