Rodney’s Progress, or Approximation Thereof
At the advice of my Groundwork Exercise Designer, we are using standards instead of cones for Rodney’s weave poles. The better to see them. Rodney is doing exceedingly well with this exercise. We will spend 10-15 minutes dragging the standards/poles into a new pattern or to a new location. He will nail it on the first go. We often use a short dose of weave poles when he needs a victory.
He is also jumping low fences on his good lead, walking a short way up a steep hill, and trotting straight lines, all in hand. Activities have kept me from doing the riding thing again. Perhaps next weekend.
On the other hand, Rodney gets overwhelmed by jumping on his bad lead or trotting anything other than a straight line, e.g. a circle or over a pole. He is unappreciative if not overwhelmed by going all the way up the hill in the pasture. Of course, he grazes on this hill all the time and will come galloping down it at mealtime. Ask him to walk it with me on command, not so much.
Rodney now has a TENS unit. Seems to like it.
Even if he never sets hoof in the show ring, Rodney is not the sort of horse to be put up on blocks. He needs to be engaged and entertained. Since he is here to stay, he needs to work. I try to gauge his sessions by the improvements he has made, not by the distance from my original goals. As long as he continues to be gorgeous but useless, I will continue to be frustrated. However, I am attempting to cultivate an outlook that will keep despair to a minimum.
Rodney’s life journey does not affect welcoming a new horse. We are fortunate to have the space and funds for Rodney to be a scenic lawn ornament for the rest of his days. (Whether I can cope with that is a different question.)
The sand that is grinding my horse hunting gears is the appalling quality of horses we have found to date. Seriously, you would not believe the lamenesses we have seen. Our record is 10 strides. We drove for 3+ hours. The horse walked for that many minutes. I turned to my Buying Consultant and said, Okay, how do we get out of here gracefully? Yes, there was a video. No, it didn’t help.
That was the past. Onwards!