December was a weird month for us. I had a few weeks where I was only able to get out there twice. Most of the month I didn't make it over to the big arena. I was either too tired or getting through the gate was too stressful. A spring comes up when it is really rainy and the creek goes right through the gate to the arena. Getting back through the gate is super stressful and deserves a post of it's own so I will revisit it at a later date.
We have still spent time together and made some great progress. We have been going on walks past the scary llamas and up to the loud bust street. He will tie in his stall for up at an hour even when he has ants in his pants. We wears his saddle so often now that he thinks it is just part of treat/cuddle time. I whack it on him, shake the stirrups, drop it next to him and whatever else might accidentally happen during his lifetimes. I can put my foot in the stirrup and jump up and down like a crazy person. I can knee him in the side and poke him with my toe. One thing I like to instill in any horse I train is that people are weirdos. They make noise, trip, fall, make horses wear ridiculous things, they wear noisy clothes..... People are unpredictable nut jobs and the sooner horses accept it the better things will go for every one involved. After almost 13 years Bre just rolls her eyes when I get a wild hair and do something really stupid.
So December wasn't a total wash for training. However, I have found that this horse really likes to be physical. He seems to thrive off work. I do need to balance that with cuddle time because he is offended if I just come out after a few days off then expect him to work (I swear he is such a mare sometimes). When I am round pending him and working him in the arena he is a million times easier to handle in hand. He is calmer and more focused. I think he is going to be one of those horses that you need to ride regularly. Bre loves to go on adventures and is also up for anything but she is perfectly happy to be just a pet. I think he is going to be like me TB mare who needed to work. We finally made it back into the arena on Weds and it was like he never left. He was definitely wild on the lunge to start (he's two) but he was listening, remembered voice commands, and wasn't out of breath. I have finally figured out which days the arena is clear of jumps so I am looking forward to getting down a lunge schedule. If the jumps aren't the arena we can use the long sides so I can work him a little longer without worrying about the strain of circles on his maturing body.
I am also looking forward to riding him! It barely over a month he will be three. My new saddle will be here early next week. We aren't going to do much but I think he is going to respond well to work. If the jumps are up so I can't lunge for long I will be able to get on and walk him around. He handles longer training sessions really well as long as I keep changing our focus about every 15 mins. Riding him will mean I can do a 15 min lunge, in hand work for 15 mins, then ride for 15 mins.
|He's wearing a big boy saddle and breast collar.|
|We've been working on getting him to stay put until I ask him to come.|
|He can be trusted for kisses now without loves bites.|
|He kept getting into the bucket of burrs and ending up with him all over his face.|
|He is so friendly and followed us around like a dog in the pasture.|
|"Are you sure you don't want me in your personal space?"|
|"If you love me you will take those gloves off and hand them over"|