Sunday, March 12, 2017

Pole dancing

Being stuck in the great indoors this winter isn't exactly thrilling. Same four walls and a ceiling every day, the great outdoors too inconsistent to risk a tendon or a thrown shoe. Our past month has been as wild as the weather.

It's seriously swung enough keep an entire wardrobe in my truck because in Kentucky, just wait ten minutes.

What's even better is the long monotonous drag of getting the kids from essentially green broke to their careers.

It's a daily grind full of important tedious details that get addressed day in and day out. Bend that
way, go to and from legs, go on the bit, go to the contact, go over this pole or that pole, stand at the block, don't spook at the flappy thing.

Between that it's the stacked appointments of nutritionists, sponsors (we have new ones!), photoshoots, video creation, suppliers, farriers and vets.

It's this creation of boundaries and the never ending point to point to do  list that gives us a nice competitive start within the 20 x 60 meter box.

Some are taking it well, Irish Warrior (2013 Warrior's Reward) is coming along stellar in his development, going from downtime to jumping around a small course here and there.

Of all the horses in the group he's the steadiest of the bunch, and is really is just happy to go along to get along. Talent wise, while he's not a Fahrenheit, or a Haiku, he makes it up for sheer wanting and trying.

Sine Metu (2014 Sezuan) is following in Fahrenheit's footsteps and been one of the easiest horses to
back and start.

At nearly 17 hands, we're taking our time, but so far he's excelling, willing and is very steady. At 10 rides he's already hacking around and we're thinking of which shows to point him towards. He's very much Mike's ride, long legged, sporty and modern with multiple gears.

We also now have a group of rising five year olds.

Five year old year is typically one marred with a lot of drama, hissy fits and various shades of nopes. So far, we've had a few mild cases, but after laying down the rules they're pretty undramatic.

The two five year olds this year, Alberich (2012 Armani) and Equibest Delphic (2012 Don Index) are interesting to develop.

Alberich has developed steadily. Becoming more consistent in his work to the point where I'm now starting to ride him. He's really a fun ride so far with 90 or so rides total with him and unlike a few prior horses I got on with, he's wonderfully uncomplicated and genuine. We're still sorting the relationship out, not because of personality but because physically he's a very different ride than most horses. Al is incredibly short coupled, and combined with a thick neck, a low whither it's like driving a sports car around the arena that occasionally does the Toyko drift.

His ultimate aim is the stallion approvals this year. I'm considering him for the Five Year old classes later this Fall (not Young Horse Championships), but we'll see how this all goes.

Consistently across the board, he's come a long way in a very short amount of time and he's not done yet.

Delphic is progressing as well, he's enjoying the work, and the harder it is the more clever he
becomes. He's smart, almost too smart. Not unlike Al, he's taken awhile to physically mature as well. He's put on about two inches of topline in 90 days thanks to Progressive, Nutrena and our system, and lost the pudge.

He, like several others before him, have the jumping bug. He's brave and quiet to the fences and shows very classic form over them. He's thrilled to do it over 20 meters of circle any day of the week.

Like Al, we've started to incorporate poles within his daily routine to help him mentally focus and a gallop day to help him become fitter.

I have a feeling the majority of his show time will be in the hunters and not the white box or the event field. Which is a shame because I think he would be an easy AEC and Regional-qualified horse.

Our first shows are later this month at the horse park. I think this year because of the hodge-podge of the type and goals involved that we might skip the big outings. Which is fine, considering there's a larger agenda in place for next year already.