They have lived outside 24/7 since they were born and have always gotten to just run around and be horses. I believe this is the healthiest way to raise foals both for physical development and for developing social skills with other horses. They are both a bit behind on their educations under saddle thanks to me. I waited until the summer of their three year old year to have them backed. I think that was a good thing but then I didn't have time to continue working with them after that and they hung out in the field again for several months. They certainly weren't complaining about that by the way.
I got back on track with riding them last summer and we were starting to really make some progress. I took them to an open schooling day at our local cross country course just to get them off the farm and exposed to strange places, horses, etc. They were both great and even went through the water jump, jumped the ditch and went up and down the bank. Then we had our trailer incident thanks to an idiot driver. Thankfully both of their injuries were pretty mild in the grand scheme of things but they needed some time off to recover. Of course when they were ready to be brought back to work I was extremely busy on the farm so they sat around for several months again.
I started riding Lexi on New Year's Day and put Bonnie with a trainer a few miles from the farm a few weeks before that so they are both in work again. I have thoroughly enjoyed every single ride I have had on Lexi since getting back in the saddle again to start the year off right. So Lexi has a grand total of just under six months under saddle, and unfortunately it isn't six months in a row.
Jason took some pictures of me riding Lexi this weekend. With such perfect weather what better way to enjoy it than riding? I have to say she was especially fantastic during today's ride. We've been incorporating trot poles into our work the last few rides and today we cantered some poles. She was so cute and reminded me so much of her mother when she was learning to go over poles and then learning to jump. Bridget's signal that she felt good was when she would squeal after a pole or a jump and do a mini version of a crow hop. And I do mean mini, a beginner could sit through it easily. Lexi did the exact same thing today! The first time we cantered the pole she squealed and did a mini crow hop on her first stride after the pole. It made my day and I hugged her as we were cantering around after her squeal and hop.
Horses really know how to bring out a wide spectrum of emotions in me. They bring me such joy and happiness, but they've also brought me a lot of sadness and despair from certain situations. Facing the reality of Bridget's retirement was really hard. Losing one of our retirees is really hard. Seeing them happily grazing, napping or playing is wonderful. A great ride on a horse you bred and raised yourself is almost unbeatable. So thanks for such a great time today Lexi!
Jason and Bear were my audience on Sunday although Bear was apparently much more interested in chewing on his stick. Walking
Starting to engage herself here
Going across the diagonal
Jason cut my head off but he got a nice picture of Lexi!
Big pats as we walk along on a loose rein
Cantering on the left lead
Cantering on the right lead
Getting up in a little bit of a 2 point position and asking her to start really cantering forward on a loose rein
More big pats for being such a good girl
Lexi moving in for her candy cane treat for a job well done. Jason came home with a bunch of candy canes that he bought on sale shortly after Christmas. He had gone to get a prescription filled and they had all of the Christmas candy on sale. He announced he had bought me a bunch of candy canes since they were on sale and I liked them so much. Huh??? Jason, how many years have you known me and how many candy canes have you seen me eat during that time? Yep, ZERO. I guess it is the though that counts although I am clueless as to where the thought actually came from. The horses have all been enjoying the candy canes though!