It’s possible that I’ve said this once or twice (or a few hundred times) on this blog before, but Henry is the best horse that has ever walked on this earth. He is pure gold, through and through, and I officially nominate him for sainthood.
On Saturday I loaded both boys up and hauled out to MeadowCreek Park. Henry was going to XC school, and Presto was tagging along to have my trainer help us tweak his in-hand trot. We have not even so much as looked at an XC fence since Chatt, 7 weeks ago. In fact, I have only jumped Henry once since then – last Wednesday. We jumped maybe 6 fences.
I thought there might be a whole lot of rust to knock off, but Henry, as he does, slipped right back into Professional mode as if Chatt happened last week instead of almost 2 months ago. He was a little TOO gung-ho at the first couple fences, so we had to dial it back a notch and remind him that not everything needs to be jumped at 450mpm. (He says that’s bullshit, btw)
We had Presto out there ponying with us, so when it was our turn to jump we handed him off to a ground person, did our fences, and then went back and resumed babysitting duties of the yearling. The fact that this horse can go from badass XC horse and then flip the switch immediately into Uncle mode is pretty impressive. He does both jobs flawlessly. Although I think he probably prefers the XC part.
After our warmup fences we strung a few together to make a mini course, just a few Training fences. Henry was so happy to be out galloping that he wasn’t sure if he really wanted to pull up after the 3rd one. He’s run that T course at MeadowCreek a couple times now, so he knew where he was going, and he was not keen to stop so soon. Pretty sure he would have just gone on and jumped around the whole thing if I’d let him.
From there we went to the big mound, where we jumped through the Training way first, and then circled back and jumped the Prelim way – an upright skinnyish fence, up and over the steep mound, to the skinny chevron at the bottom of the hill. We’ve never jumped this Prelim combo before but Henry locked right on to both elements and was really super, just skipping right through like it was a gymnastic. That’s one of my favorite things about this horse, he retains everything, always picking up right where he left off even after a break. It’s almost like he’s… seasoned… or something???
From the mound we went to the water, and again Trainer had us jump the Training route through first (which we’ve done like a million times) and then circle around and jump the Prelim route. Prelim had an upright skinnyish rolltop, bending line to a big log down into the water, bending line to another log out. Again, no problem for Henry. He was super rideable and looking for the jumps, but not being rude about taking me to them, and letting me put him a little bit closer to the base.
From the water the group headed over to the ditches, but there wasn’t really anything bigger set up over there so we just ponied Presto over. Same thing at the banks – we’ve done every route several times, so no point in doing it again. Considering Henry has only been back in work for a couple weeks and it was his first XC school, we just let him be done with that.
It was so great to be back on my best boy and out there doing what he does best. And the fact that he could do that job while also babysitting his brother… I’m so proud of Henry. He never ceases to amaze me.
Pictures tomorrow of all of Presto’s adventures. He had quite the day, too!