Harley has had some good solid rides since our lesson. I am mixing up the hard-work dressage rides with some over-poles and trail walking rides. Every other day of hard work. Some rain has smattered in the mix, making for mud and sloppy non-riding days. A few interesting points:
He spooked hard at a deer last week, but only moved off about a foot, from the trot to a complete halt, facing the treeline. He looked hard at the trees a few times past after that, but was easy to get back to work. He tripped over his feet at canter-left, and ducked about a foot to the outside of the circle. I was not only able to stay aboard, but within a half circle had him back at canter. Success! He's adjusting to the shorter reins, holding his head higher and relaxing. My right turns have improved, and he's not bent to the outside going right down the long sides. Improvement, for sure. Harley's work over poles is still great as always. We rode a day of flat poles, and then a day of every other side elevated. Next pole day, I'll lift both ends 4" off the ground. Not paying attention on pole-day last week, after the line of 4 trot poles, Harley turned sharp and headed himself straight for the one-side up cross rail. I didn't want to punish him for his desire, so I stayed the course. Step Hop, as he trotted over it all animated and happy.
Harley's hooves have grown exponentially, probably due to the rainfall, work activity, and the supplement. He had a check-up with Dr. Sam for a few shots and a dental exam. Some bits of baby teeth still haven't all fallen out, but with no eating or performance problems, we decided to wait it out a while longer rather than sedate and go digging around for the bits. One fragment Dr Sam was able to wiggle right out of his gums, so that's good progress. We've got two fragments left to go, I think.
Romeo is just plain happy Mo. Last week, neighbor Tim stopped for a visit when I was preparing Mo to ride. They exchanged sniffs and scritches, and then nTim offered him a piece of pizza crust. Mo mouthed it a while before spitting it out, searching for peppermint cookies and sunflower seeds. Mo does not like Pizza, that is all. :)
We've had a few wild arena rides of running, and a mosquito-bathed walk down the road. The skeeters will keep us on-property for a while longer, probably at least this coming week. His tummy was covered and my legs (through repellant) have about 25 bites right now.. itchie itchie!
Sunday afternoon I took the .22revolver and a box of blanks to the arena with Mo, longeline, and gloves. He did great with me firing away and at a 90degree angle to him. Great, for the first 30 minutes or so. Since it's a 6-shot revolver, and has to be loaded one bullet at a time, reload is slow, Mo watching my every move. By about the 5th "magazine", he was tired of the annoying noise, and had a nice line gallop. :)
The hay fairies greeted me yesterday with half a barn of square bales. Got lucky and found a craigslist ad on the day of baling. Hoping to snatch up the other half of a barn full today.