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Discussion Starter #1
Oh no here we go again.


(sidenote: the barn is currently closed to customers proper, but as 'people involved in the care/wellbeing of pets/animals/livestock' are considered exceptions, there's, uh, leeway. which is important as horses are one of my last current connections to sanity at this point.)


I digress.


I was told today that the young woman who leases Jasper - the other horse I ride besides Toby - has been laid off for 3 months and can't afford to keep up her lease. My trainer offered the lease to me. (til the young woman is back, of course.)


It's $200/month, so with me often riding 2x a week (at $40 for a trail ride and $60 for a lesson) that's ultimately less than I pay by session, and my trainer wouldn't charge me extra for a lesson. I'd be allowed to ride him 3x a week, for however long, whenever he's not otherwise working. And it certainly doesn't preclude me from riding Toby if he's available, either.


Overall it's a really solid deal. But, Jasper is a big horse and forward - he's 16.1(ish?), covers a lot of ground, likes to move. He will work in the ring (his leaser does), though he doesn't like it, and he might be difficult on that note especially to work him at a speed above a walk. For all his forwardness, though, he is a very smooth ride (just. so tall. so much legs.) and not nuts. (working theory, though no one knows his background, is maybe someone tried to make an eventing horse of him, but his perspective on jumping is just to haul over an obstacle without grace or care so that may not have worked). So I guess my worry is that he's too much horse for me, but at the same time, we have worked pretty well on the trail together, and 3x a week might help that issue.


But I am seeking counsel from wiser horse people before I make a decision.
 

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I think it sounds like a good opportunity for you and if your instructor has suggested it, then they must think that you'll be capable or capable to learn how to handle him. Plus, I think riding a horse a little out of your comfort zone could challenge you enough to improve on your riding abilities. I say go for it! If it doesn't work out, then there is no harm in stopping the lease later on.

Plus, 3 rides a week with one lesson free of additional charge is a great deal! Yu don't come by that often.
 

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Sounds like the perfect opportunity to glean experience, skill, knowledge and expand the old comfort zone. Give it a good try and know you can always pack it in if it truly isn’t working out for you.
 

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It sounds like a safe deal - you will have people around you that can assist and your trainer ofc if you feel out of your comfort zone. My girl is sensitive and forward - it was a bit of shocker actually after riding schoolies, even "forward" schoolies prior so I can understand the underlying anxiety. But she, and Jasper by the sounds, are good horses with good minds. Given the entire circumstance I can't think of a better or safer opportunity for you to push the limit. If he regularly rides those trails as well you've already got a massive head start! Picture of Jasper? ^>^
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It sounds like a safe deal - you will have people around you that can assist and your trainer ofc if you feel out of your comfort zone. My girl is sensitive and forward - it was a bit of shocker actually after riding schoolies, even "forward" schoolies prior so I can understand the underlying anxiety. But she, and Jasper by the sounds, are good horses with good minds. Given the entire circumstance I can't think of a better or safer opportunity for you to push the limit. If he regularly rides those trails as well you've already got a massive head start! Picture of Jasper? ^>^
I've ridden him a fair number of times (he's the happy fool who gave me my first canter) just not worked as extensively as with Toby, nor in the ring... I think with a lot of time we could do pretty well. No, Jasper's not wild, he's just like "we're going out? Well, what're you waiting for? We haven't got all day, let's GO."

And here he is:
 

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I think you are over thinking things. You have the basics down, you enjoy the trails, the mental therapy a horse provides is being handed to you. No reason to spend time in the ring for anything but the lessons and have a goal that makes the lessons something the horse will enjoy as well. Plenty of games that build skills. Not endless circles. If you feel safe and your surgery has healed then take what is offered and enjoy yourself.



Now time to see pics of you on Jasper.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think you are over thinking things. You have the basics down, you enjoy the trails, the mental therapy a horse provides is being handed to you. No reason to spend time in the ring for anything but the lessons and have a goal that makes the lessons something the horse will enjoy as well. Plenty of games that build skills. Not endless circles. If you feel safe and your surgery has healed then take what is offered and enjoy yourself.



Now time to see pics of you on Jasper.

You're right. It's in my nature to overthink. :lol:


Every day I get to ride is a good day to ride. It's been rough at work - I think I'll go play with the horses today.
 

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I have been spending more time with our crew and getting those that have had too little time spent on them working towards being good saddle citizens. Helps destress.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Jasper's truly handsome when you get a decent photo of him. :lol:

We had a good ride, trotted and did a canter, off to a good start for the month.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I was thinking the same. Y'all look good together. May you have many happy miles! His build suggests draft.

Thank you!


Yes, the general guess (he was bought at auction 7 or 8 years ago by the barn owner, so no one actually knows) is that he's a draft cross of some kind. About 16 (16.1?) Big feet, big neck, big Roman nose. My trainer's suggested maybe saddlebred or walking horse in there somewhere, just from how smooth he is and how he moves (and sometime I'll try and take video, because I can't really *see* what he's doing, just feel it.)


He just makes everyone look good.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
So I'm into my fourth month of leasing Jasper. His gal is back, so we're both leasing now - she comes so rarely, we never run into each other. Jasper and I can go out by ourselves now, and it suits him well - he doesn't have to wait for anyone else. We walk, trot, and canter, and go exploring (within the confines of the town land, which is pretty big). We've crossed the river, and gotten mildly to moderately lost. It was very much a good decision to lease him.


I told my instructor, out of everything he has taught me, or will teach me, above all he's teaching me courage.



I rode on my birthday (Monday) alone for almost two hours, and same today. The deer flies were so terrible Monday, that I doused myself in heavy-duty bug spray, doused him, and - since mint repels some insects - grabbed some sprigs from my yard and stuffed them in my boots, my pockets, and wove some into his mane. He looked like a stray from a poorly-budgeted fantasy film, but it did seem to keep the biting flies away, so that was better. We found a good spot to have a decent canter (maybe 100 yards - it's longer than the other stretches we've done). It's much fun, and we are having a good time together, I think. I don't think he'd run like he does - as long and as eagerly as he does - if he didn't enjoy it.
 

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@redbadger - Happy Belated Birthday!! :happy-birthday8::happy-birthday8: Sounds like you had a good one with the ride.... I'll have to try the mint trick!

Sounds like the lease is going awesome and I'm glad you can continue with it.... he does sound like a great confidence booster.
 

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I guess I missed the pictures you posted to this thread before. He's a very handsome boy and you two look great together! I'm glad you're doing so well with him.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
@redbadger - Happy Belated Birthday!! :happy-birthday8::happy-birthday8: Sounds like you had a good one with the ride.... I'll have to try the mint trick!

Sounds like the lease is going awesome and I'm glad you can continue with it.... he does sound like a great confidence booster.

Thanks! It was a pleasant and low-stress day.



I mean, I was doused in 40% DEET spray *and* he had bug spray on, so I can't say the mint made a world of difference, but it's free and plentiful, so why not? Every little bit to keep us both from being eaten alive. :O
 

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I guess I missed the pictures you posted to this thread before. He's a very handsome boy and you two look great together! I'm glad you're doing so well with him.

He really is! Now that the rest of his winter coat has shed out, he's even more stunning, especially in the sun - the hair right above his hooves and fetlocks is close to copper, and it shines like nothing else. He's a fine old gentleman.


My smartwatch clocked him/us at 10.7mph, and I bet if he had space - like when the beach rides are available (can't right now, d/t covid and nesting birds) - he could get to 11 or 12mph. I hope we can do that sometime.
 
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