I got to the ranch today and we moved hay. Then one of the boys asked if we could go for an off-ranch trail ride. I mean, we just got back from our camping trip on Thursday... but why not? The boys only have 3 days until school starts so we might as well take advantage of it.
Karlin (who's been training our young QH mare Porsche) was up for bringing her baby. One of the boys agreed to give my Alexandre a try- the first time a kid has taken him on a long trail ride. Now that I'm riding Jasper so much Al gets left out. He does pretty well with beginners as long as we put a big thick saddle pad on with a western or aussie saddle and his rider lets the reins out and rides on the buckle. He is naturally a little nervous and high strung and gets very worried when he can 'feel' people off balance. The more saddle/pad thickness between the rider and him the better. The other boy agreed to ride Rooster for the first time since his horse has cinch sores and the other horse he likes to ride threw a shoe. Rooster is a ginormous 16.2h Appendix gelding that is as wide as he is tall. The boy is 12 and weighs about as much as a wet blanket.
The horses loaded up well. I should say- Porsche and Jasper loaded up well. (The other 2 always load up well). Not much hesitation at all.
We got there and low and behold, I managed to park in almost exactly the same spot as last time. Jasper's hole-to-China that he had dug tied to the trailer was still there. Should I mention here that the last time we were there was a month or two ago? I sighed and hooked him up to his Tie Blocker ring. Then I went to the other side of the trailer to help the boys. But wait... where were the pawing sounds? Where were the sounds of a horse pacing pacing pacing back and forth? The sounds of the Tie Blocker clanking against the trailer?
I snuck to the corner and peeked around. He was STANDING. Alert, but standing. I held my breath, afraid that if I moved the spell would be broken. He saw me. He shifted position. And settled down again.
He likes to stand with his left hind touching the trailer. Then he gets mad beacuse something is touching his leg. He pins his ears back and lifts his leg up. Puts it back down. Repeat. I can see how this could end up being a very bad thing.
The ride was great. The highlights were seeing a hawk and a MOOSE!!! It was HUGE! Luckily it was way across the pond/lake and the horses didn't even notice. I had no idea moose lived anywhere near here.
Jasper got aggravated about halfway through the ride and started kicking out with his right hind. That lasted on and off for most of the rest of the ride which was kind of annoying. There was nothing wrong with his leg as far as I could tell. He also started flipping his head and neck up and down which was also annoying. I'm chalking it up to baby-ness.
Oh, the best part! There was a downed tree on the side of the trail. It was "hanging"... propped up on both ends. I'd say it was between 2'3-2'6. Definitely the highest thing we've ever jumped. Jumping doesn't seem to be a problem for him, trotted slowly up to it and hopped over. On the way back I took the same trail so we could do it on the way back too.
I officially signed up for a dressage lesson next Monday with a great trainer in Post Falls, Idaho. It will be my first lesson on Jasper and my first lesson since before I started working at the ranch over 3.5 years ago. I'm also considering taking him to a H/J schooling show the weekend after that. We can do the 18" classes, or the 2'. Or maybe even the 2'3? Maybe the 2'. He's never seen a full course before. And THEN, the next weekend, there are jumping clinics at Tulip Springs Eventing in Kennewick, WA- about a 3 hour drive. Saturday is a showjumping clinic, Sun. is a H/J schooling show with baby classes, and on Monday there is a Cross Country jumping clinic with an Olympian. Seriously thinking about that one. Too much fun!