Settling In

It’s been a big week for Niko, full of big life changes, but he’s handled it all really well so far! As a four year old, there’s a lot of the world Niko hasn’t seen yet and so many things he just hasn’t experienced… it’s a little overwhelming to realize all the first impressions I’m now responsible for. We’re taking things pretty slowly — I want to preserve Niko’s wonderful temperament and set him up for success every single day.

Niko Conformation December 2017

Our attempt at a quick conformation photo… I obviously need to work on my photography skills

Living Arrangements

Niko came from all-day turnout with free choice hay in a small barn and program. Now, he gets morning turnout for about 4 hours with three feedings of hay per day AND lives at a huge boarding barn. At first, you could almost hear Niko saying “Ma, we’re not in Kansas anymore!” And while we haven’t done a ton of walkabouts around the property yet (thanks winter), he’s much more comfortable in his immediate surroundings.

He’s also adjusting really well to less turnout and has new BFFs to play with in turnout. His new favorite is a bay Thoroughbred eventer named Tiger. The staff at the barn reports that he’s a perfect gentlemen for turnout, which is great.

Niko Kisses

Clothing and Attire

Another item we checked off the list was figuring out what the heck this poor horse was going to wear! His owner/trainer generously sent him with a nice Baker stable sheet and a heavyweight turnout, but of course none of my other blankets fit. A quick emergency trip to Equus Now! had us sorted out with proper blankets, thank goodness. I was able to punch holes in my Lund Saddlery bridle and an older martingale, but I needed a new girth and his favorite bit: a Herm Sprenger Duo.

I’m still working on a saddle solution… unfortunately my lovely Prestige Meredith just doesn’t seem to be fitting well, so I’m having a saddle fitter out soon to address what we can do to make this saddle work the best we can while we hunt for a new one.

Riding and Arenas

As I mentioned, Niko came from a wonderful small program with great facilities… just no indoor arena. With it being winter, I’m almost exclusively riding inside these days, so the first order of business was getting used to our two indoor arenas. Two rides in each, and Niko has settled in really well! The wall of mirrors is NBD, and while we’re still a little bit unsure about wide open doors, he’s getting more confident each ride. I’m not making a big deal about it — we just make wide berth around the doors, cut the arena smaller, etc.

We’re currently just focusing on flatwork — Niko is a different ride than what I’m used to, so I’m taking my time getting to know him. We had our first lesson last week before Christmas and it went super well!

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17 Comments
  • Erika
    Posted at 15:47h, 26 December Reply

    He is such a cutie! πŸ™‚

  • Genny
    Posted at 16:49h, 26 December Reply

    Ahh just love him! Glad he’s settling in well.

  • Emma
    Posted at 17:34h, 26 December Reply

    He’s super cute!! Glad he’s settling in well!!! πŸ˜€

  • Terri long
    Posted at 17:56h, 26 December Reply

    Lucky horse to have such a great mommy

  • Kat`
    Posted at 18:03h, 26 December Reply

    Oh my he looks so comfy. And after 3+ years, Holly never liked the open end of the arena, I just learned how to giver her confidence to deal with it. So he has time. πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to hear more adventures with Niko, very happy for you,

  • Alanna
    Posted at 18:19h, 26 December Reply

    He’s darling! What a great find.

  • L. Williams
    Posted at 18:27h, 26 December Reply

    You guys are going to have a wonderful time together <3

  • Emma
    Posted at 21:19h, 26 December Reply

    He’s so adorable, Tracy! Seems like you found a good one!

  • Carly
    Posted at 21:33h, 26 December Reply

    I can see why you bought him–he just looks soooo lovely all around, and clearly a great brain to boot!

  • Liz
    Posted at 21:46h, 26 December Reply

    Ohhh goodness, he is so lovely. I’m more excited for you with every post about him.

  • Stacie Seidman
    Posted at 05:10h, 27 December Reply

    Handsome guy! It sounds like he has a great brain to match his pretty outsides too. I’m also jealous that you have TWO indoors!

  • Courtney
    Posted at 00:09h, 28 December Reply

    He is so handsome! I’m so excited to hear more about him!

  • KateRose
    Posted at 22:46h, 28 December Reply

    He’s so handsome (and sounds like such a gentleman!) You two look great together πŸ™‚

  • Sarah (Threechestnuts)
    Posted at 01:38h, 30 December Reply

    He’s adorable! Have fun with him!

  • Michele Jester
    Posted at 13:49h, 31 December Reply

    I love his face and his expresssions. Lovely horse and what a good brain for a baby! Enjoy!!

  • Cathryn Kozak
    Posted at 03:38h, 01 January Reply

    Glad you are enjoying him!

  • cruiseninstilettos
    Posted at 19:46h, 01 January Reply

    What a cutie!! Glad to hear he’s settling in nicely πŸ˜€ Looking forward to hearing how your partnership grows!

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