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Any day spent with you is my favourite day.

We have survived the heavy rain, and snowmageddon. hopefully there is not more to come.

I have also survived my first bout of being unhealthy in the age of covid. I had a head cold. Or possibly Covid. No way to know since I managed to get it right in that spot in-between being able to get tested and the availability of rapid at home tests. I’m fully vaccinated and boosted so they won’t test me. Anyways, a couple days of feeling crappy and several more days of diligent mask wearing and I’m good to go. I’m always good at wearing my mask, but I even wore it at the barn for those days. Can’t be too careful.

Mav. He continues to learn and develop in strength and skills. His newest skill is the destruction of bell boots. He does not wear shoes yet. He destroys them entirely barefoot. I’m afraid for the future once he is shod, and go from buying fancy bell boots to cheapies as he destroys all without regard to how much they cost.

Please note, he currently only wears these while being ridden or having free run time. He does not play much by himself in his paddock and again, he is barefoot.

Now, I’m afraid to say, he’s wearing whatever isn’t broken. I’m not sure if wearing two different socks is still a thing, but he’s bringing it back and rocking whatever 2 boots are in the best shape that day. At least I have, so far, stuck to the same overall colour of boot.

These are a few of the most recent victims.

This one is still very useable but I include it to show how it starts. he rips them, steps on them, tears them. don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy it’s the boots and not his hoof.

Sometimes it’s the Velcro. Up high. How does he do this?

Sometimes it’s Velcro down low.

I should note that these rubber ones fit him the best. He has a wide hoof but it’s not tall. He does step on some models which causes breakage. But these ones fit around his wide pasterns, and cover the important parts of his heels without being too long. But they do look slightly short from the front. If anyone has any fit suggestions for his hoof shape and pastern width, please send them my way.

These ones fit next best. but are ever so slightly too long that he steps on them I’ve fixed these once already so not really interested in continuously fixing. I like the width of the pastern area on these. He‘s thick enough that some end up sitting super weird and high, or are too tight.

This one started ripping within about 10 days. after a couple of weeks it was toast.

This one is still usable, but the stitching is totally gone from the bottom area and it’s actually two bits, of whatever it is, sewn together.

I’m wondering if a solid neoprene with super attached Velcro is the answer. BTW, that is a cat toy on the ground, not dirt, dust or a dead thing. It is basically a ball of fluff at this point, but started off life as a a fake rodent.

It’s that, or old school thick rubber pull ons. The ones that you almost die putting on and involve much swearing, falling over backwards, hoof picks, people who all have their own sure fire method trying to help, sweat and finally jubilation at the success of getting one on. If you have been around long enough, you know exactly what I am talking about. They started to go out of fashion about the time those click-clackity petal boots showed up. I think those would frighten him, not that they are available anymore. A noise coming from his hoof might send him over the edge of sanity. Once I borrowed a saddle and the stirrup was squeaking. No idea why since it does not normally, but for me it did. He was side eyeing so much and was so distracted, I got off and changed them.

Moving on to more interesting Mav news. He’s moving up to first level at the end of the month. He lacks the strength and collection to go to 2nd which is no surprise. He’s only been under saddle less than a year and a half and I’m not CD (That’s Charlotte for anyone confused. But I’m sure none of you were). Can he do the things? Yes. Yes he can. He could definitely also ride through the FEI 5 yr old test. However he is 6 now and I had no plans to ride any of the young horse tests anyways. Although his lengthens are certainly a work in progress. The go part is fine. The coming back part from lengthen canter is uhm, interesting so far. Fortunately, I have until test 3 before I have to actually show a transition from lengthen to regular canter. The first two tests let you "develop working canter". I am grateful for this terminology and hopeful I can get some semblance of a working canter before the next letter. No footage of the not-so-come-back lengthen canter so here is some trot.

I have a tendency not to stay on the balance beam (as amazing coach would say). This translates to my circles end up being eggs or move around and are always changing in size. I actually forget where I’m planning to go as I concentrate on what I’m feeling under me. Then suddenly I’m like uh, this is no longer a 15 m circle. I have no issues in tests. I plan in tests. I pay attention to letters and where I am. But in schooling? I think I wiggle around like a drunken idiot. I am not drunk, in fact I don’t actually drink (I'm not a fan of the taste of alcohol). Here I am concentrating on my half circle line and he’s much more in balance. This is an ongoing work in progress. Isn’t everything?

His counter canter was getting so solid I started throwing changes at him. He’s the sort that would be rather put out if he was certain counter canter was the only answer and I started telling him he could change. He dislikes answering incorrectly and is a bit of an overachiever.

First attempts were change in front only. Some still are. This one he anticipated and attempted without being asked.

Here he was actually late in front. Which is odd to me but I’d rather that right now. I’m not sure it’s happened before, maybe it wont happen again.

Success caught on video! I lose his balance for a step just before I ask, but I had it back by then, so it worked out.

why does it look small on video but huge in picture?

What wasn’t caught on video, were the several attempts that led to bucks in change, and a small amount of bolting into/out of the change. overall, he has stayed quite balanced and I am thrilled with him figuring these out so quickly. They are in no way confirmed yet, but we are a huge step closer. likely, I will put these back away once he has a basic understanding. I do not need them this year in the ring and they are making him anticipate a bit on the diagonal. I need canter on the diagonal for first level.

Lastly, the next day was run day. You can see he was not exactly overworked from his flying change exploits. These are only the leaps I caught on video this day. There were many more not captured.

I appreciate that he has been containing these to only run day. Even with a few days off (while I recovered), he did not throw anything like these at me.

He‘s a good boy! (Boyeeee as I say to him when he’s good 😆). Looking forward to getting him to a new place and in the ring. The more times he goes in the ring, the more comfortable he will be. And the more places he goes, the better he will be about new places. And if he is not so good? it makes for amusing videos and something to write about. It's all good.

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