I met her new horse at the beginning of the summer when we went for a trail ride. Hayes is STUNNING. He's basically the horse I would buy if I was in the market for a Warmblood (he's an imported Trakehner), minus a few little flaws. He just has perfect conformation, is my favorite shade of light orange chestnut with chrome, the best work ethic under saddle and did I mention he's gorgeous?!
|Pictures just don't do him justice|
We'd been trying to coordinate a time for me to come ride him but never could make it work due to both our crazy schedules, but now that it's winter break we have a lot more free time so we finally did it!
It was a ton of fun. Riding Hayes just solidified my love for him. He has very nice gaits, uphill and floaty. He naturally really engages his hind end and lowers his haunches in transitions. He's basically naturally just on the bit. Oh my goodness, riding him was awesome.
|He's not convinced that pictures are fun|
CL is showing him Second Level and will hopefully get to Third Level this summer. He was just really different from Jetta in that he didn't really get rushy, he'd go fast sometimes, but I never felt like we were snowballing faster and faster. He never got heavy on the forehand. Like not once. Transitions were amazing, so simple and just there. He's got the dreamiest trot ever. Like, I could just trot him all day. Collecting, extending, asking for some almost-passage steps. So. Cool. He was a lot "heavier" in the contact than Jetta, but not pulling, just accepting it, whereas Jetta is very light mouthed except for when she's pulling on you so contact is typically very light. He didn't argue about leg yields or shoulder-in. His canter wasn't super amazing, he wanted to be really uphill but at the same time I had trouble getting him really through and he almost got a little bit lateral in the canter, though CL got back on afterwards to show off his flying changes and I didn't see the same issue, so that was obviously a rider error!
Gosh, it was a lot of fun. I need to bring Jetta over and introduce her to Hayes and tell her to be more like him. I know her trot can get better, maybe not to the same quality as his, but close. It just made me more driven to work hard with Jetta and hopefully get her to that same point as Hayes. Someday.
|Makes me miss a certain pair of fuzzy little orange ears.|
I've been thinking about what I want to do with the horses. I was kind of toying with the idea of leaving them at my parents' for another month and moving them up at the beginning of February, but decided that it would honestly drive me nuts to have them so far away and not able to ride often, plus if I want to achieve my goals with Jetta this next year, we need to start soon and work really hard and consistently at it, which I can't do right now with them at home. So, I have 3 places on my list to go look at. All would be feasible for the horses.
Barn #1 is CL's barn. It's adequate, but not as nice as I would hope. The stalls are pretty old and dinky and it's a little more than I would like to pay. But KB trains out of there, which would be awesome to get into a regular lesson plan with her.
Barn #2 I looked at before, but I don't know why I decided not to board there. It's at least a 30 minute drive, so it's a little farther than I hoped. The arena is kind of a funky layout, but the owners seem to be making lots of improvements. There's a covered round pen, an outdoor arena, year-round turnout paddocks and the property backs up to lots of trails which would be awesome. It's right at what the max I'd like to pay.
Barn #3 I also looked at previously. Another friend boards there now. There's two (or maybe three arenas?). The main arena is huge and really nice. The stalls are ok. Not a ton of turnout and runs are super muddy. The BO seemed kind of crazy, but supposedly she's fine and you don't really have to interact with her that much. And if I did self care it would be super cheap and maybe I could trade off days with my friend who boards there.
I'll give more info when I finally get to go see these barns!