I believe my post title is actually a lovely play on words (I didn't even mean it that way). Granite can now do flying lead changes (ok, only from right to left, but still). And that's because I've been able to put in at least 5 rides per week (and even more pony visits) since Granite returned from summer camp with Aunt Jen. We have been working on transitions and lead changes and practicing over-fences, riding outside of the arena and working without stirrups. I'm seeing progress in Granite daily and progress in myself and my abilities. I am, of course, supplementing my in-saddle strength building with lots of cardio and strength training at home and trying to maintain a restricted diet to trim some unnecessary weight. Jen came by last weekend and gave us some pointers and took some snap shots:
Long and LOW
Some balanced canter. Still working on getting him soft though.
Jen introduced some "scary" elements to our jump schooling.
He was convinces that he was being asked to jump a GIANT monster.
I'll be procuring some flowers shortly to incorporate.
Saddle pads don't scare Granite... any more
Schooling at about 2'3 - 2'6 regularly. Don't ask me whats up with my lower leg.
It needs help. No stirrups at least once a week.
So the reason Jen came to visit this weekend was to drop off her trailer so that our lovely barn owner and I could do some practice with loading the stubborn beast and get OFF THE PROPERTY. To trails, and eventually, maybe... a horse show. We took advantage of it last night and hauled Jazz (BO's Paint mare) and G about 4 miles down the road to a really nice county park with 6 miles of bridle trails.
It took about 30 min to coerce the horse into the metal box.... but we got there.
Waiting to be saddled.
Jazz and Granite are ready to ride!
That's MY kid on an off property trail (leading none the less)
Took about 15 minutes to get him back on to leave the property.
And then.... THIS happened.
Top 5 scariest moments in my life. Looking in the rear view on the way home and NOT SEEING THE TRAILER. It had come unhooked and the wires and the left side of the truck/ left tire was keeping our unattached trailer with 2 horses in it from passing the truck down the hill.... I unloaded in the middle of the road. BO couldn't take her foot off the brake or the whole thing would roll. Some kind gentlemen stopped and helped me get giant rocks under the tires (while holding 2 horses on the side of the road) so the BO could move the truck to get it re-attached. The horses loaded back up after we got the trailer out of the road (only took G 5 minutes this time... can you believe?!). We made it home safely. The truck could have been in better shape but both horses were safe and absolute ROCK STARS! We were so fortunate! But, I feel SO guilty because the BO would never be borrowing the trailer if it weren't for the sole purpose of hauling MY large beast that won't fit in HER trailer. We think that the truck ball was probably just a bit smaller than the hitch and it came unhooked over a speed bump (that we took at a snails pace.... but nonetheless). Anyway, we are safe and the horses were fabulous. Crisis averted. Just a deductible to deal with.