Tuesday evening diary: a new horse and new arena footing!!

So, I’m fairly new to indoor arenas. Prior to boarding at a barn that has an indoor arena, I rode exclusively at a facility that only had an outdoor arena where the footing was sand and rocks. If the rocks could’ve been removed it would’ve been pretty close to perfect.

The footing in our indoor arena needed some more material in order for it to be good and safe for the horses. 3 dump trucks came yesterday and deposited enough beautiful beach sand to mix with the original footing giving us an additional inch of footing. An inch might not seem like much, but spread out over the entire area – it’s perfect.

New footing!

For my lesson tonight, it wasn’t on Alfie or Martini – it was on Maestro AKA Black Thunder.


Maestro is about 15 hands, a smidge smaller than Alfie but he’s incredibly strong. Maestro spent the majority of his life jumping. His owner, a lovely woman also named Judy, is allowing him to be used in our lesson program. She gave me her blessings so I had my first lesson with him tonight.

Being that he’s new, I’m still a beginner rider in spots, I was nervous. My trainer Kari, she knows me so well, she stayed by my side for most of the lesson. By the time the lesson was over, both myself and Maestro were much more relaxed.

Riding a new horse can be stressful. Having to put your trust in an animal you’ve only gotten to know on the ground is really hard. But I did it. I quickly found out, for a jumping horse, he knows some dressage moves – the shoulder exercises I do with Alfie and struggle with, Maestro did with total ease. During the lesson my trainer asked if I wanted to trot and I said nah, let’s just keep doing stuff at a walk. After all, I want Maestro to feel comfortable with me, and get to know me before we take it up a notch.

What I found out about myself – it’s ok to be nervous, but I didn’t let my nerves get the best of me. I did it. And sure, I may have needed a little extra comfort from my trainer with having her stay close to us, but that’s ok too. It made me relax which helped get my confidence and skills right where they needed to be to reassure Maestro that this would be the easiest lesson he ever did…since all I was asking him to do was walk. It’s so much easier if you allow yourself to be nervous, try not to fight it, just accept that nervousness is ok. Because of that mindset, I didn’t get down on myself, I was able to push it to the side, and show off the skills I’ve acquired the last year and a half.

Me and Maestro

As I was un-tacking Maestro, I felt the eyes of Martini boring a hole through my back. When I turned to look at him I gave him a wink. I told him it’s ok my friend, I will always love you, and we will have many more rides together, I just wanted to give Maestro a chance. I know, Martini had no idea what I was saying, but he understood my loving tone. I know I say it all the time, but it bears repeating. I am so blessed to not only have Alfie, but I’ve got Martini and now Maestro to learn from. They are going to continue to make me into a fantastic dressage rider.❤️🐴

Published by Judy Bennett

I am a middle aged married woman who finally was able to make her childhood dream come true. In 2016 I purchased my first horse - a beautiful older gent that I named Alfie. This blog is dedicated to everyone who loves horses and wants to see the good, the bad and the ugly of learning how to ride.

2 thoughts on “Tuesday evening diary: a new horse and new arena footing!!

  1. Love it! That footing looks amazing!
    Riding different horses has improved my equitation so much faster than riding one horse could ever have. I find that each horse has something to teach you and tells you more about yourself.
    One of the hardest things for me to learn was to release rein and add leg to help slow a horse down. We have several horses at our farm that can be very speedy but if I just relax and give they immediately come back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have gotten very brave in my older years when it comes to riding other horses. For years it was only Alfie. Then I got brave and rode Martini and now Maestro. There is another school horse coming at the end of this month and I plan to ride her as well.

      When I learned to ride I basically was taught to ride with no contact – and that was what my biggest issue has been, learning to ride with contact. So I’m retraining Alfie to understand that contact is good. It’s working because when I break the contact he stops his trot. What I found so interesting was being able to test my small dressage experience with Maestro to see what he knew. I was impressed with myself for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: