or, How you know you have a great horse.
Hi everyone. I haven't been on much. Work has been crazy busy and I was married on the 28th.
Not only was I was absent here but I was also absent from the barn and my horse!
A recap: I bought Sam in November. He had minimal training and was a 4 yrold. He could trot, stop, back. He needed two rein driving.
In March, I decided to put Sam in a 30 day training program. He was rode a minimum of 5 out of 7 days and pushed out of his comfort zone. He learned and was exposed to the following:
- neck reining,
- better collection,
- how to lope under saddle properly,
- pulling objects,
- sidepassing over obstacles,
- dealing with entanglements under saddle,
- riding alone from the herd,
- being lead horse
- following at a safe distance
- pony-ing other horses and herding other horses
He finished his training period and I moved him from a sand paddock to the pasture with other horses. I was able to ride him 3 times before we had a week of torrential downpours. The following week I slipped on the dismount and banged my ankle up. I was now less than a month from my wedding day and hobbling along on a bruised and swollen ankle.
I lost my confidence. If I can get hurt on the dismount, what next?
And then, work became busy with a new software implementation.
Long story short, I saw him 3 times and did not ride on any of those occassions between the week after he finished his training program and my wedding on April 28.
Needless to say, I was mighty nervous to go out there on April 30. I was picturing a wild maniac of a horse.
I caught him easily enough and we spent the next 3 visits grooming and bringing back his coat. He was pretty dusty.
Last Sunday, May 8, I saddled him for the first time, completely unsure of what his response would be.
He was a charm. I did not lunge him at all. We went into the indoor round pen and he maintained control of his speed: walk/jog/trot. He stopped on a dime with little to no pressure on the bit. Almost purely by command and seat position.
Yesterday, I rode in the outdoor ring and after a few turns around the ring, we went into the paddock alley (a wide grassy / hard dirt fenced stretch that runs from the pasture gate to barn) and walked up to the pasture gate and loped to the barn. Each pass was executed flawlessly and in control.
I had worried that he would be a wild heathen and I had spent good money for nothing. But, within 2 days he picked up right where I left him. I need to do a little tuning on him to help him get back into a faster execution of his turns and gait transitions, but otherwise, he is doing great.
I just wanted to share my story. This horse continues to surpass my expectations. I feel badly for him. He will probably never reach his true potential with me as his owner. But, I think he is happy with that too. Less pressure.
I can't wait to take him to the hills and do some trail riding!!