We have had Solo on his ‘no mercy’ work schedule for a couple of weeks now and I THINK I might see just the tiniest improvement. He is certainly a lot softer and calmer in his eye.
We changed a lot of things so it’s hard to tell what is helping and what is not. He is now out with a friend that he really likes. I think that was important. I can see the turnouts from my window and I had seen that Solo was not altogether settled on his own and was not grazing as much as usual. Now that he has his new friend, a 17.3hh called Leif, he is a lot happier. It is more like when he had Waldo to go out with, he and Leif go off together, heads down, not more than twenty feet between them at any given time. Very sweet.
We went back to the simple happy mouth snaffle. He is nothing if not sensitive around his face. Twice we have tried to put a grackle noseband on him and both times he has nearly fallen over in his panic. I did it once when I was breaking him and Selena did it once while I was away….you will note that neither of us have done it twice!! However, I am nothing if not stubborn and I have decided that he does not have the right to dictate his noseband and I am trying to teach him to accept it on the lunge….it’s a hard sell.
He is still lunging with me being very stringent about the overtracking laws. He has shown a big improvement in his going forward but is still a spooky pain in the butt. Spooking has ALWAYS been his most fun game. It took nearly two years to walk him in and out from the paddock without spooking at the windows on Selena’s house – nothing but a game, the same game he is now playing with cross country fences – he sees what he is going to shy at from about a hundred yards away and starts to roll his eyes and lift his head….sigh….blinkers?…perhaps just a flipping blindfold and I will shout when it’s time to jump.
Yesterday and the day before we set spookies in the corners of the arena and made him shoulder in past them over and over again – I am not sure how ‘trained’ that makes him, but it was satisfying to be the trainer….LOL
Today he is off to the Mary Wanless clinic. Selena and I both enjoy Mary Wanless. Selena is riding Solo and I will ride Peanuts. We ride together in the afternoons and I am really looking forward to it. We both rode Peanuts last year (split a clinic) and we found Mary’s comments super helpful. I am hoping she will be able to give us some guidance and help with Solo’s crookedness on the right rein which contributes in a big way to his naughtiness.
He looks a million dollars, all his little bits that I was always complaining were not filled out are filled out now. He is absolutely magnificent, a stunning looking horse… lets hope his little pea brain will live up to the promise of his gorgeous body. Onwards and upwards…