When I got to the barn tonight, I didn't see Max in his stall. Slightly panicking I stuck my nose in the door and found this...
I felt teerrrrribbllee waking him up. But it's been three days and he needs some exercise! So I pulled out the alarm clock (aka carrot) and he was on his feet, bright eyed and bushy tailed in half a wink.
Since it was super cold, we did some light work. Lots of stretchy walks, circles and figure-eights around cones. I tried to work on my seat a little more, stretching my heels down and turning my toes in. I can manage it pretty well in the walk..but as soon as we trot it all falls apart >.<
We had a lovely trot going right, but for some reason when I ask for forward in the trot going left he'd canter. I guesstimated that he was requesting a chance to canter so I decided to risk it and let him have a little fun. I'm nervous having him get too worked up when the temps are so low outside, so we kept it short and sweet. At least he got to stretch his legs out and move a little.
Best part is..the hubs came with me tonight :) Max loves to see his papa!
This picture proves there are no hard feelings about the big hole Max is putting in our bank account!
What personality quirks does your pony have? What makes him or her special?
Max loves to snuffle at my camera. Thus resulting in nose shots a-plenty. Here is a montage of some of them:
He also loves scritches at the base of his neck. He'll stretch his head up and arch his neck like a giraffe!
Under saddle he has a quirky trick of trying to get out work by dipping his head down and blowing/sneezing. Then very subtly he'll look to the outside. If that doesn't work he will sometimes pretend there are scary monsters in the corners and will pick his head all the way up and tip-toe around. If that doesn't work he'll do a jump and scoot. If THAT doesn't work..well..he hasn't come up with anything else yet. Thank goodness!
My lesson with J on Saturday went great! Max and I have been struggling with a canter depart to the right for...a while...and a couple of minutes with J and we figured it out. She really is a wonderful trainer!
She noted that there has been some negotiating going on between us. Max would either 'round' out, or he'd move forward. We have been slowly settling into an either/or, when in reality we have to be both.
My reigns were the main problem. Some slack had started to creep back in and the contact was no longer existing and soft, but loopy and jarring.
After we worked on fixing the contact with the bit, and putting my foot down with the forward, he moved beautifully, and today we accomplished a wonderful canter depart to the right with no head-tossing or bucking. It still doesn't feel as pillow-y soft as our left canters but it's an improvement nonetheless!
I love my fuzzy face cheeky boy so much. I still cannot believe he's mine!
Boy oh boy have I been MIA from blogging. I feel terrible because I'm supposed to stick to this and keep record of my riding.
Speaking of riding..haven't been able to do much between winter storms and Max's ouchy feet.
So far though, he has been doing pretty good. The new farrier came and put new shoes and pads on, and also suggested I put boots on his hind feet during our rides since they look very short and could be causing some discomfort.
My trainer hopped on him and sent me a note saying he was feeling much better, but was quite test-y at the corners. She suggested I keep him forward to help with the spooking.
I'm so excited because this Saturday I'm going to have my first lesson in...oh..I don't know...a while!! It will be a group lesson with a friend, but nonetheless it will be nice to get J's eyes on my riding again. As soon as the warm weather comes along I'll have to cough up more dough for more lessons.
I'll definitely be blogging about my lesson...but in the mean time here are pictures of Max in his new heavy weight blanket! Single digit temps, bring it on!!