Saturday, June 26, 2010
I saw Paeon jumping on Thursday night, under lights, indoors, at Ryan's at Heatherbrae with Emma. He was waiting in crossties outside the arena while the dressage training finished when I arrived, and it was obvious he was excited in anticipation of the evening's workout. But he was immediately cool and responsive when he was being geared up and taken to work.
He has quite a different action to Rocco, but then again, the work is quite different to Rocco's starting exercises. Trotting pole grid work to start with, and he's very dainty, fast and light off the ground, readily adjusting his length of stride to meet the requirements. Then poles to vertical to poles to oxer, first in trot and then the same line in canter, really encouraging the horses to pick up their feet and be careful. This then extended to an off-centre cross-oxer on a diagonal line to a flash-plank upright, then around to a straight line 3 stride related vertical to oxer.
This was the first time he'd approached any jump on an angle, rather than straight-on, so the first diagonal line was a bit 'wobbly', but very clean thereafter.
He was quite fast, but very direct; not heavy in the hand at all, says Emma, and giving her a feeling of being very light off the ground.
He was satisfied, tired at the end of his session and was happily hosed off and returned to his paddock.
Emma's going away on a 10-day break, so today I brought Pan home for 2 week's "down-time" before going back to work.
He's been in a paddock on his own for the last few weeks so I was interested to see how he'd fit back in with the mob. It's always fascinating to see the shifting dynamics!
I put him in the dam paddock on his own to start with. He was super cool! No running around at all. The other four all huddled around the gate wanting to get through to check him out, so I let Cloud and Maybellene through to start; they went past him, looking like they were ignoring him, so I let Gracie and Lad in as well.
Then Gracie and Cloud teamed up and did the Saddlebred prowl and snort about 20 metres up and down in front of Pan, while Maybellene and Laddie gravitated together; the four then raced between paddocks, in pairs, a couple of times. Pan wandered through into the front paddock and stood quietly. So Maybellene and then Gracie had to come and talk to me; Maybellene having to get closest for ear rubs etctera, as if to say, who's he, where's he been, I'm still your best girl aren't I, whereupon Laddie had to come for the same reassurance. Then Paeon went up to the hay and Maybellene, Laddie and CLoud all wandered behind some bushes to peek at him!!! Pretending to be shy???
Then they just stood about and went about their grazing! Paeon's just being super sensible so as not to offend anyone!! It'll be interesting to see who he's chatting to in the morning.