I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it again...I can be veeeery slow to catch on to things.
Monday night we worked on ground poles, for the second day in a row. I really, really want to be able to jump this horse. Maybe not a full course of six jumps, and definitely not anything over 2 feet (at least without lessons and an ok from a vet), but cross poles at least. Maybe be able to enter a hunter hack class at a schooling show someday.
Previously, he has shown little to no interest (or so I thought) in picking up those feet of his over ground poles-it didn't matter if it was one or five in a row. Clunk Clunk Roll Stumble...not pretty, in other words. The one time I walked him over a cross rail that was about 10" off the ground, he knocked down a pole. Yeah....
Of course, all this was before I switched farriers. Now, 2 trims with the "new" guy (and my new favorite equine professional), he is moving SO much better, and finally picking his feet up. Miles has been barefoot since I pulled his shoes 2 weeks after I adopted him, but I no longer have to ride him everyday in his Cavallo Simple Boots (though I still love them for riding outside of the arena). He doesn't stumble. He is balanced. It only took me just over a year to get to the root of the issue. I know, I know.
Having said all this, with the colder weather coming on, it is taking Miles a bit longer to warm up before our rides. Still, he's looking much, much better than this time last year, when on his worst days he would limp slightly on his right front (arthritis, which I knew about when I adopted him). I love the pure glucosamine supplement he's on now, in addition to MSM; he's on high levels of the former and normal levels (10,000 mgs) of the latter and it's all he's needed, so far and knock on lotsa wood. Again, I can't overstate how beneficial his new farrier has been either.
So, in the next week or 2, my goal is to get Miles and I jumping...I am sOoooooO geeked!! Now, of course, I am talking tiny tiny fences, but still...I MISS jumping so much. I didn't realize how much until I cantered him over a ground pole the other day. The measuring of strides, feeling the horse gather himself, the (ever so slight) elevation...ahhhhh. This week, Miles has told me he's getting ready, too-Monday had him trotting straight down a line of five ground poles, forward, ears pricked and feet up.
It was pretty cool.