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Getting Settled & an Update on Ezhno

Getting Settled & an Update on Ezhno

Check this out. It’s a comparison between the arena footing at my old barn and the arena footing at my new barn:

She wasn’t kidding when she said “dust free”. #blessed

Ezhno has settled into his new digs very well. He was a bit piqued when I put him in the trailer without food or friends, but he hauled well and unloaded politely. In fact, he followed along behind me on a loose lead to one of the big turnout paddocks—his stall wasn’t quite ready yet, so he got to make kissy faces with Scooby (who stood stock still, like a horse that had never gotten face kisses before, much to Ezhno’s face kissing pleasure) while I went back to volunteering at horse camp.

I immediately got texts about how handsome he is, so apparently the brute turned on the charm when I left, LOL. 

I came back out right after work to make sure he was doing well and he was… well, he was 100% fine, so I tacked him up and took him for a test ride in our new indoor arena.

He was an angel. A very lazy angel.

It was weird riding in such a quiet barn. There was no yelling, banging, barking, or highway noises, just the sound of birds and Ezhno’s shoes crunching along. I thought I might be a little nervous about riding without anyone else around, but I wasn’t.

We walked, we trotted, and we loped without even a little anxiety. I call that a major victory! ✌️

I think the change of scenery is going to make Ezhno an even more chill horse. It’s good for him to be able to walk around during the day (even if his outside space is small right now; he’s on the list to move to a stall with a bigger paddock, but it could be a while), plus I think he likes being able to wander outside to see anyone that pulls into the driveway. And, of course, I originally bought him from a small private facility, so it makes sense he’s super comfortable with the increased solitude.

All in all, I think the doof is happy with the move. We’ll see how the peace and quiet pans out for my social butterfly tendencies, but as of now I’m enjoying the change of pace, too. 😛

In the mean time, the benefits of moving to KW are two-fold. Scooby’s owner’s mother is looking for a walk/jog/some canter trail/pleasure horse. She took a ride on him under Trainer A’s supervision on Wednesday evening and she liked him, so she’s going to start trialing him today. I hope they work out, I think he’d do awesome as a mom horse and I like that I  know the family. If not, I do have a few more people in mind that are looking for something steady like him.

I’m confident I’ll find someone that will be a great fit for him. 😊

Confirmation Received: a Lesson with Boston & Teaching at Horse Camp

Confirmation Received: a Lesson with Boston & Teaching at Horse Camp

My feelings about selling Ezhno fluctuate on a daily basis. For the most part there’s a net gain of happiness and optimism in my life now that I’m moving forward, but some days I have a really good time cavorting about the arena on my trustworthy Paint gelding and I find myself doubting my decisions.

What if I could force myself to be satisfied with a life of performance, western pleasure, and trail rides?

What if Ezhno actually could jump, just a little tiny bit, even if he wasn’t super passionate about it?

There are somethings in relationships that shouldn’t be compromised. For human relationships it might be things like children, family, friendships, or culture/religion.
For horse-rider relationships, discipline is a dealbreaker. 

So on Tuesday I took a break from helping with horse camp to take a lesson with Trainer M (along with Teeq’s Rider, and Lily’s Rider, who are just starting to get into jumping!) on Boston.

It’s been a long time since I rode Boston. He’s been a busy horse (a lot of riders in our program are starting to dabble over fences), so when I got on him his nervousness was nonexistent, he was feeling pretty lazy, and he wanted to be sort of heavy in my hand. It was lovely, but I tried to talk myself out of riding when he felt “weird”. Thankfully my trainer is really good at talking me out of talking myself out of things. 😆

It was a pretty easy lesson—counting down to a ground pole and jumping a cross rail a few times—but it was so much fun to go back to basics and feel super comfortable with what we were doing (not to mention being at the point where I was the demo rider for the lesson, which always feels good). It was also a great reminder that I love cantering, I love jumping, and I don’t want either of those things to be a source of anxiety when they normally make me feel so awesome.

Also, I felt pretty damn proud when I was counting down from five, knew I wasn’t going to make it, then made the conscious decision to ask B-Dawg for a long spot to avoid over-counting. Trainer M praised me for my decision making skills, which I consider to be a success all on its own. 😀

Then on Wednesday I had the chance to teach two young students that have just begun their jumping journey. We did a rehash of the Boston lesson, with an added focus of anchoring down through their lower leg as much as possible, and they were so excited to be going over cross rails! Their enthusiasm was downright contagious.

Being around so many riders that are finding their passion for jumping has made me very excited to get a new horse that enjoys it as much as I do!

Fireworks are the Devil?

Fireworks are the Devil?

Everywhere I look, I feel like I’m surrounded by Scrooge McDuck! It seems like every status update I read online and every person I encounter has an anti-fireworks rant primed and ready to go.

Am I the only one that likes a good fireworks show?

ANYWAYS, I didn’t go out for 4th of July (too tired from the clinic 😴), but I did make it to the barn on the day after and holy moly, Ezhno was a basket case!  For a long while I was lunging him before every ride, but I’ve weaned myself off of that habit. I could tell he was a little wound up on Wednesday, but I decided not to lunge and I went in armed with a lot of leg/some spur. We worked on leg yielding and circles at the jog to keep his brain in. He seemed like he was starting to settle in…

Cue dramatics when I asked for a canter transition, then again a few minutes later when we were just jogging on the wall, LOL. I made the decision to deem said dramatics “not my problem” and finish up with some trot work, then handed the reins over to Trainer M with a quick message of, “He’s being a douche, I’m sorry for my horse, please fix?” 😂

Trainer M got on, rode him for a few minutes, got off, put him on the lunge line, and deemed him a danger to himself (wild running/slipping is No Bueno for horse that had an injury a few months ago). She even had to run him into a wall to get him to listen to her halt cue! In the end, she decided to take him out to the round pen for a one on one conversation.

Welcome to the Rollback Game, Ez.

Ezhno has played the Rollback Game before. He quickly fell into the lope, reverse, lope rhythm, though not without encouragement from Trainer M (a lazy horse is a lazy horse even when he’s amped up, after all). She let him run back and forth until he was sweaty and breathing hard, then we untacked him, walked him out, and called it a day, under the presumption that the fireworks had him rattled and he’d probably be back to his normal safe and sane self the next day.

The next day Trainer M had me play a quick round of the Rollback Game before my ride, then I took him out to the arena and rode literally the laziest horse I’ve ever been on. He trudged his way around, as chill as could be, then Trainer M hopped on real quick to check out his lope (it was awesome) before I got back on and had a great time loping around the arena and doing simple lead changes. It was a very fun ride, probably one of the best I’ve had on him since his injury!

It’s so weird how horses can change on a day to day basis, but I’m really grateful that Ezhno can pull himself back together like the fireworks never happened after just a couple of sessions in the round pen. 🙂