Stevie has started jumping and is taking to it like he was bred and born to JUMP! I am always impressed with his ability to adapt, learn and store what goes on. 

On his first day he figured out what was being asked and started to take me to the fences, to the point I had to "whoa" to the poles before the fence. I decided to start him with trot poles to a cross rail to enforce the rhythm and not allow for any mis steps (to help build his confidence UP and UP!). He was highly unimpressed with the small cross rail that was presented to him, so it quickly built to a decent size.   This all went on last weekend, then after a short breather we started work up again this week and today moved onto some grid work. 

Today we started with the normal trot poles to an x, then trot poles to an x with a pole one stride away on landing and then another pole one stride after that. As per usual he quickly grew bored and got relaxed and we introduced more to the equation. I like to start my OTTBs with the three elements, but build up the last element before the middle. I like to give them a breather and time to look at what is coming up, before adding more footwork. Stevie comfortably did this without hesitation and after a go in each direction we built up the middle as well. 

This horse is a jumping machine. He not once so far has stopped or put a foot wrong, jumping well every time. When we ended today, he was doing a fairly decent sized cross rail to a cross rail of equal height to a 2'6" vertical at the end, jumping the CRAP out of the end jump every time. He easily could have handled more, but to keep his jumping style fresh, and keep his mind in the game we decided to end before taxing him any more. I am excited to keep building the gymnastic up and see what he is really made of (I think it will be quite a lot!).  Today I was more impressed with his willingness and ability to keep his canter around the short turn, whereas last week he was getting a little lost (I set the gymnastics down the center so I can easily come off of both reins). He really allowed for his pace to carry the balance and the turn to come easy, a large improvement over letting the rail suck us in (As what happened last week). 

To end today, we hacked out on our wonderful trails. I took this opportunity of having a friend ride my older horse along with us in case Stevie got tense at all, he could find comfort in a pal. To my surprise, he hacked the entire time on a loose rein, led and followed and even crossed a big scary bridge!!!! 

Hopefully will get some videos of his grid work next week so I can show off to you what a superstar Mr. Stevie is becoming!


 
 
Stevie is settling in well to his new home, he has made a new friend and is enjoying his new daily routine. The bugs have been terrible, but I think that would be his only complaint. 

Our first ride in the new arena, was great. I love his ability to take in new situations and just deal. He looked around, took it all in and proceeded on as usual. We have been working a bit on body placement as it is always his inclination to throw his shoulders in around the turns. Straight and forward are getting there, the trot being much more wiggly than the canter, but there are still really great moments in every ride. 

My favorite part is that his topline is getting quicker and quicker to relax so he stretches more and more each ride. He on occasion, will soften into a frame which he carries nicely until he tires or gets bored. 

Next on the agenda is to finally try out some jumping and then hit the trails (one day when the bugs aren't bad of course!) and progressively start some hill work