I can’t even tell y’all how happy I am to have Red in normal work right now. I rode him on the 18th and he was fabulous. One of our best rides in a very long time. He was happy, responsive, very eager to work, and he felt great. You may have seen some posts on Instagram about the ride, but if not…
The ride was about two things- getting him more supple and making him work to get some muscle building up again. It was a short ride because I didn’t have a huge amount of time, but he was ready and happy to work. Our ride before this one was good, as I posted about, but I noticed that he wasn’t really lifting his back enough. Mostly, I imagine, from lack of muscle. This ride was much better, he was trying much harder to lift himself up and I tried my best to stay out of his way while he found a happy place. Not ideal yet, but it won’t be ideal until he has more muscle anyways. He was able to hold a really great trot for 99% of the ride.
His back is obviously a bit more rounded than it was during the ride before last, and he seemed more relaxed. This trot came with very little help from me, which I was happy to see. No helmet again because I’ve been noticing that it has started to sit oddly on my head after it was dropped recently. I’ll be fixing this problem soon, but I’m going to continue to ride, just nothing crazy until that situation is fixed.
I asked for a stretchy trot a few different times, knowing it will be good for him to build up his topline and honestly, he seems to enjoy stretching out. We did this in the beginning of the ride then the end, and he’s really starting to understand it a bit better.
I think I’m starting to see a lot of improvement on the trot front, and I’m just happy to have my riding horse back in action and seeming so willing to be back into work.
Yesterday was Ransom’s day. I’m noticing a few exciting changes in his personality. He’s starting to act more like a gelding as opposed to an untouched stud colt, which makes me happy. 🙂 He let me put his halter on in the stall without any bribery involved, and was extremely calm during the whole haltering process. He’s always been a bit spooky when I toss the long part of the halter to tie it on the side, but yesterday was great. Very calm. I got him out to lead and he was more on the lazy side than anything,but I’ll take it. We did some leading and worked on engaging the hindquarters and then I brought out a crop from the tack room to see how he would react. I’m starting to handle his legs a lot more to prepare for farrier work, and the longer crop helps make this a lot safer. True to Ransom’s typical personality, he gave it the side eye and stepped away at first, then the second touch of the crop was no big deal. Eventually he was trying to get a nap in while I handled him.
And then, he did something new. I stood there for a few minutes with the lead on him while I talked with my mother and our boarder, and looked over at him and he had dozed off right next to me. Huge, huge changes. Not a big deal for normal horses of course, Red will go to sleep in a second on the lead next to me if I sit there for too long, but Ransom is normally 100% alert and ready to bolt when he’s being led. Not yesterday.
I worked on touching his back, his legs, belly, etc, and he did wonderful. By far the calmest session we’ve ever had. He never even thought of spooking.
As soon as the weather dries up again I’ll be taking him to the arena for the first time to get some desensitizing done with a bareback pad and some tarps! 😉