Gilbert and I seemed to make a connection with each other from day 1. When I 1st purchased him, on a months trial, I could call him and he would run across the pasture and meet me at the gate. He's perfect on the ground and in the saddle. But yet, he got bored with me riding him sometimes. I'm still a beginner and he's a been there done that kind of horse that knows so much more than I do. I walk and trot on him , but don't let him run like he wants to. My riding confidence is not there yet. He's 20 and if I put an experienced rider on him, he will go all day.
Vegas, my appy, on the other hand, that's a totally different story. When I first saw him, I thought he was absolutely gorgeous. I took riding lessons on him for awhile before I purchased him, but that connection just wasn't there like I had with Gilbert. Not until he spooked 1 day and dumped my butt on the ground. When he came back for me, stood beside me not moving while I grabbed the reins and pulled myself up off the ground, now that's loyalty. Every since that day he has been my steady companion. I take him for walks and talk to him. Not sure if he know what I'm saying, but he act like he listening. While we're out walking I can drape the lead rope over his shoulder and he just follow me. We don't just walk. I will do some ground school with him while we're taking these walks. I'll lunge him, do the sending exercise, back him up a hill, then let him stop and rest while he does his favorite thing, playing in a puddle of water. After our walk is over, I'll let him graze in a field for a 1/2 hour or so while I sit and relax.
Disregard the date on the picture. LOL I need to reset it. This was taken a few weeks ago.
That's my neighbor riding Vegas. I don't dare go in water with him. I have not been desensitized to bull frogs.