I’ve taken several lessons with Neuf. I even was lunged, albeit nervously, a few times on him. Then I found Lauren, who rode him 10 times for me!
Aaah…that was a huge relief, because I’m way too anxious on the unknown baby horse.
Now, I ride him, and while we are taking things slow because he is three, I feel comfortable that he does not have a mean bone in his body and he has no desire to be rid of his rider. This does not mean he won’t buck, it just means he doesn’t mean any harm by his bucking. And he doesn’t actually buck much, which is a bonus!
The pictures are not from my lesson, but from last Saturday.
James was pleased at how nicely forward Neuf is, and then had me increase the amount of forward. A month ago this would have inspired panicked clutching at the grab strap, cessation of breathing and a mental screaming of “NOOOOOOO”. Now, after 6 weeks of riding, where I have walk, trot, canter, whoa, and rack and pinion steering, it was ok, so I asked for more and Neuf gave it to me!
Not only am I now not full of angst on Neuf, I am comfortable riding him in a field, which he needs. My ring is just a touch small for him at the moment. He needs a a larger space to balance at the canter comfortably. As he gains strength and balance the ring will be fine, but it is dusty at the moment anyway! Since we were in the jump field, James asked about trot poles. I mentioned we’d done a single pole. Neuf has now done two, with out pause. Then James decided to make a cross rail, and we saw how he’d do. The first one was ok, but I usually slip the reins on young horses when we jump, and I was in dressage mode and had my outside rein fixed and I think it was too restrictive, so after 4 times around, Neuf was losing impulsion, but still being obedient, so we stopped that.
Then, I wanted to work on my TOF a bit. Everyone who hangs out with me at all realizes that I am pretty useless when it comes to right/left type things. Well, forehand/haunches is the same sort of binary thing that I reverse in my brain. While I’d been thinking TOF, I was actually MOVING his forehand, not his haunches and therefore was asking him for more of a turn on the haunches. At least my mistake was very slow paced, and asking him to move his shoulders, which isn’t a bad thing, but I played with actual TOF a bit.
The ring was a bit wet last Saturday, and here is Neuf cantering through the water!
He has a very pleasant canter
I am a tiny bit concerned about sitting the trot though. It is HUGE!