Chief is getting more spoiled by the minute at his new farm. The barn owner and the other ladies really love him, and his adorable sweet nature is really shining through. I saw him put his head in one of the little girls hands the other day and I melted a little.I also think he has probably eaten more treats at his new farm then he has ever had in his life!
I am also loving having a large outdoor riding arena. Going from having an extended round pen, to having quadruple the amount of space has been such a Godsend. I am beginning to remember how much I love doing figure 8s and having the room to change direction while planning your next move that will not take place until you are at the other end of the arena. Having the time to plan that out is truly lovely and I feel spoiled.
Although he has been, for the most part, fabulous and adjusting very well; we did have a few moments yesterday where he felt the need to throw some minor fits during a really easy ground work warm up. But, I am happy to document that he just needed one firm reminder of his job at that moment and some calm but firm reassurance to get him back on track.
After that we happily went about our business doing some lovely trot sets, turn on the forehands, teardrop turns… really basic stuff. I found myself really wanting to canter him, but want to work on his upwards on the ground first. But I really felt his willingness to go where I put him; we focused on moving straight and accurately. I felt his calm, soft upwards as well as downwards and finally his ability to look toward me for comfort.
That last part, I have to say I believe I felt twice here since I have been riding Chief. And I do believe it has been because I have not pushed him while he has been given time to adjust to his new surroundings, but as of yesterday I felt the need to tell him, “it is time to work.” But he gave a small spook yesterday at something in the distance, calmed at my voice and trotted out nicely. Also we rode around the farm last weekend together with another horse. He spooked once but not badly, calming at my touch and my voice. But he really did so well. There were so many things that could have really scared him and he was so brave and inquisitive.
So happy with this report. Sad to report I sprained my other ankle, but I am trying to just pretend like it does not hurt.