Another month, another Arabian comes to my barn for training! (Click here to check out my blog about another cool Arabian I have been working with.)
While this one is an actual pony (coming back to work after half a year off—I again need to attach roller-skates to my feet!) the approach remains the same as if he were 16.2 hands.
I’ll be doing my best to ride him as straight as possible so that both hind legs are obliged to load evenly, and incorporate frequent changes of rein so that neither hind leg, especially his weaker left one, is overused.
Seger is coming 6 years old, and comes with some of the hallmarks of his breed. He has a long back and is croup high. Here he is during his first week at the farm. Reminds me of my own figure at age 16—pretty underdeveloped.
His owner, Stefanie, is a vet and I embraced her idea for his schedule to be two days of work followed by a day off. His days ‘on' would consist of timed sets of a 20-minute walk, followed by two 7-minute sets of trot and then we would carefully reintroduce canter.
As he began to strengthen, he was cleared for an introduction to easy lateral work and an increase in transitions.
And since he’s never done shoulder-in during his short life, I was pretty chuffed at his willingness and ease of moving laterally, bless his pony bones! But not all was sunshine and roses with these first few rides. Like any youngster after a period of time off, combined with winter winds, there were moments of “Is that a shadow or a tiger?!!”
Luckily, we were so low to the ground I really could’ve used either leg as a kickstand. Despite these heart-stopping moments, he’s continued from strength to strength, improving steadily. Just compare this conformation shot taken two weeks after the first one. Who knew there’d be an actual physical difference to be seen in such a short period of time? Cray-cray!
Yes, I am huge on Seger. Huuuuuge. But as we move into our second month of training together, ain’t it funny how a 14.1-hand pony, beginning to use himself behind, can carry his 6’1 rider and actually look a couple of hands taller?