Getting new horses is so much fun. Some people probably wouldn’t enjoy starting the whole process over again every 3 months or so but I really do find it fun.
Kurt got home and went along with me on Friday. My trainer lives right near the layup farm so I took Letterman along for a lesson. Letterman has been a big naughty lately and I took my first fall off of him last week. It was an easy fall but it was a bit of a wake up call to Letterman that I am a bit over his behavior. I think it has to do with the spring grass and my sporadic riding schedule due to Kurt’s absence but he has been spookier than spooky. He has a nasty spook/spin move which he rarely does but he was displaying it a bit too often for my liking. He has almost gotten me off on a trail ride but then we had an awesome jump school. I thought he was being better but the other night I brought him out to ride and I could just tell it was one of those nights. One of these days I will learn to follow my gut because I knew he wasn’t going to settle. His version of being silly is pretty mild but it’s the spooking that gets you. I had ridden him for about 45 min and he still was so on edge. Then all of a sudden he just spun and left me hanging off one side and I let go. I wasn’t saving that one. He got ridden some more, lunged and then turned out for a few hours near whatever he found so spooky until I returned from my shower. I decided I couldn’t continue on with that much sand in my breeches 🙂
He redeemed himself the next day at my lesson by being awesome and not spooky despite being in a new place. My trainer was impressed by the difference just from the last time she seen him in January. We worked on him being a bit straighter in his body and being a bit more connected. Then we worked on my position over fences with not leaning, keeping my leg under me, eyes up and chin up. No matter what he did I needed to stay right in the middle. We also worked on making him a bit quicker off the ground in the step before the jump. He likes to study the jump which isn’t a bad thing but he has to have quick feet. He is really improving over his fences. He is plenty scopey right now but we are working out steering, timing and footwork over the smaller heights. Here is some video.
He is a tank!
We headed over to pick up the two horses at the farm with Letterman in tow. Letterman was less than happy to see that he had company. We had discussions about not kicking my trailer. We brought Raymond and No time for Love home with us. They both walked right up on the trailer.
Saturday was clean up day for both of them. They got manes pulled, clipped up and both got baths. It is always an adjustment for them to be pulled out of the field and now come to a barn. They swear they can’t be without each other. Raymond seems like he could care less but Love is pretty convinced he needs Raymond. Both were very good in the crossties for me to work with. Raymond didn’t mind me clipping his ears or bridlepath but Love didn’t want the clippers up near his head. I can’t say I blame him.
Sunday morning the farrier came out to put front shoes on both of them. The ground is so hard right now that it’s hard to put horses in work without front shoes on. Both of them were absolutely perfect for the farrier. We love that!
I wanted to just get an initial assessment of them before I got on them. Normally I just get right on but because they had so much done to them I wanted to give them just one more day to settle in. I brought Raymond out first. We measured him and he is 16.1 h and 5yrs old. He’s a really pretty horse but did the typical racehorse crash while at the farm. He needs weight and muscle but that is no big deal. He has such a goofy personality. Loves people and is super sweet. I took him out and walked him around the ring and he didn’t even blink an eye at anything.
No clue if he lunges but it was as good as time as any to find out. He was really good and went both right and left. Very relaxed and quiet about it all. Just casually looking around.
We had issues editing the videos so it looks like we just have him going right in this video but you can see how chill he is about it all.
Next up was Love. Love is a 4yr and is currently 16.1 but he is higher behind and looks like he is not done growing. He has the most gorgeous eyes. I call them tiger eyes but I’m not sure what other people call them. He sometimes appears to be afraid but I haven’t seen him do anything wrong. He just looks like he is thinking super hard trying to figure it all out. When he came to the farm from the track he wanted nothing to do with people. Now he is quite friendly and comes right up to us. We worked for 1/2 hr getting him to eat treats. He didn’t care for carrots or peppermints but he does like Ms. Pastures cookies. Yum!
He is still pretty funky in his body but there is a really nice horse under all of it. He moves up and down but I don’t really get too worried about the movement. I always remember these guys don’t know how to trot and he is high behind and body sore. He was really good with the lunging as well. It’s hard asking these guys to go around in small circles and I attempted to get them to canter. Both of them handled it super well. That is all that I want to see right now. I won’t lunge them again until they get some muscle on them.
Here is his video.
I hope to give them both an easy ride tonight. The first month is all about slow and steady building of muscle but being careful not to overdo anything. I ride 10-15 min about 3-4 times a week at first. Mostly walking and trotting.
A nice warm day is always a good day for a first ride 🙂