Ahhhh…Spring!

Today’s Tip: Every horse is different and needs to be treated as such. Read on to find out how I was reminded of that and what I need to keep telling myself.

Thursday was a bitter day for me. It was my last day in the office before a long weekend, but it was absolutely gorgeous out. Maybe a little breezy, but it was about 75* and sunny. There was also a promise of at least a 20* drop in temps and rain for the days I had off. Mother Nature has a cruel sense of humor when it comes to April Fool’s Day!

Spring Flowers

I love the green grass and the spring flowers, like these, that popped up after the rain!

The good news is that we got a quick downpour on Friday, but the weather really wasn’t too bad. And the best news? That downpour really jumpstarted spring. I was in the arena at RideAbility when the front came through and when I came out, the grass had literally transformed in that short time I was inside. It was like coming out into a different world. I love it!

All three of the kids got a work out over the last couple of days. On the day off work yesterday, I hauled both Classy and Evee over to RideAbility. Evee has a serious fear of change and an abnormal fear of being left alone. It means I can’t take her alone but getting her away from home is good. She actually did pretty wall. She seems to have lost a little sensitivity to the bit over the winter, she was a little stiff, and she wasn’t thrilled to have Classy move all the way across the arena while she was tied to the wall. It didn’t help that a little pony was being ridden around behind her too. Ponies are rather scary you know!

Sunbathing

It's a tough life being a cat. All that sunbathing that must be done on nice days like today!

Classy didn’t have to do too much during his ride since Evee was busy with her panic attack. I did come to the realization, however, that my expectations have been raised, but our rides haven’t. I’m now expecting him to be at least “pretty good,” which he is, but we’re not doing anything more. The next step is going to have to push him a little. Since our current goal is preparing for the Three Phase Event in just a few weeks, we’re going to need to practice some actual dressage tests and start doing some more trail preparation. Classy’s worst trail obstacles are anything that involve walking over something (other than poles) – bridges, tarps, etc. The plan of attack is simple: walk over anything and everything that’s safe. I’m open to any suggestions of weird things to try!

Pretty got her turn today. We had to take some pictures for a thing I’m doing with Kerrits and for a saddle fitting article I’m helping out with. It made me really appreciate the work I’ve put in with Classy when we were both a little younger and competing in 4-H showmanship. Getting Pretty to put her feet just where I wanted them and then leave them there while I moved around was definitely not the highlight of my weekend. We got some decent pictures, though, and got to spend some time just riding around for fun. She’ll definitely still need some neck strengthening and, though she listens to rein and leg aids well on a circle, she doesn’t quite get them moving in a more straight direction (ex. moving over to the rail when she wanders off). Still need some basic work, but I still love her!

Posing with Pretty

It would still look a lot better if she weren't part woolly mammoth. We'll probably retake again in a month or two when she looks normal again. She'd have to be the one that takes the longest to shed out!

This weekend was a good reminder of “every horse progresses differently.” Classy really just needs reminders to get back to where he should have been all along, Evee really needs to get both her physical and mental strength worked back up and then pushed a little more, and Pretty always seems wonderful but really lacks a lot of foundation pieces. It’s really easy to try to ride them all the same, but their training, ages, and personalities are all so different, that isn’t really possible. It’s good to be reminded of that!

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