In one week he has:
- Stood for the farrier to get his racing plates off and steel shoes put on up front.
- Gotten daily turnout in a large field with three other horses without ever making a fuss.
- Learned to crosstie quietly enough to be trusted to be unsupervised long enough for me to go in and out of the tack room.
- Learned to stand quietly at the mounting block long enough for me to get on by myself.
- Walked and trotted over ground poles individually, on a bending line, and in a row.
- Longed over small verticals with fill.
- Walked in-hand through a creek, over a bridge, through giant lake-sized puddles, and over every small log on the property.
- Had his mane pulled.
|most proud of this|
He still has to learn about things like:
- Standing still for the farrier. He weaves in the crossties, and while I've eradicated the frantic flinging himself back and forth behavior, he still shifts from side to side and weaves with his head. He doesn't like to hold his feet up for long because it throws off his dance jam, but ground manners are a huge deal for me so this is a priority.
- Leading at my pace. He's great to take out to the pasture, but just leading him around on adventures he wants to go and can get pretty rude about barging by you.
- Cantering. Our indoor is long but narrow which makes it hard for him to balance. He's also lazy as shit so the second he has to make a turn he's like, "Yeah, super hard holding yourself upright, better just walk it out." If the weather got its shit together for two seconds, I'd take him to our outdoor to get the flow going.
- Being left inside alone. I leave him in when I'm doing chores in the morning, and since everyone else goes out during the day he's all by himself while I finish sweeping and getting my stuff around. He stall walks, and while he's quit with the screaming and frantic stall running, he still walks something fucking awful. I'm not even sure this is something I can stop. Maybe he'll just get used to being left in alone for awhile part of his routine? Any thoughts here? I've never dealt with a stall walker or a horse that weaves before.
|the reins will get longer when someone gets better about, you know, steering.|
Overall though, he absorbs everything. From one day to the next he's held on to all his previous lessons and is ready to take on more. He responds well to corrections, and he's the biggest treat whore I've ever met. If you want something to stick, shove a peppermint down his throat.
|grand champion of standing still now.|
The reason I've kind of shoved everything at him all at once is that the next couple of weeks are going to be crazy for me. I'm flying out to Chicago for the next three days, and then I'm driving back out there Wednesday of next week and will be gone until Monday. I've known about both trips for awhile so I wanted him to know about the rules of his new life before he got abandoned for awhile.
|grand champion of ground poles.|
I think a little break will be good for him without being so long that he goes feral. It will give his body that much more time to let those big, thick racing muscles relax, and it will give his constantly whirling brain time to catch up and think everything over. He's been a picture perfect student so far, and I know he'll still be getting stuffed with treats while I'm gone. I hope when I get back into a normal routine in two weeks he'll have settled in even more.
|"why are we still trotting? it's been longer than five minutes. i am les tired."|
Short term, I'm really hoping we have the weather this weekend that I can get someone to go out on a trail ride with me before winter well and truly sets in. I don't think he's going to give me any problems whatsoever, but it will make me feel better to have a buddy along to bring the stress level down should he find something The Snoot does not approve of.
|and maybe try some out of doors cantering since he is so very bad at it in the ring.|