Getting to know a new horse under saddle

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Getting to know a new horse under saddle

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  • Getting to know a new horse

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    06-18-2012, 07:35 PM
Getting to know a new horse under saddle

I've been given the opportunity to ride another boarder's horse a couple of times a week so he can stretch his legs a little more frequently than she's able to ride. He's a lovely old "solid citizen" sort of guy, in his 20s, with a little spunk under saddle but also a little stiff, with a bit of a sway back. Our fun will be of the controlled variety- although let's be honest, most of my fun is that way

Anyway, I've realized that it's been close to a year and a half since I've ridden a horse other than my lease mare. I'm really excited to ride another horse again, but I'd love some tips/advice on what you do during the "getting to know you period" when you're riding a new horse. How do you feel him out to see what he enjoys doing, what tough for him, and what's beyond the scope of what he can do comfortably given his age & conditioning?

I will have the opportunity to ride him in a few lessons with my instructor over the next couple of weeks, so I'll have eyes on the ground to comment on our specific partnership. But I'd be curious if there is a checklist of sorts that you tend to work through when getting to know a new horse.
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    06-18-2012, 07:48 PM
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This is a good question. I will be curious to hear from the riders , such as Smrobs, who get to ride a wider variety of horses over the year.

One thing I would be doing is checking my "turn signals" and my "brake lights" and make sure they are all working. (of course , I mean, how well the horse responds to the cue for turning and stopping)
    06-18-2012, 09:43 PM
Well, like today I rode a horse I don't generally ride. She's got 60 days of sketchy training. I saddled, bridled, backed her up from the ground and tested her sensitivity to the bit. Then I stiff in one stirrup and gave her a jiggle and swung on in. Tested her out for turns and signals, and took off treating her like I expected her to know the world and figured her out. By the way, she was a lazy mazy and made me miss my lovely forward mere.
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