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Wizard Rides 463, 464, 465, & 466: Through the Deep, Dark Wood

April 18, 2013

The LG Bridle- so far, so good. Wizard agrees.

Saturday, 4/13/13

Wizard and I met up with Rachel and Lily for a trail ride. There were field trials in the main part of the park where we usually ride, so I thought it would be fun to ride the trails we have not ridden since last fall (famous last words, eh?). We were out for over an hour and a half. While we were in Wizard’s comfort “bubble” of trails we’ve been walking all winter, he was great. When we left the “bubble” and crested the wooded ridge and rode around to the other side of Stone Tavern Lake, Wizard got very antsy, chompy, and prancy. It did not help that we had to backtrack when we lost our course. For some reason, Wizard gets very anxious when we have to turn around and walk home on the same path like that. He’s much better when we take a different route home than the one we take out. I breathed deeply, sat straight, and tried to be as giving as possible with my hands while Wizard jigged and bounced home. We had about four really tense moments when I was not sure if he was going to really take off or not. Fortunately, my sweet talking and Lily’s calm nature kept him at a walk and a jig for the whole ride back. Near the barn, Rachel and I parted company and Wizard and I walked home solo for the rest of the way. I debated dismounting and hand walking, but decided to use it as a training exercise. It worked out, and we arrived back at the barn sweaty, but in one piece. Lesson learned: too many new trails in one ride lead to an anxious Wizard.

Sunday, 4/14/13

I tried the LG Bridle (thanks to Equine Ink for the recommendation!) during our Sunday ride. Wizard felt good in it. It gave me a little more refinement than we had in the simple Tory Leather “jumping hackamore” (which is more of a sidepull, really). Interestingly, Wizard’s ears flop when he’s ridden bitless. He had a few moments when he did his ear pinning routine, but was mostly good. We popped over a tiny cross rail just for fun. Oh boy, was it fun. I miss jumping and I hope we can do some soon. We’re on our 4th week (and 4th loading dose) of Pentosan. Wizard is SOUND (touch wood) and the biggest difference I feel is that he is much more willing to do lateral work. He’s always been pretty good about lateral work, but now he is much more responsive than ever before.

On Monday, I turned Wizard out in the outdoor arena and let him get his crazies out, and then took him for a hand walk with Cathy and Miss Tuesday. We were out for about 40 minutes- he was very mellow and seemed happy to be out. I weight taped him, and he dropped a little- he’s back to 1,018lbs.

Wednesday, 4/17/13

Today is our official one-year anniversary at the new barn- hooray! After work, I rode Wizard in the outdoor arena for about 25 minutes. Wizard wore his fly bonnet for the first time this year, because of the GNATS. Since we have a dressage lesson on Friday (hooray!), we kept the ride light and focused on not-so-dressagey work, like trot poles and a small cross rail. Wizard was pretty laid back and happy to just cruise around the ring. No ear pinning or kicking or anything like that.

Thursday, 4/18/13

There was a chill in the air, and very light rain showers fell during our ride. The wind and the rain kept the gnats away. We rode alone in the park for about 50 minutes. In the big field behind the barn, I asked for some trotting. The field is huge, and we trotted close to half a mile. Wizard was snorty like a fresh horse on the racetrack, but kept a perfect tempo and stayed on the aids quite nicely. We walked the rest of the ride, up a hill, behind the hunt club, and down the road back to the farm.

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