After a 3 day vacation, semi vacation since I still took him on bareback walks, Pony went back to real work on Thursday! I would have actually ridden on Wednesday but I had a babysitting job so he got to enjoy one last day. I figure he earned it :) We came back and had a really nice dressage ride on Thursday. I think this is the first show that I have come back from where I actually feel like I can ride my horse better. Its amazing the difference when your trainer is at the show warming you up, I am definitely excited to improve on the last show at our next one in just a few weeks. We got our confirmation and are officially in for our next big boy dressage show the second weekend of May!
Today I decided to take him on a little hack up on the hills. We havent been up there, and done more than a walk, since the great abscess of 2013 but with the recent rain I figure the ground would be nice and soft. It turned out to be perfect! It was nice, sunny, and the ground was soft and had minimal parts with more loose sharp gravel. I really hate to 'condition' (I use this term lightly because lets face it... most horses could run circles around mine!) up there because the ground is generally hard + steep hills + loose gravel = high potential of lame Pony. I picked the shorter and flatter route and after our .8 mile walk to get to the trail we picked up a trot and off we went. I wish this trail didnt connect to the super steep area so that it could be a longer, nicer route but we just have to settle for what we get. Although he was sweating and huffing by the time we went down to a walk for the cool out home everytime I picked up the reins he was ready to go again. He was also going more forward with a longer stride up the hills instead of backing off and trying to walk, I would call that an improvement! He definitely isnt in bad shape, for him, but we have just been doing the dressage thing recently so his stamina leaves much to be desired! When we got home I hosed him off and even gave him a linement bath in case he got a little sore, we didnt do too much but we havent been on the hills for awhile, and we have a dressage lesson tomorrow that will kick our butts again. I figured he would be tired and ready for a nap but boy was I wrong. After his bath, and our first swat/sun screen application of the year, he got all sassy! He was super uppity, for him, walking back out to pasture so I decided to practice our trotting in hand that we will have to do when we go to Emis show with her. He got his big trot on and was even trying to canter. Wouldnt it be nice if he would do that at a show and not just at home?! Once I turned him out he took off cantering to go play with the other boys and ended up taking a few laps around the pasture bucking. Im not sure what got into him but I like it! I was very happy to see him so full of energy even after our ride.
I need to plan weekly hill rides if we want to hit some one day events this year and not die. I think we are going to pass doing a big recognized 3 day this year and just do some one days/derbys. With at least 3 recognized dressage shows on the books for the year ($$$$) I just dont think I can swing doing a recognized 3 day also. But that doesnt mean we can't hit some derbys and go xc schooling! Who knows, maybe later in the season I can figure out a way to go to one but I dont think Inavale is in our cards. I am not ruling it out but its also not first priority (which will really suck when I am watching xc and dont have my horse there competing). Its not like we dont have enough going on anyways! Next weekend is Emis first show that I agreed to take Pony to in hopes it will help Emi (we will do the open english classes), the weekend after that we are hitting the beach with our boys, and the weekend after that is Heart of the Valley! Then there is a weekend off before the one days at Inavale that we will go to if I get my butt in gear. Busy spring for this Pony!