Wow! So busy between work, Rugby, Kids off from school and the holidays. First of I hope everyone had nice holidays. Our family had a quiet Easter- well as quiet as it can be with the boyz! They have been off from school and they got bored after the first couple of days. Bored kids plus a basket of Easter candy is a recipe for a long trip to the playground to blow off energy. Especially after being housebound due to the rainy days before our sunny Easter.
The rain dampened my riding a bit but I managed to get in the 3 days through the weekend. Friday was my riding lesson with the Master. It's the first lesson I've had with him in over 2 years. He came to see Rugby and give me some things to work on with him.
Of course I was eagerly awaiting his opinion of the big moose. He walked in as I was finishing up grooming Rugby. We exchanged hellos and he walked around my horse to the side and the back. And his comment was, "Wow, that's one big moose!". Ah, we agree on something!
So I tacked up and we went out to the polo arena. I'm happy to say that the mounting block issue of not standing still seems to be all but gone. He'll walk up now and as soon as he hears me tell him, "Ho!" he stops and stands. I can get on, get settled and he stands like a stone until I ask him to walk on. Nice!
I hoped we'd get to canter in the lesson but the Master felt strongly that Rugby needs more work on balance and straightness before we go there. He wants him to be able to hold himself better at the slower gaits before we move up a notch. His opinion is that Rugby is a good boy with an even temper to learn but he's more green than any of the horses I've had before. He told me since this is the most blank slate I've ever been given, that we should progress slowly and really let him learn how to do everything right under tack the first time. I can't argue with that.
He helped me with some different ways to help work on straightness. He told me to ride the quarter tracks and circle in the center of the polo arena as often as possible. Don't ride him much along the wall, he needs to be straight without the crutch of the wall and if we work with the slower gaits to do this, he'll be better by being straight and balanced before the canter when we progress.
I think he likes Rugby. The Master is not one to mince words with me. We've trained together for a very long time and if I was showing him a less than encouraging prospect I know he'd rip me for it. And I would expect no less from him. He explained that Rugby is not as nice a mover as Monty was but I know that and said so. His take on the big guy is he's attractive, sturdy, has a good demeanor and is willing. We will take it slow and see just what kind of an athlete the big fella expresses himself to be. I will be happy if he turns out to be a trail horse and can pack my kids around. If he is trained right, I think he will surprise all of us!