I know I said I love Diamond and I really do but Shoes has a major piece of my heart. He is almost a complete opposite from Diamond which is what makes him so interesting. He has 4 shoes on so riding in the snow isn’t such a great plan but I thought I would bring him out and lunge him a little bit. The snow was soft in the ring and there is a nice base under it so it’s not slippery.
My favorite thing about Shoes is that he has the best personality. He loves people and is such a goofball. Loves to look in my pockets and is always checking out what I am doing. He was doing all sorts of goofy faces while I curried him off. His eyes lit up when I brought out the lunging surcingle. He is a horse who loves a job and thrives on a program. I feel bad that I can’t keep him going consistently enough.
I give him a warm up without the side reins and he is naturally going forward and stretching down and out. My gosh he just looks so incredible and he is so smart. I put the side reins on and you can see how hard he is trying. He is moving like a million dollars and I was doing transitions with him from the walk to the trot and he was staying soft and relaxed over his back and working forward into the contact.
I asked him to pick up the canter and wee he did a big buck and the saw his shadow and proceeded to put his tail straight in the air and do these loud snorts so loud it was scaring all the other horses yet he was completely focused on working into the contact despite the snorts and tail in the air. I was laughing hysterically. This horse is just such a character. We practice more trot to canter transitions and he still is struggling to figure out the canter but it’s coming. The trot is amazing!
I move all around the ring lunging him all over to mix it up and let him look in all the corners and of course at the barrels of death. He has grown up so much and is no longer scared although he does keep one eye on them each time he passes. I switch sides and he doesn’t even test me and just immediately goes to work. The difference in his movement is almost shocking and I am just beaming with pride.
I think what I love so much about this horse is that he is trusting, athletic and talented. He is a horse who has a really good work ethic and is going to put out that extra effort to please. He is also extremely smart probably too smart 🙂
I would say the difference in Shoes and Diamond is that Diamond is okay to just do as asked but Shoes always wants to do more the classic overachiever. This is a fantastic quality for many people however it means he is a horse who is going to thrive in a consistent program. He would hate to only be ridden once a week while Diamond would be happy with a hit or miss riding schedule.
I was just so pleased with how nice he is going and brought him in for another brushing and pulled his mane and trimmed his bridlepath and ears. I have someone coming to see him on Saturday which makes me excited/nervous and many other things. I want everyone to like my horses because I put so much work into them but more than anything because I truly love them.
One of my favorite parts of doing this job is being able to call former owner’s up and give a report. I have a really good relationship with Shoe’s trainer and many of the owner’s who have horses in this trainer’s barn. I think we have now had 7 horses come from his barn this year. I can honestly say they are a barn that doesn’t care about the money only about the horses and making sure they get the right homes. It took a lot of hard work from all of the Delaware Park volunteers to show them we are a great group but now they have fully embraced us. Shoe’s owners are the nicest people and love their horses.
I have seen his owner a few times and kept in touch but she was thrilled to hear about Shoes and know that he was doing really well. She believes he wants to be an event horse and I agree. A good home is a good home but I do think he would flourish in an event barn. She was so happy that I had called and thanked me for taking such good care of him. I was telling her about him getting chiropractor treatment and she said he will be so spoiled he won’t want to leave 🙂 Then she said if we ever needed anything to just call and if we want to do a fundraiser or anything to just let her know. Wow, how cool is that. It is just nice to know that people appreciate what we do for their horses and I know they will talk us up to other trainers and owners which only builds our reputation more and more.
This winter has really been depressing but a good session like I had with Shoes tonight can get me past the dreary weather and focused on the positive. I truly love what I get to do with all the CANTER horses and spending the time to figure out what they want to do with their life. There is nothing more rewarding than figuring out their niche and then placing them in the home that will allow their talent to grow.