Honestly, I've been too busy keeping two horses in work to do a lot of writing about it. Sleep? What's that? It's kind of like a unicorn. You hear a lot about them, but you don't think you'll see any yourself.
Fi has been getting some work from various riders to take some of the pressure off of me. She's perfect for filling in as a school horse on flat weeks. Just about every intermediate and up rider is comfortable on her and enjoys riding her. She enjoys the extra work and attention, so I've been sneaking her into lessons with certain riders that I think will enjoy her. Of course I've been riding her, too. The princess has gotten fat! We've cut back her grain again. I'm counting the days to our move to the summer barn and our return to trail rides and long gallops in the town forest. Fi is so eager to just get out and gallop, I can't wait to give her that chance.
I went through the Second Level test moves with a friend today and was rather startled to find that Fi is schooling just about all of them successfully now. Her counter-canter is still a bit of a mess, but we're closing in on being able to run through that test. We'll see if I can learn to sit the trot well enough to not fall off in a medium trot. It's freaking embarrassing that the one move I can't seem to get is sitting the trot.
As for Ben, we had our first jumping lesson today. I jumped him a bit yesterday and it was, frankly, a mess. We had some lunging, scary fences and a lot of tension. I wasn't too bothered since it was stuff I could recognize and work with, but if I was going to have to rebuild from the beginning, what was the point of bringing in an experienced horse?! Today, though, I knew what I was going to have to work on. Get him up in front of my leg, focused, and accepting a light contact.
We had such an awesome lesson. It's been a long, long time since I could say that about a jumping lesson. He jumped everything without batting an eyelash. We have work to do on getting the canter consistent so we don't get flyers or chips, but I felt very safe and comfortable. He was calm and mannerly about everything. It was around Beginner Novice, but I suspect we can bump them up to Novice and nothing will change. I'm tentatively starting to hope. I even pulled his mane today as I settled into the idea that he's going to be sticking around and be my partner. If today is what he's usually like to jump? I might just be in love.
I still feel a bit like a traitor when I ride him and Fi is sitting there waiting, but I know Fi is happier with me getting my fix with someone else and letting her be my dressage horse extraordinaire. I have a dressage show on May 5 and I'm debating what tests Fi should do. Do I go conservative and do First Level 1 and 2, or go for broke and do 2 and 3? I'll be debating this one for at least another week or two. It's a schooling show, so I'm tempted to just put it all out there and do 2 and 3.
Time to haul my coat off to the dry cleaners and dig out the show pads!