Elton loaded on T.J.’s big truck like he?d been on a dozen times and backed up the short steep ramp to get to his stall inside the truck. He ate and drank like a trooper and T.J. said he did well. Great job to Potomac Horse Transport! His first day in Florida Deb and Richard reported he had his head down in the grass continuously so they had to get him in as he had not had grass in such a long time. Elton thought it was truly an oasis… grass and palm trees!
One more ride before he heads out to Florida. Had a good ride and he makes progress every time. I felt like I could ask for the canter but decided to wait until we get settled in Florida as my abs are still weak.
Just free lunging today and enjoyed his energy and willingness to come to me when he was finished.
It is amazing that Elton has had two weeks off from my riding and I climbed back on like it was nothing. He was not stressed at all and the long lining has done him wonders. He is very much improved in being “Bit broke”. He is carrying the bit forward into very light contact and I can ask for a tiny movement of the bit for the neck lowering half-halt and he is lowering and rounding himself. Since he is getting fitter I could trot posting trot 3 times around the arena continuously.
My last day of long lining! I will be able to ride next time and am excited about that. Elton is really looking good in the long lines and has made so much progress with contact, straightness and /relaxation/giving suppleness in the jaw and poll. It is now only 5 days until T.J. from Potomac Horse Transport comes to pick up Elton and Arizona for transport to Florida. I am glad they have been turned out together in the gelding herd as they are well acquainted and will be company for each other on the trip.
My surgery restrictions prevent me from riding or lugging the saddles for 2 weeks so I am long lining all the horses. Elton particularly benefits from this regime. He is still in the process of becoming “Bit Broke”. He must really become accustomed to active steering with the bit, taking contact with confidence, stopping from the bit and not panicking if the bit is used. The long lining accomplishes this but really does so much more! He is traveling spinally straight along the walls and I can adjust and steer him in the long lines even to the point of getting his haunches behind his shoulders and straightening or closing his scapulars. In addition with no effort from me, he is coming happily to a round, relaxed “on the bit” position and balance. Trot/ canter transitions are improving and occurring from my voice which means that when I begin to ride again I can with my voice get the transition. This will aid in his learning the canter depart leg aid quickly. Elton has taken the wrong lead occasionally when asked to canter but produces a balanced counter canter easily. It appears elastic and relaxed. To my relief I have also seen him do a flying change so that I know that he WILL do it when necessary.
I am recovering from an elective day-surgery but exhausted and weak in the abdomen. One of my favorite people, future daughter in-law and past working student Alex Politis offers to come to body clip Elton and Arizona ( this year’s Florida school horse owned by Stephanie Hiekkinen). Alex does a fine job and I do very little except look on and hold lightly. Elton is very good for a first time clipping. Since I am unable to hold effectively we give him a very small dose 1/2 cc of Dormosedan and he was not stressed at all. It was a quick cheerful experience and kept everyone safe. With his coat very short I will be able to get the fungicides rubbed down into his skin and be able to easily clear up the rain rot now. With his coat so short we have given him a blanket liner to compensate for the lack of coat and increasing chill.