First Hunter Pace

On September 16th, Ozymandias went on his first hunter pace and he behaved like a true champion. My four year old walked by the trailers unloading horses and by tents blowing in the breeze filled with people drinking sherry without causing a fuss. He merely perked his ears up and looking around curious and interested.

We rode through the course beautifully. Ozzie was on top of his game, responsive and eager to be outside. Only one small issue came up. We entered a field and the right side contained 50+ cattle fenced off by a simple one rope fence. Never having seen a cow before, Ozzie had no idea what to do. Then they began to moo and follow us as we walked across the field. Most horses would bolt. Ozzie merely tried to trot away. He was excellent!

 

Learning to Jump

I have officially decided on a name for my horse. Actually I decided about three weeks ago, but I’ve been a bit behind on the blog.

Ozymandias.

His nickname will be Ozzy. I’ll go into detail about my inspiration for this name in another post. Right now I want to give you guys a quick update on my baby’s progress.

He is doing phenomenal! I’ve attached a video of him learning how to jump. He is getting the hang of it and now consistently jumping small cross rails. I do not plan on jumping him often or increasing the height any time soon as he is still young. You may notice the first time over the cross rail in the video he merely canters over it, but the second time around he really jumps. I apologize as the video is a bit small. I recommend making it full screen.

Bedford Trail Riding Adventure

On July 6th my trainer, Vanessa, and some other riders from the Stables at MiraBella and I took the horses, including my little four year old, for an adventure in upstate New York at Bedford Riding Lanes Association.

Having very little trailering experience and only one prior trail ride, Ozymandias handled himself quite well. He loaded in and out of the trailer like a pro and behaved like an angel throughout the trail ride up until we encountered a creek about an inch deep. At this point, he simply refused to move. No amount of encouragement would budge him. Ultimately, a friend riding with us hopped off her steed and lead him through a section of mainly rock.

At the second river crossing, this time a bit wider and deeper, after a few minutes of poking and prodding ending in zero results I hop off and try and drag my hesitant horse across only to have him leap out as I pulled. It all happened quite fast, but I ended up falling in the river and he stepped on my calf. Nothing broken but there is a nice nasty bruise to show for it.

At this point I scare the entire group by having my vasovagal syncope kick in leaving me deaf and blind and I fight to stay conscious. Luckily my quick thinking trainer jumped off her mount and helped hold me up while the dizziness passed.

At the third river crossing my horse continued to put up a fight despite how much effort I put into moving him forward. He reared, kicked out, danced and tried to circle, but ultimately with the help of the group he jumped into the water. Not two seconds went by before he realized it was not a pit of death and despair but a refreshing cooling experience for his hooves. He drank, pawed and played with his buddies totally calm and content. The next two water crossings went beautifully. He catches on fast.

This set of trails in Bedford was perfect for a hot sunny day. The extensive wooded trails kept out sun and heat allowing the us and the horses to cool off and relax. The woods were broken up by many beautiful fields with cross country jumps and trimmed grass for smooth cantering.

The day ended with a picnic on grounds before driving home.

All images in this post are courtesy of my trainer, Vanessa Karlewicz.

Progress and Naming Conundrum

After a full two months of professional training at Mirabella under head trainer Vanessa Karlewicz, my horse is doing fantastic!

During the first few weeks of riding, our initial concerns were teaching him how to properly move out off the leg. He developed a liking for poking along and breaking to a walk whenever possible. Now that he is past that, the current strategy is to pursue more supple gaits and teach him to understand softening and trotting and cantering at various speeds and levels of collection.

As the title of this post notes, I am having some difficulties in the naming department. I purchased my gorgeous 4 year old Friesian Holsteiner Cross with the name Cornelius, barn name Junior. I am not a fan of either. I did not pursue changing it right away as I was waiting for his papers and the bill of sale from the owner. Now that I have all the paperwork required for a formal name change, I am lost as to the name.

Initially I was leaning towards Ozymandias, after Ramses the Great and the poem by Percy Shelley. I would call him Ozzy. As there is already an Oz at my barn, that presents a small problem. Other names that I have been considering are Movado, Leonidas and Oberon.

Please let me know what you think. I’ve a few friends leaning towards Leonidas with the nickname Leo. It seems to suit him well.