Have You Jumped Him Yet?

In stopping by to say hello to a mentor, AJ was sad to hear of the passing of the nicest horse she had ever met.  She had taught many lessons to beginners on him, despite the fact he was also a reliable event competition horse.  Marty was part clyde, so could carry men, but would also support even the tiniest little human beginner.  He was awesome with verbal commands, and had no vices in the barn, despite his super big feet and enourmous self, and despite being constantly hand fed treats by so many admiring folks on the ground.  He loved food, but was always agreeable, sensible, adorable and trust worthy.  (Except when he was sneaking out of his stall to get to the feed bins.  He had a talent for an amazingly silent tip toe.)

When she went to visit other horse buddies, and collect her riding helmet to leave at a different farm for future rides, Lulabelle had come right over to where she was.  But her ex-project Mouse also came right towards her, and she had shooed away one of her favourite all time horses away, without recognizing her, because the mare was intimidating Mouse.  What a terrible farewell!  She would have to come by again soon to make nice with the bay she had seen grow from an unmanageable, underhandled 3 yr old to a successful, well homed brood mare.
Showing up with her riding helmet at the new place, AJ had been joking in the barn that they expected her to ride bareback, just as the owner showed up with the saddle! Talk about earning that hug!!  The cats at the place were also very wonderful.  The head trainer was walking around the paddock with a metal detector looking for a lost shoe.  How much does a shoe even cost? AJ wondered, seeing how much time she was putting into it.   He moved around at the mounting block to ensure AJ was getting on from the "correct" side.  When she commented how well behaved and generous that was, she was told He tends to be quick off the mark.  You will good for him.  We aren't so good at fixing bad habits.  "I am very disciplined.  I find that if you insist consistently it can make a difference." 

Her third time riding her new horse project, A.J. worked him in the arena, because of the rainy weather, trying to stay off the track because the footing was packed and hardest on the actual track.  She mostly trotted thinking about getting his body straight and going forward.  She tried a little bending to the right and to the left... he seemed not to know what she was asking for with any of the exercises.   The farm owner said   "He can go straight.  He can round up."  its just that his owner/rider hasn't worked hard at it, and in fact that rider has to work really hard at everything because of her body shape....  Recently many tears have been shed over the 8yr old TB/Warmblood Cross, the rider's father thought they should just sell him.  The farm owner went on to say that the Grand Prix horse that people are coming up from the states to buy is out of the same stallion.  She was going on about how much potential AJ's new mount had, although his history was mostly that they had him out to the D-rally a few times. We “struggled” with the gate and went outside but we weren’t allowed to ride around the grass field - too much risk of making manure ha. There was a wedding planned on the farm for the weekend.   AT the end of the ride they fed him carrots down between his knees.  Horse yoga! AJ wanted him to start to use his body in new more-dressage like ways.

Meanwhile, in the barn they asked her, have you jumped him yet? 

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