If we’re FB/IG friends, you’ve already seen these, but I’ve been on Leo twice now and am still here to talk about it!
Wednesday was my first time getting on- we arrived home late Saturday evening and my plan had been to give him a couple days to chill, since he’d undergone a lot of travelling and a lot of changes since racing just a few weeks ago. Not to mention P decided he needed an emergency vet visit on Memorial Day and that he required surgery on Tuesday. More on that in the next post. So I spent a bit of time each day with Leo on the ground and have found him to be slightly nervous, but altogether a really good guy.
The ride was completely uneventful. BO held him for me at the mounting block, but didn’t even need to, as he stood totally still while I got on and found my stirrups. We just walked for the most part. While a bit wiggly and braced on the bit, he was surprisingly easy to maneuver with just my seat/leg, and quickly learned how to halt from just my seat. I wish there was some video, but BO was riding S at the time, so boo.
Jessica from Benchmark had told me that for their first ride (his only ride since coming off the track), they had used a loose ring KK on him, but that her rider had said if she’d gotten the chance to ride him again, she’d put him in a rubber bit, like a nathe. I have both of those, as I used to use the KK with P before Trainer B switched him to a nathe, but the nathe is a BIT chewed up thanks to P’s chompers, so I opted to stick Leo in the KK until I could get another nathe on the way.
And after riding him, I can totally see why the rider had made that suggestion. He’s incredibly sensitive and light in the mouth (except when, HORRORS, being asked to bend right) and spent the whole ride just gnawing the bit.
Thursday after tending to P, I pulled Leo out but it was getting late and tacking up seemed like a lot of work. Since he didn’t really know how to steer with reins anyway and I didn’t want him to get the impression that me=arena work, I decided to experiment.
I did get on him first in the arena since he’d already been in there, but he was so chill walking around, I hopped off and led him up to the tall mounting block next to the dressage arena on the other side of the barn. He caught sight of the cows across the street so stood completely motionless while I got on (thanks cows!), then I turned him and we wandered around those fields and into the dressage arena.
Today we’ll put our groundwork to the test and work on self-loading into the trailer because tomorrow we head to Trainer B’s!