A Lesson In Lots of Leg

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First of all, happy Thanksgiving! While I didn’t actually celebrate it this year with dinner, I’m thankful for my friends, family and my horses, and I’m thankful I haven’t gotten bucked off Oh So yet while walking (hence the photo above!)

We’re up to 10 minutes walking now and so far he’s been okay. I’ve turned him out in a small grass paddock a few times when I’ve gotten home from work and he’s run a bit, but settled down enough to play with the minis over the fence for about an hour and a half.

One lesson I’ve learned this week with Bear has definitely applied to Oh So as he’s gradually heading back into work. LEG ON!

I find myself wanting to take my leg off in fear of Oh So exploding, but what he really needs is for me to wrap my leg around him and keep him going forward.

In my jump lesson on Sunday with Bear, we worked on trotting a cross rail with a ground pole in front. It’s only his second time jumping, and it was 35 degrees, windy and we were

Our herd.
Our herd.

in a spooky Cover All ring, so the fact that he took it all in stride was pretty cool.

Lisa was running late, so I tacked him up and walked around the ring watching the other horse and rider, which was a lesson for Bear in itself. We stood, we walked, we watched and we stood some more and he seemed fine with it. The horse we were watching was actually another OTTB who was about a year ahead of where we are, so it was interesting to watch the lesson.

Lisa set up two poles 12 feet apart for us to canter over. The turn was tight to them across the ring, so we didn’t always stay in canter, but he did a good job meeting the poles at the right spot.

She set up the cross rail to finish with and we worked on keeping him straight to it, cantering away and then coming back to trot. I had to remind myself to keep my leg on and press him off the ground/think of asking him to canter on take-off so he would actually jump. It was pretty black and white. If my leg was on, he jumped. If it was off, he trotted or stumbled over the jump.

It’s definitely a different feel for me coming from a trained horse like Oh So. My lower leg is never as good as I want it with him, but now I have something I can work on perfecting once he’s back to jumping. He doesn’t need me to tell him to jump like Bear does, but pressing him off the ground might help get a better jump.

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Last Saturday, I took Bear on his first trail ride with my mom and Lad, and he was great! He wanted to lead and he even stood when I undid the gate. I’m hoping I can take him out a couple of times this weekend and maybe start working on some hills.

I had the vet out to do his teeth on Wednesday because I noticed one of his baby teeth fell out, and she was able to remove another loose one and a cap on one of his molars.

In my flat lesson today, we put him in a rope for lunging, which helps him come over his back a bit more than side reins. We worked a little on bending and yielding to the bit and he picked up canter very promptly.

I’m hoping I can get some more photos and maybe a video to show everyone what we’re up to!

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