So first, the good news. The earth-shattering news. The, I RODE JETTA DURING FEEDING TIME news. It was seriously one of the most relaxed rides we've had to date. Not to mention, it was the first ride during feeding time that she didn't lose her sh*t the entire time.
Normally, I avoid riding at feeding time. With Jetta, it's a recipe for disaster. Not only do we have normal spooks, but we have bolts, spins, rears, buck and just general shenanigans. With Misty it's not nearly as bad, but she just constantly looks at the food lady as if she's some poor starving feral pony who doesn't get at least two square meals a day.
But anyways. I hopped on Jetta without first lunging. Of course I was worried about this, since I think the last day I rode her was on Friday. But it was a non-issue. The barn was busy. Several people were collecting their horses out of the pasture. Someone was lunging a hyper horse in the roundpen, another was lunging the horse and using excessive cues in the arena we were in. Plus the barn manager was feeding the horses from the loft, so there was a lot of feed throwing and whinnying going on. But Jetta was calm. Almost verging on lazy actually. Slow lazy, which is unusual for her. Jetta is a lazy horse in general, but her laziness is by being speedy. That way she can rush and rush without actually using her body correctly. She is a thoroughbred after all, so fast is her method of travel.
But today was so nice. Lots of figure-8's to change her bend and keep her focused on the task at hand. A little shoulder-in to get her using that hind end since she was lazy and I didn't have a whip and didn't want to make her too reactive.
It was a nice change of pace though, and I really enjoyed my ride on her. I didn't want to get off.
Misty was another story. She is finally home! Sorry I'm lacking on the photographic evidence. She arrived on Sunday. I hopped on her for a short bareback/halter ride because of course I couldn't resist. She was wonderful. A tad sassy (I think her back is sore from an ill-fitting saddle) but she listened perfectly to all of my cues. Neck reined amazingly since I was only riding with one "rein". I had a blast and was so happy my little roany paint pony was home.
The bad stuff though, the tallying up the bad stuff so to say. As soon as I got her home, I saw her neck muscling. We had some pretty good muscling going on when she left that she looked kinda sport horse-y. All gone. She has some mega-under neck muscling going on. As soon as I saw that I knew she was being brace-y from someone riding with unforgiving hands. Which I had kinda anticipated, given that she was ridden by a green rider, but it was still disappointing to get on and feel all of our hard work unraveled. I rode her yesterday in an actual saddle and bridle and she braced, wanted to be a drama llama and wouldn't flex right. Her transitions were braced and abrupt, she wasn't steady in the bridle and she didn't want to hold contact.
I'm sure we'll work through it quickly, and I knew it was bound to happen, but still disappointing. She didn't want to ground tie while unsaddling but she stood well in the wash rack. She is shedding like mad right now, of course. That horse sheds more than any horse I've ever met before. But she tacked up perfectly without any sign of the girthiness her lessor mentioned. The real kicker is that she came back with very overgrown hooves and only three shoes. Great. And my farrier can't make it until Friday. Lovely. So she's pretty uneven while riding, but definitely not lame. So that's sort of good.
But I had a short and sweet jump school today. She was awesome. I was worried that she'd been "taught" to refuse after seeing her school, but she didn't even think about. She took some reallllly long spots, but otherwise was fantastic. I can't wait for the show on Sunday!
So it's a good and bad. Not really bad, just not great? Regardless, I'm happy my Misty-moo is home and excited for how great a ride I had with the Jetta-monster.