Meet Derby

Our second ride, first time outside, cantering to the right

Big news, folks – there’s a wonderful new horse in my life! Meet Derby, an 11 year old OTTB that moved in this week.  I’m doing a lease-to-buy on this nice boy, and I have to tell you, I’ve fallen hard for this one.  I knew after one ride that he was the horse for me –  I felt happy and confident when I went for the test ride.    He arrived on Tuesday, and we had our first ride last night – which was totally uneventful.   The strange indoor arena didn’t phase him in the least.  Tonight we rode outside, and once again, Derby was a total star.

Working a stretch

Christy took some video of the ride, which, frankly, I’m embarrased to share with you.  I’ve been riding so inconsistently lately that my strength and balance are pretty much shot.  I feel like a flopping fish and don’t look much better!

Some nice bend

Derby also needs to get in shape.  He was on vacation over the winter, and while he’s in good condition and weight, he needs muscle.  So, we’ll spend the next few weeks doing a lot of conditioning work.  I also need to regain my independent seat and steady my leg.  Happily, this is a horse I can see myself doing a lot of no-stirrup work.  However, before we go there, I want to get Derby’s top line built, and find a saddle that I’m sure fits him well.

I’m still feeling very out of synch and discombobulated with Derby, but we have had some nice moments that leave me eager and impatient to get over this conditioning hump and get my riding legs back.

I also need to figure Derby out.  He has a lot of training but is very resistant to contact.  You can’t just push him into the outside rein and get to work.  He needs to warm up on a loopy rein.  Actually, given the current state of my riding, this isn’t a bad thing.  Riding with pronounced loop in the reins forces me to use my legs and seat to influence the horse. And once I put him to work, Derby is much better about accepting contact.  I’m pretty sure that once I get my strength and balance back, my hands will be steadier and more independent, which will help Derby too.   For now, I love the fact that this is the sort of horse that can go around on the buckle in a new environment.  He is the very soul of a good boy, and I’m crazy about him.

Cantering to the left.

Before my energy totally waned, we got some nice canter both directions, but not before I had to send Christy back to the barn for a whip.  Derby is very responsive to voice aids – a chirp will send him forward, but I’d like him to be lighter and more responsive to my legs and seat, and I’ll be making that a priority over the next few weeks.

We finished up the evening with another grooming session, hand grazing and cookies.   I’m beyond thrilled with this sweet, fancy horse.  Next ride should be on Saturday.  Stay tuned!

 

 

About Sarah Skerik
Sarah Skerik is an experienced digital marketing executive and strategist with a long track record of success in content marketing, social media, demand generation, event marketing, sales enablement, product management and business development.

10 Responses to Meet Derby

  1. Steph says:

    I really hope he works out! I’m not huge into bays, but I really like his coloring too.

    • So you don’t like bays, you don’t like grays, you told me you didn’t want a chestnut before you got Oliver….I’m guessing you like black tbs??

      • Sarah Skerik says:

        Beauty is in the eye of the beholder! No good horse is ever a bad color. I was breed and color agnostic in my search – I really wanted a gelding, around 16 H that could take up my leg, had three good gaits and, most importantly, a good mind. Derby gets an A+ on all counts. The fact that he happens to be a bay TB is icing on the cake!

      • Steph says:

        You guessed it! True black has always been my favorite color, regardless of breed. The first horse I ever really rode was a black TWH with a white star, so I think I fell in love at an early age. The right horse is never the right color though, so that’s why I have my chestnut boy(and I must say I am loving the copper coloring he has!).

        I DO like bays though, especially the bright bays, they’re just not my favorite.

      • I agree Sarah – no good horse is ever a bad color.

  2. Derby is so pretty and such a nice sweet personality! I’ve only hung out with him a couple of days and I love him too! I’m sorry I missed your ride last night, you two look great together!

    • Sarah Skerik says:

      Thank you, Liz! He’s really proving to be a delight. Our first two rides were totally non-events – he didn’t look at a thing. He’s a very laid back guy, and seems pretty sweet to work around too. Looking forward to riding with you soon! In the meantime, I slipped Cloud some cookies last night, and a handful of grass. Didn’t want him to feel left out!

  3. WhooHoo!!! He is just beautiful and you look great together! CONGRATULATIONS!!! Miles is the same way with the warm up, by the way…needs at least 10 minutes to put his head and neck where HE wants and then can get to work 🙂

    • Sarah Skerik says:

      Sarah, that’s what I’m doing with him, and what his old owner did – he needs a few laps “his way” before getting to work. Thanks for the kind words! Yes, I’m in love. 🙂

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