Apparently it is NOT FAIR to buy a new pony and not blog about him. :) Let me rectify this right now!
I've actually not had the time to ride that I want lately. I've been helping ME at her farm, doing evening chores, for the last three-four weeks while she's been recovering from a nasty injury and the resulting surgery. Chores at 7 really cut into my post-work riding time. I managed to get on a few times, like Friday and Sunday, but I didn't have much time between everything else I've had to do and evening chores to really get in there and ride. However, ME's feeling way better, so my evenings are back to being free as of tonight!
My (much beloved, punctual, utterly competent, friendly, affordable) farrier came out on Saturday to do Apollo's feet, and I am SO glad. I was concerned about jumping him any more barefoot. (Aside: I know, there are barefoot eventers. Several of them are on my blog reading list. :) I'm aware of my options. For this horse, for this ground, for this sport, I choose shoes.) And his feet look way better now, with some toe off. I need to get a bottle of sole paint for him and help him toughen up his soles.
And on Sunday, I spent part of my precious barn time giving him phase 2 of a much-needed makeover! I'd already done his bridle path, because it was driving me bonkers to bridle him, so that was phase 1. Phase 2 involved the rest of his hair -- I pulled his mane from 12 inches to 4, and I trimmed his tail to about an inch and a half above his fetlock. Still long and thick, but looking considerably more civilized now. I hope that when I get to the barn tomorrow, he will not have the odd spot on his dock that I thought I saw on Sunday. That fly blanket better not be rubbing his dang tail. It shouldn't -- it doesn't fit tightly over his quarters in the least. It fits quite well, actually. So Phase 3 will include dewormer as well as more mane pulling to get it a little shorter, maybe 3 inches and thinner all up the neck.
Sunday's ride was cut way short by BUGS! in the outdoor arena -- still getting him accustomed to the fly spray I use, and apparently cutting it 3 to 1 with water doesn't repel bugs as well as the full strength; whoda thunk? -- but we went to the indoor to school transitions in the time we had. I think I need to ride without spurs, or at least try for a while. He is figuring out that forward is good, and he's figuring out my walk-trot aids (not dig in with the heels and wait, like his previous owner teaches kids to do) and my half-halts and full halts (halt from seat and leg pressure, not rein only). But the canter is still a little stressful for us. So we'll keep working that, as well as the transitions. He didn't work too much on the canter with PO, giving me a clear line of work from here.
And I get to jump him again on Saturday! Woot woot! Looking forward to it. Of course, it'll just be cross-rails and ground poles, but it's okay for now, for both of us.
Especially because I'm starting with a personal trainer twice a week. Oooooof. I'm looking forward to the results, but not necessarily the beginning. Starting back to weight training is always painful. But my entire goal is to ride better, so it's worth it.
I'm hoping to have pictures soon of the new, made-over Apollo! And of his halter plate whenever it gets here. He's currently mislabeled as Daybreak Reveille. :)