The photo is a cheater from last week when we were lunging him without tack. I started the week on Monday with a horse shopping day. It was lots of fun, we went to Watson Farms in Priceville where we looked at about thirty, three and four year olds. It’s like letting a kid loose in Toys R Us. When we had picked one out and it was time to get on, I got so excited that I put my camera into the back of someone else’s car by mistake and didn’t realize it until we had driven back home….ugh.

Monday Solo had his day off, Tuesday he was good, Janice ponied me, and we walked and trotted in the outdoor arena, then she unhooked me and I rode him alongside the other horse. Wednesday was a horrible ice storm and he worked indoors. I rode him a bit at walk and trot but I am still not comfortable enough to be able to just get on and sail off into the sunset. He is still threatening me with rearing although his withers are healed and don’t seem to bother him any more, I think he has realized it is a very good way of arguing back. Thursday was a banner day, I started by loose jumping him a little and then rode him in the arena with a grounds person holding the lunge whip. This really worked well and he trotted forward and relaxed, however, it ticks me off that he is so well behaved when there is a grounds person and so argumentative when it is just the two of us. Fortunately for him, he continues to be gorgeous and as much of an athlete as I had hoped, so I forgive him his unpredictability….for now….

As he cavorts cheerfully through life whether I am on his back or not, I am happy to have a new helmet. It’s a GR8 from Charles Owen and I absolutely love it. I was going to ‘keep it for good’ for a while, at least for this year’s show season, but I have not worn another helmet since it got here. I honestly don’t know it’s on my head, it’s incredibly light and well balanced. My last two helmets have both given me problems falling down over my eyes when I am jumping – anyone who saw me at the Phillip Dutton clinic will attest to this – I had a most embarrassing time with my hat falling forward on every round I did, and the horse I was riding was not the type to give me a a moment to fix it.

Friday was another fairly good day for Solo, I rode him inside and out with another horse. Saturday he only got lunged and walked as I was on my own but on Sunday I made up for it by working him twice. In the morning I worked him on the lunge in the arena and walked around again, and again he offered to rear a couple of times. Instead of turning him out after his work, I left him in, had my lunch and worked him again. He was quite lethargic to tack up but he perked up when he realized we were riding outside this time, he is much easier outside. Once more, I started by being led off another horse, this seems to ‘get him going’ so that I don’t have the sticky, hopping up and down thing happening. We rode up and down the driveway and around the gravel car park at walk and trot and he was good, I also used a short crop a couple of times to encourage him to go forward, he reacted a lot more positively to it this time and moved on the next time I asked him to. I am looking forward to being able to take him for some nice hacks.

GOSH he has a lot to say for himself, he had better be the superstar I think he is to warrant all this grief he is giving me!