Early Days

Phase 1 of Retraining

It’s time to come out and say it…
I. Am. Happy.
Bohemian is a sweet, willing, and oh-so-handsome horse. I smile just thinking of him. To be honest, I’ve had a silly grin on my face all week. I’m absolutely smitten.
Before I took the plunge I was worried about “starting all over again” in terms of not having a horse that knows how to jump, how to do some basic dressage, what cross country even is. 
Boy was that wasted worry! First of all, racehorses are very well trained. It’s not like starting from scratch. We rode him on the first day. Secondly, as my friend Jess recently reminded me, when the horse is yours, every step of the journey is fun.
And she was right.  I’m enjoying every moment with Hemie. 
I’ve never said it on my blog before, but I’ve known for years that owning your horse is simply different than not owning your horse. Something magical happens when you sign your name on the dotted line. A deeper level of responsibility and connection. Anyone who has both owned and leased horses knows what I’m talking about.  It doesn’t make a ton of logical sense (especially to our non-horsey husbands and friends), but it’s true. I was ready to own a horse again. And now that I do, all of my reservations and hesitations have fled. It’s pure enjoyment.
On to our retraining:
Bohemian is on day 5 of Phase 1, which lasts about 10 days. Phase 1 involves:
  • Longe for about 15 minutes, focusing on calmness and relaxation. 
  • Ride for about 15 minutes, focusing on calmness and relaxation, and:
    • Having some contact with the reins. Not trying to position his head, but just get him used to the rider taking a feel.
    • Keeping a steady rhythm.
    • Fairly minimal level of leg contact and pressure.
    • Get used to exercising up close to jumps, cones, sprinklers, dogs, and other obstructions.
    • Introduction of ground poles.
  • Overflowing bucket of feed. He needs about 100 lbs of weight.
He looks good in blue, no?

So far, my trainer has babysat me for each of these sessions. Tonight is my first time doing it solo. I’m not too worried.

So, what is Phase 2, you ask? I have no idea. I’m sure Laurie will tell me when we get there. =)

As to Bohemian’s social life, unfortunately the arranged friendship with Storm is not working out so well. Apparently there have been some tizzies, and Bohemian has been losing. Each day I see him the Corona ointment comes out. I hope they can figure it out soon so we don’t have to be bothered with stall swapping.

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