2nd time off the farm, first time in an indoor, 3rd time ever jumping and the first time ever seeing any type of trot poles..nah I wasn’t even the least bit concerned how it would go because Halfway is just such a brave horse.
I can’t tell you how impressed I was with him this weekend. It ended up being a bit of an adventure. We were going to look at some horses and take pictures and video for CANTER while were there. I brought Ridge along with Halfway just to keep him company and also in case we bought something than there would be two horses on the trailer while I was riding. Love the 2+1 trailer!!!!
We spent about an hour taking pictures and video of horses and Halfway and Ridge were as quiet as can be just chowing down on their hay bags. I did end up buying a horse so we unload Halfway and backed the new horse into the trailer so that Halfway would be in the box when we got to the clinic. Halfway thought it was interesting but as always he was eager to do whatever was asked. We let him loose in the box and he checked out the new horse and then turned around and ate some hay.
We got to the clinic early so the horses just hung out for a bit. I was impressed with the new horse who is a just getting ready to turn 3yr who was in a totally new situation yet was happy to just eat. Good boy!
We got Halfway out and tied him to the trailer. He looked around but stood quietly. This was the first time he had been tied to the trailer so Kurt watched him but he was just fine.
The group ahead of us wasn’t quite finished so we waited outside and I was very pleasantly surprised how quietly Halfway stood. Standing still isn’t always on his list of things to do. He is far from a hot horse but he is a horse that always wants to be doing something. I think he was just standing there trying to figure out what we would be doing.
The indoor has a bunch of mirrors and is pretty scary. He hasn’t been in an indoor before and I was again very pleased with how he handled it. He was nervous but his version of nervous is to trot a bit faster so we just worked on some half halts to let him know that we still had to listen.
He checked himself out in the mirrors and thought he looked pretty good especially in the white boots. He likes to be dressed up fancy!
I think that trips off the farm always exposure your weakness and right now that is the lack of suppleness that we have in the bridle. However, I have only had him for a month and due to weather and the abscess I don’t have that many rides on him. I would rather let him find his own balance at this point. He was a bit too tight in the back to get any real relaxation or softness in the bridle but you can’t pick at them. You just want the outing to be good and if you start drilling them on things that are hard for them along with introducing new concepts than it will be a disaster.
I had to use a bit more hand at times than I would like to apply the half halts within the gaits but that is too be expected right now. It is better to let them know they can’t just race around than be afraid to school them because you are worried about using too much hand. If you ask them to slow using your body and slight hand and they ignore than you apply more and immediately soften when you get the reaction you were asking them for. It becomes much easier when you can ride them a bit rounder over the back which is why I find it important to teach a horse to stretch down into the hand. When they are bracing you normally get running because you can’t ride the hind end or the back. However, it takes time and I try not to stress about making it “perfect” when they are just so green.
I really have so much respect for these Tb’s that try so hard despite not having a clue what you are asking. He had never done trot poles in a row or raised cavaletti’s but he didn’t offer to run out. Nope, he just went straight on thru with his ears up and a can do attitude. He never got flustered if he made a mistake. He is wiggly but I try to sit in the middle and stay out of his way so he can just figure it out. He was great about leaving the group (always an important thing) and although at first he wanted to bulge toward the door he quickly gave that up (very good thing!).
We had only jumped a baby x-rail at home so the poles were all new and then at the end we jumped a little course of x-rails and he thought that was fun! He is still learning where his parts go but you can see how quickly he is figuring it out. He trots in very softly and lands in a nice canter. I was just absolutely thrilled with him and I do think he was proud. He got some carrots for his good performance! I think he slept very good that night. Such a star!!!!
Here is the video- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygogRdEk-2k
I am getting his ad up this week. He is very ready to go off to start his new career.