I never thought I'd say this...but I am officially GRATEFUL for everything Leo did for me!
Even though he terrified me for SO long...he did break me of my leaning habit [having him duck out a few times stopped that!] And, a a result of all his little bucking fits/refusals, he helped me get a good seat.
This all came in quite handy yesterday. I rode Scooter, a gelding I haven't been on in over 2 years. In that time, he's gone blind in one eye and been leased by a girl who kind of let him get away with a lot of crap.
I forgot about the whole blind thing when I got on...he ran into a few walls before I figured out how much guidance he needed.
ANYWAYS...my trainer for the day told me that as long as I stayed tall to the jumps and didn't drop him, he'd jump anything from anywhere. Of course, I'm a little worried seeing as Leo always refused because I leaned. BUT...I just pretended I was riding Leo [a little softer though], and guess what - Scooter didn't refuse at all! We went over every jump! We even jumped 2'6" and there were times where Scooter got VERY fast [corners were a little scary cause he'd be flying and wouldn't see the wall...] but for once I didn't turtle and panic and we jumped everything! Even a 2'6" oxar where I swear we were less than a foot from the base, haha. Oh, and once I realized that he WOULD go, I was able to focus on my release a little bit and on 95%of the jumps, I had a real crest release vs the odd floaty thing I tend to do!
I forgot how much I loved riding this horse [and I'm riding him again next week!]
BUT...I really do owe it to Leo. I fell off Scooter [twice, 2 yrs ago] because I leaned and he refused. Not anymore! Leo, through all his antics, taught me that when in doubt, stay tall! [hm. I guess my trainer was right in putting me on him!]
Here's a picture of the speed demon :)
And Leo, the pony that made yesterday's ride so successful. I groomed him up for a lady riding after me [she was running late] so he got lots of pats and thanks