Friday, July 23, 2010

A Big Horse!

I know, you watch the video and you say, well that looks like no big deal. And that's the point!! Freddie Mac went on his first cross country school (a big thank you to Dove Hill Farm for accommodating us at the last minute) and the most exciting part about our trip was that we didn't have too many exciting parts! He was a big horse, all grown up. Shipped the short drive there with his tack and boots on and stood like a professional when we took him off the trailer and hacked out to the cross country field. Ok, Lara was there on foot in case he needed a brave leader to get out to said cross country field; but that wound up being unnecessary and she and Gunsmoke were able to stand in the shade and observe from afar. The hardest part for Freddie was just managing those long baby legs of his as he had to negotiate all of the terrain. Nearly every fence at Dove Hill involves some sort of terrain and Fred is going to have to work on his sea legs! We did a lot of trot warm-up and actually trotted most of the fences. At 17.1 the height was not an issue for any of it...but the turns before and sometimes after were tricky for the baby horse...the mind was very quick, the feet not always on the same page! It will be fun when we are storming around Rolex to remember his humble beginnings.
His attitude was super, never thought for a minute to be upset or nervous. He was excited, though he wasn't sure why. He got surprised by a few of the fences (why, on a 350 acre farm, am I aiming him straight at this obstacle?); but by the end of the session was really getting the hang of it. I hope when you watched the video you could tell how proud Freddie was of himself, and he should be.
Here's the best story of the schooling, Freddie's first attempt at the up-bank. He trots up to it round and floppy-eared and striding out. He slams on the breaks at the last second, because in his mind I just ran him into a wall. His toes were right in the base, and his chest is even with the logs built into the side of the hill. He was nervous, because it didn't naturally occur to him to hop up this bank to get to the grassy slope that continued up the hill. I didn't get mad at him, just gave him a second to figure things out. He is inherently a curious and brave horse, so it didn't take long for him to stick his nose on the logs and snort, and then he's investigating further, and then the next thing I know, he's eating the grass growing on top of the bank! Quintessential Freddie, making all of us so proud! Afraid at what's going to happen the first time we attempt the bank down.....

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