I’ve just finished up one of the most exciting weeks I’ve had in a long time! My new horse arrived last Thursday and I got to spend the weekend getting to know him. It felt so surreal to see him step off the trailer.
He is a 16 h chestnut gelding with a white face and socks – I’ve never had a chestnut before! In fact, my last three horses have all been bay Thoroughbreds, so having a bright chestnut Warmblood gelding is quite the culture shock for me!
He was a little woozy after his long travel time, and a touch nervous in his new surroundings – it was already dark out and he had to walk down the long driveway to the barn, but he took it in stride with just a bit of bug-eyed disbelief. In the morning he got to go out in the pasture and was pretty infatuated with it right from the get-go.
I have to admit, I feel a touch nervous about the whole affair! Because I’ve been lucky enough to grow up in a horsey family, all of my previous horses have been Thoroughbreds off the track who, for whatever reason, flunked out of polo school. I really enjoyed riding and working with all of them, and I never felt a lick of pressure to “produce” anything from them. However, now that I have this horse that I have seen perform wonderfully under other riders – I do feel pressure! I don’t want to let down my amazingly supportive family or my instructors by not doing him justice. However, I have some time before I need to start trotting out the results, and these first few days have been more of an acclimatization period for both of us.
He was a star for a light lunge on Saturday and great again for my first ride on Sunday. On the next two days I experimented with pushing the envelope a bit more, asking him for some more complicated figures and a few flying lead changes, and he cheerfully rose to the occasion. I can’t wait until I get to jump him for the first time — but first, I’d like to take him out on his first jaunt around the property.
I know he wasn’t trail ridden much as a youngster (although he was hacked out on the roads), so I figure that a few outings with a more experienced and world-wise trail mate could do him wonders. And I have to say, the workday never stretches on so long than when you are impatiently waiting to be released and allowed to hit the barn! I’ll keep you all updated on how things progress with Justinian – and wish you all the best with your equestrian pursuits this summer.
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