WE HAVE NEW COURAGE PICTURES!!!!
First off, I want to do a little comparison.
We're looking at the same horse, but he's completely changed in just two months.
His neck is thicker, he's put on weight, his tail is growing, his shoe job is different and he carries himself differently.
His winter coat is substantially darker than his summer look--from almost buckskin to bright bay.
He's still gorgeous and his muscling is going to change plenty more as he works more and more correctly. I knew he'd look different, but these side by side images totally blow me away.
Now, a little look at how he's working these days.
He's starting to figure out how to be the best at trotting. We have moments of relaxation and forward and the moments are starting to last longer and come more frequently.
Sometimes it's hard for me to see his day-to-day progress, but shots like this absolutely capture the horse he's becoming.
That said, the better he gets walking and trotting, the more comfortable he is trying things in the canter. It is absolutely KILLING me to not be cantering fences with him right now, but it's more important to get him relaxed and confident than it is for me to play with his perfect naturally-uphill canter.
For now, I'm trying to gradually increase his comfort zone. He is the sort of horse that likes to go forward and he loves the chance to earn praise. I'm working to build on that. I get him soft and balanced where he's comfortable, then ask for a little bit more. He only sustains it as long as he's comfortable. I only ask him when he's balanced and I don't punish him for losing his balance or slowing down.
It may be slower than cramming him into the frame I want and spanking him forward at every opportunity, but it seems to be working for him. He comes out willing to work and he's slowly making progress.
|He's got this|
We built it up gradually--poles, then crossrail, then added the back bar.
The little dude never even blinked. Here he is, cantering across his first-ever oxer. I thought he'd look at it a little or overjump the first time or you know, react.
But no. I should have guessed--he is the best at oxers. ;) We measured it when we were done. At a whopping 2'2", it was the biggest thing he's jumped so far.
What a guy. It's hard to believe that he's just two months into his new life. Nothing we've done is earth-shattering for the average trained horse, but for an OTTB fresh off the track, I'm thrilled. What does a non-racehorse do after two months of training anyways?