Wednesday, Jun. 5, 2024

Stuck

Fender has settled in very nicely, and what timing—we’re waiting now for Round 2 of the 2010 Snowpocalypse, and there’s already 27 inches on the ground. So far I’ve managed to ride him every other day, which is perfect. I’m aiming for four rides a week; we’ll see how that goes. As it is, he’s the only one of my horses making any kind of progress.

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Fender has settled in very nicely, and what timing—we’re waiting now for Round 2 of the 2010 Snowpocalypse, and there’s already 27 inches on the ground. So far I’ve managed to ride him every other day, which is perfect. I’m aiming for four rides a week; we’ll see how that goes. As it is, he’s the only one of my horses making any kind of progress.

He’s adapted very quickly. He wasn’t wild about my indoor’s mirrors right away, but a longeing session and some cooing from the saddle got him through it, and now he’s a pro. He’s still returning to the level of fitness he had when I tried him, which is fine—babies come around quick—but I can’t work him more than 20-25 minutes or my quarter runs out.

Today was the first ride I had where I felt he was truly in front of my leg for a few moments. In those moments the contact is delightful—TO the bridle but not THROUGH it, back swinging. Then he falls apart and hits my right rein like a hammer. Ah, youth. It’s better every day. And we have nothing but time.

Fender also had his first trailer loading lesson before the snow set in, something he wasn’t wild about, but God bless the Geldings—a little bucket of sweet feed and a waggle of a longe whip, and he was Mister Professional. Here’s hoping that trend continues. He seems very amenable, just in that teenage “Gonna Make Me? OK, Fine!” kind of way. No backtalk, just the occasional dramatic sigh. He’ll get over it.

Midge is in a training hole. After going like gangbusters for weeks, we’ve plateaued, which is to be expected, but I’m still bummed. He can put the whole Prix St. Georges together without too much fuss now, but our changes are all distinctly in leg yield right, and he can’t really canter with his neck down AND his back up on anything other than a straight line, which makes half-pass a little precarious. Trot work is wicked good, though, so I can’t complain too much. Maybe Scott will have a stroke of inspiration to get us to the other side.

And then there’s poor Ella, who got a Long, Stern Lecture two weeks ago about why we piaffe every time I ask, with enthusiasm, and with no histrionics, only to develop a nasty-looking skin thing on her back. Everyone’s skin is very dry, so I put some very gentle baby lotion on one dry spot. Next day it looks like she’s turning into an alligator, and when I went to touch it she just about cried. OK then!

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I did get to ride her twice between our “conversation” and the reptilian breakout, and she reported for duty like a good soldier both times, so I made my point and can rest easy while we sort her skin out. My vet told me to put some Desitin on it and wait until it doesn’t hurt her to touch it anymore. Sigh. Our first show is in six weeks!

I am really getting fed up with this constant-snow crap. My lessons are canceling, horses are getting stale from all the ring work. And I have an indoor! My clients who keep their horses at home are having a heck of a time, and some of them are starting their eventing seasons pretty soon.

Yuck.

With the show season less than two months away, this really is no time to be stuck, in the training or in the snow. Can it be May soon?

LaurenSprieser.com
Sprieser Sporthorse

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