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New Kid on the Block

New Kid on the Block

Postby Late Starter » Sat Jun 21, 2014 4:03 pm

I can't resist nicking an old Eagles song title :-D . We have a new arrival at the Ambitions yard. He is a 16.3 Irish Sports called Travis. I am not sure if this was intended as a reference to Blake's 7 or to Taxi Driver (it probably just sounded nice).
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He is 13 and has had an active life before becoming a riding school horse, eventing and hunting. He arrived on Wednesday and by the time I turned up for my lesson this morning he had already destroyed one fence at the bottom yard. He is a strong lad if a touch porky. I saw that I had been listed to ride him :thumbup: . I was right chuffed to have an early go with him. It was the first time he had been put in a group lesson but he had done a couple of private sessions with a couple of the Ambitions team.
As soon as we started the warm up I knew he would be forward from the way he walked on so positively from a slight squeeze. While we were working on balance (standing up in the stirrups and holding a jumping position at the trot, I discovered that inadvertently letting my outside foot slip back would send him into a canter. Because I was at the back of the ride, it was a very restrained and collected canter. The same thing happened when we were trotting without stirrups. This was the first time I have cantered without stirrups (so far as I can recall) and it was a very smooth and pleasant experience (why I have not done so before is the probably the basis of a whole new thread about modern riding school practices in the UK). Then we got on to the meat of the lesson, cantering 20m circles in two groups of two.
It is a funny thing how habit can trump observation. For the last few weeks I had been riding the kind of riding school horses that need very clear and assertive aids (apart from our hack yesterday - thanks Helly :wave: ). So when I was asked to canter, habit kicked in and so did I! Outside leg went back, seat pushed and inside leg squeezed hard. Travis went off like a rocket. No polite collected canter this time, but a full blooded extended boomer. As I tried to collect the canter back it all went a bit pear-shaped and I lost a stirrup :random: . As we came onto the long side of the school, I saw that it was clear so I went large (without permission from the boss, but she could see that I was having a spot of bother). I used the long side to get my balance back, relax and lengthen my legs. Having got myself back together, I went round the C end and, apologising to Katherine as I flew past on her left, started to work at collecting the canter back. Having had some success, I decided to keep Travis aimed straight at the FA corner to bring him to a halt. It worked and he pulled up sharpish. I pulled off the track to sort my ironmongery out. It was then time to try on the opposite rein. This time I just let my outside leg drift back and gave a little push with my seat. After 5 or 6 strides of canter I asked for the trot and got it back. We repeated this 4 or 5 times and then it was time for the warm down.
The interesting thing is why on earth did I not pay attention to Travis's responses before I asked for the canter and fell back on habit instead :hmmm: .
One way or another I am looking forward to another session of Travis, but one of these days, I'm going to get myself organisised! :-D
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Re: New Kid on the Block

Postby Late Starter » Sat Jun 21, 2014 10:20 pm

That should of course have been New Kid in Town :doh:
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Re: New Kid on the Block

Postby Chevalblanc » Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:18 am

Like I said the other day, less is more! :lol: He sounds like an interesting new ride :thumbup:
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Re: New Kid on the Block

Postby spottygiraffe » Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:19 am

He looks like a really kind lad and I'm sure he can shift if he puts his mind to it!

It's lovely when you ride a horse who hasn't shut down, like so many riding school horses. It's fun experimenting with just how light you can go with the aids.

New Kids on the Block = a band that I used to rather like!
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Re: New Kid on the Block

Postby littlewhitehorse » Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:50 am

:lol: Love the write up! Looks and sounds like a nice horse and one you can learn a lot from; so nice he's sensitive and keen and not bored and dull; have fun :thumbup:
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Re: New Kid on the Block

Postby Trudi » Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:52 pm

Great write up, love the sound ofTravis!
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Re: New Kid on the Block

Postby Late Starter » Sat Jun 28, 2014 12:40 pm

At my request I was back on Travis again today. The bosses nerves could stand it! We did more canter work. The first time I asked for canter I turned the volume right down (or so I thought). Still too much and we went round the school a couple of times before I got it back again. Next time I just took the brakes off and away he went, but this time fully under control. By the end of the lesson we were getting a nice collected canter on a 20m circle. Can't wait for another session :-D .
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Re: New Kid on the Block

Postby Trudi » Sat Jun 28, 2014 1:41 pm

:thumbup: :goodjob:
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Re: New Kid on the Block

Postby Chevalblanc » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:45 am

:thumbup:
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Re: New Kid on the Block

Postby spottygiraffe » Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:00 am

:hurray:
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