Pogo has been officially purchased by Clara (well, by her parents, but for her :) ) 
Last night I was sent some videos of the both of them in a lesson together. I am attempting to figure out how to attach the videos from my computer to here without youtube, we'll see if I can eventually get them up...
Until then, a big CONGRATS!!!

 
 
Yesterday we decided that Pogo would leave for his trial period today. So, early this am, I rushed to the barn got him all clean and ready, found his blankets, gathered feed, wrote down some "instructions" (my pogo how-to manual, haha), got all of the paperwork together and loaded him up. The anticipation was honestly killing me seeing where he was going to live....we drove past many cute barns and many dives...that I would describe in my famous saying " I would only board my horse there if I was too poor to pay for euthanisia and couldn't bear to put a bullet in 'em" ...crass I know but those are the only words I can find to describe what some people call "barns" around here....but I digress.....

As we got closer, literally having a panic attack, ( should I have gone? would it have been better not knowing? ) we see some white tape fencing and see the house number and realize this is it...behind the house I see a very quaint, cute barn, and suddenly feel SO relieved! We pulled into the driveway to be greeted by Jen and her two very enormous and ADORABLE mastiff's, and see two small grass pastures, one empty and awaiting Pogo, the other with a cute mare and 4 mini donkeys. It was like a little pony paradise. We unloaded Pogo, and I wasn't sure what to expect, I wasn't there to unload after he long haul from Finger Lakes to Tammy's barn.....He was a gentleman while I fumbled my way through the trailer, turned himself around and like he's been doing so his entire life (which perhaps he has) hopped right off the trailer, looked around, and honestly looked like he was home. He seemed extremely comfortable as he grazed on the nice grass that he hasn't seen in a very long time....



Going back a day in time, I realized it could be my last chance to get a good "after" photo....Here are his conformation shots from beginning to end....

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Day 1 at AU, 1/9/12
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after some baths and beauty treatment 1/27/12
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Our Final Shot...thanks Tesla Parker for the awesome photo....taken 4/9/12
 
 
As some of you have heard, Pogo had an exciting freejumping day this past weekend. Clearly, he is still figuring out his feet, but nothing a few gymnastics and more time jumping can't compensate for. This horses work ethic is incredible, and his will to be a "good boy" is unbelievable. 

The first jump effort is 3'6" or 3'9", the last two are 4' (according to the measurements on the standards). He jumped the 4' height over and over again on his own, with me standing in the middle dumbfounded about 7 or 8 times, knocking it the last time I think because he was just a little tired. I put it back down to 2'6" to end after that, afraid his confidence might be a tad broken.....only I was wrong and I wish I was taping because instead of being afraid of it, he cantered right up to it and cleared the standards (take that 4' vertical, I'll show you!!)  He is such a comic!!

 
 
Today we had a cute little girl come out to try Pogo. I was very excited as it sounded very promising and like an appropriate situation for the horse and the rider. The girl was looking for a horse she could "grow with" and Pogo is just that kind of horse. Although he is only 4, he is awfully forgiving and never holds a grudge. Should you "mess up" he takes it in stride, may or may not react (And if there is a reaction it's not too bad) and then moves along to the next thing. Just as an example, the girl got a little thrown out of the tack when jumping, but on her next approach, there was nothing different, no anticipation of "something bad" or "something different" he just gave her the best he had. 

It took a little bit of the girl figuring him out and also for Pogo to figure her out as well. I think they both adapted well, and there was a vast improvement from start to finish. We ended with a nice hack around the property so she could get a feel for him on the trail, which I think they both really enjoyed. 

They decided to take him on trial for a week, and will be leaving for that in the near future, I am keeping my fingers crossed that all works out well for the two of them. They are very cute pair and I do think that this girl will be able to teach Pogo a lot and grow with him, and Pogo can teach her a lot as well. Until then, he will keep up in my program and I will keep everyone updated. I wish I cold have 
 
 
Pogo has learned a lot this weekend. It is so easy to forget that he is only four and has only been undersaddle since mid January, as he approaches every work session like he's been doing this all of his life and acts so grown up in many many ways....

