I've never done the journal thing before but I think this might help me document our progress. (even if no one reads this :-) )
I brought Jack home last week for a trial and my trainer loved him. That was a really good thing too because I didn't follow procedure and found him myself instead of letting them find the horse for me. (To be fair though, they don't know how to find a horse under 5 figures.) Even the barn owner is in love with him and her last horse cost about 75 grand.
Anyways, he's a 7 year old OTTB who last raced in October and had his retraining started by a wonderful women here in Wisconsin. He was having issues with tender heals and so he was very stabby in the trot when we got him home. We figured he needed shoes and we were right. He was shod on Tuesday and he is moving fantastically now. My trainer is elated. He does have a bone chip and needs some retraining but he is so going to be worth his weight in gold for me.
We had our first official lesson today on the flat and he did great. My trainer rode him first to show me how much better he looks with his new kicks and he was a little rough with his canter transitions. He was great for me though and we are planning on doing an over fences lesson later this week.
I'm so excited to start on this new project. I know it isn't going to be easy but the fact that everyone at the barn thinks he has so much potential really gives me a lot of hope that it will all be worth it. (I just hope I don't get bucked off this one as much as the last one.)
We had an excellent ride today. My trainer rode him first again, "just to get the sticky out" as she says. He sometimes gets stuck and doesn't go forward and she's trying to consistently get after him so we can end this habit. He also strikes out a bit in his canter transitions because of his balance and strength so she likes to get a couple good transition and then hand him over to me.
There were 5 other horses in the indoor today (raining out) so it was a little bit of a zoo. one girl was lessoning so we had to watch for her jumping and 2 of the others are new so you have to watch out for them as well. I don't always have split second responses from Jack so it's a little exciting. Jack was fantastic, even with people being cut off and the horse knocking rails when jumping. He doesn't get rattled easily which is really wonderful.
He's been in a stall since we brought him home since he was foot sore but now that he has been shod and is not tender we can start putting him out 24/7 this weekend. That's a really good thing too because the bill for the vet check was a lot more than I was expecting, so I need to save a little money. He's also been cribbing in the stall, even with the strap on. He's already pulled down 1 bucket and was working on demolishing another while I was cleaning up today since he couldn't go out in the rain. I really hope he likes being outside all the time. I think it will be really good for him.
A friend of my trainer was helping with training rides today since the majority of the barn is down at Maffitt and she really liked Jack. She just couldn't say enough good things which is very nice to hear.
Lane will school him over fences tomorrow. Then I will hack on Saturday and lesson on Sunday. I'm excited to start jumping him!
Looking foreward to reading about his progress! being out is soso good for horses, and I've seen OTTB's become extremely destructive and dangerous from being locked up for months untouched, because they "Weren't used to coming out". What discipline are you planning on training him in?
We are starting with jumpers. I think he'd make an amazing hunter too. He has such an even stride and a very cute jump but he chomps on the bit and snorts a lot so my trainer says that won't work in the hunters. We are hoping this decreases as he starts to relax a little and maybe try some different bits or something. It would be awesome to cross enter into multiple divisions. Of course, right now he's just doing about 18 inches but you have to start somewhere =)
(here are a couple of pics of the day I brought him home) :-)
We had a very nice hack today. My trainer had told me not to worry about how he would kick out during his canter transitions. She told me that we could fix it and it was no problem, but I was skeptical. I should learn to trust her because she's been riding him about a week now and it has already greatly improved. He doesn't really even kick out now, it's just a little butt move and then he's fine. Such a relief because it was disconcerting.
We took it pretty easy today. A lot of trotting and transitions and then about 2 canter transitions each way. Lane rode him yesterday over fences and he was fantastic. She's so amazed at how well he figures things out. Apparently he is teaching himself an auto change in the corners which just makes her pleased as punch (and me too). She was just jumping about 18inches since he has a lot of muscle to build up so he was getting bored. She had to work so hard to resist putting the jumps up since he was doing so well. She really wants him to develop the muscles and the confidence and take our time. After all, we won't be showing this year so there is no rush.
I bought him a half pad and some baby pads that my trainer was happy with and seemed to work well. I couldn't tell the difference but Jack seemed ok with them. I also bought him a french link snaffle so that kept him busy when we were waiting for the lesson riders to do their courses. Overall a very good day, can't wait for the jumping tomorrow! (and there will be a video posted as long as my friend remembers her camera)
Finally got the videos from Sundays lesson uploaded! My Mom and her friend came to watch so I was very happy that it was a successful lesson. Jack was great and my mom really like him. He jumped everything I asked without attitude and we had a great time.
I had some major problems with my right ankle though. The outside tendons were screaming by the end of the lesson and then, before the last jump, I rolled my ankle in the stirrup. Really hurt so obviously I am pretty out of shape. I have only jumped about 4 times in the last 2 months :-(
But, overall it was a very positive ride and really gave me a lot to look forward to.
Here are the videos: please no critique on the rider. I know I'm out of shape and have a lot of work to do. Hopefully in a couple of months I will post another video for help with my position but right now I have enough to work on :-)
Jack Jumping - YouTube
Jack's first course - YouTube
my lesson over fences today went well too. My ankle was a problem throughout so I couldn't really put my heels down well which made transitions and corners a little difficult. I think my trainer was a little annoyed because she didn't realize it hurt as bad as it did. I need to wrap it for my lesson tomorrow because she had a valid point. Just because it hurts doesn't mean that I can be an ineffective rider with a green horse.
But Jack was a rock star! Even with my ineffective riding, he was incredible. The head trainer was back from a show and had seen my trainer ride him the day before and was very impressed. He was even more impressed when Jack took everything in stride and went over every jump even when I picked a horrible distance. He even jumped everything cute to boot!
The head trainer said we needed to add a 0 on to what I paid for him for how much he was worth. So forgiving and brave, never looked at anything, not even the liverpool! (my previous horse was never allowed anywhere near the liverpool and Jack gets to jump it within a month of being home!)
So, all the trainers at the barn are in love with Jack which feels so good because my last horse was not well received (to be fair though, they were right for not liking her).
Next project unfortunately is probably a new saddle. I will be riding in my trainers for a little while so we can decide if it is contributing to my pitching forward. I really hope that it isn't though because I can't really afford a new saddle right now...
Another great lesson for Jack! I wrapped my ankle and rode in my trainers Antares saddle and so things went a lot better for me too. I guess I am getting convinced that a different saddle will be beneficial.
I talked to an Antares rep yesterday about finding a used one. I'm hoping I can sell my R Pessoa for a decent price since it's practically in perfect shape since I take good care of my stuff and it's only a year old. The hard part is that I have to sell my saddle to decide what my budget is for the used saddle. Huh, that sounds like a familiar conundrum. lol.
The other cool news is that my trainer is going to a local WHJA show next weekend and wants me to take Jack. That's right, I've owned him less than a month and we are going to our first show already! We need to get him some exposure at a less expensive show since he's never been to a show and I'd rather not test him out at an A show. I'm sure that about an hour there and 1 time in the ring is all he will need, but why risk it.
Oh, and side note, I can't jump cavalettis worth a darned. Put some standards next to them and I'm fine, but a cavaletti? Forget it. oh, well.
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