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post #1 of 135 Old 06-23-2016, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
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Step by step

So, yesterday I got confirmation that I will officially be half-leasing for the first time, and I figured I would try to keep a journal here so I don't forget any of the memories I will certainly make. Its not a huge step, but its pretty big for a girl whos only ever taken lessons on school ponies.

I'm 24 years old, had lessons from my 9th till my 13th and then there was a long time with just the odd ride on a friends or rented horse. At 20 I got back in the saddle and started riding at a jumping barn where I am still at!

A few weeks ago I asked my trainer about half-leasing, and a lady at my barn overheard and said she was looking for someone to share costs with on her horse. After asking all bout costs and times, and arranging lessons with the private trainer at the barn (my trainer only does the school lessons), I let the owner know I would be ok to lease 1/3rd for 2 days riding a week. Last night she confirmed that was ok with her, and I will be riding him this weekend, and starting the lease in July.

I tried him out last week, and he's a total sweetie. He has some things to work on, though its probably more things I need to work on, as from what I've seen he goes great for his owners. We had some issues with straightness off the wall, and with speeding up in the trot and being hard to slow down, especially after the first canter. The second time I rode him I did some transitions halt-walk-trot before cantering and he was much better. He did bolt for a bit because of a bird flying out of a bush right in front of us, but he was easy to calm down after putting him on a circle. And hey, at least he bolted straight and not sideways ;) .

He's a cute fleabitten grey jumper called Moro, has jumped up to 1m in competitions with his girl (the lady's daughter), who rode him from age 10-14 but now has a new horse. I only jump up to 60cm so far, so I will be able to grow quite a bit with him. The owner will be around to help me, as shes at the barn every day anyway, and the rest of the people at the barn will help me out too I'm sure!

I wont get to do much grooming/horse care other than riding, since my barn is full-board in the sense that they hand you the horse fully tacked when you arrive and take him off your hands as soon as you dismount. That's a shame, but I guess I'll have plenty of time to learn more about that later!

I will be riding him saturdays and sundays, with a lesson on saturday, so I will probably be posting on weekends! I'll make sure to get a picture this weekend to share with you.

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post #2 of 135 Old 06-27-2016, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
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So this Saturday I was at the barn all day, since there was an official competition going on and the lady i lease Moro from asked me to help out in the food tent. I helped her in the morning, at the same time learning many names of people who ride on days outside my lesson days who i hadnt met. Their horses' names too of course, and lots of other barn gossip ;)

At 11 I had my last lesson on my usual school horse, he was such a sweetheart for me (he's usually a lazy bum, really hard to get and keep moving!), it was like he knew it was my last time. We just did walk/trot, focusing on rhythm and bending. It went really well! My trainer also gave me some tips on questions I had about the things I struggled with the few times I rode Moro, mostly on how to get him to slow down at a trot and what kind of things I should keep in mind on him, that are different than what I'm used to from the school horses. She also reassured me that she will help me out with any and all questions or problems I might have, so I feel a lot more secure now! I was actually pretty nervous about this whole thing...

I spent the afternoon by the ring, watching the competition and chatting with the 'core group' of the barn. As soon as I confirmed I would be leasing I was updated on all the barn drama... Not the nicest thing if youve been riding at a barn you thought was drama free for over 4 years!! Luckily al groups mix, so the drama isnt something I'll be worrying about or paying attention to.

Apart from the lessons in drama they were al VERY welcoming, saying they have been talking amongst themselves, saying it was time I move up and joined the group that hangs out together. (the 'owners' stay pretty separate from the 'lesson kids'). A big part of the group are people who lessoned with me before, but got around to ownership earlier. They too told me to ask them any and all questions I might have, and to not worry and just enjoy!

At the end of the day I had a chat with the lady I'm leasing from, and she said to go whenever I want. Her daughter will still be taking the horse to some shows, but if that happens they'll let me know and I can ride any other day of the week to make up for it. She will be texting me the exact figure I am to pay, so I can bring the money for this month next weekend when I go.

Her daughter rode Moro at the show, and had two clear rounds at 80 and 90cm heights, so it looks like I got myself a pretty cool pony!

I might go over on Thursday as I have an exam and might take the day off work for that. And the university is RIGHT across the street from the stable so... ;) Saturday my lease officially starts and I will have my first lesson with new horse AND new trainer!