Saturday I decided to set a little course and just evaluate what sunk in from the previous weeks course jumping. I had thought about doing gymnastics then a course, but I thought differently (mainly due to lack of a ground crew for height adjustment) but also because he is at the point where he needs to make the mistakes to correct them, not "fix" anything before it happens, I am not sure he learns that way, yet. 

Anyway, I started by just cantering single fences, which he did effortlessly...we did about 3 or 4 warm up single fences and then right on down the line I had set. Perfectly pin straight, perfect striding, no hesitation or question. He totally had this under control. I turned to the diagonal as we had a great, rolling, unchanging pace, met the next small fence and continued on. We wound up doing a small course of 5 or so fences just like that, including a large, square oxer (that we found the proper distance to...personal pat on the back for me for not riding like a fool!!!!) I walked, (out of breath cuz I am still sick) and was astonished. He rode around the "course" better than any horse I had ridden in a long, long time. That's not an exaggeration, considering I've been only riding greenies basically since the summer! I let him have a break, did another course, which he got a little rolling on, but easily came back. I think at this point, the indoor is hard for him as the turns get a little too tight for the size of stride he would like to have, I think until he gets a little more of the appropriate muscle, this will continue to be hard, either the turning or keeping our stride smaller. Anyway, we did some trot fences to get the butt engaged, cantered a handful more fences to keep the pace smaller and called it a day.......for now.

I also got an offer from another boarder to ride her amazingly made TB hunter...I offered her a swap, more riders on Pogo the better. She hacked him around great, and even jumped a handful of fences on him. The coolest part about Pogo is he is the same horse, no matter who gets on him. To go from a very very trained and talented hunter to Pogo, who is an aspiring, not as well trained hunter, was different for her but Pogo was forgiving for the short, long, and appropriate spot she reached each time...

Onto today, we decided to work with some more canter poles and raised trot cavalletti. It soon became clear that Pogo's rateability needed work at the canter, the more he got rolling the harder it was to bring him back to that slow and springy canter he starts with. So, we did some work with that and allowing for me to help him find the distance to the pole instead of getting there on a hope and a prayer it's correct everytime (usually, it is, lucky for him, but he needs to understand what a rider wants if the situation arises and not panic when a correction is made) so I pick a poor track and make him wait or make him go long, so I can make those corrections and see what happens. 

By then end of the session he was coming back and moving on when asked and in a calm and quiet manner. We did the same at the trot and incorporated more raised cavalletti....alas, another ah-ha moment for Pogo....honestly you can feel him think and feel him understand and get the point of whatever you're asking. Once you have that feeling, it's solid and he knows it...


 
 
For most of yesterday I felt pretty terribly sick...and today was not much better, but I didn't want to give Pogo too much time off so I racked my brain on some fun, non stressful exercises we could do on the ground that wouldn't leave me passed out from gasping for air chasing him around or doing something else silly that leaves me laughing hysterically at him... (good thing I'm not reading this out loud because that last run-on sentence would have put me in my death bed...I am so freaking sick!!!) 

So we went out just to lunge after about an hour of grooming (there is some nice pretty steel gray underneath his white baby fuzz!!!) and thinking back I am not sure we ever totally established cantering nicely on the lunge line...I mean it happened but he was too weak to carry it for a full circle around me and certainly not without using the walls for balance....also this week we have worked on walk to canter transitions, pogo likes them, a lot :)

SO this all culminates to now, I walk into the arena, look at Pogo, tell him to go walk...and he walks, about three strides and as if he says "look what I can do!" he displays the most beautiful walk to canter on his own and does his hunter lope around me....yeah I almost died, laughed hysterically, gasping for air (so much for not almost dying, haha) - he eventually realized he was being a silly tool and got back to business. 

