I think this is like week 4 or 5 in Aiken (St. Mathews really). First of all did you know that if you say "in Aiken" fast it sounds like your saying "naked". It is rather funny when you are talking to a non-horsey person and you say something like, "yea, when I was in-Aiken...", you get a funny look and that ever so loved awkward pause in the conversation.
Anywho, as most of you know, often times OTTB's can be rather picky. Vaunted is no different. He has gone off his feed and has also taken to just staring at his food. Last year when this happened Bonnie suggested that I give him several different types of feed in different buckets. That's right I gave my horse a buffet. This year he is on to me....he scoffs at my buffet. I have tried everything...he is being so dramatic. So today I offered him my sandwich. Next I offered to make him a pasta dinner. Then I offered to take him out to a nice quite, quaint meal. Then I just threw up my hands and said, "I give up! I just cant please you!". Then after we both went our separate ways for a little while and cooled down, we came back and reached an agreement. I have now offered him 5 different types of grain, alfalfa hay, alfalfa cubes and grass hay. He has decided to eat 2/3 of the 5 and the alfalfa hay....I think I can live with this common ground.
After we have, temporarily I'm sure, solved our little tiff we have gone full steam ahead in the training schedule. This week is an off week for Vaunted. Meaning he is not competing this weekend. We do have the first Advanced of the season coming up and I have been working on those pesky new dressage tests. I gave Vaunted a good break this past winter and I must say that I think that has really done his body good, much like milk does. He is coming out this year with a good mind and a strong body. I hope that he thinks the same of me!
I am trying to tackle my issues head on at this part of the season. Any and all positive changes welcome! I have been struggling with my confidence in the show jumping and I find that it comes out when I ride Vaunted especially. Therefore I am breaking down myself. Meaning I am looking at video's, pictures, and having others watch me. I am looking at my position, thinking about my lines, and trying all sorts of new tactics. Through all of this Bonnie has pointed out that I lean a bit at the jump the last stride. This often times causes me to allow Vaughn's step to change and thus allowing him to drift right which then decreases his scope....jeez Louise! Learning sometimes makes my head hurt. Vaughn tries so hard so I know that when I do it right he will reward me!
On a smaller but equally important scale, the little Pixie mare I have jumped for the first time!! She is a very good little horse. She also hacked out all by herself. I love the babies cause anything they do is so rewarding. She also eats....she appreciates me....but I'm not bitter or hung up on the fact that Vaunted doesn't appreciate my thoughtfulness. All good relationships have to test a few boundaries I guess. :) Pine Top Advanced here we come.
**Side note**Murry is the most photogenic horse in the barn.