Lessons from Lesson Horses & Rio Update

For the most part, Rio is doing really well. The gouges he took out of his stifle have filled in and look much much better. The abrasions on his legs all look better to some degree, and some areas are greatly improved.




His left elbow sutures looked REALLY good on Tuesday, with the plan to remove them today (Friday). Well, when I was out there last night, they didn’t look quite as good unfortunately. There is definitely some separation of the tissue that wasn’t there on Tuesday when I last saw him, so that’s kind of a bummer. I highly doubt the vet will be able to put more stitches in since the wound is no longer fresh, which means it will just have to heal naturally now. The elbow is such a mobile joint, I’m hoping it doesn’t take too long to close up. Keep sending those good vibes!


In other news, I rode a different lesson horse then Cash in my jump lesson Tuesday. His name is Spidey, and he’s also AWESOME. I’ve hacked Spidey once before, but never jumped him. He’s a bit more quirky IMO then Cash, but still super fun. Spidey used to be an event horse, and he has a bit more engine. He really doesn’t like if you hang on his face or pull in the last 2-3 strides before a fence. You can rate him, but you need to do it early and then get out of his way.

He can get super soft and through in the bridle, but only if you support him with your outside rein and legs, and then soften a touch. The moment of softness seems to be key for him. Like, you have to soften and give a little before he will give, which is the reverse of what I would normally do. Typically, I would have a feel on the outside rein, make sure the inside is soft with a slight bend, have my legs on, and wait for the horse to give first, then I soften. With Spidey, he won’t truly give until YOU soften and give. But, he does give when he feels you soften, and it’s actually really nice. 100% correct? Probably not, but lessons horses don’t have to be.

Liana on Cash and Me on Spidey

Now, I can persuade him to give first by being more aggressive with my leg and stronger with my outside rein, but it’s really not necessary, and it just seems to get him wound up. He did much better when I asked nicely and softened first and allowed him to then give. He has a lovely jump, and is game for a longer spot if you are confident. I actually got to practice doing a bit of a gallop to a jump, which I NEVER do with Rio (since he is already much to long strided), and it was really fun, and a refreshing change.

I really think that jumping these other horses will help my ride when Rio is back in commission. I am getting a chance to practice other skills, and see how other horses react to my aids, which has been enlightening.

Cash and I

Cash’s ride is where I want Rio to get. You re-balance him in the corners, make sure you have a quality canter with impulsion, and then leave him alone. If you realize you are a bit close or a bit far a few strides out, a gentle leg or slight change in body position is all it takes to make any spot work.

Spidey, being a bit quirkier, reminds me to ride the horse you have to each jump, and not rely on how the jump rode previously. He is also a bit more spirited, but does come back nicely when you ask him. I want Rio to settle as quickly as Spidey does, and I need to remember to do it BEFORE the turns, and use the turns to re-balance and soften again. Spidey also has a slight hesitation sometimes, and I’ve seen him stop before. You need to commit to a spot on him, and follow through. I could use with a bit more of that on Rio as well (remember how I fell off him when I didn’t commit to the short spot and leaned with my body?)

I am hoping Rio heals fast, and I am excited to get back to work with him!!


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  1. It stinks that Rio’s elbow isn’t healing as well as his other injuries! But I really think that riding other horses makes us all better riders. Plus you are getting great instruction (instead of riding like a feral human like I do with my horses at home. LOL!) so you’ll be back at it with Rio in no time!

  2. The lower leg abrasions definitely look better, I hope the elbow heals quickly too.
    Though it’s unfortunate Rio is out of commission, it really is quite helpful to ride and learn from other horses! I wish I had more opportunity to do that.

  3. Glad to hear Rio is moving in the right direction!
    Spidey would be a really hard ride for me. I get so controlling in front of the jumps! Probably he’s exactly what I SHOULD ride though!
    I’m glad you’re still getting to lesson, and riding different horses is so great!

  4. Hope the elbow gets figured out and the rest of his abrasions look like they are healing well! It’s always good to get a different ride and keep the tool box sharpened up!

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