So I appear to be back in the saddle full-time, and boy, I can say that I've missed it.
Moon, after his rolling run on Sunday, still appears sound. I pulled him out of the paddock, skipped the saddle yesterday and set up a string of jumps. Let's see what this boy can do...
Well, he can be excited. That's a truth. He charged at the jumps, often swapping to a canter on our approach, throwing his head up whenever I asked him to slow down. And the first bunch of times through, deeked out after the first jump, and I was forced to bring him around and run through the series again.
Finally, I got the feeling that he was a little intimidated by how close together they were, at least the last two which seemed like a bounce. Something he's never done. So I took down the last jump, and we did the nice cross rails with some success.
I did feel like I was gripping him in the mouth as I went through, but in my defence, I felt like he was WAY over jumping. Like he was saying "Phht" to those little x-rails. Bugger.
I've also been out of the saddle for way too long, and my legs were burning from Sunday's ride. So I assume neither of us was in our best jumping form. At least we made it through cleanly and without any falls or rails down.
I decided that since he was SO locked up I could actually SEE the muscle in his poll, I might as well do some dressage. Mr. Moon is normally Mr. Bouncy as he runs about, so I spent a good deal of time working him at a walk and trying to get him to loosen. When we started, it was rough at a trot, he wouldn't do lateral work and I was more than a little frustrated. But I took a deep breath and reminded myself of our time off. This was to be expected. And I've been going solo for awhile now, completely instructor less. Unfortunately, I don't think given my present situation, that will be changing anytime soon.
We worked and worked and worked. And I tried to remember and recall all of W's instructions on loosening up that horse.
Then when he seemed improved, I asked for a trot.
Maybe it's the month off. Maybe it's that he was previously back sore and the time out of saddle has helped. Maybe it was Sunday's rip-roaring ride. Maybe it was all the lysine he's been getting. The time in the big pasture. The improved diet. The new feeding ration. The Thinline pad. How I previously rode him....
But what I can say, is that he FELT amazing.
When I asked for the trot again, he seemed to FLOAT. There were moments when he was beautifully leg-yielding across the arena in this huge floating trot that I felt like I was riding an Olympic horse. Yes, I have NOTHING to compare that to, but it was the BEST I think I've ever felt on Moon. He was forward, over his back (because suddenly I wasn't bouncing, instead sitting perfectly over him, moving perfectly with his body in the most perfect bareback sitting trot of my life...technically, the most wonderful sitting trot period!), and just giving her. His neck was rounding, his head was going down, there seemed to be contact and connection through the reins, and I was LOVING IT. He was ON FIRE.
I rode him around and around, thrilled by what I felt under me. It was incredible. I didn't want it to end.
But I also knew we'd both been out for awhile, and I didn't want to over do it. I want to be able to find this again...I need to be able to find this again!
After that I cooled him off, petted him a gazillion times and called it a night. What an amazing creature I tell you!