I dragged SuperMom (who fed the wonder pony for me since I slept in and she thought I might still be under the weather - SuperMom is indeed very super!) out to the barn about 11AM to assess her handiwork. And I must say, she did a fabulous job with the wonder pony aka "the Hothouse Flower." He's shiny, fat, and very happy. It's pretty funny - whenever Mom talks about Charlie, she gets this silly grin on her face and says "he likes me!" She took care of Fuzzy for me when I moved away from home and he wasn't always easy to deal with. So while Charlie might require a little extra attention because he's so sensitive, he's super easy to take care of and terribly sweet. She's a fan.
Charlie looking like the picture of health! So shiny! Thanks SuperMom!!!
So backing up a little bit, I was able to make it back over to Cherie's on Thursday evening (night before I flew home) and got to ride Prince who is seriously one of the cutest horses ever. He just has this impish look to him and will probably be a perpetual 4 yr old (even though he's already turned 5). On top of being cute, he's a superstar under saddle. Cherie was nice enough to let me ride him this winter when I went to visit her in Southern Pines and the difference between now and then is quite simply amazing. He's always been very good behavior-wise, but now, he's so much more educated. I rode him a bit on the flat and hopped over a few little jumps - he was perfect! Didn't even care about swinging leg (which in my defense was partially due to riding in jeans and stirrups that were waaaay too long as didn't realize I was going to jumping anything) - just kept on trucking. Compared to Charlie, he's like riding a little sports car while Charlie is kind of like a luxury sedan. After fooling around on Prince, I got to watch Cherie jump Justin (the quarter horse stallion who is gearing up for his Grand Prix debut!). All in all, a very fun night!
Prince! This winter in Southern Pines - he's even cuter now...
I've ridden for the last 3 days (new record, right? Hehe!) and you'd think I hadn't been gone for the last 16 days. Charlie has been foot perfect - no shenanigans, no "I don't remember how to do what you're asking", no nothing other than perfect pony. We've been having an ongoing discussion about going forward off the leg and I felt like the discussions we had on Saturday and Sunday were very productive. He seemed to understand I was using a tap of the dressage whip because he wasn't going forward off my leg. We only have to have one conversation (and it is truly a conversation, not a fight - no fireworks involved) per ride and he's pretty good for the rest of the ride. I just need to remember to bring my whip with me every time I get on - I've been getting on without and then have to go back and get it.
Saturday was a flat day and Sunday we jumped a bit. We did the clock exercise and Charlie is so stinking smart. Once around the "clock", and he knows what the deal is without me really steering. He figures out the striding and keeps trucking. How did I get so lucky?
Today was a hack around the neighborhood and he was very good - no spooking at the dogs who came tearing down the driveways, barking like crazy at him. He is a bit footsore behind and I might have to have a conversation with Bruce about putting hind shoes on him but we'll see if he toughens up in the next couple of weeks.
Looking extra cute with his nose painted in zinc oxide.
Just because he looks so good, finally!
School starts tomorrow - last semester! Yay! Going to try to get to Janna's for a jumping lesson on Friday and *maybe* (finger are crossed!) XC schooling at Pine Top on Monday. Poor Charlie's not going to know what hit him. I'm holding off on entering the show until I get my clinical schedule but if I get my way, I'm thinking a move up to Novice might just be in our very near future....we'll see....