So. I will save that for tomorrow. It is full of
Alright, maybe some daring and intrigue.
|opie says trail rides R stupid, cookies are better|
Hubby was kind enough to swing into the barn on his way to do other things to grab some new pictures and a couple quick videos for comparison's sake. I hadn't gotten any video until I forced Riding Bestie to record a couple minutes of very boring trot work when she was out last month.
In this video, we'd already gone on our trail ride, had a meltdown over screaming to relocated best friend and Ralph (who was in the fucking ring with us), and trotted for about five minutes. It was hands down the worst Opie has been under saddle since he came off the track.
Yeah, I know. Someone should give me an award for being able to stay on.
In all seriousness though, what it's hard to tell in the video is that he was constantly trying to yank the reins out of my hands using the considerable power of his block head and tiny, flexible neck. Using his tiny neck as a weapon is one of his favorite tricks--one that usually only comes out when fighting over picking up the canter, and is not very much on display here. The second favorite trick being rein-yanking.
Of course, now that I've made some changes, a lot of that was probably coming from a too-narrow saddle. Now that he's equipped in fancy leather that's approximately seventeen inches wider in the gullet (more on fancy leather once our official one gets here), he's slowly transitioning to just following the contact down and pleasantly stretching instead of hurtling me ass over teacups with a particularly ferocious yank.
Typical for most fresh OTTBs, he started off rides overly excited about the prospect of other horses in the ring with him. I actually don't usually ride during the weekends because they're so busy, but for now it's a great introduction to what's going to happen during warm up at shows. That is, mass chaos.
|"WOW, HORSES, NOISE, COMMOTION, MUCH EXCITE."|
Fortunately in Opie Land, while things remain interesting, you are the side eye master of the universe and all those interesting things can still be watched without putting forth undue effort.
|one lap later.|
He takes maybe five minutes of trotting around before the half halts start to compute and he's ready to go to work. It's going to be a big difference for me warming a horse up at shows with the goal of riding them down before actually warming up, but he's so fucking lazy I don't think it's going to take much.
He no longer cares about other horses passing him in the ring--from behind, the side, head-on, or if they're jumping or cantering elsewhere. Should we be in the way of someone else trying to work, no worries. We've gone from being the danciest to the standiest. He'll park it wherever and whenever for however long you want. Possibly even longer than you want. Grand Champion of standing and hoping more cookies get doled out.
He's never been one to err on the side of llama--he carries himself naturally in a pretty cute frame, although certainly Victorian-era carriage horses must be in his lineage somewhere--but he's learning to let go at the base of his neck with his new saddle, and stretching has become his jam. I am slightly bitter over this as it took Bobby all twelve years of his life to figure out stretching was a thing.
|my saddle will have a seat my ass fits in. i eagerly await its arrival.|
Overall, my biggest impression of him is that he's super honest. If he doesn't get it, it's not because he's being bad. He either isn't quite there physically yet, or the concept is not computing in his brain. If you tell it to him correctly, he will try. He's also going to be super good for me because he tattles right away when I get handsy. "You do waggy waggy with your hands? I do waggy waggy with my head."
|gah, so cute.|
I don't know if it's just the emotional clusterfuck 2017 has been for me that's making me extra-appreciative of how easy this kid is, but right now I'm having so much fun restarting him. The knowledge that I was going to have to be at square one yet again after I put Bobby down was depressing at times, but Opie is making the experience really rewarding instead.