Just me or are weekends way too short lately? When the sun is shining and the weather is mild, it’s extra hard to want to go back to work and spend all day in front of a computer.
It was a nice horsey weekend though, in all regards. Henry’s back up to being ridden 6 days a week now since he’s the only horse on my plate, and he’s been doing a bit more fitness work. Definitely getting some strength back and getting back into more proper shape, despite the fact that he reminds quite round. Round is a shape.
On Friday afternoon I brought him in for a fun little conditioning hack out in the back (where he inevitably always turns into a dolphin at some point during the canter laps) and realized he was looking a little… ranchy. So I got out my scissors and my rake and got rid of a lot of that mane, which kind of just makes him look even rounder and chonkier. Whatevs, he’s owning his figure.
Sometimes when I’m feeling cheeky I’ll make little challenges for us, like the time I set the two little piggies up as a bending line of skinnies. On Friday after we finished our canter sets I was like… I wonder if I can put both reins in one hand, canter down the alley, hang a 180 turn through the gate and under the tree, and jump the little log. While holding my phone to video, of course. Tis the Instagram era. Henry, bless him, has been dealing with my weird shit for so long now that he’s not even phased. He was in his sidepull, but no matter, we cantered down one-handed, made the turn through the gate, under the tree (just about dropped my phone ducking under branches) and popped over the log. Sometimes the little random goofy stuff like this is really the highlight of my rides. It’s fun, and it’s spontaneous, and doing weird shit just for the sake of it is totally my jam. I like testing all the buttons that have been put on my horse over the years, and he seems to enjoy doing different stuff.
Saturday was Henry’s day off, and was split between barn chores, errands, and stalking Mason on the Carolina live feed. He looked like he was having a GRAND time galloping around that track, ears pricked and full of running all the way through. He crossed the finish looking like he could have happily gone around again.
He’s entered at Kentucky for his first 5* so fingers crossed that everything goes well and he gets to go. #1 fan right here, for sure. I just love watching him go around… his enthusiasm, his gallop, his balance, the way he hunts the fences like he’s just having the best time… totally my type of horse. He eats cross country for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If Presto decides to be even half the horse his doppelganger brother-from-another-mother is, I’ll be delighted.
On Sunday I went out and set my cavaletti exercises back up in the arena. We’ve been working over those twice a week, trying to build Henry’s hind end and topline strength back up. This time I pulled out my rail raisers (which are actually Ikea potties) and put them on a curve to make it a little more difficult. These are my skinny rails, only 4′ wide, so it’s definitely an accuracy exercise especially when they’re on a curve. Henry was pretty good when they were half up…
But as soon as I put them up on both sides he was convinced they counted as jumps. It took 3 or 4 times through before I finally successfully persuaded him to stop trying to bounce through them. Which was… awkward. Although I guess that’s one way to get a butt workout.
Can’t blame him for trying to make some boring work a little more interesting I guess. He’ll make a jump out of anything if he can.
I’ll try to get a Presto update this week, and I’m planning a trip down to Ocala to see him sometime next month. Otherwise there’s not a whole lot going on around here. Peyton is edging her way towards baby time, she’s at 334 days today, although she doesn’t appear to be in any particular hurry to release her hostage. I dunno about y’all but I’m ready for some baby horses. Let’s do this already. I need my weekly doses of cuteness. I don’t think we’ll be getting a Foal Friday this week, but maybe next week? Feels like I’m a kid waiting for Christmas morning.
Hope everybody had a good weekend! Send Peyton some “wrap it up already” vibes so we can get this show on the road.