Friday, we did more stuff with clippers. I wanted to give him a bridlepath and clean up his ear fuzz. He wasn't too keen on either at first, but soon realized he wasn't going to die and stood (mostly) still. We also did some trailer loading and deworming. Combine all the annoying stuff on the same day, that's what I do. That way, it's done and we don't have to deal with it again for a while.
Well hey there, little bridlepath. Where'd you come from?
Saturday, it was supposed to rain, but I didn't care. I hadn't ridden in a while and I figured the rain would provide some "controlled chaos" for my little extrovert. And he didn't disappoint, getting nervous at all the noise, but calming down fairly quickly with a figure-8 pattern OnLine. It only got better with partial disengagement and stretching. I wanted to see how much of an impression our last Game of Contact session made, especially with the rain creating an extra stress. At first, he had trouble. Stopping, gapping mouth, chomping on the bit, all from the last session. But as he kept hunting the release, he got better. I started asking for frame, and quit the session when he held it steady for a few stride and did the BIGGEST STRETCH EVER for a while when I released. Good boy.
Sunday, I had a review session for Biochem and couldn't get out, and didn't get out on Monday until late afternoon. With the Hunt Cup on Saturday, I want to make sure he's comfortable jumping 2'6" out of stride, so after letting him warm up at Liberty, I set up a jump with guide rails. Normally I don't use guide rails, but they had them last year, and it kinda worried him. I think they made him feel slightly claustrophobic, so better let him get used to them. I had them set up in both directions so he could jump the jump in both directions, but he decided to be clever and create his own jumps by bouncing between the guide rails. It was the weirdest thing ever, and I tried to get a video of it because it just seemed so odd. But Royal has a unique relationship with cute stuff getting caught on camera. He'll do it, I'll think it's cute/interesting and try to get a video of it, and as soon as I turn on the video function on my cell phone, he stops doing the cute/interesting thing. And acts like he never did the thing in the first place. So this was the video I ended up getting. (Sorry for the crappy quality)
"What cute thing? I don't know what you're talking about."
Afterwards, we did more trailer loading, but the with the dreaded shipping boots. Gotta get used to those too. That also went really well, with him letting me put the butt bar up and down with no fuss. I also cleaned up the top of his tail too.
I like it.
Today, after my Biochem final, I wanted to do some jumping under saddle. After all, the last time I did that was Spring Break and I don't want to be rusty as we tackle the steeplechase jumps on Saturday. So I set up the cow jump at 2' and a plain 2'6" jump. After warming up, we went for the cow jump with the flashy Holstein spots and "Moo!" painted on the panel. He wiggled to it and jumping it sort of sideways, but I stayed on and he stayed calm. After a few more hops over that, we tried the 2'6". My initial nervousness vanished as we headed to it and Royal jumped smooth and sure. He has a much easier time getting to a good take-off spot when he's trotting, but I think the size of the arena factors into that. There's not much room to adjust as from the rail to the jump was about 4 strides, but he did well. I only needed to ride for about a half hour total, he was so perfect. Tomorrow, we'll try it again with hopefully a ride on the road.