Everything has been going well with Reason. Nothing much else to report other than our daily discussions and hang-outs.
Yesterday Reason was a frisky boy. On a little walk to the arena to hang-out and observe other horses being worked, Reason thought this was pretty cool and wanted to get in there and ‘play’ too. I don’t want to not encourage this playful side. It will be interesting to see what kind of horse I’ll get under saddle. Will he be a “down to business” type, much like Ink, a “playful pony” or the nervous and timid type. Hmmm, I’m guessing it’s not the later. I think he’ll be playful, but up to the challenge of work. I also think that he has a great work ethic, which in an indirect, yet direct way (if that makes sense), shows up during those short walks down to the arena.
Each time we start on a walk, leaving his paddock, he’s usually very good, quiet and relaxed. Ho-hum is his attitude, another walk in the park! But, as we make our way to the covered arena down below, he’s wheels start turning. First he scans the arena for any horses. If he doesn’t see a horse or horses, he lowers his head back down in disappointment. But if there is a horse in there, he’s very curious as to what they’re doing. No, he doesn’t rush the walk down and no he doesn’t get all amped like it’s RACE TIME! But you can see the thoughts and curiosity about just what is going on in there.
This evening the barn owner was working a horse in the covered arena when Reason and I went down there. After a short chat, I turned around and began to walk back down the isle-way to exit the covered arena. As soon as Reason and I reached the entrance to the arena, he casually yielded, while still facing me, into the arena and stopped. I looked back to see his haunches in the arena, staring at me with this, ‘I do NOT want to leave’ look on his face! It took some coaxing to get him to come out and when we finally did, he wasn’t impressed. I think it’s awesome that he likes it enough down there that he wants to stay, which will be great later on. I like to let him think for himself but if mom says not now, I expect him to listen..lol. I guess I’m not convincing that leaving is the best option..Lately, I’ve been avoiding actually going into the arena and walking around. I just take Reason down there to hang, work on manners and ground stuff. But the minute he becomes a little antsy, I leave. I do this because; 1) I don’t want him to injure or re-injure himself because he suddenly became fired up, 2) cause any disruption to the other riders and horses but most importantly 3) to not associate the arena with the TRACK. I want him to be calm, quiet and listening to me. He’s young, so I don’t want to push him or his little attention span (compared to a mature horse that is). I also want him to associate the arena with something else than RACE TRACK, for when we do begin actually working in there. I think it really throws Reason off when we approach the arena (aka RACE TRACK in Reasy’s brain) and then leave without actually doing anything, especially “racing” lol.
Today Reason was much more relaxed. But the barn owner told me that he was having a hooting good time spinning doughnuts in his paddock while he watched another horse being worked in the outdoor arena. He gets front row seating for that! He’s fine, no harm done. Just being a silly, young horse.
This evening, I did the typical. He stood tied at the tie rack for a while, then went into his stall for his good stuff (rice bran) and then we went on a walk. All was good, but he did think it was ok to nip at mommy (playfully) while I was ‘drumming’ from his hind end up his neck. I promptly corrected him and he looked a little discouraged, but I think the point was made. He didn’t try it again the rest of the evening.
Each day I love going to have Reason time. He’s a nice horse to be with and I feel relaxed when I’m with him. I’m learning to embrace ‘baby moments’ and understand them. I’ve never worked with a horse of my own that was this young. You have to approach things much more consistently but slowly, if that makes sense. You don’t want to over-face them or scare them, but you want to encourage bravery and consistency in exposure. It’s a balance. I’m enjoying the process of learning about it.
Tomorrow is Friday, which marks a busy weekend ahead. Normally, Reason gets the weekends to chill and be a horse. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing with him tomorrow. I think I might begin saddling and walking to the arena, a breif stay and walking back and un-tacking. That would probably really confuse him (: !