This has been such an inspiring story for me to share.
l took on an OTTB (off the track thoroughbred with no schooling) and threw my husband into the saddle and told him to ride! 🙂 Well the man did say he rode as a teenager for a while. And, l did have a lovely natured, rather sleepy chestnut gelding who had been standing in the yard for a few months doing nothing but needing a new owner. So, l bought him, lunged him for a few days and then tested his reliability by giving my groom, Overton 2 lessons on him. In the meantime, l gave Kevin 3 lessons on the lunge on Super Red who is steady enough and mature.
Week 1. Kevin working on his posture and leg position while struggling to keep MP walking in straight lines and not leaving the arena after each corner.
Week 2. Direction and posture being maintained while going into trot and back to walk, and gradually making trot periods longer.
Both Kevin and MP have found balance and posture, making direction on straight lines, circles and corners easy. Both are classically correct and a pleasure to watch. And, both are loving the ride!
What an amazing journey this has been. Kevin has a calm, quiet way with the horses and in only 2 months was riding MP (My Path) into a very reliable contact in the bridle. Within 4 months, he has managed to develop this contact into a very impressive stretch, with MP reaching well over his back with an open topline.
MP was very mouthy at first and would tilt his head and pull excessively. He is as supple as a wet spaghetti and drifts calmly out of the arena very easily, so stabilising his head and keeping straight lines is not a simple matter.
Here Kevin is starting to show good posture as well as being able to progress the training, keeping MP forward to the bridle in the warm up...
...as the ride progresses Kevin manages to engage MP's quarters enough that he can stay in perfect balance and reach over his back, telescoping his neck into a beautiful long and low position. Here his topline is open and strengthening, and his paces will begin to flow and develop.
The progression in both horse and rider was, for me such a joy to watch. Having my husband share my arena is just so good. l love seeing his pleasure in his riding and always leave a few extra carrots for him to take for his horse.
Thank you Caitlin for letting me buy My Path. He has made our path happier.