Well it was all go this week, all horses have now been moved over to the winter grazing, we had lots of rain and the river broke the banks that night! At least we beat it this time, not like back in June. Other than that, Rio has pretty much spent the week being a field ornament. Boy, did he have something to say about that yesterday.
I had planned on schooling (braving the scary outdoor grass arena) before going with Millie to try hacking out her new potential horse. As it turns out, Sarah pulled up as I was tacking up so she went and got Franks and we went for a ride out around the village. Neither of them were settled, they both wanted to be in front, or jogging, and on the way back onto the field, Rio decided to try a little bronc/buck thing, so we made them walk back the long way around! Cheeky little thing. Franks decided it looked like fun and tried it on too - cue visions of hurtling across the field - but we both sat firm and told them off and they managed to walk back to the yard with no further argument. Boy was I glad I didn't try schooling - I think he'd have been a total nightmare.
At around 300kg per bale of this stuff, it was heavy going getting each one into the arena ready to be opened and spread. I can certainly feel it today, I have Hulk shoulder on the right side! I wasn't about to let that stop me riding it today though.
I kept Sarah company this morning when she went to pick up Millie's new boy, a lovely boy the same age as Rio, a Connie x TB. Once we were back at the yard, we awaited confirmation that the school would be ready to ride on today, and dashed off to get the boys in, and loaded up in the trailer when we received it. After clearing the wooden track that was in place by the entrance, we got to tack up and set foot in the arena for the first time!
After the fun ride yesterday, neither me nor Sarah expected much productivity from today. I was so pleased with the work we managed. We played follow the leader for a bit, and after some walking and a bit of trotting, I slowly pulled Rio up and we went it alone for a few laps. We took up following again and tried a canter, which was mildly successful - following Franks and Sarah - other than Rio's sharp cornering in order to keep up around the circle. After that, we went our seperate ways and I was pleasantly surprised with how he got on. He wasn't so keen on the far end of the school (as usual) but did better than expected considering I hadn't taken in a schooling whip to touch on his shoulder. Most excitingly, we cantered solo, and managed almost a whole circle on the left rein, and even better - two whole circles AND up the long side on the right rein, before I brought him back to trot! A momentary flash in my mind of future canter exercises in schooling made it all worthwhile. Unfortunately, he was pretty sweaty after not much time at all, so lucky for me, he needs clipping again already. I think I may be giving it a go myself this time though, with a borrowed set of clippers, as no way can I afford that at the moment!
25 sleeps to Christmas!
Ride/play safe x