After an amazing trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Ocala, FL and Orlando, getting back into the swing of riding can be a bit rough. The reason why I included three weeks worth of riding into one diary is because I forgot to post for the past three weeks!
Avery was an amazing boy week three. He listened very, very well even though it was a beautiful day outside that he could be spending in the pasture. We didn’t have a lesson that week because the barn truck broke down on the way to our riding instructor’s lesson at another barn.
We played around with Avery in the arena for a little while. He trotted and cantered with the slightest ques and listened to the tiniest half halts.
After riding for a while, we took Avery outside for a small wall up half way up the driveway and back. He didn’t want to walk on the gravel and took a little detour to the grass in between his pasture and the driveway. He kept leaning his head down as we walked to get a bite of grass, nearly pulling me out of the saddle.
Next week was the week after we got back from vacation. Avery wasn’t as forward as he usually is on chilly days because Kayla had just rode him in her lesson before. My lesson with Miss Kim was after Miss Kim’s lesson on Bear and Avery was quite excited to see Bear in the same arena.
Avery chilled out in his stall for a short break while we watched Miss Kim’s lesson. I got Avery’s halter and haltered him, leading him to the cross-ties. He snorted nervously at the new tack room being built beside the wash stall. The silly pony hates change and so he’ll snort at anything new.
I took the dandy brush and brushed him down with simple flicks of my wrist. He seems to enjoy being brushed. I put my Roma hunter green saddle pad and scooted it up on his withers, followed by the black fleece Roma half pad I borrow from the barn. I placed saddle G gently on his back and grabbed the girth off his hindquarters (I keep it there when I’m adjusting the saddle).
Tying my hair back into a bun, I tucked my undershirt in my breeches and pulled down my purple sweatshirt. After smoothing down my hair, I put the helmet on front to back to make sure my hair didn’t look stupid.
I put the reins over Avery’s neck and unhooked the cross-ties from his halter. I undid the gold colored metal clasp on Avery’s leather halter and hung it on the hook beside the cross-ties. Avery opened his mouth to take his bit and I bridled him. I tightened the throat latch and the chin strap before taking the reins off his head, grasping them in my fist.
The arena gate was opened and I lead Avery through it. He stepped through without any hesitation. We walked around the arena until we got to the mounting block. I adjusted my stirrups to the 3rd one from the top (I am very, very short) and mounted. He took a couple steps before halting so I could make sure I had both feet in the stirrups. I gave him a gentle squeeze and he walked along the wall.
Miss Kim set up a small cross rail jump by E down quarter line. Today was the day I’d finally get to jump! We worked on trotting and posting on the right diagonal. It was really happening! I was going to jump! Avery was excited too because he loves to jump. His ears perked towards the jump as we walked beside it along the wall.
“Go ahead and take him over the jump at a walk so he knows it’s there.” Miss Kim said.
I rolled my wrist to my hip and walked him over the jump. He stopped before we were able to go over the cross jump and attempted to spook. I turned him around and he walked over the cross jump without hesitation.
We went along the wall and once we reached A, I turned left. “You’re such a good boy!” I scratched the top of his neck— his favorite spot to be scratched. He loves to be told that he is a good boy.
“Alright, bring him up to trot.” Miss Kim told me. I nodded and brought him up to a trot with a simple cluck of my tongue. He understood and went up to a trot after I clucked my tongue several times.
We changed directions before we turned right at A. I rolled my wrist towards the jump and got ready to lean up in jumping position. It might be a small jump, but if he decided to leap over it higher than it really was.
“Grab a bit of mane, just in case he decides to leap over it!” Miss Kim called. My hands clasped around a small bit of mane around his withers.
Avery’s ears perked forward at the jump. We leaped over it with ease. I leaned up in jumping position, although it was pitiful looking. I’m a dressage student, not a jumper for Pete’s sake!
We only jumped over the cross jump once so Avery could have a break. But, he did want to go over it again. We worked on cantering and making him collect his canter. I had to scoop with my seat smaller than I usually do to make him collect his canter. He only did it for a few steps, but at least I got him to do it.
The next week Avery didn’t seem like his normal self. He was laying in his stall, but he normally does that until he hears the tack trunk being opened and a candy cane wrapping being torn. He didn’t want to get up for the treat and wanted us to bring the treats to his lazy little self.
He stood up and Autumn put Avery’s halter over his ears. The chestnut gelding refused to get out of his stall. She led him to the cross ties and he did his normal snorting at the new tack room. He didn’t put that much weight and was standing weird on his right hind leg.
We didn’t think that much of it and tacked him up anyway. We got to ride him for a little while before my lesson. “Can you bring him up to trot for a minute? It looks like his right hoof’s hurting him.” Miss Kim asked. I brought him up to a trot and he was definitely favoring his left hoof over his right.
I dismounted and brought him into a wash stall after untacking him in the arena. I took the hose in the wash stall and cold hosed his right hind leg from the top of his hindquarters where it was hot to his hoof.
We didn’t get to do our lessons, but Avery got to chill out in his stall after getting lineament on his rear. Buck took his lesson that night.
I was cold hosing Avery again that evening and when I was leading Avery to the wash stall, Avery spotted his little student and dropped his head. He seemed like he was upset because he didn’t get to help his little rider this week.
He seems to be feeling much better. Miss Kim said he was racing Simon down the field for breakfast the next morning. We had to drop off vendor passes back to Miss Kim Saturday night and Avery was in the field with Bear.
Avery was being a bit of a turd and wouldn’t come see us until Eve and Luna did in the field across from the geldings. Avery was a jealous little pony and came over. I gave him and Bear half of a peppermint stick and they both chomped it happily. Avery turned to Bear and tried to nip him in the neck.
Bear wasn’t taking any of Avery’s bratty attitude and bit him right back. Avery stuck his head in Bear’s butt and sighed. Poor boy knows his ranking now.