Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Spring is sprung

Spring is sprung
The grass is ris'
I wonder where the birdies is

~ A little diddy I learned from my mom who learned it from her dad

Horses react to spring in different ways.  Theo decides it's too warm for this nonsense and throws little temper tantrums.  We had some difficulty maintaining a canter in our lesson yesterday with the temps all of 57*.  It's kind of nice that he doesn't get spring fever like some other horses, but a little forward would have been nice.  I sounded like a steam locomotive trying to get him going.

As for the rest of the horses around the barn?  Spring Fever, baby!  I was cleaning up Theo after our lesson when one of the teens called down the aisle 'I think there's a problem in the Ritz'.  I looked up and saw a parent run past the door.  Aw, crap.  Trainer A was out with a trio of kids on a trail ride.  I literally drop everything and take off running through the aisle and out to the Ritz.  Three school horses snorting and wheeling with everyone on the ground.  WTF?  I got out there and took the last horse that was being held by a kid.  Fortunately Trainer A had a helper with her on the walk so the two most wild ponies were immediately grabbed by experienced hands.  I nabbed Bambino from his kid and told him to quit acting up.  He immediately settled.  He knows better.

Trainer A looks at me and asks how I feel about a quick trail ride.  It takes me a second to answer.  I know what that actually means.  It means 'will you hop on the horse that was just acting like a fire breathing dragon and inform him that it's not allowed'.  I don't really do that anymore, but I heard myself say 'yeah, let me grab my helmet'.  I fail at self preservation.  But it's the Bambino, not a big problem.  Trainer A was taking on Juice Box who is like the Energizer Bunny and the teen was taking on the cause of all of the problems who I will dub Spazz Pony.  Spazz Pony is sweet, but when he gets up, there is no down.

Poor Theo was still standing in the aisle, half brushed.  I chucked him in a stall, apologized, and grabbed my helmet.  Since we were still organizing, I took Bambino down to the ring to burn off that excess energy.  I forget what it's like to ride a nice, forward horse, especially after my tough ride with mi papi.  Bambino worked on his lengthen and shorten in the trot, then worked  his canter.  By the time Miss Thang was lunged and ready to go, he was blowing a bit.  Perfect.

Then Spazz Pony decided to spook at Juice Box picking up a canter in the ring and ditched his teen.  We had to pause AGAIN while someone caught the Spazz.  By the time he was collected, the teen decided no trail ride for her.  So we tossed Miss Thang between Juice Box and Bambino (Miss Thang's poor rider just happened to be in the ring at the wrong time and was drafted into a trail ride).  Considering the theatrics Miss Thang gave everyone on the lunge, I was mentally preparing my last will and testament on the way out.  But this is what happens when you know how to handle the naughty ones.  It's like teaching:  you try to escape, but you can never fully get away.  There's a certain responsibility that comes with having that skill set.  What was I going to say, no?  Nope.  So instead I girded my loins and marched out with the others.

It was great.  With confident, calm riders, all three had a lovely walk/trot in the woods.  We schooled past whatever it was in the woods that freaked them out and the two naughty ponies realized there was nothing to act out at.  At least not anything worth acting out when riden by confident adults.  It was Miss Thang's first trail ride of the year so it worked out beautifully that she had two escorts.  She had her happy ears the whole time.  Fascinating to spend that much time watching that mare trot from behind.  Her butt bounces a good six inches while out on the trails with her rider encouraging her to be quiet and calm.  Wow.

We put our horses away, then I pulled poor Theo out and apologized for my ding dong ditch maneuver.  He didn't mind, there was hay in the stall.

Today it's 70*.  Theo is going to do some canter sets to get us rolling on our conditioning work.  I want to do three minute canter sets in the outdoor, but we'll see if he can handle it.  They might be two minute sets.  Either way, it's the baseline and I can start adding on.  He really does need to be Training level eventing fit to go out and dressage.  Time to hit the hills and pray that the spring fever continues to pass him by.  He out bucks anyone but Miss Thang.

I'm also supposed to help breeze school ponies this week to help get the Spring Fever situation under control.  I need to get that last will and testament thing handled. 


  1. I also struggle with self preservation. Hopefully the spring fever passes quickly.

  2. Juice Box is the best name ever.

  3. I love the names you gave the ponies!! Hope the spring fever doesn't last too long.