Yay for Magic! She is being sold to my friends, I will still be able to visit her and she's going to her new home this Saturday. Until that I'm continuing to work with her almost daily on accepting new situations and on riding in a halter, as she will be going to a strictly bitless home. To be honest, she is much, much calmer without a bit, I observe lots and lots of stretching long and low, chewing and licking, and being much more relaxed in general. We progressed today to trotting in a rope halter, and she was being a doll, as always. No spook, no rushing, no tension. Over these days, I've also introduced her to free jumping, going from just crossing a ground pole, then a low cross rail, and then a 50cm high vertical. Although her first reaction was refusing anything that is higher than ground, it needed just a little bit of encouragement, and, after that, everything went beautifully. She seemed to really enjoy herself while jumping and her natural jumping form is very nice. She could make a wonderful jumping pony later in life.
I will have to help her load in the trailer this Saturday and I'm not really sure how will it go. We haven't had the chance to work on this (trailer was never available), but I've been told she loaded without any problems about a year and a half ago. Meanwhile, I'm working on her being able to climb on a concrete ramp and, hopefully, that will help us with the trailer.
The chiro was a real blessing to Snickers. Although it seemed to me that his hind legs might be stiffer than I'd like them to be after last years' abscesses in his fronts, the chiro came to a conclusion that the real reason for it is a stiff front end - most likely, the abscesses are to be blamed in this, too. He worked for a good half an hour and instructed me to continue doing simple massages on Snicks' shoulders and neck for three weeks. Snickers has already showed some noticeable improvement and today I felt much more hind leg involvement than before. I am currently working on improving his stamina, so we are using endurance training plan with much more trotting (without breaking the gait). I am also concentrating on my seat and using the trotting periods for trotting without stirrups, in two-point, in two-point with my arms outstretched, and so on. I am really glad that Snickers is so reliable, because I can send him out in a canter around the arena and just go into two-point with my arms outstretched, even when there is nobody around to lunge us. It's a simple, yet a really valuable exercise for finding a true balance in the two-point, so I find it extremely important to practice it whenever I can.
Due to weather becoming chilly, Snickers is extremely full of energy and it sometimes makes me giggle, how the horse with no-go now sometimes needs a stern reminder that "stop" means "STOP RIGHT NOW", not "maybe after a few more canter paces".
And other news - we've decided about a place to move. It is very close to the current facility and we will be able to go there by foot. Also, some other horses from our herd have already moved there, so it will be easier for Snickers to blend in, besides, his two best buddies are moving there along with him. The owners are quite inexperienced, but they are really open to new information, so, hopefully, it will be a fine place with really beautiful surroundings where to spend at least this winter. Fingers crossed.