So as I said in my last post I went to my friend J's ranch in upstate N.Y. this past weekend. We lucked out weather wise since the forecast was beyond grim. We got up around 8 on Friday so we didn't get to play with the ponies until Saturday. Saturday was chilly, but dry unlike previously forecasted. I had a chance to work with Flo, the palo filly I have mentioned in previous posts. The last time I rode her I used a saddle that does not fit me at all and it really affected the enjoyment of my ride because I could not get a good seat. The seat on the saddle was too big for me which I could have overcome if the stirrups went short enough. I could deal with one or the other, but the combo of the too long stirrups and too big seat made it difficult to get a good position and really enjoy my ride. This time I used a saddle that fits me much better in the seat and stirrups so my ride was much better. Flo is really becoming a great pleasure horse. Her jog is too die for. It is slow, comfy, and she has a nice headset. She has been mostly being worked English because the girl who excercises her for J rides english. Her canter is super comfy, like a rocking chair, but its a medium paced hunter canter not a slow even lope or even close to it. Like J said this is because the girl who rides her has been working on working her up in tempo and headset for jumping. When I am up there I will work on her western as much as I can, but I am not up there enough so hopefully Jill and the trainer work on it in between.
A few weeks back Flo was spooked by a bear in the ring where she was turned out. She ran through the fence and cut up her legs. Luckily the cuts were all superficial, but it definitely had an effect on her. When riding her in the ring where the incident occurred she is very looky. Her ears are always up and head up looking around. When asked to give you her headset and set up she will and a few moments later looks up again. She is still not over the trauma of the bear incident obviously. She did a nice spook at some deer creeping through the trees too. Hopefully with some time she will begin to get over it. She is still very calm and quiet for a three year old.
I also had a chance to ride Max, the gray gelding I wrote about in earlier posts that I described as a barrel/reining prospect. I set up the barrels and did some work with turns trotting and walking him around through the pattern in both directions. Then I tried to canter him through. He broke in between, but cantered parts. He is still out of shape too so you can't fault him. We did a dash or two and even let him run a little. He did a slow hand gallop and I didnt push him for more because again he is not in shape. He was a good boy as usual and has some nice turns. With more work he will be in shape and much better with turns and what not.
On Monday I finally got back on my mare after four days of not riding her due to rain and being away. We just rode around the farm and did the same on Tuesday. Yesterday was gorgeous and my friend K and I went on a trail ride in the local state park. I am doing an article on this park so I needed to go and we have been wanting to go for a while anyway. We rode for about 2 hours exploring the trails and eventually it lead back to the main path. The trails were gorgeous with mostly good footing. We had a great galloping spot and some beautiful autumn scenery. I got a lot of gorgeous pictures as well. The trails are also open to bike riders and walkers so some are narrow and windy, but most good for a horse to pass. I look forward to going again and exploring the other paths since there were a ton of them we passed along the way we chose.
Today we just hacked around the farm enjoying the beautiful weather. Tomorrow we are going team penning for my friend's birthday. It will probably be one of the last times for the season so should be fun!