Most days he was working on his longing. I asked R about side reins and she does always use them, loosely. Her viewpoint is that the horse should be reaching for the contact so she doesn't want the side reins always maintaining it for them, instead they engage them by stretching.
|Video stills are all we have today|
In just the few weeks we have had him, as he has regained some fitness and had some training rides, his trot is already changing. He tracks up pretty well, is reaching under himself better and is finding a nice rhythm.
His canter is also getting better, although there is still plenty of work to do there and there are still PLENTY of ugly canter transitions to go around. They usually go something like:
Ask for canter.
|But oooh, nice trot|
Watch ears go back.
He tries trotting faster.
Slow him down.
He squeals cause this is hard.
|I had to use stills from both directions to get the full effect|
He flails into canter, usually on the right lead or cross firing regardless of direction of travel.
|Picking up the left lead in front, and um, so uphill!|
Baby buck and kick out in uncoordinated attempt to fix it.
If successful, canter around looking smug until balance is compromised and swap in back. If not successful, try going faster.
|All the leads!|
He is clearly trying so freaking hard and his body is just not cooperating with him yet. Luckily, he has made progress and maybe 25% of the time he now just picks up the canter with a beautiful, perfect transition.
We live in a world of extremes apparently where it is either a hot mess or a thing of beauty. No middle ground right now.
He is also showing baby step improvement on how long he can canter correctly when he does get his lead. At first it was just a few strides, now he can do a couple circles right and a full circle or so left. Not every time, but I didn't actually expect this much progress yet, so I am impressed.
R2 then put a couple under saddle rides on him this weekend. Mostly trot work but also some canter work. It took a few tries to get his leads but once he did he was able to do about half the arena to the right and a little less than that to the left before swapping. Adding a human into the mix definitely ups the challenge level but slow and steady we go.
|Very good for clipping his bridle path! Only|
objected to his ears being done.
Please stop growing Odin, I like your size now. Check that, grow your front end to catch up, and then be done!
After he rediscovered all his parts he had a short ride. He was a little tired, physically and mentally, from his week, so we kept it short and sweet. R2 took him over his first cross rail since his test ride before I bought him. He got a little excited but ended up trotting it beautifully and cantering away quietly.
This horse has just been so much fun to be around. Even just hanging out with him on the ground, he is very interactive and kind of a goof. Maybe not super bright - the other day we had to fish a hoofpick out of his mouth as pulled the whole thing in and we were worried he might swallow it - but sweet and entertaining. Oh, and because he is a hungry hungry hippo, his current name is Odinpotamus.