Lessons with Baby

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Lessons with Baby

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    06-25-2012, 11:09 PM
Green Broke
Lessons with Baby

Cinny recently had a bad accident and will take some time to heal so in the meantime my new trainer has allowed me the use of her OTTB we will call "Baby." He has been out of work for a while as he isn't quite for the beginner students and the more advanced students have their own horses and my trainer is recovering from an injury and hasn't been able to ride for months. This is a really great opportunity for me that I very much look forward to.

I rode him for the first time yesterday to get to know him and it wasn't very fun. He is so opposite Cinny, I have to work HARD to keep him forward, his head was so low he was practically peanut rolling and turned like a bus. I felt very self concious because I know Trainer is very picky about her "baby," like I am with Cinny and was afraid I would do something wrong, hold his reins too tight, etc. On the way home I thought "wow, this is really going to be a challenge, but one I think I can conquer."

Today I had my first lesson on him. Trainer told me to just ride him as if he were my horse, with my rules and my expectations and she would observe and make a list of the things to fix. So, I did...I picked up his head more and didn't let him get lazy on the fore. I did my figure 8's at a sitting then rising trot and then she had me do some patterns. I had a fun ride this time and found it slowly becoming easier to move Baby forward. While I was riding she had me tell her any judges comments I could remember, and tomorrow I will bring her my score cards to read in case I forgot some. She just kept writing.

When we were done she said "Well, I can tell you that when you post, your diagnals are SPOT ON." The was pretty much it for the good LOL. But everything she pointed out I already knew were wrong.....the nice part is that instead of just listing what was wrong she would tell me what was wrong in whatever element I was doing, what was wrong about it and what I am doing to cause it, and how we are going to correct it.

It was an awesome lesson, and a great day. I still could honestly say I dislike riding this horse (he's more work to ride) BUT at the same time I LOVE it because I know I am going to be learning so much from him and in time will grow to love riding him.
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    06-26-2012, 01:11 PM
Green Broke
Wonderful ride this morning. I opted for bareback and got so much response from him. Today I worked on keeping my head up and my calves "wrapped" or hugging Baby. I succeeded in my first nicely collected trot which I'm told he only does if if you are working properly with your seat and legs. It was for a whole long side of the arena. Also started posting bareback...yeah my legs are like rubber now.

I still have a lot of work to do on ME but I am enjoying the process and each ride with baby becomes more and more fun and enjoyable.
SpiritLifter likes this.
    06-26-2012, 01:19 PM
That's awesome!! I wish I could ride bareback.. I'm far too stiff for that.
Cinnys Whinny likes this.
    06-26-2012, 03:29 PM
So sorry to hear about Cinny! You're avatar is adorable, though. Everytime I ride bareback, my trainer makes me post, too. Yeah. . My mare's gaits are uber uncomfortable, so I don't ride bareback often XD Good luck with Baby! It can be pretty fun to switch up who you're riding. Helps a rider become more well-rounded.
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    06-26-2012, 04:00 PM
Nice work. I can't wait for the first video.
Cinnys Whinny likes this.
    07-08-2012, 12:48 PM
Green Broke
Haven't been able to get much riding in. It's been way too hot. I was going to ride yesterday morning but Baby threw both front shoes and he has some navicular changes so can't ride until new shoes. I am a little concerned because I am to show him next Saturday and I have yet to canter him or get used to his saddle which feels very uneven to me.

I am just going to try to get a ride in when I can, and try to canter once if possible this week. I will consider next saturday to be a test of my riding. In the college program they have to ride a horse that they do not know, and not even warm up with it...if they can do that, I can do this. It will be interesting to see what my scores will be :) I do know this horse usually scores in the high 40's for training level so if I get that score or higher, then I guess it's a good thing.

