|Did I do good?!|
|The bromance boys|
Today was Tolos first ride at NDF. I was just planning on lunging him in side reins as there is a big picnic going on right outside the half wall side of the arena. Bunch of men riding little motor bikes/motorcycles, running around, making noise, etc. I was thinking it wouldnt be totally fair to ask him to be ridden through that . Afterall he hasnt been in regular work in like 6 months and even then he has been ridden just a handful of times. After a nice long walk around the field outside we headed to the arena to lunge. I lunged him both ways in side reins walk/trot/canter and he was super good. A little looky outside but not bad at all so I decided to hop on for a short ride. He was really sucked back and afraid of me hanging on his face in the beginning. I was telling Alanna how he felt like I was riding a super green bean horse and she agreed that he looked like one too (which he is not!). After just a few minutes of me riding him he was settling into it and realizing that I wasnt going to catch him in the face every stride and he felt a ton better. He definitely learned some evasion techniques with them and he for sure had their number! It just kept quiet yet firm hands and ignored his few lame attempts of protesting to the work.
I really think the next 2 weeks we are going to progress a lot. The nice thing about him is that I know he knows the work it is just gaining the trust under saddle and him knowing my expectations. Even though I started him and rode him for several years after that he has been with someone else for the last 1.5 years and is a different ride then he used to be at this point. It is kind of a good thing that we are going back to basics as I am a MUCH better ride then I was back then. It is scary to look at video/pictures back then. I asked my mom why she let me out in public riding like that haha! Mary has really helped me a lot and once I get him going nicely I hope to take some lessons on him also.
Goals for Tolo in the coming weeks:
-work him 6 days a week
-start with a short lunge with side reins to get him stretching down into the contact to help with his sucking back in the bridle
-have solid walk/trot/canter work
-get him out on the trails (start by ponying off Mystic but also go out ridden)
-be able to comfortably and confidently be able to have some rides outside in the field
-begin working on lateral work and lengthenings (towards end of month) I would like to be getting solid 1st level work by the end of August