Thursday, December 20, 2012

Back in the saddle

Where has the time gone? One minute Charlie had just arrived in Rhode Island and then I blink and Christmas is practically here! Unfortunately between work, Christmas parties and everything else that's been going on recently my free time to go work with Charlie has been pretty limited and I didn't get to really start working with him until this week.

Monday was my birthday, and I had the day off from work, so Dan and I had planned a nice day out together. This, of course, had to include some quality time with Charlie, but since we planned to spend the majority of the day in Newport and I didn't want to get too dirty, I decided just to lunge him and work on his ground manners (which are quite rusty). Considering Charlie's recent craziness, I also really didn't want to take the chance of spending my birthday in the ER from some silly fall. It was a good thing I did! Although his naughtiness was nothing compared to what I'm used to with Lucy, he definitely had extra energy to burn and a very hard time concentrating. He even reared at one point, totally unacceptable!! It took about 20 minutes of bending, stopping, and practicing "personal space" but he did calm down. By the end he was licking his lips and trotting long and low, much more relaxed. I also got the chance to take some conformation shots so I can track his progress. (Dan was much better at getting Charlie to stand nicely than I was haha).

On Wednesday I actually got to ride and was pleasantly surprised with the progress both he and I made by the end. He's stiff and out of shape - so am I - but once we got going he started reaching into the bit and lengthening his stride rather than being so short and choppy and did get a bit looser. He is a leaner around turns, so we'll have to work on that, and he has a funny "pop" into the trot that could use some smoothing out, but overall I'm pleased. I'm also happy to say that I'm starting to feel more comfortable in my saddle, which is reassuring :) He was so good that I decided to try an emergency-style hop off at the end; he just turned around and gave me a look as if to say "aaannd you did that why?" lol