Soooo.... I got on Egan today, for his first time (really got on him- bit, rein, saddle and on top)
I had the supervision of a trainer. When speaking to her of my reservations, she said "you are going to ground work him into the ground, you need to take the next step" ... So, I did it. Hell or high water.
Trust me, considering his past issues, I was expecting the worst.
He did AWESOME.
and by awesome... I mean awesome.
We started on the lunge line, after a lap or two, she said "let him go, you don't need me" and he and I went on our merry way (in the pen).
We walked, trotted, and cantered- both direction and in figure 8's- great. He was in a d-link snaffle, direct rein, Aussie saddle (fits him best). He was a champ. He got a little bit of attitude a couple of times, briefly- pinned his ears a touch and then let loose and full ears forward. He seemed to love it, take all the newness with a zest and a urge t go on. When it came time to a whoa, he wasn't perfect but listened well and anticipated everything. He paid attention amazingly well, and reqlly worked hard to figure it all out.
He WAS a problem guy, I can't see that anymore. He still gets. Bit grumpy and a bit frumpy- but my job is to keep it interesting and keep him thinking he has a purpose. Now that we have gotten over this hump (actually riding), I think that's going to be much easier, ha.
For a short guy, he's quick (quicker than I imagined) and VERY much more forward under saddle than ground (thou knows his whoa surprisingly well). I think what it boils down to is- he was bored, and I was weary ( and by weary, I'll admit I was a tad bit sacred of him- as I think any reasonable person would be if they saw what I saw from him- that does include the trainer who was present for my first session with him)
All I can say is wow... Despite his previous issues, I'm glad I stuck it through. I know it's just the #1 ride... But he really was a champ. I cannot begin to explain how good he did- even my trainer friend said (and she's the brutally honest type) that he did amazing.
I'm incredibly proud, and I just wanted to share that.
It was absolutely amazing to ride on top of him and see the little gears turning in his brain to figure things out- you could really feel him thinking it through! More impressively, he would figure it out QUICK... After the 3rd time of leaning back an preparing for whoa- he was stopped. I'd squeeze slightly and he was moving out.
He proved to be much more sensitive than I thought.. Still, altogether, he was fantastic.
He really gave it his all, and I can't speak anything better of that little red demon spawn ;)
Kudos, Mr. Egan... Kudos.