The weeks are flying past and Solo’s first under saddle show is fast approaching. This time in two weeks, he will be on the road to Millbrook NY. So far we have not worked out a way of getting him to another small show beforehand. Selena’s show schedule is intense and the spaces in the trailer are allocated weeks in advance. It’s more important to get five, six and seven year olds out to shows. Four year olds are naturally limited in how much they should do, it just doesn’t make sense to leave an older horse at home and take a four year old out showing. We rarely do much until they are five.
However, we are very excited about Solo’s debut. He looks great so I thought I would try to take a couple of body shots of him on the hayfield that sits behind his barn. Now that the hay is cut, he is being asked to work in that field. He finds it terribly difficult to keep his focus on his lessons when he is so close to his friends. This is going to be a difficult thing for him and I am not being heavy handed (or kicking and yelling) about it. I have to convince him that what I have to say is more interesting than going back into the barn. He is intelligent and he gets the idea. I am always circumventing a fight with him, I just have this sneaky feeling that, at least for a while, he would quite enjoy coming out and matching wits and strength with me……so….I adjust my program around his outbursts.
For instance, yesterday I was lunging him in the hayfield prior to getting on and taking him for a hack. While I was lunging, someone arrived to pick up Waldo (Solo’s buddy) and take him off to be ponied on the hills. This was way too much for Solo to cope with, and he worked himself into a frenzy on the lunge, thus negating his chances of going for a hack with his buddies. I lunged him until he was obedient (sort of) and then gave up gratefully and took him in for a shower. I was impressed by how quickly he calmed down. In fact, by the time he had had his shower, he was positively laid back….so….I just tacked him back up again and gave him a dressage school. He was a really good boy. This has given us the idea that we might do the same for his warm up at Millbrook, work him, then take him in and untack and shower him before tacking up and getting on to go in the ring. Different strokes….etc.
I thought I would take a photo of Solo after his second shower yesterday to show the area he has been working in. Of course, being Solo, he couldn’t possibly stand still on the end of a rope….he had to get up close and personal with the new summer student whom he had not met before. Oh well, we tried to get a nice conformation shot, practice makes perfect…