We’ve been riding a pretty good bit lately. All of the TBs are officially started… even Lucy. Since we’re riding so very much I thought I would give a quick update of each horse and how they are progressing.
Starting with the TBs…
Jen has continued to shine. Her wallflower attitude in the pasture completely melts away once she’s under saddle!! She’s got a work ethic to die for and a willing attitude that’s going to take her far whether she’s the steady eddy mount to one of the kids or a joy-hack for one of the adults. She has consistently proven herself as a trail mount and is starting to work on polishing up her form in the ring. I think it won’t be long before Julie or Lauren or maybe even Xander is showing her in a walk/trot class!
Diva has returned to active riding. Her first trail ride with Lauren was noisy (lots of neighing) but drama-free. Diva has a whole lot of attitude packed into her 15.1hh body! But she’s a consistent, sane, safe mare on the trails. She’s a bit rough around the edges schooling wise but we’ll start polishing that up soon enough. At this point I’m just happy to have her back in the riding rotation!
Razen has recovered from his knee injury and subsequent cellulitis. It was a nasty injury… what appears to be a kick from one of the mares then blossomed into cellulitis that had us cold hosing his knee multiple times a day plus a 10 day run on antibiotics. Happily it’s healed up nicely and he’s returned to light hack work with J. Razen continues to have a boy scout’s confidence with a can-do attitude! If J were ever reincarnated as a horse I feel certain he would come back as Razen! They are surprisingly similar personalities!
Paris is funk-free and has returned to a very active riding schedule! She’s settled considerably since her early days here at the farm and is showing herself to be a very quick learner. She’s just started jumping and all I can say is WOW… the mare is awesome! She has a lovely big trot and a gorgeous big canter and her natural jumping form is just incredible! Great things are in the future for our Paris!
Lucy is our big surprise! Julie backed her on Sunday and boy were we surprised at what we found! Instead of a skittish, nervous mare we found a sane, sound, calm and collected mare with the attitude of a schoolmaster! Very surprised to find such a calm head on that horse’s shoulders as she was a bit of an “up” horse when we first got her. Two years off to heal from her track injuries seems to have been all she needed and now she is very eager to be in the regular riding rotation! Her trot is huge and lovely while her canter needs a bit of work (altho to be fair she wasn’t in a large enough area to really extend) but we are all eager to see how she progresses now that she’s ready!
Noorah has also had nearly 2 years off to heal from her track injuries. She is a much more nervous mare than Lucy and hasn’t exactly settled into the idea of being a riding horse. I’m still getting a lot of confusion from her when we lunge her under-saddle so I think it’s just a matter of letting her gain confidence slowly. I’m happy to say that she no longer appears to be as body and foot sore as she once was so there’s hope that she and J will have a chance to bond up again in the near future. I’m actually hoping that J will get a chance to ride her this afternoon… I will update with how that turns out!
Pip is turning out well. He’s got the cutest canter and the sweetest trot… he’s just such a pleasure to take out on a hack… no fear of water, no problems walking over logs or patches of dappled sunlight… no problems with ravines or steep downhills. He’s just so very willing! His only draw back right now is that he’s not very responsive turning at speed. I’ve eaten a surprising number of leaves as Pip is fond of taking me under low branches! It is getting better and he is still a baby at 4. He’s coming along as nicely as I could hope.
I started ground driving Woodrow a few weeks ago and he’s taken to that beautifully. Honestly he’s better with steering than Pip, but that’s why I love starting my new babies out ground driving… they seem to understand what I’m asking with the bit without having to figure out the person on their back at the same time! I have let Xander ride around on his back while driving him and Woodrow couldn’t care less! He’s standing somewhere above 16hhs now and seems to be growing more every week! I have no doubt that he’ll be over 17hh by the time he’s finished growing!
We are actually a bit concerned about Bingley. He seems to have quit growing well below 15hh and which such a big dam we really thought he would be bigger. IDK… maybe he’s just plateaued for a while since he’s only 2. He’s also developed these odd lumps along his ribs. At first we thought they may have been a reaction to bug bites but the skin moves over the bumps so it’s not on the skin… they appear to be some sort of calcium deposit on his ribs. I’m wondering if it has something to do with him being a bottle baby… I think a call to the vet to consult is in our future. I sure hope that it’s a short term situation as Bingley is such a pet with everybody here at the farm.
Maddy is consistently cantankerous. At nearly 20 she’s the been-there-done-that mare in the lower field. Honestly tho, other than a little more grey around her eyebrows she’s looking the best I’ve ever seen her! Fat as mud on minimal feed and full turn out, she’s the picture of health!
Fantine, Lady and Belle continue to do well on full retirement. Lady was fully retired this past week as it’s become grossly apparent that she can’t handle the stress of even tacking up. She’s earned her rest and has become best buddies with Fantine.
Skye is a bit resentful that he was pulled out of pasture gluttony to become Xander’s mount! Oh the tricks that pony knows! I have a feeling that Xander is going to be one tenacious rider after the schooling he’s received from Skye! Nothing like a cantankerous pony to make or break your riding career!
So that’s about it for the horse update. I’ll try to update more often now that we’re riding more!