Archive | July, 2016

Learning to Jump

As Oso learns to jump, I have made it my goal to challenge and help him progress while keeping him feeling confident and successful about his ‘job’. Some horses take to jumping easily and quickly, others take a bit longer to figure out how to jump. Oso is careful for the most part to keep his feet out of the way of the jump, and when we are able to maintain a good canter coming to the jump, he is simple to ride! Our biggest challenge is to continue to improve the consistency of balance and rhythm in Oso’s canter. We have worked on a few different exercises so far: trot poles for strength and coordination, canter poles on the ground to improve adjustability and jumps on the circle to improve suppleness. In the next week I am planning on working on Oso’s canter on the flat, (getting him to accept my leg and allow me to sit a little more deeply in the saddle) and hopefully start jumping through small grids!

 

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Learning Some New Things

July 5th 2016 – I am so proud of Oso, he is becoming accustomed to handling trailering to other locations to ride with no issues. I have made an effort in the last week to get him over to the Woodside Horse Park a couple times within the span of a few days, as it sometimes helps young horses figure out that trailering is part of their program and not a big deal. Today was our best ride yet, we hacked all over the cross country course, up hills, around jumps, and through the water! He walked right into the water with no problems. We also went in the arena where the A circuit Hunter/jumper show was being held and schooled over a couple of jumps! He did not blink an eye at the brightly colored poles, plants and gates. Oso is brave to the jumps without being hot, I think he likes to jump! Jumping training has also helped his canter develop. Having a jump or pole in front of him makes him balance from his hind end. I am looking forward to seeing how Oso does cross country schooling!

 

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Oso is Growing Up!

June 19th 2016 – Oso has made great strides since our last blog update. I started him over some small fences, and we made our first trip away from the home barn! With a young horse, my only goal for the first ‘field trip’ is to make it a positive experience, even if that means simply trailering to a new place, walking around, and trailering home. Of course, given Oso’s easy going and affable personality, I had high hopes we would be able to accomplish even more on our first trip! He exceeded my expectations, and we had a great ride, at the Woodside Horse Park! After getting over some initial nervousness about being in such a large space, we were able to do some nice trot work, and then hang out quietly as I taught a few students in their horses. We ended with a trail ride on cross country course. Looking forward to our next adventure, and hopefully our first show sometime soon!

Oso Woodside At The Horse ParkOso Woodside In the ArenaOso Woodside On the Cross Country Course

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Making Progress…

June 4 2016 – I have tried to take a picture of Oso every few weeks or so to keep track of how he is developing. It is so much fun to see OTTBs go from race horse to performance/riding horse!

Oso March 11 2016Oso June 3 2016

The last few weeks with Oso have been filled with developing strength (and steering) in the canter and preparing for our first ‘field trip’ off the ranch. I am planning to take Oso over to our local show venue (Woodside Horse Park) in the next week or so. In preparation, we incorporated some new things into our daily rides. When starting a young OTTB, I like to develop a routine that stays relatively the same until the horse is comfortable with the basic requirements of being a riding horse. Horses appreciate a certain amount of predictability in their training. Since Oso now comfortably walks, trots, and canters quietly with focus, I have begun altering our rides slightly to introduce some new factors. I find the more new circumstances a young horse is exposed to, the calmer and more easily they handle new situations. We have started riding in the bigger, spookier ring, at different times of day, and have both started and ended on the trail during our rides. I am looking forward to seeing how Oso will handle trailering for a ride at a different location–stay tuned for our next update!

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