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Wizard Rides 455 & 456: Tomorrow Tomorrow

March 28, 2013

"Here comes Wizard Cottontail... Hopping down the bunny trail..."

Wednesday, 3/27/13

After work, I went to the barn for a quick ride. The footing in the outdoor arena was just dry enough for some trot work, so we rode until dark. For most of the ride, Wizard was NOT happy. He was uncomfortable, grumpy, or whatever it is that makes him kick, pin his ears, and do a few little bucks. We just finished a month of ulcer treatment, got a saddle fitted specially for him, had multiple vet evaluations, tested for Lyme Disease, etc, etc, etc. We walked for about 10-15 minutes and then did some light trot work. I asked him to leg yield at a walk on one long side, do a shoulder in on a short side, and trot the other long side. We did this in both directions until I was comfortable with how he was responding to the aids. It was a frustrating ride, but we ended on a decent note. I wish he could tell me what he is feeling. After I untacked him, I turned him out in the indoor arena to let him trot around a bit. The hunters (and horses and dogs) in the woods caused him to be on extra high alert, and he was pretty giraffey until I put him to bed.

Thursday, 3/28/13

And then on Thursday, it was as if Wednesday never happened. Wizard did not offer a single swish of the tail, and he had “happy ears” for the entire ride. Before our ride, I turned him out in the arena for a good run so he could blow off some steam, and boy did he! He flagged his tail, snorted, and ran like a wild thing. After his run, I tacked him up and hand walked him through the park for about half an hour. We saw the horses and dogs and trailers again, and Wizard stared, but was less blown away by them than he was in previous days. After we returned to the farm, I mounted up, and he was pretty great under saddle. He’s still pretty mouthy with the bit. I tried a D-ring with a single joint and curved mouthpiece today, and it’s definitely not the ticket for him. I’m wondering if an eggbutt is the answer in the Micklem Bridle.

We did light walk and trot work again, walking on the short sides and trotting on the long sides. A little herd of 4 young deer were being silly in the neighboring pasture, and Wizard watched them with great amusement. The entire ride was about 30 minutes with warmup and cooldown. I tried to spend some time thinking about my equitation in the new saddle. I worked diligently on not hooking one seatbone and hovering with the other. I also thought a lot about loosening my hips and opening my hip angle. The saddle does nice things with my leg- it stays pretty quiet for me, especially since I have not ridden in five months!

Hopefully, Wizard will continue his good behavior from Thursday and we will not see any more of the Wednesday behavior.

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