Well grey horse has survived his first 24 (ish) hours at the house in the round pen, happily eating grass, hay, and drinking his water. I tossed a fly sheet on him and he's been happy and chillaxing until we head to Pine Hill Sunday AM. I didn't know how he was to catch, but obviously he's slightly herd bound based on what he did during loading on Friday and his wistful looks at Mango and Katy in the pasture. I didn't want to deal with him being bleh to catch AND bleh to load, so he camped in the pen all weekend (and hence no Jade lunging).
Sunday AM was muggy but he was chipper and game to come out of the round pen until he realized he was going back into "the box." There was NOOO way that was happening in his mind so we had a pretty big brawl as he knew I had no backups to assist with loading him. Just him and me and he was going to win. After about 15 minutes of throwing a fit in practically every way a horse can over loading, he finally just sighed and followed me calmly in.
Crazy new lady has weird loading skills. Sad pony.
We hit the road and an hour later we were unloading. He was chill and reasonably alert to the new place but not spooky or weird. I tied him up and began the dressing of the horse. I'd put his Majyk boots on BEFORE the loading war as I anticipated him being silly and didn't want him to strike himself and end this party before it got started. I had placed both my saddles on him before I took him Friday and they were within acceptable tolerances so today was actually trying out which girth, half pad or no, and other such things.
The only jumping/all purpose pads I've been using are the Roma Cross Country ones which have their own nice padding built in, so I grabbed that, tossed my new Thin Line on top of that and worked on where the Chiberta needed to be on his back with the Total Saddle Fit girth. I sound like a tack whore in this paragraph but there it is. The Fleeceworks pad was just too much.. fluff or something so I left it in the trailer. His bridle naturally fit except I noticed that his flash was basically just buckled and dangling there on the tightest hole. Derp.
The fit with the pads seemed adequate so I girthed it up and started looking for Amanda. She'd been at her trailer on human foot when I drove looking for a spot earlier, so I went in search for a mounting block. The gate to the course was open so I started heading to the nearest steps but then someone closed the gate so I was like rawr and headed to the gate and let myself out on the course. There was a nice stump so we walked to that. Once I got there, I realized the thing was really rotted out on the far side and looked about again. At this point I was at the bottom of the hill and was like eff it and found a log jump and just used that. Grey pony was alert but so patient. I also had my stirrups WAYYYY short so he was forced to endure me fixing that while he looked interestedly at all the jumps around us.
After the epic mounting block issue, I wandered back up the hill to find Amanda or signs of her (her dog normally lols). Two groups of people were in the woods so I debated hitting the water jump but was all nooo, not supposed to school alone. With Katy I KNOW she'll do it, but with Grey Horse I couldn't guarantee he wouldn't do something stupid so we just walked and walked and walked. I finally decided to just warm him up and see if I could dressage him. Within 10 minutes we were dressaging hard and I was working on loosening up his stiff right jaw. NBD.
We went back to the shade to wait. A set of parents came over and asked about Amanda and I was like *shrug* she'll show. The talked to me about themselves and their daughter, horses, things they'd done in eventing, places they'd been, drama they'd seen, and so on. I was a bit in awe of how involved these parents were but I just can't relate. I've been an island too long, fought my demons for so long, and forged my own path so long I guess I don't have time for that. Things that impress me don't normally impress other people and vice versus. I'm broken that way.
I also pointed out that I'd never, ever done a USEA (or USCTA if we want to be old school wut) event. Like ever. I think they were a little flabberghasted at my background in general but were super sweet and tried hard to make me socialize. It got even more fun when they asked me about Grey Horse. "I got him Friday." I said simply and they were like oh, uh. Mkay.... They tried to ask me sweet things like his name (unno yet) and the like but I suck at all that. Yay island awkwardness.
Amanda showed up with the other woodsy group, soaked in sweat and came over to greet us (more them as it was their first time training with her after previous trainer drama or something). ISLANDS DUN CARE. We warmed up and Grey Horse was brill. There was a point I just wanted to gallop the field but I was good. More or less. The teenager had to do some course remembering and I reminded Amanda I had no brain cells right then so just keep it easy (pleases). We did two logs strung together and Grey Horse was super duper keen and totally knew what was up. I was also stuck to my saddle like awesomesauce so it was pretty epic. THEN Amanda added a coop as we were heading back. Grey Horse was like yasssss and charged a bit at it but it was doable.
Next was the water jump and he did fine with a tiny rolltop into the water and then... the log happened. It was TINY, like... GAG tiny and he went straight up beastmode on it. I hadn't had this happen in like... FOREVER so I tried to half halt him (luls) and he just charged on ahead with me being all rawr. I felt totally in control and confident (yay me!) but Amanda pointed out to not fight with him. After a few more tries of charging the snot out of that log, we did a passably sane jump and moved onto the woods. I did curse loudly over the first ridiculous attempt and then was like OOPS TEENAGER PRESENT but whatever. Hopefully she's not scarred for life but you know, life and all that. Back in the woods the teenager did most the work and we lounged in the shade. Grey Horse had moments where he was like ME TOO but then chillaxed back out easily.
Very fun to be on a game horse that knows its job again.
The next/last thing we did was another small log in the middle of the woods and I just kept steady, whispered nice whoas and steady boys and Grey Horse was like ohhhhh just be cool about it and he did. Great jump and we walked back. Very fun but low key outing and I'm looking forward to things. Amanda wants us showing in October (woot) at GAG (whatevers, I'll take it) and I felt fantastic about our abilities to dressage all the things.
Only drawback is my saddle pad configuration rubbed Grey Horse's ample withers slightly so I'm going to have to sort that out. I don't think that means new saddle (oh gosh, please nooooo) but I'm going to have to figure it out this week.
If you're wondering, once we were all hosed off and somewhat dry, Grey Horse loaded behind me like a lamb on the first walk up. Grey Horse is no dummy.