Monday, November 3, 2008

Morning out alone

Today I decided to take Garbo out and leave Maraschino at home alone - because I knew from his personality so far, that he would be fine. But I got my friend to stay at home and keep an eye on him just in case - plus I wanted to know how he handled it.

So 9am I gave Maraschino a bucket of food and headed off to the float with Garbo. The little pony next door was making more noise about the whole thing.

Off we headed to Woodhill Sands - it's an equestrian facility that is on a natural sand trap so it's basically all sand with some grass. It has some dressage arenas, some cross country jumps, and lots of trees... and the best thing - during the week there is hardly ever anyone there.

We arrived about 5 minutes after leaving home (it's on the next street), Garbo managed to squeeze in a poop in the float in that short trip! He got off in a bit of a hurry and looked around head high to see if there were any other horses around - nope... the last time we were there was 18 months ago at a Ribbon Day (pre-Parelli) where he bucked every time all the horses in the ring (about 30 of us) trotted.

So - we spent quite a bit of time on the ground... getting him ready to ride and confident and listening to me. Perhaps 18 months ago I would not have been able to read the subtle signs and thought he was ok to ride - but these days I know better.

For the first 20 minutes he was half doing what I asked and half looking around, which has always been his 'trait' - he used to get described as 'distracted'. But after a while he became more and more calm and looking to me for guidance.

We played touch it with the outbuildings and the jumps ( I don't think he thought they were jumps - they just looked like short fences with trees on either end to him), initially he was spooking a little from them but after a bit he was checking them out and eating the trees attached to wither end of the fence.

Then we went looking for a jump small enough to jump - but there were none so I stood up on top of a huge log jump and asked for a circle round me. We had great canter transitions, and looking at the photos I am really pleased with the fact that his back legs are coming underneath him well, and the angle of his front diagonal and back diagonal in trot are the same.

We also did yo-yo with me sitting on another log jump.

We walked back to the float and I saddled up, and got on, in my rope halter and lead rope- first time we have ridden out alone in a new place without a bridle, but I didn't even think twice.

We had a lovely ride, he was very responsive. He takes me repositioning myself in the saddle as an upwards transition - hmmmmm... I can't complain.

We didn't canter - we nearly did but he put his head down like he was going to buck so I asked for a one rein stop - and he stopped, I don't think he would have bucked but I stopped him so that's the main thing.

We finished with taking the saddle off and I led him back to an area of the sand he liked so he could have a nice roll. I don't think he wanted to leave.

We drove in the gate after our quick drive home and I could see Maraschino head down grazing - yay.

Michelle said he called out after he finished his food and the pony next door called back, then he slowly walked to each corner of the paddock and called, interspersed with some grazing, and then just carried on grazing.

So I am so pleased.

We might go to the Helensville Track on Sunday - it's a real race track no longer used - will be great for follow the rail.

1 comment:

Jen said...

So cool, Vicki! Love the look of the place and how wonderful to have it all to yourself! I agree, that's the best. :)

Hugs and love from chilly Illinois!