Solo really has grown up a lot in the past two or three weeks. Just being prepared for his trip to the Royal was educational. He is indeed a changed horse. Although he still stops sometimes when you are leading him, it has more to do with where he wants/doesn’t want to go, than any kind of spooking. In the past week several items of machinery and equipment have been moving around as part of the preparations for Winter. Pre-Royal, getting past these would have incurred snorts and blowing at the very least, and several stops and backups. This week he has been led past them all, not quite without comment, but certainly with a lot less to say. More of an audible gulp and a girding of loins to get by, rather than a plant, whirl and run-for-it.
This week Solo has continued with his work on the lunge and off. Selena is in the UK which gave me the opportunity to be the rider instead of the handler. I rode him the first day I saw him and the first day he arrived, and have not had a single opportunity since.
When I got on him this week, the first thing I noticed was that he felt really solid and secure and I was impressed by the difference in his back and strength. He has really matured over the past few months. However….when I leant over to adjust the low girth, he had to walk/stagger forward to save his balance as he is still not strong enough to withstand my upper body being so far away from centre. Then I could feel that he is still only three years old, but other than that moment, his back and his balance felt great. Every time you begin a new young horse it’s like being given a brand new canvas to work on. You always want to do a little better with each successive work of art. So far, this one feels lovely.
Since his excursion to the RWF, he has gone back to being outside when the weather permits. He and his buddy Waldo have a big three sided shelter that is bedded down with deep straw. They seem very happy to be back outside and can be seen each morning, sleeping together in the straw. I am trying to get a photo of them still snoring, but they leap up as soon as the hear me, footsteps mean breakfast.
It’s time to hack him out, I am really looking forward to it. I hope we get some more good hacking weather before it’s too cold. I am a wuss in the cold.