Getting Back on Olly for the First Time This Year.

Following a slightly wetter Spring than anticipated I finally started to do something with Olly, as getting back on this year was really important to me.

Unfortunately, I haven’t kept any of his original tack so I had to look at what bridles I made on my training courses.

I also purchased a French link loose ring snaffle to try as I don’t like the eggbutt snaffles and how they crank together. Plus I vaguely remember he used to be ridden in one during his racing years, so I thought it would be kinder to his mouth.

Thankfully I managed to cobble a bridle together with various pieces of those I had previously made, but I will have to make him his own.

Once his tack was sorted I took him for a walk in the private woodland that surrounds the stables.

I know Olly has been schooled to some degree and I know he’ll be fine long reined, so we just got on with it.

Apart from the odd wild deer or a squirrel our woodland walk was quiet. The only thing Olly did snort at was the man-made pond and a pile of logs at the side of the track.

Why Long Lining?

Long lining is great for:

  • Introducing a young horse to new aids such as learning to go forward, stop, turn left and turn right to voice commands;
  • Helps to build confidence and trust in both horse and rider;
  • Improves acceptance and submission (feel of the bit);
  • Ideal for introducing lateral work; and
  • A perfect exercise for re-schooling horses or working horses that cannot be ridden for one reason or another.

Last week I started to lunge Olly to prepare him for me getting back on. We worked up and down the walk and trot transitions to voice command and even did a ‘stand and walk on’ exercise too.

Why lunging?

Lunging Olly helps me to work on the ground with him. Working through his transitions to voice command.

Olly is known to be quite fresh before a ride so an active lunge on both reins is perfect for us to get rid of any pent up energy he may have.

Other great reasons to lunge are:

  • It helps a horse to balance himself;
  • Improve on trot and canter transitions;
  • Ideal exercise to do before riding a fresh horse; and
  • If you are short on time and not able to ride then a few minutes lunge on both reins is physically demanding enough on a horse to act as a good work out session.

After lunging Olly, with the help of hubby, I leant over his saddle and then got on him properly.

Once on board we did a few turns of the paddock just in walk.

Olly seemed happy. His ears were forward all the time and he walked like an angel. If anyone was nervous it was me lol.

My nerves are something I will have to work on because now that I’m a mother and self employed I do really worry about anything bad happening to me whilst riding.

If I was unable to drive or work due to a fall then our lifestyle would be dramatically affected. So I can’t risk him throwing me off.

Any advise on how to improve on this fear would be gratefully accepted.

Until next time, take care. Clair x

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