Smokey and I have made some really great progress over the past few weeks. It’s culminated into a few really great rides, including yesterday where he was game for riding for a lot longer than usual and was both quiet and willing. It might have had to do with the additional horse in the arena with him, but I can’t be fully sure. He likes to let me know when I’m being too handsy with his face by pulling on the reins and putting his head way down, but we’re working on it. Both of us need to be a little better, he: with the leg cue response and me by not relying on my hands so much. But in spite of that, we were both going really well yesterday and I’m really happy to say that that’s where this anecdote ends.
In spite of not getting the grain he so seriously needs (ha!), Smokes has packed on the pounds recently – and not just the fatty fat ones. He’s been filling out all over the place even while shedding his massive winter coat. I’m really thrilled with how he’s looking this spring. His butt is getting nice and round and I can feel an itty bitty sliding stop happening when he wants it to. His shoulders and neck are really starting to show the signs of fitness. He’s got much more definition on his front legs nowadays and is still maintaining a nice svelte belly line.
Here’s a terrible compilation video of him longing this weekend. It’s really hard to hold a longeline and a camera, btw.
A few other things happening in our world: I asked mom to go to the feed store for me a couple weeks ago since they’re only open during business hours and I’m nowhere near close enough when at work to pick it up, and they gave her the wrong feed. Naturally, Mr. Pickypants has decided that he will not tolerate this and stopped eating his beet pulp/grain mixture. So I’m off to the feed store today to get him some of the old Gro ‘n Win that he loves so dearly. What a brat. I wish I could remind him that at one point, he was actually only getting whatever Mother Nature wanted him to have.
Secondly, there’s some big news for my little man: He’s going to bootcamp next month! Elisa Wallace will be doing 30 days of training with him beginning May 1st. I’m both terrified and terribly excited that this worked out. I fully expect he’ll come back with a new sense of confidence, as well as some sweet new manners and moves. I’ll keep you posted on his transition when that comes around. I get a few more weekends to mess him up before he goes away.
This past Saturday was the Atlanta Steeplechase at Kingston Downs. This was my inaugural year attending and I have to say that I’ll definitely be going back with renewed vigor next year. While it’s a hike to Kingston Downs, once you’re there it’s really awesome. The atmosphere and scenery is just beautiful. Add in a ton of pastel and giant hats and you really have a win in my book.We were actually within viewing distance of one of the jumps, but my photo skills are just not that good with my phone.
We did witness one horse fall and it was pretty spectacular. The grass was wet from the on and off drizzle and the horse ditched it’s jockey on impact and the skidding on its side quite a ways before hopping up and making its way towards the finish line riderless (and apparently unharmed). Aside from that spill, the entertainment was much more civilized. The Budweiser Clydesdales were there and came right along the fence for us to ogle. The mounted foxhunters kept an eye on the course and even paraded their hounds before the races. Tons of vendors and food… it was really neat.
We had a great time, I can’t wait for next year!