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post #3 of 135 Old 06-27-2016, 07:08 PM
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what a face! adorable.
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post #4 of 135 Old 06-27-2016, 07:09 PM
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What a sweet face!!

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
Live as if you were to die tomorrow; learn as if you were to live forever.
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.-Gandhi
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post #5 of 135 Old 06-30-2016, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
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Ok so I went out to ride today, and since the trainer was there and it is supposedly gonna rain a lot on saturday, I had my first lesson today!! It went really well, the trainer explained about getting the horse on the bit and impulsion from behind and receiving in the hand. I trotted around working on that for a long time, and managed to get him on the bit for a few steps at a time (thats a big deal, i've never ridden a horse who is on the bit lol) I had SUCH a big smile on my face.

Then I cantered him a bit, and the trainer told me to focus on the same contact at the canter as at the trot, by this time i was pretty tired (one 45 minute lesson a week plodding along doesnt really prepare you for a 90 minute lesson of HARD WORK) so focusing on one thing meant i forgot to look where I was going. Result: Near-collision with another horse, big scare to the side and me on the ground lol. He stopped and waited for me, while attacking the bushes around the ring for snacks... I will have to bring cake on saturday. I was fine luckily, just got the wind knocked out of me a bit. I got right back on, and walked and trotted some more. Then I hosed his feet and put him up.

I got lucky and fell off under some overhanging trees where the ground was dry, as the rest of the arena was something between a mudbath and a swimming pool. Hopefully I've learnt my lesson and will pay more attention where I'm going from now on!

Moro is a sweetheart, he's quite mouthy and will nip at you if you invade his space without bringing sugar, so no cuddles, but once youre on his back he really tries his best and is a really good teacher. He is a bit spookier than the schoolhorses, so I'm gonna have to learn to really RIDE him instead of just pointing him in the right direction, to keep him busy. I did notice that when he has a job he's not spooky at all so that should improve a lot with time.

My new trainer is amazing, he explains very clearly, and will explain something with different examples until you get the concept. He also answers all the questions, and will tell you the full concept of what youre working towards, before explaining the first step you're supposed to be working on. LOVE!

Saturday and sunday, if its not raining too much, I will be focusing on not cutting corners, getting a feel of Moro and getting the impulsion from behind back through the hand. Also on not falling off lol.
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post #6 of 135 Old 07-04-2016, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
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Saturday I went out to the barn with a carrot and spice cake to pay for falling off on thursday. It was a grey day and lots of rain was expected, so I got to riding right away, in the hopes of avoiding getting wet.

At the beginning of the ride, Moro was quite stiff, head in the air, small trot steps and kind of hot, ears up and shying at things in the bushes around the arena. I kept him moving around the middle, not in any specific pattern, just cruising around, trying to get the trot slowed down and more relaxed. I worked on the contact and 'kneading' of the reins my instructor told me to work on thursday, and after about 15 minutes he relaxed, lowered his head and I had him going nicely at a trot!! When my trainer arrived a bit later he gave me lots of compliments on the horses position and relaxation.

Since most people stayed home due to the crappy weather, my trainer gave me another lesson! Worked a bit at the trot first, and then cantered on a big circle. With my trainers tips from the ground I managed to get Moro in a frame at the canter too! Although this didnt last too long of course, a few steps at a time. It helps a LOT to ride a horse that knows his job, that way its much easier to tell when youre doing things right. I'm loving this pony more every time I ride him.

On thursday we had a bit if trouble with riding into the corners (I should say I had trouble steering him into the corners lol), mostly because I was concentrating on 20 new things at a time and forgot to steer. That was much better now, he really was a dream to ride once he relaxed after warming up for a bit.

At the end of the lesson I had a big smile on my face, and my trainer said to walk him a bit, catch our breaths and then take a gallop around the whole arena. I asked if I could just walk Moro and skip the canter, as I was quite tired and had been feeling a bit crappy after my fall on thursday mentally. I felt i needed to end it on a good note! Luckily my trainer had no objections. We walked for about 10 minutes and then I put him back in his stall.

I asked my old trainer who makes saddle pads and bonnets for prices, and will be asking for a set of my own for my birthday in august. Looks like I'm already getting infected with the tackshopping addiction!

My current trainer said that I had Moro going so nicely that when weather (and the arena) dries up, we can start popping over some jumps! I hope that means next weekend, but as friday and saturday are holidays, I'm not sure the barn opens. My lessons were always cancelled on holidays, but I dont know how it works with the private horses.

