About a month ago, I ended my lease with the OTTB I had been leasing for a year, Beretta. It was a hard decision, but it was one that I needed to make if I wanted to advance my riding. Beretta's 17 hand OTTB that has decent training and a huge heart. I loved every minute I spent with him. The only downside, was that he was slightly insane.
Because the place I leased him had no turnout, and he was already a rambunctious Off Track Thoroughbred, his excess energy made him a wild, and slightly dangerous, ride. I didn't mind the challenge, I learned a lot from riding a very large and powerful horse. I learned how to transfer his energy into moving correctly, instead of just keeping his head as high as he could and not using his back end. I wanted to show, though, and he's an extremely unpredictable horse at shows. My mom already felt anxious when I hacked him and was not eager to let me start taking him to shows. So after a very fun year of leasing Beretta, I looked on dreamhorse.com, and a few other horse sale/lease websites to try to find a new, close-by, on-site lease.
I came across Registered Trademark, a.k.a, Reggie, or Special Ed. Reggie's about a 16 hand, 9 year old, OTTB. He's on the cover photo of this clip that I'm writing! Reggie has had fairly thorough training, he has super super super athletic ability and is a challenging ride but also can take me to the next level in showing (which, for me, is the 3 foot-3'6 hunters). Reggie is a very willing, but very strong and excited horse. He has more show experience than Beretta and is overall less hot-headed, so my parents kindly agreed to let me lease him as long as I kept my grades up.
Reggie's such a cutie. He's a dark bay with four front and back black stockings, and a PERFECT white star on his face. He also has incredible knees over fences. One of his "quirks," though, is that he likes to seriously over jump a jump the first time he goes over it. I have a photo of us jumping a tiny 18'' roll-top for the first time and he jumped it like it was a 3'6 jump (no kidding!) He also anticipates his flying changes and likes to rush to fences. We're still getting acquainted with each other, but he's a very willing and sweet horse and I'm so excited to work more with him!
I've had some past great leases (2, not including Reggie). Little Hershey Kiss, a 14hand Rocky Mountain Pony was my first lease. Hershey was honestly a one-in-a-million pony. He was downright perfect. He was a super adorable little pony that could jump up to 3ft and would let you ride bareback, backward, on him and braid his mane, anything you please. He was a great first lease for me. Back when I was leasing him, I wasn't very serious about showing, so it was an ideal first lease. I learned about really taking care of your horse and establishing a true connection with your horse that you work with for a while while having fun!
Leaving horses and taking on new ones can be difficult. But like the song goes, "make new friends and keep the old, one is silver and the other's gold!" I still visit Hershey and I ride Beretta from time to time, but to advance my riding I made a new friend, Reggie! I learned to not regret a choice that would help me move toward my riding goals, and to make the most out of them.