No self-respecting horse girl can not talk about her horse, so here’s my beautiful girl Addy.
While I wish I owned this magnificent creature, I’m half-leasing her from a totally awesome woman at my barn, and together we keep her working hard and full of carrots. The stars definitely aligned on this one: I rode Addy in a lesson, jokingly asked if she was up for lease, and my trainer talked to her owner and made it happen. Owner was looking for someone to spend time with Addy when she couldn’t get to the barn, and I was looking for a mount to learn on. Such a win-win situation.
The specs: she is a 10 year old, 16.2 Thoroughbred-Percheron cross who definitely leans more towards the Percheron side. I’ve always been a warmblood gal, and I like to say she’s an “original” warmblood.
While she may be massive, she’ll jump anything at any height with the cutest tucked knees, and she absolutely loves her job. For someone just getting back into the swing of things she’s the perfect teacher and confidence boost!
Some things we’re working on:
- Not turning into a snowplow. Addy’s draft horse heritage means she has practically no neck, so she really tends to get super heavy on the forehand and plow around. We’re working on maintaining impulsion and getting more uphill, and she’s getting better every day.
- Fitting the extra stride in. Addy will go for the long spot. Every. Single. Time. I’ll be casually sitting there 2 strides out, and she’ll decide that’s a good place to take off. With practice, she’s trusting me to get her to the base before launch. This means her already tucked knees are getting even more and more square and tucked. Adorbs.
- Balance. Every horse has their sticky side, and Addy is no different. She will turn on a dime and leg yield for days, but doing circles to the right sometimes feels like tilt-a-whirl. Lots and lots of flatwork, bending exercises, and lateral work have made this a thousand times better, but there’s still a ways to go.
Some things that we’re fantastic at (thanks to her!):
- Pace. Granted it’s a fast pace, but I never worry about her being sluggish and behind my leg, and she always sits back and woahs when I ask her to. I’ll never get stronger legs with her, since she requires such light aids. I’ve never even carried a crop!
- Working on the bit. Once I had ridden her a few times I decided to ask her to drop into a frame, and it was like she was waiting for me to ask. That big beautiful Percheron neck looks awful purty all arched up like that. She’ll collect and balance with the best of them when she’s working like this.
- Having the best time of anyone in the ring. Every single time I’ve ridden this horse I’ve had the biggest smile on my face. We “woohoo!” over every course, and snort through every hack. She loves her job and it makes riding her so much fun every single time.
So, now you know a little bit about my girl and what we’re up to currently! Together we’re learning and getting in shape and having a blast doing it. I could talk about her for ages, but I’ll have to save the rest for future posts 😉