Yesterday I couldn't get out as it was POURING rain all morning. Of course it dried up for a bit at 11.15, but with the barn closing at 12 on sundays there was no way I was gonna make it out there and ride in 45 minutes. I was sad about that until a thunderstorm hit at 11.45 and it started pouring again haha. Hopefully next weekend I'll be able to go ride as the weather is supposed to be really nice then.

For now I will get back to work, luckily it's only a 4-day workweek! Yay!
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post #7 of 135 Old 07-11-2016, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
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Friday was a holiday here, so I went to the barn instead of to work (YAY!). I went after lunch, and got on as soon as the groom had Moro tacked up for me. I worked him for about 10-15 minutes at walk and trot, he seemed a lot heavier in the hand than he had been the other days, leaning on me, and I was wondering if I was doing something wrong. When my trainer arrived and started the lesson I asked him and he laughed and said, yeah, he's in a snaffle today (as opposed to this bit which he usually wears). Ok so I need to pay attention to what tack they're putting on my horse lol!

We did some trot and canter, no stirrups for a couple of laps and then we hopped over some jumps!! We jumped a crossrail, which turned into a vertical and ended up at about 70cm. He jumps AMAZING! No matter how crappy the distance I set hime up for he just jumps it. He's really the perfect horse for me to get confident on and to start working on my jumping. The school horses did 3-5 lessons a day, so we almost never got to jump them over more than a tiny crossrail.

The trainer was very happy with my position and ability to translate what he yelled at me into riding. Mostly I have to relax my arms more, and not lose the contact on takeoff. After popping over the vertical several times, at both a trot and a canter, from both hands, my trainer pointed to a small oxer and said "Now jump that". He said to ride it the same as a vertical and not to worry cause I wouldnt notice the difference. So I pointed Moro at it and we flew over it! Its true that the difference was not very obvious, though I could feel him stretch out over the jump a bit more. We jumped it about 4 times (2 on each hand) and then I walked him for 10-15 minutes.

So thats the story of me jumping my first oxer!!

Saturday he went off to a show with his owner, and jumped the 80cm, 90cm and 1m classes (as far as I can tell from the videos she uploaded). So I didnt get to ride. Sunday morning I went to the barn to ride and there was a show for ponies going on. SO CUTE, tiny ponies with even tinier riders. There was one girl on a medium pony who I think must have been around 5 years old haha.

Due to the show the main arena was occupied, and I rode in the arena behind the barn. It was unfortunately a big pool of mud, and it was clear that Moro was tired after jumping two days in a row and having been trailered on saturday. I mostly just walked him on a medium rein and did a little bit of trot. I only rode him for 25-30 minutes and then put him back up and fed him sugar cubes.

My trainer was at the barn and asked if I cant come by the barn on a weekday this week to do some more jumping as he thought I rode really well in my lesson on friday and he would like to keep working on that! Saturday morning the arena is more crowded so jumping is a bit difficult. We arranged that I would go on thursday as I have an exam and will take a study day from work. In the afternoon I found out the exam is at a different time than I thought it was, so I texted him and asked if I could go later. He had JUST answered my text, saying it was no problem, when I realized the exam is on FRIDAY. *facepalm*. I assumed it was on thursday as all other exams of this subject have been on thursdays so far, and I didnt read further than the time. So I'm gonna have to text him back again lol.

I'm so happy with my 'own' pony, every time I ride him I love him more. Sunday there was a lady at the barn looking at the horses and talking to another girl and me. As the lady pointed to Moro and asked the girl 'That's your horse right?' (her horse is also a grey), the girl said: "No thats hers *points to me* The one two stalls over is mine". BEST FEELING IN THE WORLD!
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post #8 of 135 Old 07-11-2016, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
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edit: put the wrong link for his usual bit this is the right one ;) It doesnt let me edit the post anymore.
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post #9 of 135 Old 07-11-2016, 05:05 PM
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Looks like you are having a blast with him! Keep it up!
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post #10 of 135 Old 07-11-2016, 08:33 PM
Join Date: Jan 2016
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As someone that just got back into the saddle at 20 (a lot like you did), this was really awesome to read! I'm so glad that you're liking your lease horse and I'm excited to hear more about your adventures with Moro. It sounds like you guys are doing FANTASTIC, so keep up the good work.

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