Thanks. :) He's really putting lots of effort in what he does, if only I manage to get him motivated enough. And to think he was earlier in his life considered an extremely lazy horse! He's not. He just wants to do the fun things.
And it's up to me to make work fun.
Since moving, Snickers has become a favorite of the BO. She says he is always the first one to "help" her in mucking the fields or repairing fences. He loves taking shovels from her hands and carrying them around or assisting actively when she is trying to get a fence repaired. Besides, all the herd now follows him often, so she sometimes finds herself suddenly crowded by a dozen of curious noses
I've had less chances to ride lately, as the arena has turned into mud due to recent rainfalls, but I've had a couple of productive rides, one of which in a cordeo, and went on a nice, slow trail ride with a horse who is currently ridden at a walk only. I can't wait to get some better pictures from the trails!
I've also had some very nice walks in-hand to explore the territory and groundwork has not been forgotten as well. Snickers has been a good boy in refining his sidepassing, which he is now doing over ground poles or higher objects, and also with pivoting incorporated, so that we can make specific trajectories, going sideways, both following me and away from me. We had gotten a bit lost in our work at liberty - I guess I overdid it a while ago - but in one of the previous evening he followed me nicely around all the huge arena and we also did some stopping, backing up and lying down.
As I am hoping to hitch him up to a sleigh this winter, we've done some ground driving and he acted as a champ. Ground-driving seems to give him a big purpose and motivation, so he always does this eagerly. I was working on getting his stopping and backing up lighter.
I guess our biggest adventure in these days was visiting the annual Autumn gardener's fair, which took place in the main grounds of the botanical garden. I went there with another girl an her horse, and we offered pony rides for the kids. Although Snickers used to hate this job when he was a lesson horse, I guess it was because of the routine (he sometimes had to do it for hours in a day, and to go round and round in a circle, at a walk, was extremely boring for his active mind), because this time he behaved brilliantly and was more concerned about all the tasty grass he saw near the flowerbeds than about kids that were put on his back. I didn't stay there for long, though, not to overwhelm him.
As expected, Snickers didn't budge at all about the tents, flags, music and crowds of people - in fact, he started neighing and hurrying towards all the commotion, as we were approaching - he was clearly excited to explore what was going on.
We stayed a bit farther from the central grounds, though, in a smallish field which was given to us for the pony rides.
One early morning and Snickers looking rounder than he is.
Waiting for the kids and munching away at the fair: