I haven't posted in ages mainly due to having a really rubbish internet connection. In some ways not much has happened in the last couple of months and in other ways some mile stones have been achieved. At the end of March, Wolfie developed a cough. It appears to have been a dust allergy. There were no other symptoms, but I still felt like I'd missed something. I monitor his breathing and recovery rate all the time, but this cough just appeared, possibly a bad batch of hay. I stopped his work immediately and started soaking his hay. Luckily the horses were turned out for summer early this year and the cough disappeared. I gave him a few weeks off and there have been no residual affects.
I've been doing alot of hacking, gradually building up the hill work, to strengthen his hindquarters, back and generally build him up and increase his fitness. He's been great fun and is very adventurous, loving to explore. I think in the last couple of weeks our confidence and trust in each other has really strengthened. It has always been there when I'm on the ground, but I am really starting to feel the partnership whilst riding. We also went out on the road for the first time. I don't like the road near the stables and although it is a country road, it is busy and the cars go pretty fast. I wouldn't hack along the road just to ride, but to get onto another hacking track you have to go along the road for a couple of hundred yards. I also want wolfie to be able to hack along roads in the event that he ever has to. On the way there he was great. Blocked in by Jake, a couple of cars passed, slowed down and it was fine. On the way home, a car came speeding around a corner behind us, thought they would over take but there was a car coming towards us so they were forced to break hard right behind us. The screech of tyres startled wolfie and he barrelled into jake, bounced off him back into the hedge. Jake did his job and didn't even flinch or cock an ear. If we had been out with a smaller horse, I think wolfie would have managed to push through them, but not Jake. Fortunately wolfie settled down and we made it back unscathed and although it wasn't a pleasant experience for wolfie, I don't think it will have any lasting effect on him being ridden on the road in the future. It just makes me cross though. We were wearing full hi viz everything, I have taken the time to prepare wolfie to be as safe as possible on the road and some drivers still don't have any consideration.
The plan for the next few weeks is to increase his schooling and start asking a little more of him. We have been working on rythmn, straightness impulsion and balance. Now he is a bit stronger, he is working much more forward. His downward transitions have improved greatly and he no longer falls into them. He works consistently well on the right rein, but finds the left rein more difficult to stretch. and bend I have to be disciplined and get back in the school. When it's good weather, I just want to take him out. I do school him a little when I'm out, and I always correct and remind him. I suppose it's all educational as he's getting used to me getting on and off to get gates, experiencing new things and we have even managed to open and close a few gates (unfortunately there are not alot of horse friendly gates around us).
Wolfie is enjoying the spring grass a little too much. I am desperately hoping that the horses get strip grazed soon as I really don't want Wolfie getting any fatter.
I am very pleased with the way Wolfie is turning out. He has his youngster moments and his silly moments and the times when he just can't contain himself bouncing on the spot moments, but all in all he has never scared me and has never acted nasty in any way. Anything he does is just in good spirits. I am really enjoying him.