DAY 65. The best kind of trip is a horse-related trip! This past weekend Kelsy and I judged the jumping portion of the combined training show sponsored by Wagter Equestrian at Sunset Farm Park in Blaine, WA. Solar came along for the trip. Though he wasn’t able to compete, we took advantage of schooling the cross-country course as well as an enjoyable trail ride on the way home Sunday!
Saturday it was hot so we kept our schooling session brief; we didn’t do much jumping beyond what is shown in the video. You can see how confirmed Solar looks in his job now, even up/down the banks, cantering the water, and over the ditches. He still will need help developing his canter before jumping courses, but in general he understands the game of jumping and can do it with composure.
I’m convinced that Solar can now safely and confidently navigate natural obstacles–jumps or otherwise–with his future owner. Even if he ends up as a Western, dressage, or hunter/jumper horse, his rider will benefit from his improved strength and wide background of exposure–pristine hunter courses or leveled dressage arenas will look like nothing compared to some of the cross-country fences and terrain he has seen!
His final jump training with me will focus exclusively on gridwork, also known as gymnastics. Grids will help him improve his balance and scope even more.
DAY 66. On Sunday Kelsy and I wanted to explore Whatcom county a bit more before heading home. Following some local advice, we hauled in to Lake Padden Park in Bellingham, WA to ride their bridle trails (pictured at the top of the post). There we discovered a few challenging trails that included switchbacks, bridges, and navigating large boulders. We also passed by a collection of pedestrians, dogs, and bicyclists. Both of our horses were excellent. Trail riding in new places is one of my favorite things to do, and Solar seemed to enjoy it too.
** Thank you to Wagter Equestrian for inviting us up for the weekend, covering our gas, providing lodging for Solar, and for supporting the 100-Day Trainer Challenge by hosting your own working student challenge–awesome! **