And then I thought "I don't pay for two horses so I can lunge on my freaking birthday". With that solid rationale in mind, I tacked up and headed for the arena. I did decide that the best way to continue to advance the education of my lil' OTTB was to start out by lunging in side reins for a few minutes so we could practice learning about contact before I tried to do anything. It went like this:
|Pretend the bit is FIRE|
Him: "What's brown and eats out of trees?"
Me: "Keep going. A giraffe?"
Him: "A COURAGE GIRAFFE OMFG I AM SO FUNNY"
Me: "It's really not that funny. Go forward."
Him: Lookit! It's my giraffe impression. What kind of noise does a giraffe make?"
Me: "Go. Forward."
Him: "Knock knock."
Me: "Who's there?"
Him: "A COURAGE GIRAFFE!!!"
He sort of relaxed eventually, so I decided to give up on the lunging and move along. Clearly, it's a work in progress. He understands the whole "go around me in a circle" part of the concept, so I guess that's good.
I didn't have high hopes for our ride. He walked forward pretty well, so I tried to do a little work on giving to the contact and moving off my leg. Then I moved him up into the trot.
The Courage Giraffe was gone. He was forward (for him) and stretching his neck forward and down. Not a fancy dressage stretch by any means, but pretty freaking amazing for him. He didn't learn it from the side reins and he certainly didn't learn it from me, so I can only assume that he's training himself in his spare time.
|Ears on the grass|
|The best birthday ride|
Yet again, I was completely thrilled with how Courage handled the new situations and challenges that I threw at him. He's one month removed from the track and he's quiet enough to hack on a loose rein. I keep saying he's going to be awesome, but the truth is that he already is.