No expectations, just winging it from here on :)
    07-09-2012, 04:28 PM
Green Broke
July 9, 2012 VIDEO BELOW :)

Today I am here a mere frustrated shell of a person. Baby was unridable last week for a myriad of issues so today was my 4th ride. It ended with me literally frustrated and stressed to tears. I don't know if it's him, me, my current trainer, fighting against his saddle or what but I feel like the biggest loser in the world when I ride him. He takes an INCREDIBLE amount of leg to keep going. And even more leg to get into the canter and keep him in the canter. His canter seems rough to me and very hard to sit deep. No matter how much leg I put on him, my trainer yells at me to get more leg into him and to get my legs under him as well. I am just not used to having every inch of my legs literally clamped around the horse's barrel, especially a barrel that big.

I have decided to write the show manager and ask that I be changed to training A and B for this weekend since I apparently do not have enough leg power to canter this horse. In reality, I want to scratch completely but I don't want to be a quitter just because I'm feeling hopeless with my current mount.

I just keep telling myself that I will be a better rider for this experience. This horse can teach me things my horse can't

But right now all I can think of is I really dearly miss riding my Cinny and how much he absolutely SPOILS me under saddle by being such a sensitive and reactive horse. He does anything on just a mere whisper of a cue. He moves into another gate with just a tickle of my ankle.and then I merely have to balance with my core.. no clamping,no squeezing, no making my legs feel like jello after only 5 minutes. He is a pure joy to ride.

Here is some video of today's ride. Mind you, you can critique ME all you want, but this is NOT my horse so please be gentle on him. He is a 15 yo OTTB with the start of navicular changes so he is what he is. Towards the end at about the 1 minute mark you hear me kiss to him, I'm trying to get him to canter LOL.

    07-09-2012, 05:06 PM
I totally understand where you're coming from. Getting used to a horse that isn't your own or one that you haven't ridden before is a frustrating experience, but just keep telling yourself that you will prosper from this as a rider, eventually you might find similarities between Baby and Cinny, and when you might have a problem with Cinny in the future, you can think back on a problem that you had with Baby, and know how to fix it.

Has Baby been exercised regularly? Out of shape horses can give you a hard time getting up to a quicker gait or moving forward, we bought my mare like that. You can also ask your trainer (because they're probably more reliable than I am, seeing as they own and have ridden this horse before) about how to move him up to a lope. Always ask your trainer and try to figure it out together.

Good luck with him, pretty boy:)
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    07-09-2012, 06:02 PM
I'm sure your rides on Baby will get better and It's always a learning experience to ride new horses.

Last summer I had been spoiled with riding a responsive, balanced, collected, jumper that I had been working with for a year and was privileged enough to see him transform into an incredibly talented, reliable horse. Then I had to start riding a horse that, to this day is the laziest, most uncomfortable horse I have ever seen, ridden, or heard of. Leg and seat did nothing, the only way to make him move was constantly whacking him with a dressage whip - wich I hated doing. At the same time though, I never had to worry about him spooking, refusing, taking off etc like I did with the other horse, all I needed to focus on was my position and getting him foreword, as long as you pushed him on he would clear anything and didn't bat an eyelash at loud noises or a change of scenery, so he ended up being the easier horse of the too. :) I'm guessing your rides with Baby will turn out that way as well.
    07-09-2012, 08:37 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by gymkhanaprincess7    
Has Baby been exercised regularly? Out of shape horses can give you a hard time getting up to a quicker gait or moving forward, we bought my mare like that. You can also ask your trainer (because they're probably more reliable than I am, seeing as they own and have ridden this horse before) about how to move him up to a lope. Always ask your trainer and try to figure it out together.

Good luck with him, pretty boy:)
I would have to say, NO, baby has not been exercised regularly. In fact as far as I know he has been sitting in a run for a couple of months. My trainer says the beginners can't handle him (he has atrocious manners and will also take advantage of you if you let him) and the more advanced riders have their own horses. She said they also checked him last spring for a soreness issue in the front and found he is starting to have navicular changes so I think they put him on rest back then and put him in special shoes/pads the works.

He definitely has settled into retirement. It's very hard to believe that he is a Secretariat grandson who won quite a bit himself back in his day. Today I felt like getting down on my knees and BEGGING him to move for me ha ha.

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