Where has the week gone! Momma nature was fairly pleasant this week, so that has allowed me to be outdoors a lot - meaning I have some catching up to do here.
Tuesday, the sun came out but it was brisk and windy
. I started with Iggy. We went out around Spaulding's and he was feeling mighy fine, so off to the Sugarloaf we went. And we climbed..
And we went down the other side, then back up again..
And down and back up again.. that finally got him settled. We then dropped down and went around the farm and home. While Iggy was feeling quite fresh, he was really quite well behaved in terms of fussing, which was a nice surprise.
12.1 miles, 2135 feet of climb, 5.2 mph average pace, 38F real feel
Next up was George, who was also feeling very good. We went out around Spaulding's and appreciated the newly-planted potatoes.
Then we went over and climbed the Sugarloaf. While George was happy and forward, he is still not moving right to me.
When we got back, we took a bareback mosey around Alimar with Kestrel to cool down.
10.5 miles, 1570 feet of climb, 5.8 mph average pace, 44F real feel
The wind was still roaring when I got done with George, so I decided to ground drive Link using the next bit to start. This time we tried a D ring, single jointed snaffle with copper rollers and a medium thickness mouthpiece. He was pretty quiet with his mouth as I was grooming and tacking him up (I always put the bridle on first), so I was hoping that was a good sign.
While Link was silly multiple times due to the wind stirring up monsters, he wasn't doing much head flipping even when spooking and jumping around. I made a point to work him all over the paddock, including in the scary corner beside the graveyard (the location for all the spooking). I thought the bit was worth trying under saddle next time.
Wednesday was cold to start and since the sun was shining, of course it had to be windy. I started with Phin. I expected him to be full of it with the weather and I wasn't wrong. We went out around Spaulding's and then climbed the Sugarloaf.
On the second climb, we found some friends.
Then we dropped down to go around the farm. And found some excitement:
On the way home, we had to go past the Winged Terrors who now inhabit the Pond of Death:
10.7 miles, 1745 feet of climb, 5.7 mph average pace, 39F real feel
Next I worked with Link. I did a bit of ground work before I even brought him in, as it was still windy and he was not impressed with leaving the herd. I tried the 'single pole challenge' that I saw posted on a Book of Faces group. It proved quite challenging as he wanted to stand ON the pole, instead of walking with a foot on either side, but was just what I needed to get Link thinking:
We went into the barn in a much better frame of mind. Link was quiet to tack and didn't fuss much with the bit while we were getting ready.
In the pen, however, was a different story. While there wasn't a ton of head flipping, I don't think he stopped playing with the rollers for more than an instant:
I was not real pleased with that ride, though it wasn't terrible. That bit got put into the 'maybe try again' category.
0.56 miles, 22 feet of climb, 3.5 mph average pace, 50F real feel
Next, I hopped on Iggy just to take Kestrel for a walk. I wanted to reward him with a chill ride after all the climbing the day before. Iggy was not real enthused to leave, but didn't really fuss. And he was certainly happy to only loop around Alimar and head home!
2.5 miles, 219 feet of climb, 3.8 mph average pace, 52F real feel
The wind calmed down by evening, so after dinner I went back out to try the next bit with Link. This one was a full cheek single jointed snaffle with a medium to thick mouthpiece. From the start, there was a lot of chomping and head flipping. Even while I groomed his belly (his favorite place to be scratched), the chomping never stopped.
We headed out to the paddock and he was flipping his head and chomping even as I led him. I was not feeling very confident but wanted to give it a try ground driving just to see. While he was slightly better when moving if the lines were slack, the slightest touch of the reins had his head flipping all over. I don't think we worked more than 5 minutes and I said enough. That bit is a solid no!
Just after we finished, Ed arrived with the nephews to visit the horses. Link is their favorite!