First of all – thanks to everyone who weighed in last week about the idea of a monthly vlog for Presto. The results were overwhelmingly “yea” with 318 votes to the 10 “nay” votes. 97% of you have spoken. I’ve started outlining his first intro vlog, and I can already see that this is maybe more work than I thought. There’s just so much to say about him when it comes to summarizing his first 3 years! If there are any specific topics or questions you’d like to me to address in the first vlog, drop me a note.
Aside from working on Presto’s vlog, it was a nice weekend around the farm. The weather has been doing this thing where it’s cold and wet during the week but nice on the weekends, which is frustrating from a horse-keeping perspective but definitely convenient otherwise. I got some stuff cleaned up and reorganized, and nabbed a couple more colors of Oops paint at Lowes (burgundy and gray – $1.25 each!). They’re small containers, but definitely enough to put stripes on poles. And last week at Walmart I found THE BEST STORAGE BIN EVER CREATED and it’s now holding a bunch of crap in my trailer.
I mean how serendipitous is that? It’s got Presto’s motto on it and everything. If only it was navy it would be 100% perfect. Granted, if it was navy I probably would have bought like 10 of them. Living proof that I should not be left unattended in a Walmart ever. Just be glad I talked myself out of the unicorn lamp. For now. But I did also buy like a 50 gallon bag of sour gummies because I think that’s what you’re supposed to do at Walmart?
Aside from reorganizing and painting (and eating gummies) I also got lots of horse time in. Yesterday specifically was one of those days where I started messing with the first horse at 12:30 and next thing you knew it was 5:15. The famous equestrian “barn time” where 5 hours is actually only 1 hour. But I did get two good rides in on Henry this weekend. On Saturday we did flatwork, and he’s definitely feeling stronger and stronger pretty much every ride. He’s holding the counter canter pretty easily again now, and his canter squares are getting quite sharp again. He’s not quite as good in the contact as he had been last summer, we’re kind of having to re-cover some ground there (if only I could do all of his flatwork in his sidepull, we’d both be happy), but bit by bit he’s returning back to normal after his extended time off.
On Sunday we did a short jump school, and things are really clicking again over fences too. He’s jumping well and being really rideable, and always hunting for the next jump. It’s really fun to be back in our element, and I think the time off really did him some good. He seems really happy to be back to work. And my eye is starting to return to normal too… which… it isn’t GREAT, but at least I can sort of see some kind of distance most of the time.
To help with that I’ve been cantering a lot of poles and doing my favorite “crazy eights” exercise. Basically you start at 1, and when you’re one stride out from the pole you say “one”, then 2, count down from two strides out, then 3, count down from 3 strides out. On and on up to eight, and going both directions. I usually just start at 3 and work up to 8 to save some time. Oh, and you can’t cheat and change the canter to fit what you called out, you have to keep the same rhythm and stride length all the way to the pole. If you’re wrong you try again. It’s my favorite game.
Henry is also – knock on wood – continuing to handle his new friendship well. He gets along really well with his mare friend Quinnie, but I haven’t had any problems separating them when it’s time to ride. Quinnie will immediately run off to go find the babies across the fence, and Henry will calmly watch her, but there have been no histrionics from either of them. They are actually quite hilarious to watch, because they’re basically the exact same horse. One’s just a 20-something ex broodmare and the other is a 13yo TB gelding. Henry has settled into more a level friendship with her rather than being her devoted slave like he was in the beginning, but they’re almost always joined at the hip. It’s so nice to see him finally have a real friend.
Presto also had quite a busy weekend, too, but we’ll talk about that tomorrow!