First of all, thank you everyone for your kindness about our loss of Irish. We are all doing well. It helps that his passing was quiet and kind. I spent Saturday re-organizing Irish's stall to move Quaid into it. That seems to have helped them adjust as well. We spent Saturday together just being in each other's company. It was helpful, I believe, for all of us.
|we have had a couple frosty mornings but the
weather has been beautiful.
But this post is to update on Quaid (side note- I have some lessons with Carmen to write about as well but we'll save that).
|About me? Hello my internet friends
(PC B Schuler)
Quaid is doing well. In many ways he's the typical 2 year old gelding- he's growing so his body parts don't always align and he's always hungry. As well, he wants to put his mouth on everything. He's not a biter but I suspect that at some point I will be the victim of teeth (even by accident). I am not getting super aggressive about it- I know he's just trying to engage. When he starts to nibble on me I rub his muzzle and move him away. When it feels more intrusive I send him off.
|I've started re-watching Stacy Westfall's 'Jac' series.
Raven is fascinated by horse training.
I've introduced Quaid to a bit. I started with a happy mouth mullen mouth but after a few trials I dont' think he liked it (anyone want to buy a 5" mullen mouth?). So I switched to my stubben golden wing and he seems to like it a lot better. Teaching him to accept a bridle has been incredibly easy. The biggest thing is getting it onto his head without him eating it.
Quaid: ooh, this is interesting let me chew it
Me: wait, no, stop, here let me get that out.
Quaid: but it's fun to chew!
Me: here chew on this *slips bit into mouth*
Quaid: *gnaw, spit, gnaw, gapes mouth* , I can't spit this out,
I started with brief sessions with the bit in the barn, then while we were working and now it's part of our getting ready routine.
|my half-bridle + halter,
maybe not attractivebut it works well
I do love his brain (have I said that before? It feels like I've said that before). I find doing something, getting a little success and leaving it, pays off big time.
We've been practicing lining up at the mounting block. The first time I brought it out into the ring he looked at it and got ready to climb it. Fair enough, last time I presented him with a wooden obstacle that was the plan.
The thursday before we put Irish down we had all three horses in the ring. Caelen rode Irish, Julia rode Carmen and I played with Quaid while telling them things from the ground. Quaid was happy to folllow me and hang out and then go to work. I lined him up at the mounting block and leaned over him moving my hands and waving about and then jumping off the block. He was fine. I've been leaning some weight on him and so did this time too. He was fine. The third time we went back I put my entire weight on him - hanging over his back like a sack of potatoes. He looked at me, got a little unbalanced so walked forward a few steps. I slid off and he stopped and looked at me 'well that was weird'. He wasn't spooked or upset. So I guess, technically, I rode my horse for the first time.
I want to start ground driving him this year and have ordered a bitless bridle so that I'm not putting any harshness on his mouth. My plan is to have the bit there and, as he understands, start using rein and bit pressure.
Other things he does well: cross tie, single tie (ground tie is coming, it's better in the ring then in the barn), pick up all four feet for me and the farrier, move away when I'm feeding, lead, and lunge. He understands how to canter on the lunge. He will willingly walk through puddles but is less certain about trotting or cantering through them.
Here's an example: he stepped on his lead and couldn't move. After trying he looked to me to sort it out.
|why are you taking photos when I'm trapped.?
He's also doing well being taken away from Carmen or having her leave him. I plan to make that even better by having them separated without being able to see each other. I suspect that Carmen will struggle more with that.
He's really just all that I'd like in a 2 year old- curious, willing and basically a sponge. He'd be easy to push and I'm trying to make sure that I don't do that and create holes. Just because he does something correctly the first time doesn't mean that he understands it. In fact I assume that he doesn't and it's simply luck (like hitting a bullseye with a dart the first time you play). I like it better when he tests a bit so that I can show him what I'm looking for.
H'e just so much fun.
|he looks like such a baby here