We worked on some raised cavalletti also and that was also pretty great. He was seeking the poles with minimal steering on my part with the lunge line, and really stepped well over them. This exercise really loosened his back - his topline really got soft and round and he would poke his little nose out and down around the circle and to the poles. He lengthened his stride and became super cute. It's a shame his work ethic isn't like this all the time. I'm sure he will learn eventually, but if he came out to the arena so supple every day 100% of the time, I'd arguably be sitting on one of the nicest horses in the barn. 

He is really turning into
 
 
Yesterday we had the Equine Advisory Council meeting for AU, where both Tesla and I presented on the Thoroughbred Chronicles, how we got started and about our progress. I did not really know who was going to be present or not, and I didn't recognize too many faces even in the beginning of the meeting, however there was one familiar face I did see....Jack Frohm, who is surprisingly on the board for our Equestrian Center and from what I gather, an Alfred Alum.

As we started presenting, he started picking my brain about more than what we were divulging to the rest of the audience...to which I responded "well, do you want him?" and he answered "let's see him"

Alas, the beginning of the first person to look at Mr. Pogo...it's a start!! It went well and Pogo was very well behaved. He jumped the biggest single fence he has done yet, just a 2'6" both ascending and square oxer, cantering up to it like a champ and jumping it without thinking twice, forward and straight and a great gentleman on landing...

The whole thing ended with a thank you from both and then he scurried off to other business. I didn't actually get any feedback, good or bad, and have yet to hear anything either way....at least he got his first "look" out of the way. 

Only 44 days left until I graduate so time is slowly creeping up on us for getting him sold...anyone interested should inquire :) 

I will add, he is starting to shed out, and his coat is getting DARK...he's going to be pretty fance

 
 
As promised, here is Pogo's ride with someone other than me :)

 
 
Pogo had a very busy week that included a lot of jumping and technical exercises, both mentally and physically tough for him. After our day of gymnastics, a rider from the varsity team hopped on to give him a try. Her mother owns a show barn and I thought it would be good to have a different rider on his back (as he is now officially for sale and will hopefully have people trying him out) and also give this girl an idea of what he is like in case she knows of anyone looking. She also jumped him around a bit (videos will be up shortly).

The next day I didn't want to work too hard, but took some time to figure out his lead change cue. Left to right is automatic at this point. If you land wrong onto that lead 9 times out of 10 he will swap within one stride, or at least by the corner. The other side I have yet to figure out, as we are usually late behind. I think he is a tad weak on that hind leg so its difficult as half of the time he was auto changing and half the time he was getting a good and proper change. Pogo did 6 consecutive clean changes when asked on this day, so he is for sure getting it down. I have figured that his cue is to push his hip to the new inside and lightly pull on the new inside rein to get the change.

This brings us to yesterday, when (as promised) we attempted to start putting courses together. Pogo is a little odd, if you canter a canter gymnastic, as for now he is a little confused. If you canter a single fence he is very good, just plops on over it, but put a line together and apart from a hard drift right when tracking left in a line, he goes on down like he has been doing so his entire life. I feel as though he has to feel something is a little more complicated to do well at it, otherwise he is just too quiet to care. I think it will come and quickly and he gave me a great, small course to end on. I think it also doesn't help we were inside, as once he gets rolling, his stride gets large and the indoor starts to feel too small for him. 

Regardless he was a very good boy and after all of the jumping this week, he will have off until Wednesday. We will start back with some flat work, transitioning to some gymnastics by the end of the week and potentially putting another course together next weekend. 
 
 
Today we did some more gymnastic work with Pogo so he could work on his form a bit more and also we could start testing his bravery and height capabilities. We make it up to 3'3" today  before he got a little tired. I don't like to push them to the point that they are exhausted and then start associating jumping with something bad. I like to try and keep it fresh and fun. Pogo was very brave and stepped right up when he realized that these weren't just 2' verticals he could float on over. He happily engaged behind and powered over every fence.

See the video below....