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Big Shoes to Fill

We have some more lessons and at some point it occurs to me that the reason his bit pinches is because he is, in fact, wearing a size too small. I wish I could actually take credit for noticing this, but it is in reality Amazing Coach who points it out. Cue head palm.

SBG has gone up a couple of bit sizes since he was started and 2 girth sizes. Bonus is he now fits Miss H's old blankets as well which means he now has a great wardrobe! He does not fit her girths or saddle pads so we did get to go shopping. We now have a new army of smaller pads that look great on him. He is now no longer the SBG, he has graduated to Mav. Most concerningly to Super Husband, the nickname Peanut has kind of stuck. One of the ground crew called him that since he was small and brown when he arrived. I like it. He likes it too, since it is usually accompanied by a treat.

When he arrived, he would not eat treats from my hand. He would not eat apples at all and only nibbled on horse cookies. Quickly he began to trust and now he is a certified cookie monster. Albeit a more polite one I have not met.

He is also starting to get pretty handsome if I do say so myself. I can see the horse he will become eventually and I am enamored with his rugged good looks. I may be a bit biased at this point.

Mav gets invited to a private training day. Our amazing local show venue (international venue), does private training sessions currently as the shows are all cancelled due to Covid-19. Trainers can rent the main indoor in 4 hour increments. Lucky for us, Amazing Rider invites him along for a spin in the ring. It will be full of jumps and people jumping. Perfect! He needs to get used to all kinds of things and I do not have to get on him as AR will ride him this time for me.

For the first time in a couple of years, I hook up the trailer and actually put a horse in it for an outing. Exciting!

He loads and stands in the trailer like a pro. His only previous trailer experience was learning to load as a young horse moving between fields, his two trailer experiences while travelling to me, and moving to the new barn. But thanks to work by his excellent breeder, he loads and is calm and content in the trailer alone. We arrive and he is happy to see other horses, but not needy. He stands to be tacked nicely. I leave on his rope halter under his bridle as I am not comfortable removing all halters during bridling until he has more experience going places. But I probably did not need to as he was great the whole time.

I bought this trailer for Miss H and I am glad I did not have them raise the divider with the extra height added. It is 7'6" inside and he has lots of room! Miss H used to be slightly squished front to back but we did not ever go far. Mav has room to spare.

Mav does a turn around outside to see the sights.

The part hanging down is his rope halter. Made by a local company called Fancy Pants.

He is not completely sure about the jumping horses and is a bit overwhelmed initially, but he settled in eventually. The first cantering in the new place brings back some of the leaping, but nothing AR can not deal with! On this day I am glad it is not me up there.

But in the end he mostly settles and relaxes.

Well, that first outing is out of the way so a few weeks later it is time for me to take him out somewhere. Me, like I am actually going to ride him off property. I should not be this worried, I mean, I was the first to sit on him right?

I choose a local facility that is haul-in by appointment only now and the owners horses are the only ones there. It is a beautiful place and we are lucky to have it available for use!

Off we go with uncle Kanje in tow. I will admit I was a bit nervous. I may or may not have slept well the night before. I am that person who sleeps fast and hard. Hit the pillow and out but I was tired the day of the adventure so I can only assume I was worried about the day. The stress of the outing shows in my riding as I was rather tight, as was he! Chicken-egg scenario. I know chickens actually descended from dinosaurs, a fact that makes zero sense to me but there you go. At some point the first chicken hatched from an egg of some chicken like creature and therefore the egg came first. Solved.

Here we are a bit tight but doing well for our first time here and away from home.

We did have a spook and scoot caught on video but he came back right away. A few short weeks before he would have had a panic attack at being corrected but now he takes it in stride and goes right back to work. We were not loose enough to actually ride through a test today but called it a win for the whole experience!

A video containing the spook caught on camera.

Since I am not one to give up (see previous entries on my persistence) we went back there a couple of weeks later for another ride. This time much better! I am thrilled with him and actually starting to get excited for the future.

This guy has really big shoes to fill. Literally, Miss H had big feet! She was the kind of horse that in the end went anywhere with no fuss. I used to take her to be part of the clinics at our local horse expo and she was completely fine with the large crowd watching and crazy amounts of noise from the adjacent rings.

Miss H at the Mane Event. There is no video from here as it is not permitted but Glorious Husband snapped a couple of shots for posterity.

She also really enjoyed going to the creek for a splash at the one local show spot. At this show, she was Champion Small Tour (PSG/I1) and then went bareback to the creek. I know it annoyed at least one member of our competition as they got progressively less friendly towards us as the weekend went on. Seriously people, why shouldn't my horse be able to go bareback to the creek?!

Admiring her cooler and championship ribbon.

Action shot, because I never miss a moment to share one of the (actually) thousands I have from professional show photographers.

I would like Mav to be like her and go out and about safely. I think he will get there eventually. I just need to keep repeating to myself "he is young, he will learn, he will be excellent, he will be safe out and about" and then go and do it.

So much about young horses is repetition and not taking things too seriously/personally but getting out and doing it regardless of what is going on. The above picture of Miss H does not display the drum set being played, badly, immediately across the street in the background. I managed to use it to increase our impulsion so there is a silver lining in everything right?


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