I am a big fan of this curly mare Crystal Bloom. She came to me last fall to polish up her riding skills and hitch her to a carriage. Progression went so well, her owner and I planned on trying to get her ready for a show in the spring of 2015. Crystal made it down the road a few times under saddle and in carriage. Last fall we finished with cones in the ring and ended on a positive note before winter closed in.
This April she came to work with me again, now at Cirlcle F Stable in Wallingford Vermont. I began by working her under saddle to show her the new indoor and surrounding farm. Next we bumped her up from the training cart to the Meadowbrook, again flawless. I am always impressed with how well Crystal takes to change.
Going to a "Wheel Runners" lesson is a must for a horse planning to a show in carriage. I gave Robin Groves, our instructor a heads up I was bringing a green, well mannered horse. Depending on how many entries to a class or how many "newbies" you may not make it into the lesson ring. Safety first!
Bringing a horse to a lesson is very taxing on the nerves. Just because a horse is well behaved at home doesn't mean you are getting the same horse off the property. Crystal again proved to keep her manners and stay focused. Unloading, grooming and hitching went smooth. Once in the carriage and moving a bit, Crystal had to work with other horses in carriage, this was 100% new to her. The carriage sounds, the horses and the scenery all effected her anxiety and therefore mine. But we both kept it together.
Our next obstical was driving over to the ring. We did that with out a problem. A pair of haflingers coming toward us raised a brow, but nothing too bad. Our last hurdle was working with the "atomic hairballs" as Robin refered to the minis. Their legs move so fast and they are so tiny, Crystal was sure they couldn't be horses! After 40 minutes of walking and trotting in the mud, Crystal was too tired to worry about much.
Wheel runners consists of two lessons, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The afternoon lesson is when horses learn to really appreciate stand and relax. We fine tune our movements and Robin hones in on our strengths and weaknesses. By the end of the day, I feel like I pulled the carriage around myself. Crystal was exposed to so much off the farm, it is like she had 20 fun lessons in one day.