People always ask me if I get nervous getting on all these horses for the first time when everything is such an unknown. I would say that I don’t really get nervous but I am very aware and do my best to listen to my gut instinct about what a horse may be telling me.
Yesterday was first ride day for Raymond and Love. I have a friend who has been coming out helping with some of the riding. She mainly has been riding Kurt’s horse because the rest of the horses had sold. Now that I have a new batch in she will be helping me leg them up. She has a lovely mare that she bought from CANTER PA so she is used to riding Tb’s.
I asked her if she was comfortable doing a first ride on one of the guys for me and she probably thought I was a bit nuts but she agreed. I told her that I was sure Raymond was going to be perfect and she chuckled and said that those are the horses who surprise you 🙂 I disagreed because I think horses are pretty easy to read for the most part. When I lunged him he just had the look of an old soul. Didn’t look at anything, happy to please, relaxed and willing to listen.
We went through our normal getting on for the first time routine. I told her to go half way up where you just stand lightly and touch the horse to gauge the reaction. If all feels okay then lightly swing over but hold your weight until you are sure the horse feels okay and then gently settle down. Kurt keeps the horse walking and walks the horse for the first lap. Raymond was totally relaxed and off she went with him.
In the meantime, I stood up on the mounting block with Love. He was a bit more nervous and got a little scared when I touched him on his body with my hands. I casually just put my foot in the stirrup to see how he felt about it. He was a bit nervous. I lunged him for a minute to see if he was okay and he was just fine. I just wanted to make sure he didn’t have a hump in his back. I like to take my time and I am careful about not getting hurt. The mounting is sometimes the most difficult process of first rides. They have no clue why somebody is standing over top of them.
When I did get on using the same go half up process he was just fine. He was a bit more tense than Raymond but truthfully he didn’t do anything wrong.
Whitney and I took turns trotting/cantering around just testing the boys out. It was really hot so we only rode for a short time. Both horses were awesome! Not spooky and both seemed eager to please. I’ve never ridden two total greenies at the same time but it was as good as time as any to get them ridden so why not 🙂
Here is the video of them. You can see how Raymond is totally relaxed about it all. He is the first horse on the video. Love is a bit choppy right now because he only knows how to move up and down but I’m not worried. He is a way nicer horse that he happens to look at the moment.
I think that Whitney was totally shocked at just how much leg these guys can take. Raymond was kick along quiet. It was funny to me because Raymond’s ad on the Finger Lakes site described him as a horse that needed an experienced rider because he was a bit of a feel good silly boy. It just goes to show you how much horses can change after a nice relaxed layup.