Kurt and I don’t really love the name Raymond but the poor guy has had that name his whole life so we can’t go changing it now. He has such a huge personality and is such a funny type of horse. He loves people and is always getting into things. He just seems happy about life which is a great thing. I have been having to remind him that he does have to pay attention in the barn. He is always trying to smell and touch everything while I’m working on him. His face just reminds me of a horse with a goofy personality.
He already feels way different in his body. He is now softer in his topline and is seeking out the bit. I have him in the sprenger duo for now but am thinking I will try something else just to see if he feels any different. He is very soft in the mouth and understands about yielding to pressure. He is a big horse at 16.1 and a little bit but it is mostly legs right now. He needs to put on some weight and muscle but that all comes in time.
Right now I am just working on him going forward so that he can work from behind. He thinks that is pretty hard but is very willing to try for me. When these guys are just starting out I use mostly all straight lines and some changes of direction across the diagonals or maybe some figure eights using half the ring. They aren’t strong enough in their body to really hold themselves up quite yet. I also don’t get super picky about the transitions either. He runs into the canter and at this point I don’t make a big deal out of it. You can’t sweat the small stuff at first or you just make them cranky.
He was so tired at the end (10-15 min of work) that his long legs were shaking! I think it is important for us as riders to be aware of just how hard this work is for them even if it seems so simple to us. We gave him a really good curry. He will look a lot better when he finishes shedding out.
Some video from the ride:
I also rode Love last night and he is currently at the stage where I want to hide him behind the barn I stood there looking at him and just didn’t know whether I should turn him back out for a few months or keep going. It’s obvious that he is growing and is so much higher behind that in front. This makes it difficult for horses to feel balanced and that is the case with him. He feels like 4 different horses combined into one.
I think that I will just keep going but be careful to just spend my time hacking out and making everything very simple for him until his body does catch up. Kurt and I can’t believe how much he has changed since he arrived at the farm. When he got here he was aggressive as can be. Spent the first two days kicking at any horse that walked near him. He looked a bit wild and didn’t want much to do with people. Now he is a total sweetie. We have him eating treats and he would rather come in and visit with us than be with his buddies. He has also went from OMG must be with my friend at every second to now being able to not even care what his friends are doing. He is totally relaxed and happy in the barn. Loves being groomed and fooled with. My dog ran under him several times last night and he didn’t even notice. He is still a bit nervous at the beginning of each ride. Feels like he wants to do something when I touch him with my foot as I mount up but he hasn’t done on thing wrong. He is just anxious the first 5 min and feels very locked up. By the end of the ride he is soft, relaxed and slow. I think he just needs good old time and patient training to bring him around. It’s clear to me that he is a really good boy he just needs to learn that humans are good and that nothing bad will happen to him. I will start trail riding him this week. He will likely spend all his time trail riding in the upcoming weeks. I may just pony him off of Junior a few times to get him out and about.