I’m trying. That is what counts! It’s been a hot minute since I responsible for riding a young one with just the basics! But I’m trying! Whiskey is a smart horse. He is also lazy. I love a lazy horse! Why? Because you can always speed one up but you can’t always slow one down! He likes to see if I’m going to “make him” do it. Whatever it is. Sunday, we argued over a muddy spot in the round pen. Granted, it was slick, deep and soul sucking mud. He would go through it without a rider but not with me on his back. In fact, he got half way into the mud and parked. Zero reaction. Kick and kick… nothing. No flinching. No movement. Uber frustrated, I decided to throw him in reverse. He would not go to the side but he did reverse. So I stepped off, put the halter on and made him do it lounging. Then I got back on and did a BUNCH of little roll backs getting him closer and closer to said mud. Finally he gave in and walked through it!!!! Yahoo! Next thing I did was ride to the gate, let us out of the round pen, and we rode around the front pasture aka the arena! He was soooo lazy. I could not get him to do anything but walk. However, he did go through the mud. He did let me open the gate from his back. He did stop and reverse with ease. He actually rode good. Just all at a walk!
Today, Tuesday, I decided to ride again. Y’all, I’m trying to ride as much as my body will allow! So I caught the little booger and proceeded to clean him up for our ride. Of course we did a few laps in the round pen and I decided to do the ground work with the mud puddle before getting on. Shocker, he went though it on first request today!!! So again, we went to the gate, let ourselves out and rode in the front! I decided we needed to trot and then I decided we could do some circles trotting! I haven’t really gotten him used to spurs yet. So I used my split rein to smack him when he flat refused to increase his speed. He is not afraid of that either! Success! We trotted and did some figure 8’s, worked around some random barrels and poles, and FINALLY got a sliding stop! I found the whoa button that works for him! Feet forward, butt down, shoulders back and WHOA. Slid a little then went right into reverse!!! We did that three times. I’m starting to remember little things like that. The cues I give to teach and ride!
I love my riding app. It shows my route pretty well. I had a W pattern set up and then just random barrels. Trot poles. And cones for my figure 8. However, we just started doing some big circles at the trot! I am super excited about how he handled the ride today! My brain is actually encouraging me to ride the way I ride. My gut says “what are you doing now? You are on a baby!!” But my brain says “dude, he is lazy and smart. Ride.” My body is appreciating the fact that we are moving again! It complains a little but it’s opening my hips back up and moving my spine. We have rain coming tomorrow. I will update y’all after our next ride!
Whiskey is home from the trainer! Back in the day, I would have trained him myself. The older I get, the more my brain reflects on what I can handle, what I need to handle and what I need to contract out. It seems that self preservation only increases with age! So I contracted out the first 60 days on my colt! He was gone a while but he came home with that 60 day foundation! Thank you Lord!
Even though he has been ridden, I’m still taking my time to get to know him. So far, I have been on his back 3 times! Today, I ventured out of the round pen and I have to say, I felt comfortable with that! He is a smart kid. He has a lot of personality and seems to like me! This is great news because I kinda like him too. He is smooth and athletic! Today was a nice warm day so I decided we needed to ride!
Now only having 60 days is not ideal for someone like me. I like them a little more polished. I like one that will drop when you say whoa. I like one that responds to leg with the slightest touch. I like one that I can drive into the bit and collect them and he isn’t quite there yet. But we made big strides today! We worked on a simple cue I use to ask one to turn. I use a “shhhhh” command. I teach it from the ground and most of the time it take a bit of work to get them there under saddle. Not for Whiskey! At the end of our ride, I had him turning a barrel or pole with just the shhhh command! I love it!
We will be working on his stop next ride. He stops when you say whoa but it’s a four feet plant for a stop. I just prefer one to stop on their hind end first. It takes time for that. And first we have to get collected in the bridle. He collects but doesn’t really drive into the bit. I have some tricks so we shall see what works for him.
He is a hair lazy. I love lazy colts! You can always speed one up. I like that he is constantly checking with me to see if I’m happy with what he is doing. He seems to really want to make me happy. I haven’t put spurs on him yet simply because I don’t feel comfortable enough yet. However, I have used my split rein to lightly pop his shoulder when he broke down from a trot to a walk. He seems to like that better than me kicking and that is good because kicking hurts my knee! I have a lot of hopes and dreams for this one. I have a feeling our progress will continue with each ride. He is smart. He has already figured out things that I do differently from the trainer and accepted that. With just THREE rides! I hope to continue to ride him on a regular basis and get him to the point that we can lope circles outside of the round pen collected and with him staying in frame. Time in the saddle is what we both need now. My self preservation will keep me from rushing things. And that is ok. We don’t need to be in a hurry. I rather work as a team and build the bond together with him.
I didn’t think he would be my next barrel horse but the more I ride him, the more I feel like he can do anything I ask of him. He is cow bred with some all around on the dam side. He has a stride that will make him a good runner! So we shall move forward of work on polishing this Diamond to get him to his full potential! I hope to keep this blog going on his progress! We have rain coming tomorrow and the farrier is due. So, I might not have much to report this week. However, I will do the best I can to sneak in training around the rain! May the Lord keep me safe and be with us every step of the way!