Another week with 3 successful Presto rides! Considering I basically never leave the farm, fitting in 2 horses is still harder than it should be. It’s our absolute busiest time of year at work and I find myself drowning under meetings and emails and general extra volume. We’ve had a lot of rain in the forecast too, although pretty much none of it has come to fruition, even on the days with an 80% chance of rain. It all keeps barely missing us. Which is helpful for my productivity with the horses, but not so good for the grass (which is already nowhere near as plentiful as last year). It’s weird to be in January saying we need rain. I won’t complain about the lack of mud though.
Last week for Presto’s arena ride I decided it was time to play around with a baby dressage test. I’ve never tried to string elements together like you would in a test, and I’ve definitely never tried to do things at specific places in the ring. Mostly I’m just trying to get this drunk brontosaurus of a baby horse with all 4 legs traveling in mostly the same direction and in something resembling a rhythm. Still a work in progress, some days. I had taken a look through Intro B and C – the tests for the two HT divisions I’m considering entering him in at the March show. I figured we’d run through most of both of them but there were two things in particular I knew we’d need to work on – halting through the walk (it’s possible that the brakes might be installed a little tight on this horse, he’s real good at trot to halt), and just that one teeny 20m circle of canter. Legit never tried to canter this thing for just one 20m circle. It’s a big strung out baby horse, I wasn’t even sure if we could canter just one 20m circle.
I spent a few minutes warming up then starting diving right into it, mostly just actually stringing movements together with a solid plan of where they needed to happen. We played with a couple turns onto centerline (easier on this creature than Henry – how?), halts through the walk (lol), and trying to make actual 20m circles at specific places (how round does a circle really have to be?). Then I tried the canter circles, which was… as challenging as I thought it would be. The transitions aren’t that terrible but his canter is still a bit all over the place so it’s definitely more like a wiggly unbalanced 23 meter oval. Theoretically it’s sorta close though. Not as bad as it could have been?
We threw some free walk across the diagonal in there too, which is more like a cross of him being like “oh thank god, a break” and “WHAT IS THAT OVER THERE THO? CAN WE GO SEE?”. Lazy sightseeing, maybe? There is a lot of room for improvement all around. BUT, I think we can actually put a test together that at least stays within the confines of the arena and executes the movements we’re supposed to, so there’s that. We finished up with a few baby leg yields and then called it a day after a total of 19 minutes.
His official opinion is “dis dumb”. He’s not sure why we have to do this silly stuff when we could just go hack around the field instead. He’s kind of at a fun point though when things are very slowly starting to click into place, but he’s been looking extra growthy again so I don’t want to push too much. Managing those giraffe limbs can’t be easy when your body is doing… whatever his body is doing.
It’s really funny riding him and then riding Henry, especially back to back. I’m not sure I could have two more opposite horses if I tried. They feel absolutely nothing alike.
I did finally get a response from one of the local saddle fitters, and she does have a few monoflap jump saddles in her demo lineup that I could try. I didn’t ask what brands or models because at this point I’m willing to try just about anything. I think she sells Adam Ellis, Black Country, and Albion though. Still waiting to hear back about an appointment, but hopefully next week. That’s the only development on that front.
Presto did have another exciting day this weekend, but we’ll talk about that tomorrow!