Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Woodside Horse Park

The Horse Park is a large show ground close to where Cupid is went, and though we'd thought about going there a few times somehow we've never quite made it.  It was a little last minute, but when my trainer was competing there and suggested we take Cupid along I agreed. 

We took the horses there on Wednesday night.  The portable stalls are a little small, but okay.  Cupid was happy when he realized he could reach up over the wall and touch noses with his neighbors!  Luckily the horse behind him seemed happy to play along.
Making friends
Thursday morning I went out to take care of Cupid before work, and lunged him a little.  He had a lot of energy and I let him canter for several minutes.  My trainer walked him during the day, then I went back to ride after work.  We rode in what was the dressage warm up area, with about six other horses.  We mostly worked on 20 meter circles and bending to get Cupid's attention.  He was a little quick, but behaved.  We had some pretty nice canters, which I was happy about.  Then we rode around the dressage arenas and in front of the judge's booth, which didn't bother Cupid.  Overall I was happy with the ride, it was pretty good for our first time at the horse park.
Need to get his head down a little
And I need to sit back more!
Friday I did the same routine in the morning, and he still had a lot of energy on the lunge.  For our evening ride we went in the covered arena, with only two other horses.  Cupid was actually less relaxed, he was jigging a lot and not very settled.  We ended up only doing walk/trot, and I was a little disappointed that we both were a little tense and couldn't seem to get over it.  But after our lesson we walked around the property a little with my trainer's other student, and Cupid was very good.

On Saturday I was able to spend most of the day with Cupid.  Instead of lunging him in the morning we did several walks throughout the day.  By then he was mostly interested in trying to find things to eat - a good thing compared to when he prances and drags me around in a new place!  For our lesson we went to yet another arena, and rode together with my trainer's other student.  Her mare is an old pro so I didn't have to worry about Cupid picking up any naughty behavior!  I even volunteered to canter first.  We did a little jumping - just a single crossrail first from a trot then canter, both directions.  If Cupid was too quick I circles him, but he was pretty good.  We cooled down with another walk around the property. I was quite happy with how the day went.

Not much grass at the horse park
Sunday was our last day at the horse park.  We went on several walks in the morning, and had our lesson early afternoon, again together with the other student.  Cupid was perfect!  We worked on circles and leg yielding, and did a little canter work.  Right when I thought we would get into some jumping, one of the facility people told us they were closing the arena for maintenance.  My trainer decided that was enough for the day, since it was our fourth day in a row!  We did our final walk around the property before getting ready to head home.

Overall I think we had a very good experience at the horse park.  I am getting a little more confident handling Cupid when he is quick, and he is getting used to traveling and new places.  Hopefully if we come back for a show he will remember and the adjustment period will be shorter!  We still need to figure out how to handle water, since he likes to play with his bucket and spill it all out.  On Friday his stall was totally flooded!  During the weekend when I was around I only left a small 2 gallon bucket in his stall and hand watered him.  My trainer said next time we should try securing it with a bungee cord.
Happy to be home - rolled in his stall right away!

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