Friday, September 26, 2014

Newest Member of the Family

Introducing Nitrox, the newest member of our merry band of misfits.
He has such a cute face
Originally Nitrox came to me from my trainer. She breeds American Sport Ponies and had several youngsters that needed to be started. Nitrox was one of them, the only difference was he ended up being 16.2 hands. She felt he needed to keep growing and fill out before being started and kind of put him on a back burner. Pretty soon he was sitting as a 6 year old, unstarted, gorgeous boy...who had no idea how to canter. She didn't feel like with all the others she had the time to put into him and offered a trade of services.

I was to get Nitrox started under saddle and get him going at our place in exchange for Pilgrim staying free and training at her place. It was a huge financial break for us and gave me a fun project to work on last fall.
First ride out of the arena and in the fields

He was literally one of the easiest horses I have ever started. I was backing him in a round pen after only a handful of days of ground work. After a few weeks we were walking and trotting around a full size arena with no problems.

We ended up having a pretty yucky winter, so I spent the majority of it going back to ground work since I couldn't guarantee that I could consistently ride him. We focused on improving his canter on the lunge and introducing lateral aides. By spring we were ready to get back to work and I knew there was no way I could let him go. I was in love with him. He's big, fancy, and sweet as sugar...although sometimes can be a bit spoiled and lazy. My wonderful hubby bought him for me this spring so now he is officially mine! YAY!!!
Nitrox loves to take selfies and photobomb
nana nana nana nana nana nana......BATMAN!
I took him to a small schooling show this spring just to get him out and let him see the world. He did very well in a new environment and brought home some ribbons. He looked at a few things here and there, but never really spooked. He wanted to call and talk to everyone while lunging and tacking, but once in the arena he was all business.

Summer we spent working on getting him a little straighter, starting to get him to be a little more accepting of contact. He tends to really fight being bent correctly and then starts playing with the bit with his tongue and gets his tongue over the bit. We have tightened up the cheek pieces, tightened his noseband and his flash and the little bugger still does it. I asked my trainer to come out and ride him for me and get her opinion. I was so tickled when she said I had done a wonderful job with him and she loved him. She suggested lunging in side reins for awhile with the inside one shorter to push him out to the outside rein...where he is avoiding going.

So, that's basically where we are right now. I had hopes of showing him this fall, but he goofed around in his pasture when it was slick and injured himself and what we thought would take a week or two to heal has taken close to 6 weeks. He was finally sound this week, and I've put him back in light lunging and will begin light riding next week. Once I'm comfortable he is staying sound we will go back to full work and concentrate on next year's show season.
Nitrox is big on safety...#mindyourmelon

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