It's been four years since my last regular gig as a pick up rider. Four years since I regularly rode a different horse than Rose. It had also been one month since I last rode Rose. One LONG month of "jogging". Something needed to change, and something did.
A while back I mentioned that EB who used to hack Rose for me a couple days a week bought a rescue horse, and sadly I lost my spare help. However, EB needs a hand with her boy, so I will be riding him once a week for her. I wish I could ride more, but really that is all I have time for right now.
So, this past Wednesday I hurried to EB's barn in a race to beat the fall thunderheads that were threatening to open up and pour down a deluge of rain. I found a rather chill Hugo in his pen, having just finished dinner. Hugo is a 16.2h five year old bay OTTB. His body condition was really poor when she first got him, but he's put on a good 100lbs, and has probably another 100lbs to go and definitely needs muscle and a top-line. However he is a very chill OTTB and five year old in general. He happily and quietly stands tied for long periods of time, and most days does not need a longe before being ridden. Really, all he needs are riding miles and a formal non-track education.
That means back to green baby 101. After getting a feel for him we worked on leg yielding, lots of circles/serpentines/change of directions and walk-trot transitions. He is super willing after he's tested you out and realizes that yes, the monkey on his back means business. He's also smart and figures out what is being asked of him quickly and tries really hard to do the right thing.
We had a great ride and finished up right before the downpour started. I have a feeling that I'm going to have a fun time hacking Hugo and seeing him develop. I'm so happy for EB as I think she's found a really sweet boy with a lot of potential. As for me, I came home with a huge smile on my face and a total post horse fix high. Just what the doctor ordered.
Happy trails and swooshing tails!