Snickers has come a really long way in the last month and is almost like a whole new horse. He's excited to see me when I come to get him and willing to go to work, though, of course, he still whinnies but only on occasion. I don't think that will ever go away haha. We've been going out on the trails quite a bit (check the miles log!), but that doesn't even come close to reflecting the miles we're ALSO covering in the arena and round pen. His entire attitude and obedience has changed, and he seems to enjoy our down time together when we're brushing rather than being preoccupied about getting back to the pasture.
On the trails, we've been really watching our speed and I started taking his pulse, then waiting for him to come down. I've gotten decent with the stethoscope, at least on his body (sometimes other horses take a bit to figure out). The only trouble is that he has a hard time standing still, though we've been working on that a lot and he's doing much better. I've gotten a little aggressive with him :( but not bad, and it seems to have gotten my point across. Plus, when he does stand still long enough for me to get a good read on his pulse, he gets a treat. I've started carrying apples and carrots on me, which never fail to make him happy (as Trevor recently helped me discover, he actually drops for carrots lol).
It's been raining a lot, which is why we have a lot of miles we've covered in the arena and round pen, but it's helped us get a some good discipline work done. I've been working on his head, neck, and topline (with many questions to and suggestions from the English riders at the barn! Horse people are - generally - so nice), and the other day I set up the poles, a cavaletti, and a low jump to go over. He had to take a look at them first, but after that he worked over all of them quite willingly. I did raise the jump up little by little and was working on jumping a tad at the end (Trevor wasn't too happy about that when I told him....) and Lou took a look and said we were looking good - I just need to sit a little more forward in the seat. Overall, I was really proud of him and have been in general.
Last night the paths had dried up, so we finally got to go out for a trail ride. The trails were good, but there were still a few muddy spots and puddles so we put those to good use. We worked on just powering right on through them without having to stop and sniff every one. He caught on pretty quick and is trusting me more and more, so by the end we were doing pretty good, though he still wanted to dodge around the ones he could of course. On the bigger puddles, we're pretty successful as long as we slow down to a walk just before it, which is safer anyway so he doesn't slip. On the biggest one, he did stop and sniff it, then took a few steps and sniffed it again, then proceeded to get a good drink! I guess he's fine with the water then haha. It'll be interesting to see how he does with actual running water now...
I finally got all of Snicker's papers back and my registration card for AHA. They have the Frequent Rider Program (FRP) and Distance Riders programs, and so I signed us up for both! I need to log my hours and I'm excited to get credit for our competition miles, though I'm tempted to also sign up for the other distance program that requires a competition membership. For the first two, you get certain prizes when you reach the milestones, but this other one sends you a plaque and then little plates for every 500 miles you complete to add to your plaque. That's pretty cool! But it seems pretty expensive - I'll have to check it out later.
Snickers' stall hasn't had any covering on it, and it went from 90 degrees last week to lows in the 30's this week with rain and even some snow and hail, so it's been a tough week. Yesterday, I noticed they've got the first tarp up over the stalls where he is at, so hopefully they'll finish that up soon. It'll be nice for him to have some shade :)
I think that's about it! I'll have to post more often, but we'll see. Life is just so busy!
Poor Flash waiting patiently...
All decked out in our endurance gear :)