I have been woefully slow to update but have approximately 10 draft posts just waiting for me to have an uninterrupted afternoon to finish them. Someday!
Marley is doing great, except for the fact that humidity is not his friend and we are having unseasonably warm weather for October. His winter coat has started to come in and he’s a sweaty beast; I’ve been hoping to hold out until later in the month to clip him, but we may need to get on that sooner rather than later. The crazy temperature swings on the East Coast at this time of year are no joke!
On the upside, the warm weather has allowed us to keep riding outside regularly and Marley seems very pleased with his job. We’ve settled into a good routine where I get out to ride a few times per week, one of the girls who lessons at the barn rides a few times per week, and occasionally he gets a tuneup with my trainer. On the flat we’ve been focusing on really stretching down, reaching into the bridle, and getting Marley to use his back more. He’s moving well and I can’t wait to get my dressage saddle out here from California!
We’ve also been doing a little jumping; I really try not to overdo it on this front and don’t think Marley is cut out to be a competitive jumper, but it’s great strength training for him and he seems to enjoy the challenge and variety. I have to chuckle a bit when I remember that one of the reasons Marley was returned was that his would-be owner thought he “hated” jumping. Is he green? Sure. Does he need continued work on balance and rhythm and adjustability? Yep. Does he hate to jump? Erm, no.
In addition to the above, we’ve been doing lots of hacks up and down the hill that leads to the barn. Marley is still getting his sea legs on “real” trails – we had a near-death experience while navigating a downed sapling the other day – but he loves loves loves hacking out and gets braver each time. I’m so thrilled with this horse!