At the beginning of October, I was very excited to welcome my own lease horse to the farm, Irish Elegance aka “Ella.” She is a 17yo TB/Connemara cross who is an experienced foxhunter, eventer, and all round Pony Club horse. I have her on care lease for the rest of my gap year from her generous owners. She was their daughter’s horse when she was younger, and I am very lucky to get to be the next in a long line of young riders to get the chance to learn from her.
Before coming to me, she had not been in work for a while, so she was pretty out of shape. I spent the fall doing a lot of walking and trotting with her to put a good base of long, slow fitness on her to get her really strong. Since she is older, I wanted to get her in really good shape to reduce the chances of any soft tissue injuries from more intense work. I was very lucky that the farm we were at in New York had a conditioning track with great footing so that I could do all this conditioning work without any worries about injuries from too hard or soft ground.
Once she was in better shape, I was able to start doing more with her including flat and jumping lessons with my boss/trainer. She is such a wonderful experienced horse, so I have been learning a lot from her. Since she knows her job so well, I have been able to work a lot on myself, which has been a great educational opportunity. I can’t wait for the start of show season and to get out to some events with my amazing pony.