Ahh I'm back on the farm and it feels so good! The drive home from South Carolina yesterday went super smoothly, and we even arrived home an hour a half earlier than expected!
(My brother and his girlfriend moved back to the farm last summer and have begun their own organic farming operation - here are their layers, looking happy in some fine spring sunshine)
Today I got to ride Dually, who felt super fresh but great! He's looking and feeling the best he's been early in the season in a long time. I just went out for a walk around the park and then did a little connected work in the ring, getting him straight and supple. Papa's done a great job with him, and so he did great. I feel so lucky to get to ride him this week!
I then went for a test ride on my mom's new horse, Acorn. Acorn is a 15 year old, 14.1hh halflinger pony, and is officially one of the cutest creatures I've met in a loooong time. He is apparently quite well-schooled on the flat, and even came with his own little double bridle and dressage duds. I'm not only thrilled for my mom (who hasn't had a horse of her own to ride for several years) but am also pretty excited to maybe learn something from a well-schooled horse this summer! I was the first one on the farm to ride him today, so I wore his jumping bridle just in case.
(Awww - he has a great personality too, very sensible)
And I was pretty glad I did! He ended up being quite strong, and I had to work pretty hard to keep him focused even with his little elevator bit. I was a little frustrated with the ride I gave him, because I ended up just pulling back on him and getting super picky when he started pulling on me. Not the right solution to the problem!! I think he's pretty out of shape, and so holding himself without bracing against the reins is hard for him. I should have been a little more tactful and probably worked 10 minutes less (I still only rode him for probably 30 minutes total), but hopefully he'll forgive me and I can learn from my mistakes going forward.
(I'm... pretty darn big on him! But fortunately he's very sturdy, so I don't think my weight is an issue - my mom weighs a bit more than I do (though she's more petite) so if he can't carry me then we have an issue!)
Since he's so small, I really have to be conscious of my body positioning and balance, which I know can only help my riding as a whole. I think he was a little too strong for my mom today, but hopefully I can be a little more tactful and getting him a little better tuned up before she rides him for the first time later in the week. But man, isn't he the cutest?? I think we only collect adorable creatures at Black Brook Farm... and I'm OK with that!
(Acorn had to roll after his ride too - I must have really been torturing them! ;D)
I promise I have a few more thoughts about Aiken, but I have to hustle outside for a run (in my spiffy new running shoes!!) before the light completely goes. More later!