Now I’ve had Remy almost a month and a half, and in that short time he’s made lots of progress! He learned barn basics, like standing in the cross ties, moving over to let other horses walk by, standing in the wash racks, and lunging. He’s settled into his turnout group (2 other ottb’s and a 3 year old unraced tb). He’s had his feet trimmed twice, and they are looking really good… and he’s staying sound without shoes on, which is great! Every night he slurps up a big bucket of soaked beet pulp and alfalfa cubes, with a cup of fat supplement hidden in the yummy mash, and he’s gaining weight very nicely. Today he got his teeth done by an equine dentist, who said his teeth were in pretty good shape but did find a minor imbalance in his front teeth and let me know that his back molars had not come in all the way yet (which is normal at his age) and commented that this would affect his stability on the bit, which I thought was interesting.
We didn’t do any real work the first two weeks I had him, and since then he’s been working lightly about 3 days a week, so I’ve got around a dozen rides on him now. He’s been doing really well and has put on weight nicely, so I think he’s ready to move up to 4-5 days of work each week.
Under saddle, he’s got his walk, trot, and whoa transitions down pretty well. The steering continues to improve each ride, and he’s learned to soften into the bit. He’s giving me some really nice reaching into the bit work, and a few times in the trot I’ve felt his back come up and it feels incredible when he starts to carry me and really use himself! He’s understanding the idea of moving off my leg, and I’ve gotten some nice leg yield steps in both the walk and the trot, and he’s done them off the quarter line and on circles. Right now, everything works better going to the right than it does to the left… bending, turning, leg yielding, etc. It is harder for him to soften on the left rein and bend into the right rein, but that is slowly getting better as well. His downward transitions from my seat are excellent, which he seemed to do well from the start, and he is getting better about moving off from my leg, which he seemed clueless about at first.
In the barn, he’s just a love bug. He will stand patiently for as long as I want to brush him, and he just soaks up the attention. He likes to snuggle and have his ears scratched and his face rubbed. He’s very curious about everything, and has gotten pretty wise about treats, now happily accepting anything anyone offers him, although he does still sometimes try to bite off small pieces or chew with his front teeth if he’s unsure, which leaves a real mess in my hands.
Over all, it may not sound like much, but it has been a very fun 6 weeks so far, and I am excited to see what Remy and I can do together. He seems like the kind of horse that will be not just a great athlete, but also a great partner and friend.