Neuf has had a full schedule this summer. Not of shows, but of training.
After getting bucked off in April, my confidence was shaken, and it is like all the prior year’s good stuff vanished in my head. I have had a couple of trainers helping me work with him over the summer. I have been riding him 3 or 4x a week and the trainer comes 2x a week.
What he needed was to be ridden forward when he got nappy about cantering, and I wasn’t able to do that. That forward is now what he is getting. There was one very impressive session where he displayed his athleticism and scope by bucking, but by the end of that ride, he was moving forward, and he’s been much better since. I’m still having the trainer ride him twice a week, we are starting to go other places to meet him, and we’ve been hacking out and riding out in the fields, and he is starting to jump! And since I am usually riding Bali, I have been jumping a little bit as well, with positive encouragement from the trainer. I am trying to start working in a jumping saddle at least once a week to start getting my jumping legs back.
I’m starting to enjoy riding Neuf again, I was pretty hesitant after watching him buck so well with the trainer, because as I told my colleagues, “NASA would have needed to retrieve me from where Neuf would have launched me!”.
In my lesson on Friday, we just worked on the basics. Forward, asking him for a bit more connection, all forward rides have been establishing forward, not worrying about anything else. So now in my lesson, it was time to go back to asking for some consistency. Inga thinks he actually going to be easier for me than Bali. I just have to get through the terrible 4s and 5s.
I finally found a neck strap that is thin enough for my hands. I had that on him today and it allows me to not pull on his mouth if I feel like I need to pull because I’ve got the strap there and it provides a nice anchor point. Today was a nice ride and I am starting to relax and trust that he is going to go forward, not be naughty.
I realized that poor Neuf is getting left out of the pictures. January is the mot recent set of pictures with Neuf.
But, here is one of my favorite pictures of Neuf and Romeo, from the day I brought Neuf home.