Friday, March 30, 2012

First ride

On Tuesday I rode Mad for Smarty for the first time! He was pretty awesome. All we did was a bit of walking under saddle in the round pen. Smarty stood at the mounting block nicely and didn't try to wall off the instant I sat down. My instructor had Smarty on a lead rope to walk off with him once I mounted and walked with us for a few minutes before unhooking me. My mom and grandmother were there to watch our first ride together (and take photos). He was completely calm and chill throughout the ride with no problems at all. Smarty was walking forward nicely, bending around the circle and responding to my aids.

I rode with a very loose and didn't use much contact at any point in the ride. As he progresses I'll use my reins more actively and plan to work him in side reins down the line. I didn't put much leg pressure on his sides either for the first ride, and will slowly ease him into understanding more traditional leg and rein commands.

Smarty has a pretty good headset all things considered. Right now it is a bit too low, whereas most ex-racehorses have their heads too high. Of course I've just walked him, we'll see if his headset stays nice and low once I ask for faster gates.

Time to develop a top line!


  1. Good for you!!! I also own an OTTB, Dino, and these early days set up the future successes. Keep going and keep sharing!

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  2. Congrats on the awesome ride! Hopefully man more of those to come!!! Yeah for another OTTB owner :)

  3. Wow! You're doing a wonderful job with him! I'm so glad you two have one another, and I'm sure he appreciates all of the love you give him.

  4. Great job! I'm eager to read more! I also have an OTTB.