Sunday, a day to relax and sleep in. I had lots of excuses to not ride today, including Rain deserves a Sunday too. But I knew this early in the game it had to be done. We rode in the most perfect part of the day. Right before the sun settles for the night. When it glows golden over everything, and the horses especially look beautiful. Everything seems to settle in this light. All the horses heard my foot steps and lined up at the gate hoping to be picked for a ride.
Rain was less hesitant to come in today. Much to my surprise. I gave her space and took my time approaching as she took a second to consider high tailing it. She flinched for a split second but, then kept her focus and respected me. I tied her in the barn and tended to some other horses. I could hear her moving around quickly while everyone was out of sight. Once I returned she settled and stood balanced and quiet. She turned her barrel into me twice. I corrected her the first time then rewarded her with scratches. While she was enjoying the scratches she tried a second time to turn her barrel in. I immediately stopped scratching her and she corrected herself awaiting her reward.
This time in the round pen I didn’t have any tack on her. She quietly parked herself on a 45 degree angle with her bum to the inside and her head dropped eying my reaction. I gave her a light push as I wanted to keep her in this fame of mind. She walked off beautifully long neck, level and relaxed barrel wrapped around me. On cue she softly turned inside head low and moved off into the other direction. She did move into a slight jog at one point but quickly soften and slowed to the sound of my voice. She gave me a few more long bows and I asked her to halt. She stopped square and level headed.
I praised her and bridled her up. I walked away to grab the mounting block. Unlike my other horses she didn’t follow me but, she did stand quietly and respectfully keeping her eye on me. I mounted up and we rode for a good 10 min staying level headed in a good frame of mind. She did try and have her own ideas of our direction. When she tried to move left I simply kept her moving forward by holding, not pulling the right rein. This gave her boundaries she happily accepted. She did try and step out of balance to take me back to the stable at one point. I felt her stiffen and her head rise. But, she allowed me to move her back into a balanced position and quickly dropped her head moving on. I asked for a few stops with my seat the first two she brought up her head. She also gave a few yawns; stress relief. The final halt she slightly brought it up then bowed down. We stayed there for awhile while I praised her and then I jumped off.
Walking back out to the field there were a few moments she pushed her barrel into me and took her time to react to my push. Once in the field all the horses I normally train crowed us. Being a Sunday, it was their day off but, how do you tell that to a horse. Rain tried to move away from the other horses while I took her bridle off. Once they gave us our space I let her go. She stayed for a split second then slowly walked off. To my right a more dominate mare had moved in pushing Rain away. Perhaps tonight she would have stayed with me.
I’m more then impressed with the improvements in this short time. But, I think the real challenge will be near the end when the improvements are slower. I was just expecting little in the start and more later on. The rest of the ten horses I’ve been working lined up behind me awaiting their time. The other 5 colts I’d be halter breaking were also lined up along the fence curiously watching. That’s how they all stayed watching me as I went out of sight.