Crimson continues to impress me with his life decisions.
|Ok, maybe not this one.|
I'm really enjoying this phase of learning, but admittedly he's making it easy. The goals are low and simple. Namely, don't kill your new mom.
|The look I got when trying to remove the burrs from his tail.|
Less than impressed.
The weather has dropped 20 degrees and turned windy. But still, Crimson tries really, really hard to be a good boy. He visibly likes to work and seems to especially enjoy being under saddle. Right now, our program is lunging first, incorporating verbal cues and exercises, that we then translate under saddle. My goal is to make everything as easy for him as possible. Lots of praise and making him feel smart for making good decisions.
I've learned that although he is naturally very easy-going and has a great foundation, he tends to be insecure. He looks to you to be consistent and clear. Any foibles we have usually happen when I am disorganized or don't have a clear plan. It is actually helping me a lot as a rider and horse person to slow down, take time and be more organized, something that hasn't always been a priority for me.
But he is so gosh-darn willing! It makes it so much fun to work with him, that he is genuinely seeking to please. It also helps that I am working with my trainer Heather again. She is the trainer that worked with Boca and I before I went to the eventing barn. Heather is one of those people who seems to have an innate sense and understanding of horses. Plus, she always has great ideas, exercises and suggestions. For instance, I was trying to get the burrs out of Crimson's forelock. I gave up halfway through, as we'd both had enough at that point. Heather asked if I had tried putting detangler in his forelock. #MINDBLOWN Problem immediately solved with less stress on both our parts. Genius.
On our fifth day, we were able to canter under saddle. Heather introduced this in a really fun, simple exercise. She placed a pole on the ground, between 1 standard and a small block. On the lunge, we asked him to trot the pole a few times. Then, as he went over the pole, we asked for canter, using the 'kiss for canter' sound that much of western training uses. We did it a few times in each direction, to firmly plant the exercise in his mind.
We then translated that to under saddle. I trotted the pole, and we cantered away. Simple, easy, non-event. Much praise.
I'm trying to keep everything simple with this horse. And fun. And so far, it's working.