Saturday, April 5, 2014

He's sensational

Slow, but definitely sensational. I had the wonderful opportunity to ride Chesapeake Sensation aka Chess in a lesson this morning. I started riding him early last year, and had planned to show him, but then he went lame, and it's been a roller coaster ride trying to figure out what was wrong and then trying to rectify it. Originally, he was diagnosed with laminitis, but that wasn't making much of any sense to Miss S and I, so Miss S had him looked at again by a couple other vets. Turns out it wasn't laminitis, and I'm not sure what the final diagnosis was, but, with some special shoeing, he is perfectly sound.

Fifi and Miss S have been getting on him a couple of times for the past month, but I've been very determined to work with him, so I asked to ride him today. He has no topline, and hasn't been ridden regularly in a long time (I'm talking years because he was never used as a lesson horse and the amount of time that Miss S had to ride him became smaller and smaller). He's a bit of a challenge, but I certainly do not feel overhorsed. He has retained his training very well. Unfortunately, he mostly retained the western pleasure part. Dropped rein, lots of leg, slow as you can go . . . and I plan on making him a hunter? Normally, I would laugh, but after trying to jump Splash, nothing else seems quite as funny. After having to apply constant leg for however many laps at the trot, I was physically done, and the lesson wasn't even half over yet. He'd already given me a fair amount of sass—broke crazily into the trot at first, kept cutting the corners, and, when I told him he was a good boy for not cutting, he would stop—enough to warrant an award.

We get to doing a figure-8 with some trot overs, and he was really cute over them. I was working on my two-point, and trying to stay with him, although he was taking those crossbars rather awkwardly. Then we got to the canter overs, and oh my goodness, those were even more laughable than Splash's jumping. He was going so slow to these things. I feel like I need to sit down with him and explain thoroughly the difference between loping over a pole and cantering over a jump, because there is a difference, but he hasn't quite understood that. His speed aside, he finds it necessary to get really close to every fence (just so he can make sure that it's not some scary, horse eating monster). Baby has been slowly making me like long distances because that's her thing, and, for the most part, they still look good, but going from Miss Long Jumper to Mister Has To Sniff Every Pole was a challenge. I found myself ahead of him most (every) times, but I managed not to land hard on his back at all. I hope to ride him again sometime so I can show him later in the year, but Baby is still my main focus. I decided against doing the show this month as I can't swing it financially, but all of my new show gear, which I have saved up for separately, is ready to have an the orders put in. Goodbye crappy show boots, hello long awaited Ariats.

Thanks, Cas, for the pictures and the lovely binder!

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