In 2014 we moved from a city lot on a golf course to five-acres just outside of town. Follow along as I work with Gentry, my current training project, and discover all the ups and downs of having horses at home on a hobby farm!
The main problem with having horses at home, is the problem of riding frequency. Granted, if I had an indoor, or even a sand arena as opposed to grass, this would not be an issue at all. However, if you are a humble horse owner like myself and don't have all the bells and whistles at home, the weather can severely crimp your ability to ride regularly. That doesn't mean I don't ride in questionable weather, I have to, but this spring has been really bizarre. While I will ride in slight wind or a drizzle, I will not ride in a hail storm, 35mph winds, or a downpour. That means our training progresses in spurts. It also means I day dream of boarding frequently.
Ready to Ride
Last week I rode Gentry once. Once! He was good, albeit full of energy, but a saint all the same. He even remembered what we have been working on and gave me a really good effort. I thought afterward I would turn him out for a nice relaxing grazing session on our vibrant green pasture.
So much for relaxing. Gentry definitely had a lot more energy to burn off, and galloped around like an insane man for a while! Usually I ride in the evenings, after he's had a few hours of turnout, so it was interesting to see just how much get up and go he still had after a fairly strenuous ride. The thing I notice in this photo is how much his balance at the canter has improved. Under saddle his canter has always been comfortable, but I think it looks like he is using his hind end better than he did in the past. Given that we have been mostly focusing on walk and trot work, I am assuming that the trot work has improved his hind end engagement and that has happily overflowed to his canter as well. I am encouraged! We still have a ways to go before I'll feel confident showing him Training Level in July, but at least I know he'll give me his best, even if his best at that time isn't the best it might be one day. Now if this spring weather could sort itself out, that would be great!