I’m almost afraid to say it out loud, but it feels like… spring? (We almost always get a shot of second winter, so I’m trying not to get my hopes up, but OMG it was 68 degrees yesterday OKAY). I went ahead and body clipped Archie last week because he was starting to get really sweaty on our rides and I am nothing if not lazy.
He was a little perturbed about getting a bath at 55 degrees, but hot water and a cooler and some bribery and he decided he’d cooperate. Of course, midway through his hindquarters my clipper blades (brand new ones) decided to just.. stop cutting? They were running and kind of cutting a tiny bit of hair, but mostly just grabbing it and not doing anything. In my desperation to try to get them to work poor Archie ended up with a rather, uh, checkerboard hind end. Less than ideal, but I was able to clean it up (more or less) with a new blade and whatever, it’s hair and it will grow out.
We took full advantage of the nice weather and have been riding outside. My trainer/BO is still down in Pine Top, so Saturday a few of us set a jump course and decided to play around. We had a handful of lines, crossrails mixed in with starter size and a few BN verticals, so perfect for getting sea legs back. Archie and I hadn’t jumped since the end of January and even before that, we’d spent the last four months stepping everything down to teeny tiny size to build our trust bank. We’ve been starting to add a little height back in and have been jumping starter stuff inside, but hadn’t jumped outside since the fall.
I definitely did not need to be worried – all our trust bank deposits have paid off and he was so happy to go jump around and play outside in the sunshine. It wasn’t perfect; I picked some highly questionable distances, made less than ideal decisions and generally lived up to my amateur title, but he never batted an eye. He did throw one tiny buck but it was coming off a vertical and absolutely a celebration more than anything (also he doesn’t really know how to buck and we’re going to keep it that way). I am absolutely beyond proud and happy with my little red pony.
Typically Monday is his day off, but yesterday was almost 70 so I ended up taking the day off work and headed out to ride in the afternoon. After four days in a row, I figured he might be a little sluggish or tired and was just going to walk around the big XC field. Archie, on the other hand, had other plans. He was AMPED (okay, as amped as a QH can be) and we ended up trotting and cantering around for 15 minutes until that became too much work.
Otherwise we’ve been hacking out, starting to add some conditioning work back in (although apparently unneeded…) and hopefully some jump (and XC?!) lessons soon.