I visited our boy last week.  He looks all grown up. He has matured both mentally and physically.  He still goes on the horse walker once a day. And he still walks with his head almost touching the front partition of the walker, but he no longer tries to bump the partition out of his way.  

I love the hot walker, all the horses get to do at least one session a day. It’s my first experience with one and I am smitten.  What a great asset especially for horses with less turnout.  Good for digestion, fitness program and general all over health I think.  

He is on a lot more grain now that he is working off the leg. It has taken a long time.  He is on three feeds a day now of 3lbs each with as much hay as he wants.  The only time we have to worry about him getting fat is when he is turned out on home grass in the spring and summer. 

Many of you still ask me how we got rid of the head tossing – we just kept riding him forward and used as little contact as we could cope with until he balanced off his forehand and had no excuses to throw his head.  It’s to do with engagement of the back and hocks. I try to ignore the head and use hills, my weight slow in the saddle and circles to control the speed so that I can relax the reins. When the horse can hold a regular steady pace on a large circle and not fall onto the forehand, becoming impossible to steer, the head seems to stabilise. I don’t know if it’s because Solo was also frustrated by getting it wrong and it was his display of temper, or just a way out of doing the more demanding job of balancing a rider and himself.  Now that he has found a more comfortable place to be, he seems happy to go there. 

Solo goes to his first event this coming weekend. It is at Rocking Horse Spring Horse Trials (yes, it’s Spring down there and there are blossoms all over the place). Solo is going really well but we will have to see how he copes with being at an event.  He certainly learnt a lot when he did the young event horse class at Millbrook last year. Let’s hope he remembers…..perhaps not the dressage, he can forget that. 

Yesterday was to have been his last (second) cross country school.  He and another young horse making her debut at Rocking Horse, were on the road, trailering to the schooling course when the truck engine started smoking. Selena pulled over and when she stopped, the transmission fluid all leaked out onto the road.  A knight in shining pick up truck from the nearby Chesterland South, rescued us and returned everyone safe and sound to the barn.  The truck was rescued by Ford of Ocala, who will hopefully be able to get it back to us in time for HITS on Thursday and Rocking Horse Fri/Sat/Sun. Meanwhile, Solo’s second cross country school seems to be a lost cause.