Unfortunately fall brings wooly horses and burrs that cling to polo wraps. I spent 20 minutes before even leaving for the stable picking out seeds and burrs from the fleece leg wraps. If I had a choice I wouldn’t use the leg wraps when I went on a trail ride with Willy but it’s something Susan requires. Maybe I can lightly wrap the polos with vet wrap once they are on, that way the burrs won’t stick to the wrap and I can toss the seed encrusted outer layer. We’ll have to see.
Today I didn’t find Willy in his usual run so I again had to wander the stable yard looking for him but at least after being here a while I can narrow it down to a few runs that seem to be where the resident lesson horses reside most times. Willy was cute as I groomed his neck, he really leaned into the curry comb and showed how pleased he was that I was working on his itchy spot!
I worked with Willy in the round pen to start. I planned on lunging him and had a brand new lungeline that I purchased on Friday at Equiline. It’s purple, no green lines were available in the store and I didn’t want to wait to order online, oh well all my tack doesn’t have to match right? Besides, purple and green look nice together! I don’t know if Willy has ever been lunged, it doesn’t seem that way since he kept turning and following me as I walked towards him trying to cue him to walk on and trot in a circle around me. I ended up grabbing one of the lunge whips; it helped him realize what to do as I tapped the whip on the ground behind him. I had him walk and trot in both directions, his trot really does seem stiff but it’s not too bad. Once I feel that he really understands the lunging business I’ll work with side reins to start trying to encourage him to lower his neck and more fully engage his hindquarters; to collect. He still didn’t catch on to the halt that well and ended up turning into the circle as he halted. That’s not something you want when lunging a horse, they need to stay on the circle and halt. I’ll have to work on that with him.
Once we had our fun with lunging I put on Willy’s bridle and hopped up bareback again. I worked on relaxing my seat and letting my legs swing without pinching. We did a couple little bouts of trotting but I decided I wasn’t quite comfortable with the trot bareback to keep going very long. Eventually, after I had my fun with some leg exercises, I decided to put the saddle on.
The older man with his daughter/granddaughter (I would assume she’s probably 8 or 9) was there with a photographer taking pictures her and the horse Silver. The photographer was also taking pictures of Willy and I, he asked first, and another girl (15 years old maybe) riding Ladybug. I watched the girl that was leasing Ladybug. She was in the main arena working over a couple jumps. She trotted the mare and then cantered her over the small cavalletis. It was effortless! It really makes me wish I didn’t have that big gap of time where I didn’t ride for years, I wouldn’t be feeling like I’m starting my riding all over from scratch. Ladybug moved like she was made of elastic. I love dear old Willy but there is a distinct difference in how he moves compared to Ladybug and of course Divine. Poor old man. He’s a good trail horse though, a great horse to have a good time with and he’s teaching me patience that’s for sure.
I trotted him some more and cantered up the slopes a few times. Willy stopped over by the Friesians as I said hello before realizing he was going for the huge bale of hay placed outside their run. Bad Willy! Bad, unobservant rider! I finished the ride and gave Willy a groom down and put him back in his run. Next week Steve is most likely coming out again to ride with us!