I figured that iout of anyone else on the equestrian team... I have the money, the time, and the will to at least -try- to get Chance to a better state. Everyone else is either jobless, have other commitments, can't commute to where he is, or just don't want to bother.
I spoke with my instructor, and I told him I will work Chance as a project horse. I have decided that whatever happens, happens. If Chance and I work well together, great. If my instructor thinks its good enough for potential ownership, fabulous. If not, oh well. I'm doing something good.
So prior to this before snow ate the outdoor arena, and almost my car... I had been working him, and we were very slowly making progress under saddle. Ground manners I need to inlist the help of my instructor, because something's not clicking there.
Anyway. First day was rough. Had to really argue with him to get him to stand before out of frustration I verbally told him to, and voila... He did. He is squirrely under saddle. Likes to go go go. Being a TWH, that's probably natural, but with his history, and the high potential that he was abused, I think there was something more. So, as part of our warm up, I decided to just do simple patterning. Random moving through things, circles, just something that doesn't make him hamster wheel.
Dismount, and he has a foot cocked, head relaxed and low, and he just seemed at peace. I was quite proud. Normally he's anxious, nervous and flighty.
So given that, I tried it again the next time. He stood better for me, and instantly we worked on some turns around the evil step stool that he hates so much. Went back to working on backing, side passing, weaving stansions. Great progress. As soon as I tried going along the perimeter, he seemed to get back to getting hot, so, no more of that for him.
Dismounted, and the snow caught my legs and made me fall on my bum. Chance simply looked at me as if wondering why I was on the ground, instead of bolting off as he had previously done once when I accidentally let the rope slip from my hands.
All of this was done at a walk. I want to soon encorporate faster gaits, so as to get him some muscle mass, and work on transitions. In my work with him, I have noticed he has been trained extremely well. My instructor loves riding him because he is willing, and light. He also seems to be the sort to be a "sponge" and can absorb the things he has learned, sit for a while, and you can expect him to be back where he was.
I was wondering, how long should I keep him walking? Until I can expect calmness at the get go? I wonder if getting to higher gaits will make him hot, and ruin what we were working on before. Right now, all I'm focusing on is relaxation and calmness in the riding space. All other problems I will tackle once I can have my instructor's help and complete my prior goal.
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