Finally have something to say
Today, Roy cantered! and jumped! If you can call a 12 inch crossrail “jumping.” He has a lovely rocking horse canter, and didn’t even think about stopping or going around the rails. J3 and I set a bunch up all over the ring, so that pretty much every time you turned a corner, you had the option of trotting over a crossrail. The point of the exercise is not so much actually teaching them to jump, as making certain they understand they are to go where they are pointed and refusal is not an option. This will come in handy later. Roy was fantastic. He hopped his rails and even cantered away! Reggie, on the other hand, was so unimpressed that he actually started knocking them down. Really Reggie? 12 inches? Come on! So now we can progress to small gymnastic exercises and things will get fun. Not that I mind the left, right, stop, go stuff. That’s important, too (Roy is totally into stop). It’s just that progress is fun.
And I’m certain some of you are counting on your fingers thinking, “Roy just now cantered? What have they been doing down there?” Well, I’ll tell ya. Roy had a steering problem. As in, he didn’t. I didn’t feel it necessary to go any faster on a horse who didn’t turn and didn’t care if he knocked over everything in the ring. He also walked around with his head tipped to the side with his tongue hanging out (no more head tipping, tongue much better). It was a bit, shall we say, challenging. Okay, he still drives like a truck (not a nice, new one with leather seats, but more like a deuce and a half without power steering or brakes. Ever driven one of those? I have). But we do turn, and change gears and the whole lot of it. Just without… Um… Finesse, maybe? But he is so much better! And I think he is starting to have fun. Every now and then he will give me a few “power steps” where the back end kicks in and the front end comes up. A mini horse wheelie. It’s that wonderful (if you’ve ever been lucky enough to sit on a dressage schoolmaster who really knows his stuff), powerful, almost out of control feeling you get on a really engaged horse. Or one that is about to explode. Until I realized Roy is actually very kind, and really is just trying to figure out what to do with his very large self, he kinda made me nervous with that. When a 16.2, 1200 pound horse decides to leap into the air, it is a long, long way down.