Well, sometimes Lucky is a bit too lazy. He is not the world’s most motivated horse on the best days. The bugs are not helping at all. Now I’m getting eaten alive. Saturday, we took a long walk around the track, and the toughest part was convincing him that if he kept moving, the bugs couldn’t get him. Or at least not as effectively. We didn’t do much in the way of galloping or even a canter, and there was much bending at the walk. He was also perfectly happy to stand very still for his bath (with the nice Finish Line shampoo with tea tree oil, which smells very nice) because the water meant the flies had trouble landing. Sunday, I lunged with the side reins again. I actually saw something that might be dropping the head and engaging with the bit. Progress! I don’t think, though, he is ever going to be a big-moving hunter with a sweeping trot. His hind end does not work that way. As he seems to harbor ambitions of growing up to be a cowboy, this is probably not the colossal problem it might be elsewhere.
Monday I had the chance to hack out on a pokey pony. Yes, an actual pony! 13.1 hh. Over on Chronicle Forums, I’d mentioned that I was trying to find a western saddle for Lucky. (Someone, please stop me from buying that barrel saddle with the teal ostrich seat and teal heart cutouts? Must…resist…cute….) COTH poster fordtraktor let me know she had an old barrel saddle I could try, and since she doesn’t live far, if I wanted, we could go for a hack when I came by to get it. As I will rarely pass up a chance to ride a new (to me) horse, I said sure! The saddle, underneath the dust (it has been honorably retired for a while!) is red leather basketweave, and does clean up nicely. Now to see if it fits (maybe after Labor Day it’ll get cold and all the bugs will die!) After taking a look at the saddle, we went for a leisurely hack. I had the pleasure of riding one of those ponies who is big but little. I believe 13.1 is technically a medium, but as fordtrakor put it, she’s like a Quarter Horse body on short legs, and I didn’t have any issue with taking up leg. Pony might have had an issue with having a rider who is strong enough to make her actually trot (which can be surprisingly big when she wants it to be!) and even a bit of a bone-jarring pony canter. Even then, she still could only get halfway around the arena before fordtraktor’s Big Bay TB (to go with her Big Bay QHs) swept on by and lapped us. I know, pony, it’s tough to be short. It’s wonderful to actual go riding with someone–I’m used to hacking out by myself and working in the ring alone, to the point Lucky was moderately fried by having four others in there for the clinic this summer. Hopefully she can haul up to visit (as I’m tow-vehicle-less for now) and Lucky can get some thoroughbred company. (Maybe it will encourage him to speed up a bit, too. Then again, probably not.)