Shew, I’ve left you guys hanging again, my bad. The biggest news to report currently is that I rode my baby horse, not once, but twice!
I’ve learned that the fun thing about working with new horse professionals is that they have no scope of your abilities or knowledge of whether or not you can ride worth a darn. I’d been a little backwards about asking to ride Joey because I wanted to make sure he was good and ready and that I wouldn’t be messing up or slowing down his progress by spending time in the saddle myself. I’ve gone a year without riding (minus the trail ride in Maui), so a little longer won’t kill me…or that’s what I told myself. Then one evening I casually asked Trainer about how much lessons on Joey would be (spoiler, lessons on a horse in training are included) once he’s ready for me to start riding and he said I could start riding him whenever I wanted, but it would be best for his progress if we kept it to a weekly basis for now, then bump it to twice a week later. So I didn’t ride that evening since I didn’t have my helmet or spurs with me, but I came prepared the next week.
I watched Trainer school him some before it was my turn. I put my helmet on and asked Trainer, spurs or no spurs, because I’ve heard him say numerous times that without spurs you aren’t gonna go any faster than a walk on Joey. Remember how I called Paige a potato and Joey was dubbed tater tot when he was in utero? Whoops…it stuck. So Trainer said, “no spurs, let’s just walk and get to know him tonight.” Sure thing. I will take the advice of the man who I write the big checks to. That is his role in my life. So I mounted and walked, turned, side passed, backed, etc. for 15 minutes or so and got the feel for him. Then I dismounted my very short horse (who feels that much shorter on the dismount honestly) and gave him all the big scratches for toting his mother as quiet as a mouse. Meanwhile Joey is just like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The weird part is that I was definitely more nervous about riding in front of Trainer than I was about riding Joey. Though I’ll admit a good percentage of the nerves melted away when Trainer offered to lead me when I first got on. The bar was set low you guys. 😂 I told him I’d probably be fine without being led and managed well enough. He told me at the end that I could have my spurs and trot when I came down next time, so apparently I wasn’t too horrible.
It’ll be interesting to see if my nerves continue to stay at this very low level with Joey as the intensity increases. Copper and Lil Man definitely contributed majorly to my nervous rider mentality, so the concept of having a gelding that takes care of me that I can trust is a little mind boggling. My confidence with Paige has (so far) transferred over to riding Joey, which is all well and good until I forget he’s a two year old and get myself in trouble. I’m under a lot of adult supervision while he’s at Trainer’s though, so I doubt he’ll let me get in trouble. 😉
The second ride also went well. I got to use my spurs and we did a lot of trotting. My initial reaction was that Joey’s jog felt bouncy and Trainer said that’s because he has impulsion, something I’m not used to with Copper’s more flat western pleasure type jog. After watching the video Trainer took, I realized that he really isn’t as bouncy as I felt like he was.
My other main take away from this ride was that my horse has SO MANY BUTTONS and Trainer is talking about adding more. Like there will be different cues for a downward transition from a jog or walk than the downward transition from a long trot or a lope. Add that to the fact that none of his cues are the same as my other horses and my brain is gonna be a little fried before I get all of this down. Luckily Joey is the most chill baby horse ever, so he doesn’t get too frustrated with me. I see lots of lessons for us before we go out in public anywhere.
I will admit that the entire time I’m riding my horse I’m just a little bit smitten. Trainer probably thinks I’m nutty when I randomly go “doesn’t he have the cutest little ears?” Then I watch the video 97 times the night after the ride and at least wander back to wherever I’ve posted it 4 times during the day just to marvel at Joey. I’m still in awe of the fact that I made this horse. Every time I go down to Trainer’s I’m validated in that I made the right choice by putting him in training there. Even if I decided I don’t want to show one day I’m going to have one fancy broke pony to play with. Also, I totally get to say pony genuinely now since he isn’t above 14.2 yet…and he might not even mature over 14.2. I’m okay with it. Not nearly as far to fall. 😉
That 🍑 on Joey. 😍
I also can’t say enough about how well cared for Joey has been while at Trainer’s. We’re asking a lot of him, but he doesn’t seem the least bit stressed or over worked. I haven’t seen a single poop stain on the cream puff since May and he is in great shape. Trainer is also a farrier, so Joey’s feet always look great as well. It’s been the easiest adjustment having him there, minus the fact that his goobery face isn’t greeting me at home every evening.
One day he’ll be back at the farm, but let’s win some stuff first, okay Joe? 😘