K, so The disciplines I have the most experience in are Western Pleasure and Showmanship. I have taken lessons in english and beginers jumping, but I'd like to start him in something western. I hate Western Pleasure, not because of the sport itself, it's a beautiful sport, but I get very board of doing rail work. I'd much prefer patterns. But at the same time, it's not about me, it's about the horse. Mentally, he's a massive problem solver. He knows what he wants and works very hard to get it, but at the same time, he's very willing, so long as I don't ask him to do the same thing over and over. If I don't want a fight, then I have to start a project, get decent at it, and then give it a break and pick it up later. If I cycle through my lesson material then he actually enjoys his lessons and so do I. We're actually very compatible this way...
Anyway, I'm going to start him in showmanship, but I'm clueless as far as saddle work (show/sport specific) goes. I was thinking of just sarting WP, but he's green broke and he's already getting getting super impatient with basic work. So I think that he'd get really bored with rail work. I'd like to do competetive trail, but I have no equipment for that. He walks/trots, stops with one/two reins, and is catching on beautifully to backing and pivoting on front/back end (when I asked him to pivot on the back end, I was just goofin off. Didn't think he'd figure it out this early on in training. Ya right. He had it figured out in less than sixty seconds! I was just shaking my head). He's had about 7 rides. But here's my problems.
I don't have an indoor. I'm boarding for free at my neighbors and they have a huge rectangle outdoor arena/pasture separate from the other pastures and a gravel round pen. I've started Lex in the round pen and ridden a couple of times in the big pasture. But in the round pen he gets super impatient because he doesn't see a purpose to going round and round and round, and in the pasture (which is HUGE) he just wants to lope off and get riled up. Or eat grass. And then when I ask him to move he locks up and paws his foot like "listen lady, I want to eat and if you keep pestering me with this sensless nonsense than I'm going to bump you off!" (Now, I don't get off when he gets like this. I usually get what I want -just barely- and then ask him for something difficult, like pivoting which usually makes the attitude disappear because he loves a good puzzle and then end on a good note.) but I don't dare start any cantering work until #1 I have more control of him, and #2 I have a better saddle because mine doesn't fit either of us... don't even want to get started on that (the saddle was free, haflingers are a pain in the a$$ to fit, and I tried geting a new one, but it's too big and -long story short- can't return it and must sell before buying another one because I-is-poor)
But I need more exercises to teach him that put purpose to what he knows. I have no cones or arena equipment and when I us other items, he pulls and leans towards them because all he wants to do is play with them! (stomp them, chew them, step on them. This is the guy who, one night while in cross ties, I had to trim his bridle path and I set a flat wooden mounting block next to his head so that I could see better. Well I got down for two seconds to do something and when I turned around he had both front feet on it like "look at me, I'm king of the mounting block!" Monkey see, monkey do... I had a hard time getting him off. Aparantly he was quite conent up there...)
Anyways, I keep getting off on these bunny trails! All in all I'm a little stumped for riding ideas. Whenever he gets impatient or crabby about something, it's usually because A.) I'm not being clear enough in what I want him to do/ am asking for too much too soon, during which I back off and take a different approach. That's fine with me. Keeps us both learning from each other. Or B.) He bored and doesn't care smack about fine point details. When this occurs on the ground (We do alot of clinton/parelli ground exercises), fine, I just give a purpose to the exercise and make it more difficult, like combining exercises, speeding things up, something to wake him up and get his gears turning. Problem solved. But that's really hard when I'm riding because there's not much more to do that I can think of at this level.
So I just ordered a surcingle, and cotton driving reins and I want to start ground driving him on walks outside of the pasture. I figure this will help with #1 steering and #2 forward impulsion because he'll actually be going somewhere and therefore accomplishing something. And I can do it on the ground where he respects me more. So I'm excited for those to come in.
Anyway there's a whole lot more to talk about but I've already written to much. And I feel much better now. Now it's time to post pics. Hehehehe....
He's three years old, I got him in January, his registered name is Alpha's Lexis, He knew -nothing- when I got him and He's my baby angel! (Even though he's DC comic villian Lex Luther reincarnate)