Trotting yesterday for mother.
Mum took over and let him roll after his workout, which he attacked with great gusto.
Mmmm. Back to his original and most favoured state: exceptionally filthy.
He's such a smar,t sweet guy. Some of accomplishments thus far, which were either nonexistant or needed work a few months ago:
- Stands to be fly sprayed.
- Can be wormed.
- Stands for farrier and any other hoof stuff.
- Stands to be rinsed with hose or sponged.
- Does not need to be tied to be fly sprayed, groomed, meds applied, or to have feet picked.
- Loads and unloads without drama. Still gets a little lathered over trailering but no more constant pawing or whinnying.
- Stands absolutely still when you tell him to "ho" and will not move unless asked.
- Understands commands on the longe...does need to be gotten after to canter, trot, jog, walk, halt, reverse.
- Puts his head down to be haltered/bridled. Takes bit without fuss.
- Leads nicely -- no pulling or invading space.
- No longer weird about his butt or hind legs.
- No longer bites, nips, mouths, rears, spins in circles, or strikes out.
When I clipped him a few days ago he was honestly terrified and it took a few minutes, but in the end he held his head down and was still.
In another week, if I can get him to listen fully to me on the free longe with side reins, we will begin ground driving...then my trainer will be on him in full tack for the first time. :) She agrees that this long break he's had was the best thing for him. I feel as if my patience...taking things s-l-o-w with this horse...is finally paying off.
Is he the most conformationally correct, striking thing ever to pop out of a womb...no (well, my own opinion doesn't matter lol). Does he have rippling muscles and a dreamy flowing mane and tail? Not yet. Has he won a buttload of awards, or has thousands of dollars of training poured into him (as one idiot I had the misfortune of running into often boasted of her own horse), heck naw. Though his parents were quite successful, ha.
People have asked me why I persist in putting so much effort into a 13 year-old once-trainwreck, and the best answer I can come up with is because I love him! I don't expect him to earn money, and he's always going to be one of those opinionated, "challenging" horses, no matter what. But he's part of the family.
And if one more person tells me I'd be better off with a twenty year-old quarter horse so I won't have to constantly "deal" with an intelligent, high-energy arab, I'm going to punch a pepperoni through their face.
I have never learnt so much as I have with this horse.