This weekend was unusually beautiful (aside: do you like how every post these days starts out by describing the weather?), so of course I spent as much time as possible out at the barn. On the flat we are still mostly stretching, and working up to a training level frame to get his conditioning back. Once we is warmed up we have had some really nice trot work, and I’m hoping this will carry through to the canter once he gains more fitness. I’m also working on getting his weight up a bit to help with the muscle building process, so he is getting alfalfa mush and just started on a Cocosoya supplement as well. This is the first time I have tried the latter (previously I have gone with Cool Calories, but I liked that description for the Cocosoya), so if anyone has feedback I’d love to hear it!
Yesterday we jumped for the first time in ages, and had oh so much fun. He was a little behind my leg (understandably), especially over the cross rails and smaller fences. There were a couple fences set up at 2’9″ and 2’11”-3′ and once he went over those he pepped up quite a bit. After doing a small course, we were talked into trying our hand at the gymnastic that was set up – a crossrail/crossrail bounce, one stride to a vertical, one stride to a 2’9″ish oxer. At first we took out the vertical, as Foster (and maybe even myself) has never done a bounce before and didn’t want to over complicate it. I had visions of him stumbling through (especially after our raised pole confusion a while back), but I was shocked to see how easily he picked up it up, even the first time. We ended up added the vertical back in, and he popped through the whole thing easy-breezy.
Doing this really reminded me how helpful gymnastics can be- I tend to be intimidated by them because I haven’t been really exposed to them, and I worry about not setting them up right and creating a disaster. Luckily, this one was set up by a fellow boarder for her coming-Prelim horse, so I knew she would have the distances right. Going through this exercise really helped us find our spots (the couple single fences I jumped afterwards were so much nicer as a result!), and I could really work on my position over the fence. Will have to start setting up more of these in the future!
Anyways, outside of the barn, life continues to be a little bit of a struggle. My poor father-in-law is still in the hospital, although moved out of the ICU there is no news of his leaving anytime soon. Elliot has a UTI, which is probably caused by stress/separation anxiety and we are now plugging in a Feliway and he is sporting a fancy purple pheromone collar to help him be chill kitty instead of clingy kitty. Here’s hoping that works!
This week looks to be a crazy-fest, with more snow/slush/wintry mix crap coming, traveling to Pittsburgh, a wedding, and a cross country schooling lesson this weekend! More updates to come!