Diego- a great start!

J.Ems

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Jul 9, 2016
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Hi there

I just wanted to start a little thread which essentially may end up a blog about my new horse Diego! I'm new to this board and just introduced myself on the other board and its called 'A shy hello' but I'll give a little intro.

I'm 26 and have owned and ridden all my life... apart from the past 2 years. I lost my horse of 11 years, and couldn't bear to look at another horse let alone ride I was so upset. Its taken me 2 years to get over him. But, I finally have and I've just bought a new horse... he is called Diego and he is a 14.3hh piebald cob, he's 5 years old. I picked him up on Friday 08.07.16. My plans with him are to eventually be confident enough for us to hack alone 2-3 times a week, and have 2 schooling sessions a week. One of them being a lesson, and one of them being a solo session. Mixed dressage and jumping, as he can do either. His schooling is kind of as you'd expect for his age. He's still young so needs bringing on... but I've had a 2 year break... so, I need bringing back to it to!

I should mention I am on my private yard (well... 4 acre field split into two with one small stable! Nothing posh!! But I used to ride up to a local dressage yard and have a lesson once a week there, we do cover pole work and jumping too...although of course this was 2 years ago!) so I don't get to hack out with anyone etc.

I brought him home on Friday morning, and turned him out for a few hours before bringing him back to the stable... as he's a cob, and my field is basically lush pasture land... I am really keen for him to not get fat and go mental on sweet grass! So he's on the grass from 6am-3pm daily. Stabled overnight with a small feed of non-heating feed and a couple of haynets.

Anyhew I digress. So basically I didn't ride him Fri, Sat or Sun as I just wanted him to settle in. But I took him for a walk on Sunday afternoon because I had my first lesson booked in on Monday (today) and was nervous of taking him across the motorway bridge which I have to pass in order to get to where I go for lessons. It didn't go so great! He was (naturally) terrified on the bridge... I just led him. And it put the fear of god into me about my lesson and first time riding him on Monday. I was clinging on to him freaking out in the middle of the motorway bridge on Sunday thinking what the HELL have I done, buying a 5 year old strong lad.. I'm only little... and I have a son... my husband won't feed him right if I die lol. I was terrified.

Luckily though the boy came good today. I got up and let him out at 6am, brought him in again at 9am and tacked him up and I just felt instantly at ease once he had his bridle on. He came round and soft even just leading him. I was so relieved. So off we set, and crossed the motorway bridge with minimal fuss (carrots in hand for bribery!!) and continued on our 10 minute walk up the school. Eventually I will hack him up but for my first time on his back since he moved house.. I wasn't about to start that way.

My aim was to walk him relatively stress free to the school, sit on him, and if I could get a nice walk and trot transition out of it, finish on a good note and walk home.. I'd have been overjoyed. But in fact, I got on him, and had a BRILLIANT first ride!! He was absolutely wonderful. Of course he was a bit jittery but... I think he probably got 80% of that from me. After I'd calmed down a bit... we ended up having a fab half hour. We did walk, trot and canter transitions, circles, down centre line, using the outside of the school.. bit of everything but he was on a really nice contact and I was just absolutely overjoyed with him.

I can't believe how lucky I am!

I asked my instructor for advice of what to do next and so we have decided I'm going to leave him tomorrow, have another lesson (basically carbon copy of today) on Wednesday, and then I'm going to bring him up to the school myself and do a bit of a solo session in the school on Saturday or Sunday morning... and see how that goes!

Things are going really well on the ground too. He's such a cheeky personality so he is a joy to spend time with. I've made sure I'm spending hours and hours with him a day, so we can get to know each other and gain trust.

Sorry if this was all very boring!

xxx
 

J.Ems

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Jul 9, 2016
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Also....

Im KNACKERED from riding. Was it always this hard work?! Haha. My position and seat must have been awful. Can't wait to get back in relatively good form! Hopefully I'll try and get some photos taken over the weekend to show you guys. xx
 

Gimp

Gimpy Gimp Gimp
Jan 19, 2005
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brilliant start! I remember taking a new horse across a motorway bridge of the M6, The horse had come down from the depths of the peak district, was was a big chap and I just remember looking down over the bridge feeling very very shit scared !!!!!!

What a lovely first ride it sounded for you, sounds like you are really getting a bond :)
 

Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
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You have been so sensible about inducting him, no wonder he went well for you. A trustworthy person who leads him around first so he can see her and who has a pocketful of carrots - what cob could want for more? ;)
 

Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
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Oh and just to say, being on your own in a field doesn't mean you can't meet up with people to hack. There's probably a local Facebook community so you can get to know some local riders. I know we've got one. People post in the morning saying "Anyone fancy a hack today?"
 

KP nut

I'd rather be riding.
Dec 22, 2008
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He sounds lovely! So glad you have found another horse to bond with and love.
 

J.Ems

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Jul 9, 2016
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Thanks guys.. I didn't manage to spend as much time with him today due to keeping my mum company (my nana is dying and she's utterly devastated. Obvs I am too.. but I'm so glad for my horse shaped distraction!!).. about an hour first thing this morning and then only about another hour and a bit this afternoon/evening. He trots over to me now when he sees me coming, and whickers when he hears me too. (/is ready for food!!!)

So the plan for tomorrow is: To the field for 6am with the dog, get him groomed and rugged up so that he doesn't get muddy! Turn him out for a couple of hours. Muck out, poo pick the field around him etc. Then back for when my little boy wakes up and get him ready for school. Drop him off and head straight to Diego to have ride and lesson number 2! Again I will lead him up to the school and get on him when I'm there. I'm really hoping for a repeat of Monday! That would be awesome. My instructor has a big long drive so she suggested that if he's as good as gold again, I could hack him out of the school and to the end of her drive and then lead him home. But I'm not setting that as a challenge. I'll just see how I go. I don't want to push my luck!! Will report back!

