On Saturday, I had the best ride so far on Love. He is getting so much stronger in his body and I am really getting him looser in terms of bending in his neck and body. He felt soft and supple which is major progress from where we started. He was also relaxed in his back and neck and allowing me to move him laterally off my leg.
He still is struggling in the canter transition in terms of picking it up in a balanced fashion but that will come in time. I can’t believe how good is canter is feeling right now compared to the gallop he used to do
We decided to go for a xc school on Sunday because the weather was just so darn nice. You can’t waste a perfect day! I have only jumped Love a few times but he is quite brave and I figured we would just take it one fence at a time and see how he did. We had another rider come with us on a really quiet horse to give company to the horse who wasn’t jumping.
We went to Oldehope Farms http://www.oldehopefarms.com/ which is the best place to school the babies. They have tons of small jumps and because it’s in one big field the horses don’t get overwhelmed worrying about losing sight of their buddies.
We got there before my mom arrived so we just got him off the trailer and let him eat some grass. I was happy with how relaxed he seemed. He stood quietly to be tacked and was just generally very relaxed. I got on and he felt good. We started our warmup and my mom decided to lunge her guy so I was riding as she was lunging. I was actually a bit shocked at how professional Love was about getting right to work. He didn’t look around and he was way more relaxed over his back than I even thought he would be. He couldn’t quite canter on the circle which is sort of normal at first for these guys. It’s a lot to look at and he was thinking too hard to organize himself. I don’t press it because it’s all about making it stress free for them at this point.
My mom wanted to start in the main field which is intro fences and up (2’3 and up). He is brave but I wasn’t sure how he would feel about the height. We picked a nice baby log and went from there. He felt confident the whole time and eager to please. Yes, he didn’t jump with perfect form over everything but I don’t expect them to at their first time out. He didn’t have any issues with the height. He absolutely loved the banks up and down and didn’t even hesitate at the ditch. He left the group without any concerns and he happily waited. He wasn’t too keen on standing but didn’t do anything worse than walk in big circles.
What I was most happy about was that he was really rideable the whole time. On our first few trail rides I had been working to install some half halts and teach him that we had to trot in balance not 100mph. He was getting the message and this outing showed that he is really figuring out how to balance. He doesn’t spook at anything and he is just so brave.
Kurt only took a few pictures and focused on video so that potential buyers could really see him in action.
Here is his video where you can see how he warmed up and how we progressed around the course. I like to just take my time the first time out so they can really process everything that is being asked. Slow and steady makes for a good experience.