Just thought I'd have a thread to track Gonzo's progress... and to brag about my amazing boy.. (:
Gonzo was getting so much better before lesson season was over, I was sure he'd be able to handle younger and less experienced riders and go to intermediate or beginner, and I was sure I'd have to give him up. But I came back today and found out I'll be riding him everyday until Friday and possibly after; though every single person in advanced wants to take him next week! He's doing amazingly!
There are so, so many things I'm proud of that happened today.
He's usually so, so spooky. I was grooming him before we rode and the brushes spilled out of the bag. They made a really loud clanging noise (O.O) and he all but flinched!!
When we were in the ring, it's just... so unbelievable how much progress he's made. Normally, little tiny things as well as big things, noises, and sudden movements scare him. I rode him through water today, and he was totally calm! I rode in two point, jumping position, and stood up in my stirrups while we trotted and he didn't go any faster, he just let me go. This is a huge step for a pony who's only been ridden under saddle for a year now. He's not young and was possibly ridden before, but to say he's gotten better is an understatement. He was completely okay when another horse started splashing in the puddles; he didn't let the noise shake him at all. .
We just got cows, and he didn't spook at them, either! And.. heres the shocker. All horses, not just spooky ones like Gonzo, spook at screaming. There was a girl riding in the ring nextdoor and she was screaming... Gonzo didn't even NOTICE! I am just... so, so happy with him right now. (:
Another issue we're tackling in his hyperness... I had to speed him up today! Usually he's going way too fast! He's just totally calming down! He cantered pretty fast, but I was giving him a lot of leg because he's still nervous about cantering and I wanted to encourage him.
He halted for me with no protesting, which barely ever happens, and didn't buck even once! He did great circles and wasn't even bothered when a humongous gelding was fallowing him around as if he was glued to his butt.
It was the first time he'd been ridden in two weeks, too! He was just so good! And seriously, he's gone from the horse no one ever wanted to ride to the pony everyone begs for. I'm so lucky to have the experience of working with this guy.
My instructor has a lot of things she wants to teach us.. and even though I might not be the one working on it, someone will be helping Gonzo learn his leads, lead changes, bending in and out, all kinds of circles, and though he does figure eights and cerpentines, more work will be put into those, too! And though since he's getting so good, he could be moved down a level, we're also going to try and complete a 2'0 jumping course by the end of the month.
We didn't jump today but I'll update everyone once we do.. Sorry for the novel