I'm really suprised how little I am aching after yesterday.. I fully expected to wake up unable to walk haha!!

Great idea about the facebook groups... I'll have a hunt xx
 

Lilroz31

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Jul 6, 2016
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Hi J.Ems, I'm so glad your first ride went well, it is such a confidence giver! I'm Roz by the way and my new horse is called Lily (I'm the owner of the stressed out new horse thread). I have got my second lesson on Lily tomorrow to so we will have to compare notes. My Lily has totally settled since her flip out last week, she even stood still for a good groom yesterday. Here is a pic of her enjoying a bit of grazing.......
Ps I know she is a bit skinny and I plan on putting a bit of meat on her.
 
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mu0ljk

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It sounds like you two are getting on really well! Good luck for your lesson today! I'm another who has a new horse, she arrived on Saturday and I'm just in the process of sorting saddles out for her - I will do a thread when I have a few pictures!

Look forward to hearing how lesson number two goes! :)
 

J.Ems

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Jul 9, 2016
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Hey guys..

OH MY DAYS I LOVE HIM SO MUCH!! I have had horses and ponies all my life and I have never had one like him before... he is so affectionate, cheeky, loving, funny... aahhhhhh! We've been grooming each other, spending hours and hours together (obvs he hasn't had much choice!) and our lesson yesterday went so well!

I led him up to the school again and got on in an empty school before RI came out. And we got straight into getting him round, and tons of transitions, circles etc. He was much more forward as well, and worked so hard for me! My aim was to hack to the end of the drive as I said... I ended up hacking all the way home!! xxxxx
 
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J.Ems

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Jul 9, 2016
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I really do. I'm waiting for the poop to hit the fan with something but so far seems so good!!

Plan for this weekend is, I'm working today so he's out all rugged up in the rain to graze!

Then tomorrow he'll get his early turnout for a couple of hours, and I'm getting him freezemarked tomorrow at 9am.. I hope he is ok having it done! I've cancelled my kettlebell class that I teach in the morning due to low numbers, which is good, because I can have a bit more time with him before I go to work. My old horse was turned out 24/7 with access to the field shelter. So now with Diego being stabled, I'm trying to work out how I can keep him in a routine whilst my shifts are all over the place. I only do 1-2 later shifts a week. But for example, tomorrow, I'm working until 9pm so he will have either extra on the grass, or have to be stabled from 12.45 noon which seems very mean! And he'd probably trash his stable. So looks like a gluttonous weekend for him! On the plus side I'm off all Sunday, so the plan is to have my first solo ride in the school with him. I'm also pushing a little, I'm hacking him up to the school, whereas I've lead him up until now and only ridden him after I've got that confidence and tired him out in the school! So we shall see how that goes. So I'll be hacking the 15-20 minute hack up to the school, and then a shorter amount of time in the school alone, probably 10 minutes or so. My hubby is going to come up with my son and watch this to watch me ride him for the first time! (He probably wont care haha) And then I'll hack back. I'm really hoping this goes as well as the other rides this weeks have gone.

Next week will cost again... another 2 lessons and another solo schooling session and hacking there and back every time. And from the week after that, I'm going to try out a hack or ride another time in the school. If I can manage riding him just 3 times a week during the summer holidays until September that'd be quite good whilst my son is off...but I'll see how his energy levels are. He might need an extra ride which I would obviously love to as well, but we will see how we go.

How often do you guys ride and doing what? My aim now is 2 schooling sessions (one of them being a lesson) and 2 hacks a week. And any extra riding I do will be an extra hack I think.

xxx
 
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J.Ems

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Argh I love this boy!

Saturday: I didn't ride on Saturday. In fact I actually got him freezemarked in the morning...so thats one worry off my mind now he is both freezemarked and microchipped.

On Sunday we ended up going for our first hack. We turned out of the field, and went for a half hour hack around my village. It was the dead quiet of Sunday morning and there wasn't much for him to freak out about so I'm glad I got to show him the village we will so often be hacking through throughout the years. I could have carried on all day but didn't want to push my luck!

Onto today!

Turned him out at 6am, came back for him at 9.45 and I rode him up to the school. This includes a motorway bridge straight away!! We hadn't ridden over it yet. He was nervous but kept going and I was very proud of him!

Once at the school we started our lesson. Today my RI got out a pole to trot over, to focus us, and we ended up jumping over cross pole jumps, focusing on balancing his cantering and keeping him forward on the corners and on the lead to the jump. I was really pleased with him... he worked so hard and was a sweaty mess afterwards! We hacked back home, and I rewarded him with a lovely cool bath!

Can't believe how much cleaning a piebald takes! Can anyone recommend any good shampoo to keep his white bits white?

Tomorrow we are going to try a hack in the morning :) I am slightly worried though... the weather has been so good tonight the tractors have been out in full force plus combine harvesters, double trailers etc... I expect more of the same tomorrow which worries me something rotten!!! I know he is good with them...but it would be nice if they weren't around lol. They make me more nervous than him I think!!

xx
 
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J.Ems

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Another entry to the blog... an achievement this morning:

We hacked out early, as we did yesterday morning ie setting off at 6am (I have far too much energy first thing in the morning!!) and we went through a small tunnel and across a very noisy bridge this morning on our river hack.

I am very impressed!

Love this boy although his previous owner has obviously let him get away with murder and he's getting to be a bit of a bugger at the frisking as his confidence in me grows!

Another lesson tomorrow... so fingers crossed it will be a good end to our riding week!

xxx
 
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