Today’s update comes from Sara Hall who has been riding Dexter on a fairly regular basis:

I took Dexter for a spin today. Although quiet green and very quiet- he’s not lazy. He did give me quite the workout though. Dex is a super sweet, easy to handle (in my experience) guy. He has really filled out these days. He let me catch him, lead quietly, tied quietly, tacked up quietly, stood nicely for mounting (but walked off when I got on him). He even was a good boy when baby sampson was being nosy and disruptive in the paddock next to the arena, when dusty was screaming his head off, when Tara got loose and went tearing back to the pasture at a gallop, with other riders entering and exiting the ring…and so on. There is lots to like about this boy!

He is a “work out” to ride just because he’s pretty green. My sense is that he has had some training, probably more along the lines of riding trails and things like that- and I bet he’s pretty solid in that situation (this is just a GUESS on my part). I would guess that he’s done next to *no* arena work so he just doesn’t know much about the kind of work you do in an arena: ie steady gaits, turning, etc. He did pick up all 3 gaits with out much fuss- including the canter (except his right lead — more on that later).

He can have cute, forward, gaits but you have to encourage him to keep going. He’s not balky, or lazy, he just needs support from his rider still. I was riding him in a lesson so we were doing lots of circles and beginning leg yields and things of that nature- all of which are a whole body work out on him, for now. Although, I will say, that in a trail situation one would probalby not see the same kind of greenness you see in the arena with him.

But the real workout came in in trying to get him to take his correct lead left at the canter. He is very “right sided”, even at the trot, and had a really, really, really hard time picking up that left canter. We did eventually get it but I don’t think I’ll personally try until I can work through it with Andrea (the trainer).

Here is a picture of us working on that tough left side:

Sara and Dexter July 2010

Sara and Dexter July 2010