Well, as much as we’re working. It’s hot and humid and more or less miserable out, though at least by the time I got to the barn it wasn’t raining any more. The horses were in, as there had been thunder, and I’d figured they would be. The BO prefers to put them away if the forecast is for storms, and I feel better about it. It’s a tough call, since they all have run-ins, but I read so many horror stories on COTH about lightening strikes that I feel better knowing he’s inside. He was not exactly overjoyed to see me, as that usually means work, but he did come out, and avoided stepping on Nanook, who had developed a fascination for being underfoot around big horses.
I had figured even if it was raining, I would at least be able to fit Lucky’s new tack. On the theory that racing bridles are made to fit Thoroughbred heads, not big fat warmblood heads, and being literally out of room to punch holes on his throatlatch on the other bridle while needing an extender for the flat cob-size, though the cheekpieces and cavesson fit, I ordered a racing-bridle set and yoke from Poor Man’s Equine. I also found a very reasonably-priced rubber mullen mouth racing D from an eBay store, both of which arrived while I was out of town. The first problem I encountered was that when I put the yoke on, it hung down around his knees. So, holes need to be punched.
The bridle, meanwhile, fit just fine. When I got up, I discovered just how long racing reins are and why exercise riders knot them up. I also noticed just how much rein you have to take up to get to the rubber grips: more than enough that you WILL have contact with the horse’s mouth. Lucky seemed to like the new bit, or at least he held off his usual constant chewing until the end of the ride. Since everyone else was still inside, I took full advantage and we started off in the pastures. Lucky moved out more, either the week off or the new bit, I don’t know. And he’s definitely improved at picking up the canter. We had more room in Trudy, Dom and Takota’s pasture, and even the scary woods of doom being right alongside didn’t seem to bother him much.
The BO had left some of the jumps up with maybe six-inch “verticals” (on the very bottom hole of the standards) when we went in the big outdoor, and after a complete circuit in both directions at the canter, on the appropriate leads, I put him back in a trot and pointed him at the jump. The first time through, he slowed to a walk again, but a second attempt got a sort of bouncy hop/halfway to a jump at the trot. He’s rubbing the rail a bit, but he came at both fences (at ninety degrees to each other, so going the long and short ways of the ring) and went over with much less “You WILL go straight” from my leg. I even felt brave enough to go at it from a canter. He dropped to the glacial trot and near-pause right before the fence-but he went over, and to my delight he picked up a forward-moving trot immediately on ‘landing’ without my asking. So on that note I decided he’d done enough, and we had a long walk around the place on the buckle, followed by a bath. Nanook nearly got a bath as well, trying to stick his nose in the soap bucket, but when Lucky put his head down for a sniff he decided the tack room was the place to be in a big hurry.
The storms seem to be passing, and hopefully the weather will hold, as if everything goes as planned, Lucky will have a visitor tomorrow.
And when I have a chance to sit down with wireless, hopefully there will be pictures tomorrow, and I can do my second “Horses of D.C./shameless vacation picspam” post.