|First time ever riding him|
|"is that a....trailer??"|
|Wouldn't come in so he got to eat out of a bucket in the field.|
One week after owning him he nailed a kick to my leg so bad I was sidelined for months from any kind of physical activity at all. Awesome right?
|Top 3 months into ownership, bottom 8 months.|
Like literally every time I rode him, he was a terrible asshole. Riding in the winter was out of the question. I don't think I was truly happy with him under saddle until after I moved him to EME which was only Sept of last year.
|Right before he reared and bolted.|
|Awkward jumping is awkward.|
|See; fire breathing dragon and me dying trying to keep him from bolting|
I finally had him loading on the trailer when he flipped out (literally) and whacked his face open to the bone. Cue 3 steps back in trailer training. So we did approximately nothing all summer until I moved him to EME in Sept.
The change was slow but sure.
Personally, I think the arena helped him immensely. He has this brain that is never shut down and constantly spinning in overdrive. The walls of the arena seem to channel that energy and he was slowly making improvements.
There were still tantrums, violent ones, but they were less frequent. He was learning that jumps weren't evil (usually) and seemed to learn to love it.
|One of my all time fav pics|
I was even starting to love riding him! I also was no longer worried i might actually die riding in an open field and even braved it a few times over the winter!
We even went to a show! IN THE WINTER. And it was fun as shit. And we got satin.
|"IS that a ...trailer??"|
We worked sporadically over the winter, because of my work schedule and his ability to ...*ahem* lose focus and his shit on the reg when the mercury drops below 30*...but it was sold work. Foundational work. Little by little.
Sometimes I was incredibly discouraged. Like, wow my horse is backing up the entire length of the arena losing his shit for the millionth time this week, cool. Or goddammit B you've jumped this crossrail 76006454 times, why are you now putting the nope brakes on this one time?
But I kept at it, because I knew he was special.
Sometimes I didn't want to. Sometimes I really hated him. Like why wasn't he JUST EASIER to deal with. Why. LIKE WHY. Even Yankee on his worst 4 year old day was not half as bad as B on a good 5 year old day. Or 6. Or 7.
I firmly blieve in the saying that the most talented are the most difficult to work with and it won' be easy.
Yesterday though, I had such an incredible ride on him. It started off pretty shitty and I kinda slumped over thinking GOD DAMMIT WHY, again. Why is jumping so hard for him some days? But then I worked on something else and he gave me 110%.
I was asking for counter bend on a 10 m circle at the walk and he flexed like BAM and it was magical.
I know you're saying "wow, monica, counter bend how amazing *rolls eyes*"...but you don't get it. A year ago, if I put my leg on him, he would bolt. Yes, bolt. Wildly. And rear. Fly backwards. All at once. Its possible. Now he accepts the contact, swings his ribcage over and steps under himself. Its incredible.
Then, I got a wild hair in me and practiced some canter drill work. I would asked for the canter from a walk, 20m circle then head down centerline. Really focusing on staying straight. Then, we would come to a halt through the walk. Back 6 steps and canter off on the other lead.
B executed it flawlessly. I am serious, it was amazing. I almost fell off the first time he backed neatly 6 steps, waited calmly, then canter off still on the contact and rocked forward into a perfect halt to canter transition.
Then did it 8 more times. Then jumped the problem fence with no issues. I hopped off, hugged him and cried. He just looked at me like, "wut, I waz good, cookiez now plz".
Total transformation. Every ride these last couple of months actually have been so incredibly different forma year ago, I could cry.
Sometimes I still question purchasing him, but more and more often, I feel no regret whatsoever. He comes to you in the field now, loads on trailers, no longer tries to kill vets, clips (this is a big one), trail rides, snuggles and is all around awesome.
Training my dragon is going well.