I had started to do a write up of our first rides but then it kind of got too far away so I’m going with less detailed. The saddest part of finally getting the new horse (besides emptying my savings account) is that he had his front shoes pulled for x-rays on Thursday and I couldn’t get them back on until Monday! So we spent some quality time on the ground for a few days. Thankfully a good barn friend got married that weekend so I could focus on the party, lol.
So right now I’m focusing on maneuverability on the flat – all that young horse stuff about straightness and bending and hey lets not bulge towards the gate mixed with a bit of my leg can mean other things than forward. Also working on lifting his back and coming from behind. Lastly trying to find a canter that’s less hoppy and more big relaxed strides. I would include not rushing towards the gate and going slow away from it but P never stopped that so you know…
Maestro has really impressed me. Once he knows what I’m looking for he happily maintains it. His trot work in particular saw a quick improvement in form. One of our first lessons when jumping a line coming home he wanted to get quick so I brought him back to the trot and trotted out of the line as well the first time through. I came back planning to repeat it only to find that as I started to make my request he rated himself and we cantered out nicely instead! Hopefully this quick learning will be a trend for us.
Maestro does gawk around for a bit at the beginning of work, particularly if there is a lot going on. Last night there was a lesson in the other ring, someone lunging in a schooling ring/pasture, and kids running around screaming and he spent the first few minutes of our trot work distracted before getting down to business. I love that he isn’t spooky though, just curious.
My trainer has now jumped Maestro twice since his purchase (she jumped him once on trial over fences in the schooling ring during a show too) and I went out to watch the first time. He clearly loves to jump and thus far appears to be very brave. His pace is inconsistent since he wants to rush coming home and he is a bit paranoid about lead changes at times but he is overall a good egg. My plan is to keep him on training rides once a week for at least a little while. I love to do things myself but I think he will be a better horse for getting the training from someone else who is more skilled than me over fences. I have no doubt I can do great things to his flat work but I haven’t jumped consistently in a while and there’s no doubt I will make mistakes and he will need to help me out.
I had a lesson on him this past Saturday and had so much fun. He was a bit lazy on the flat but when it came time to jump he perked up without being too forward. We started trotting a crossrail and he really is not educated about trot jumps so it takes a lot of slow posting and reminders to wait to the base but by the third try he had it correct. Next we trotted into the line and cantered out, adding a stride the first time so he could really rock back to the out. Second time through I let him move up for the strides. After that we trotted into a combination of crossrails that increased in height as you went that were a one stride to a two stride. This is the third time Maestro has done a similar exercise (once with me and once with trainer) and he nailed it right away. Lastly, we started with the trot in combination, around to a single vertical coming home, then up the outside line we had done for warm up. The smarty pants landed his leads and stayed smooth throughout and I was thrilled.