Author’s note: the following post is intended to be read in the tone of “eeeeeeeeeeeee!” because I’m SO STINKING EXCITED.
I’m perpetually at the office but Tuesday/Thursdays at 8am is my standing appointment for pony practice with our trainer. My office is about 15 minutes away so I have to leave by 8:45 to make it in before my staff, which on pony days rarely happens. We tried earlier ride times but since the horses go out at first light after breakfast, it just wasn’t enough grass munching/stretching/pony wakeup time.
Anywho, I reeeeally wanted to ride today instead of just handing him over all dressed up… so I asked Claudia if they could untack and I would have an abbreviated ride and leave as soon as I hopped off. They very kindly obliged me!
I lunged a bit then climbed aboard. Pony was a little sticky to start but we got him moving with some turns and a ground whip. We had reeeeeeally nice trot today! Like floaty forward lovely. And by far we had my favorite trot to walk transition to date. It sounds silly (or does it? I could talk about this all day so it’s hard to tell), but it’s so fun to see progression even in downward transitions. Instead of trot / trot / trot / WALK. It was trot / trot / trot-slower / walk briskly.
One of our pony friends came out to lunge about halfway through and Fritzy thought it was great fun that they watched him work. I was really proud how he handled that extra distraction plus the usual birds and some weird flying contraptions that went overhead.
I finished in a good place, ie he was responding nicely off leg for walk/trot, and Claudia said she would hop on to hack him around the fields a bit on his way in. Let’s just say, she totes wants to steal my pony!
They went to go in the grass arena and he got sticky so she picked up the dressage whip and then he was SO GOOD! They changed rein across the diagonal, picked up canter for a few strides by accident as a forward response (AHHHH! forward!!!), he went way into the far corners and didn’t freak out, Kipling was working in the round pen and he didn’t even look!
They were finishing up in the grass arena as I ran to the car and I as I drove out -are you ready for it??- I watched them walk through the sand arena past the mirrors without even a flinch!!! Eeeeeeee! What a brave pony! They waved to me as I left the gate and I’m sure Mr Fritzydoodle got lots of treats upon his return to the barn.
I couldn’t have wished for a more awesomely excellent way to end the year! The whole morning I’ve been daydreaming about cantering and hacking and trot poles and all sorts of wonderful albeit simple things that are finally in our grasp. I think Fritzy has a lot more understanding in that smoochy face of his then he let on. It just took patience and the right people to coax it out of him. I’m so happy we started over, took it slow and let him understand that I’ll always be there to take care of him through anxious situations. We got this, pony.
In case you didn’t catch it, I’M SO STINKING EXCITED!
Here is Claudia aboard going down a long side before I booked it to the car.