Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Bunnies and Snow

I had hoped after bricking the trailer on Sunday, that Monday would be cold enough we could haul it to a proper mooring before the snow dumped a foot on us. Unfortunately, that magical moment when we could have moved it happened at about 2 in the morning. By Tuesday morning, all of the schools were closed, the roads were covered with snow and we had about 12" of snow on the ground. I made it into work, but J worked from home. I left about three with the hopes that we would be able to try and move the trailer before dark.

It was not happening. The drifts were hip deep in places and there was no way we were moving the trailer. J took the trailer lock off so the BO could move the trailer when conditions allow and we grabbed the stuff out of the trailer that needed to go back in the tack room. When we pulled up to the main entrance to the barn, we found this:

The snow had drifted across the doors. There is a side door that we could go through.

We were the only people there. I pulled Ashke out and turned him loose while I pulled out barrels (collapsible FTW) and the gate. Then J and I chased him around getting him willies out so he could horse properly for me. 

That's when we discovered there were bunnies in the indoor. Three of them. Snuggled down in the sand of the arena. Guess they decided that plenty of hay, warm sand and shelter from the storm was worth being chased around by giant ass horses.

And since nothing is real without photographic proof.

I started at a walk, although Ashke was a little warmed up from tearing around. We didn't work on any trot, since we really need to work on walk-canter for this year in WE.

The canter to our left. 

Canter to the right. 

He was still spooky a bit, just on alert, but he seemed so happy to be worked, and relaxed. He's started to snort when he canters, which he's never done before.

Once he was warm and relaxed, moving easily, we moved to the obstacles.

One of the things we need to work on is manuevering our body around without throwing our head up and bracing. 

Ashke is struggling with moving through the gate. He is reacting to worrying about going through the gate without hitting his hip on the standard. He consistently braces against the bend. I hooked the rope over the standard it was tied to and we walked in a circle around the standard until he was moving forward through the gate without hesitation. That seemed to help him the next couple of times we tried the gate. 

The video cut out just as we started working our way through the gate.

We need to continue to work on relaxation as we walk through the gate.
Ashke knows what to do, I just think the series of moves is difficult for him still.

Then we moved to the three barrel obstacle. I am confident that we can canter the two barrel obstacle, but the three barrel is harder. Two lead changes with little time between. The proper tempo for the lead change is through the walk, so it's a challenge. At the Novice level, the rider can trot or canter the obstacles, but the canter earns higher points. My hope is to canter them. That's what we are working on.

I could feel that the lead change didn't happen properly, but I wasn't sure what had happened until I watched the film. He didn't pick up the hind leg lead change properly. We did the circle again and the second time he got the lead correctly. After we were done, I told him if he could do it one more time, the correct way, we would be done.

And he gave me this. And then we were done.

I'm still grinning.


  1. That looks amazing!! He is really in tune with you. Had that been my indoor, when I saw the rabbits I would have cancelled my riding plans and let them be. Not smart or productive, but for some reason I just can't stand to disturb wildlife.

    1. I figure if they are inside, they are no longer wild. I'm pretty sure they kept moving to the middle of the arena to be under the halogen lights. I'm sure they all thought they'd hit the bunny jackpot. A night at the spa, sort of thing, although they didn't seem unhappy to be crouching among the jump standards.

  2. Super work for both of you! And the bunnies are awfully cute. :)

  3. I love your relationship with him! That last video made me grin from ear to ear for you two.