Sorry for the gap in posts, but it has been a crazy busy week!
Alex is REALLY enjoying his new saddle and his trot finally has suspension which even though I know it's not like schooled Dressage horse, it feels amazing! I'm kinda even nervous to talk about it, like maybe if I do, the other shoe will drop :-/ The flip side of Alex's new found comfort, is that he feels really GOOD, which means he needs a reminder course in appropriate behavior.
Wednesday night he was dancing around and trying to bite me so much at the mounting block, I didn't even dare set my foot in the stirrup because it seemed like a launch pad. Out came the lunging equipment. After about 25 minutes, he became much more reasonable and I got in the saddle. Oh lovely bouncy beautiful suspension! No stabbing steps, much reduced stiffness from the rear... could it be true? Have we found the answer? Ok Alex... I'll forgive you for feeling a little frisky.
Thursday, I decided we'd try a ride without lunging after all, he's usually fine when he's been worked the previous day. I managed to get into the saddle without any dancing around or biting from Alex. After some stretch at the walk, I asked for the trot... Alex took about three stiff steps at the trot and then after I asked him to stretch... bounce bounce bounce... there it was again suspension! We worked all over the arena and then started to canter. About the time Alex stretched his nose to the ground and really started to carry himself all the way down the long side, someone drove around the corner and drove over a stick making a noise... explosion! Buck, buck, buck, groan, hop, turn, buck, buck, buck... halt... snort...back to trot work.
Saturday, I headed out to lunge Alex before riding, since I had already made the decision that Alex was going to be lunged before every ride, until he remembers to behave. Everything was going along fine... Alex was stretchy and relaxed, with the exception of looking around at a horse that had been brought out to graze. I was just about to wrap up lunging when... explosion! A horse in one of the paddocks close to the outdoor started running around with his tail in the air, so of course Alex had to show off adding a few bucks for good measure. After another 15 minutes, he regained his senses and I got into the saddle. There it was again... that lovely trot...and it didn't matter that he'd been a little enthusiastic lately or that we were both dripping with sweat, it was wonderful :-)
In other news, I've found someone to fix the cosmetic issues with the saddle, so it will be shipped to Maryland on Thursday, and hopefully back to us by the following Wednesday. So excited about this, because she's someone who does lots of work for County and said it would be no big deal to fix. Yippeee!
While the saddle is gone, rather than risk ruining any of our progress, I'll be working Alex on the lunge, so he can continue building his muscles back up and I won't have to deal with a wild pony when the saddle returns.
Phew, sorry for the long post, but I had to catch up :-) Hope everyone has a fabulous week!