It's happening! On Monday, I rode Courage for the first time. Redheadlins and Courage's race trainer were on hand to watch/assist, so obviously, THERE ARE PICTURES!!! :D
Good structure ftw.
(This in no way diminishes how I feel about Cuna. I'm simply pointing out how conformation affects function.)
|Cute, not forward|
He starts out nice and forward, but then sort of peters out and needs encouragement. Shouldn't be a hard fix.
|Ears up, stripy face!|
|Om nom nom|
Due to the leg through the fence episode and my work schedule, he got a couple days off after that, which I'm sure didn't hurt him.
That left me all amped up for today. I've been reading/watching videos about riding OTTBs, plus grilling the people I know who have them. My obsessive energy has to go somewhere, right?
I pulled Baby C out and got him ready. He's still rocking the gauze and vet wrap look, so I wrapped polos over it to keep things clean and covered. We also did full cross ties for the first time and he was a total star. No silliness whatsoever. Win!
Once he was tacked up, we did a little more in hand work. I try to keep him on a very loose line and just halt/walk off of verbal and body cues. It lets him look around and acclimate while relaxing. Once his head drops to about poll height, we lunge for a few minutes. I'm mostly just lunging him because I feel like it's a good tool to have ready to use if/when that comes up. He's not terribly balanced on a small circle yet, and I want to keep him engaged and low key while he's working instead of letting him blast around.
|Here we go|
Noted: I rode Cuna alone all the time and would hop on him right now without any prep if I thought that was best for him. Given that Courage is a new quantity learning a new job, I think it's prudent to at least have someone around while we get acquainted.
Plus, the advantage of eyes on the ground is that we get lots of pictures. Yay!
Ahem. I do know that I just jinxed myself.
|Black polos today|
I felt like he was steering really well (relatively speaking), so it was on to our next big adventure:
|On a loopy rein|
ZOMGZ TROT POLES!!! I want him going over and through from very early on, so here goes. :) We walked over them Monday, but there is nothing inherently challenging about lifting his toes at a trot, so we trotted them for the first time.
He was a total rockstar and didn't even hesitate.
Then we progressed to doing a super exciting baby grand prix. There were three different trot poles laid out and we made turns and put a sweet little course together.
He bulged out a little bit around some of the sharper corners, but I just used my outside rein and leg, and he straightened right out. And they say racehorses aren't broke. Pssh.
I do want to get a more reliable forward button installed before we hit the crossrail circuit, but I don't think it's long in coming. Courage is just the cutest, smartest little horse who's only been off the track like... 5 days.
|All that and a cute face|
Just trotting. Not on the bit, not "doing dressage", not anything, on our second ride off the track. CHECK OUT THAT SEXAY ENGAGEMENT!!!
You see why this horse is cool?
Or not. It's not like I'm sharing. :-P
|All thoroughbreds are crazy|
I know there are challenges ahead and that no horse is perfect all the time. I think even Cuna had a bad day once, though I'd be hard pressed to remember exactly what that day was. Regardless, I am absolutely loving this process and I am so glad I took the leap with this guy. He is the coolest little horse (who already fills out my 52" girth).