Horse Life

Double Trouble

I’m running like a week behind here. The struggle is real right now.

When I was at Trainer B’s a few weeks ago, I mentioned my saddle fit woes with P and that I was concerned that perhaps it didn’t fit Leo either. I showed him how I put the saddle on- up pretty forward, then pulling it back until it settled, and he noted that it was still sitting too far forward on Leo’s shoulder and to pull the saddle back even further. Since P has massive shoulders as well, he said to try it with P and see what happened.

Whelp…

That’s the first normal trot I’ve gotten out of him in a year.

Almost like he was trying to tell me something with this:

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Yeah, I suck.

So we had normal rides all that week, which led to him getting on a trailer to Trainer B’s with Leo on Labor Day. His first trip back there since July 2018.

Leo went first, while P stared at us from the stall at Trainer B’s that we stuck him in, weaving back and forth like a psycho. Apparently he thought all my threats to leave him with Trainer B had finally come to fruition, because when it was his turn, he turned into a looney toon while Leo walked away and into the stall without so much as a backwards glance at P.

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Pilgrim 100%

He leapt besides me as I led him up to the arena and turned into a giraffe when he spotted people, yes, PEOPLE, daring to also be on the grounds. When I first got on, I felt like I was on a ticking time bomb, as he was so jacked up.

cfh

He started off just trotting around like a jackhammer, and we worked on flexing him one way, then the other, to get him to use himself properly so he could start to rebuild some muscle.

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He had some nice moments for sure, and Trainer B noted his trot has gotten much fancier. Maybe the Foot Hole was the key?

And while his canter is not nearly as smooth as Leo’s, at this point I will take P’s canter transitions over Leo’s.

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So relaxed on P

 

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And then there’s Leo coming out of the start gate. Note: These have gotten much better, but still not as nice as P’s

But I’ve always had to work pretty hard to sit P’s canter. He’s a great galloper and it’s so easy (and fun) to just get in half seat and zoom around, but sitting always has me feeling like I’m being tossed around like a salad. For the longest time I thought it was me, until I started riding other horses and having no issues. Sorry P, it’s not me, it’s you.

I’m sure much to P’s sadness, he won’t be frequenting Trainer B’s as often as before, but it was great to have someone who knows P evaluate him and give me some homework. P’s quite a bit more advanced in his training than Leo, but not in as good of shape as Leo is. So both horses are doing a bit of the same thing for now, with P just a few steps ahead.

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While I’m used to riding 2 horses back to back, 2 LESSONS back to back was a whole ‘nother bear

And Leo? Leo got to go work in the big boy dressage arena and start to put together elements of a test.

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And while there was some giraffe-neck happening, he tried his best to cram his long, gangly body into 20(ish) meter circles, though he was sure to let us know it was VERY VERY HARD.

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Had to scroll through 8 minutes of footage to get an unflattering shot of Leo

Then the next day, both boys went out on a 40 minute hack- Leo went first and we had an uneventful time. After riding sure-footed P for years, who has always handled changes in terrain like a champ at any gait, Leo feels so awkward and gangly, and definitely struggles a bit more. So I try to get him walking and trotting up and down the hills in the pastures at least 2x/week.

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Checking on P to make sure he hasn’t suicided himself the day after his field trip to Trainer B’s

Then P went out for his 40 minutes and at some point torqued his hind shoe off. Hands up if you’re shocked. No one? Yeah, me either. After taking him to Trainer B’s, BO and I put him on suicide watch , though, so I guess this was nothing in the grand scheme of things.

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But the joke was on P, because AGF was already scheduled to come out 36 hours later.

And, because I don’t have media of it (which sucks, because it was SO.GOOD.), a quick recap of Leo’s trip back to Trainer B’s this past Saturday where two things happened:

  1. I fell off him for the first time. I’d been dreading falling off him because he strikes me as the type who’d get freaked and run away. So as I’m falling, all I’m thinking is NOOOOOO, because Trainer B’s arena isn’t fenced in. Clearly I’ll never catch the horse. Imagine my surprise when Leo just stood there like a statue, looking perhaps a little perplexed. What a relief THAT was to get out of the way. And I clambored back on, then we continued on with great success (and I sat up when we turned after jumps after that).
  2.  We jumped 2’6″ jumps over and over (Leo’s first time jumping a vertical over 2′ and anything over 2’3″), and it was all over the crazy fillers that P would’ve (and definitely has) stopped at.
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My only picture from that lesson. Leo jumped this (with the top pole in the cups) like a dozen times and was perfection

Including THE gate…want to know how nervous I was trotting Leo up to the gate? You might ask: why in the world would a plain, nondescript tan gate have me so twisted up inside?

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In P’s defense, he’d only jumped this exact gate like 100 times. Sigh.
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What I show people when they ask why I don’t want to event P anymore.

But guess who didn’t stop at A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G?

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This face

 

 

 

 

 

17 thoughts on “Double Trouble”

  1. As someone who took six tries to jump a plain gate right last week (that was a lot smaller than yours). Glad you are having fun with Leo and glad you fell off him so you got that over with 🙂 HA

    And P. OMG P. He is never dull is it?? 🙂

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    1. That was my thought- the first fall is over! And it wasn’t his fault- I was literally in the fetal position as we turned and he got a little fast. I just lawn darted right into the bank next to the arena 😂😂

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    1. I wish I could get into the brain of P. I don’t believe in psychics or anything but I am seriously considering one of those animal psychics for him 🤦‍♀️ And Leo is totally a hunk. It’s crazy how much fun I have with him since everything we do is a “first” and weenie me is not usually a fan of the unknown!

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  2. It’s certainly a lot working with two, but I’m super glad things are going well with both ponies! And that you don’t need to adjust your saddle!! THAT has got to be a relief. Maybe P hopes that continuously being a rebel will cause you to ride less?? lol

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  3. SQUEEEE!!!!!! Leo you have stolen my heart!!!!! Though I still love P….but hopefully soon he’ll realize Leo has taken over his old job and he doesn’t have to do something stupid to get out of eventing b/c it’s not his job anymore!!!! YAY FOR LEO!!!!!!!! P wake up and keep your shoes on!!!!!! 🙂

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    1. I’m so glad it’s done with. I told Matt not so long ago that I was dreading falling off of him because while P will just stand there and look at you (and judge you), I figured Leo would flip out. So it was definitely a relief! And whaddya know, when I say up after jumps, no more falls 😂

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