I was up at the yard myself last night. I mucked out and left Wolfie eating some hay whilst I went to empty the wheelbarrow and make up his feeds. On returning I was ambling along, lost in my own little world when I looked up and Wolfie's stable door was wide open with no Wolfie in it. My heart leapt into my mouth. He hadn't passed me, I hadn't heard his feet and I definitely bolted the door as I check it every time. I grabbed his headcollar and went to run up a small track that leads behind the stables. I happened to glance in the hayshed and who was standing up the back stuffing his face with hay but Wolfie. Fortunately it was his own hay he was eating, but I'm not sure he hadn't sampled a few of the other bales. He is now in his stable with a clip on the bolt and the kick bolt over at all times.
The weather has been reasonable this last week and I've managed to get Wolfie out almost every night. He's been really fresh and full of nonsense. I lunged him the other night and he was just having a complete carry on. Bucking, taking off, leaping off all four legs. I decided to just let him burn it off. At one point he stopped dead and did the biggest buck I have ever seen in my life. He was completely vertical. One half of me was thinking I hope he never ever attempts that when he has a rider on him and the other half of me was in total awe that he had the ability to do that. It was a handstand. The boy is an acrobat.
I long reined him up the fields the other day. It was just meant to be a break from the school as he hasn't been out in ages and a little hill work. He kept taking sharp left and right turns into ditches, thick trees, bushes, streams. To be fair he caught me unawares every time and I was being pretty useless. Take your eye off him for a second and he takes his own route. Coming back down, it's fairly steep and I was intending to traverse across the field. Wolfie had other ideas and seemed to think cantering straight down the hill would be much more fun. What should have taken ten minutes to get home, then proceeded to take about three quarters of an hour as I had to keep circling him to slow him down and try and prevent him from bouncing on the spot. He then started spooking at a big clump of snowdrops (they obviously hadn't flowered the last time he was up there) . He's funny when he spooks. He acts dramatically for about a minute and then he marches straight over to whatever he's spooking at. I lunged him again tonight and he was very good. His canter transitions are becoming much more balanced. He is stiffer on his right rein and I am trying to be very concious of making sure that I do even amounts of work on both sides, including leading etc. I am going to lunge him in side reins next week and do a bit more long reining and then get back to riding. I'm hoping now the weather will remain good enough to get him back into consistent ridden work. I have a new wintec saddle (well it's new to us) and I haven't had a chance to try it out properly.
Sunday, 15 February 2009
Driving up to the yard today I was feeling really positive. The weather over the last three weeks has been absolutely awful. A combination of snow, ice and sub-zero temperatures. A blunt reminder that although the nights may be getting longer, it's still winter. I haven't been able to do any work with Wolfie at all as the ground has just been too hard or too slippy. Today was warmer and the sun was shining. As I drove up the driveway, Wolfie came cantering down to the gate. I grabbed his head collar and went to bring him in only to find he had lost a front shoe. To say I was disappointed was an understatement. I had been desperate to ride him. He was only shod less than three weeks ago, but the fields are in a pretty horrendous state and the mud is really deep and thick after having been frozen for so long, a few of the other horses have sprung shoes. I won't risk riding without a front shoe incase he's foot sore or the foot starts to break up. I hope the farrier can fit him in early on this week. I brought him in anyway and decided to take him into the school as the surface was soft and do a little ground work with the 'dreaded' taurpalin. Again he acted pretty dramatically although it was folded up into a very small square on the ground. I worked him in the dually halter and then brought one of his turnout rugs in and layed that out flat. He was soon walking over that no problem, although every time he passed the offending black object he would snort and leap past it. Working in the dually halter again I managed to get him walking around the taurpalin. I unfolded it bit by bit, each time asking him to walk over it. The first few times he was able to jump it. As the area became bigger he would follow me over it, but at 100 miles per hour. Eventually he was walking back and forth over it when it was spread out fully. I was very, very pleased as due to his initial reaction to the tarpaulin I thought this might have developed into a bit of an issue. Wolfie loves praise and as he had an audience he was in his element. We achieved alot today and that made up for not being able to ride.