Day 5 was yesterday. It was cold and windy yesterday. Even our older lesson horses were a little on edge with the cold wind blowing. We expected that Cool might be a little more high strung than usual today.
Video 1- Started Off Lazy
In the first video, you will see that Cool got off to a lazy start yesterday. It looked like Amelia was having to encourage him to go forward. He was very curious, even sniffing the ground like he wanted to roll. It definitely wasn’t what I expected as we got started with him.
In the second video, you will see that as Amelia puts him to work, he seems to focus a little bit more. You could see her having to “bump,bump” with the lunge line to ask him to keep looking where he was going and focused on her.
When he first went from walk to trot, you saw he did a weird little spook/jump thing to the outside. I thought when he did that movement that he looked like it was uncomfortable on the previously injured leg. It all happened so fast though, so I could be overthinking things. Especially since once he got going in the trot, he had a nice swing in his back, even though you could see he did have some tension going on. I thought this video shows his improvement in listening to Amelia’s voice commands. He walked nicely around the circle when she asked him to, got into a pretty consistent trot, and then stopped a lot sooner when she asked him. The last few times it sometimes took a few times around to get him to come to walk or to whoa and standstill.
In Video 3, Cool was going to the left initially, and he was looking pretty relaxed and focused.
When Amelia turned him around and went to the right, in the beginning, it really looked like he got tense again, almost like changing direction was like starting over again. He seemed tense and distracted. As he continued on to the right, you will see he settled in nicely and his movement looked great!
In video 4 we see Cool canter. I think this was most definitely the best canter that we have seen from him. There was a little bit of stiffness and cross cantering in the beginning but he settled in and cantered nicely. I was happy with how he cantered both directions, especially to the left (the previously injured side). That was the most cantering he has done so far. He stayed fairly consistent in speed and didn’t have any silly drama going from trot to canter. I wouldn’t have been surprised if he did act up at the canter since it was so windy. Luckily, we were impressed with his focus!
In this video, you can see that Amelia is working with him on his transitions from walk to trot. Which to me it looked like he was doing great! He just looked much more relaxed in general than he did in the beginning. When he did a little cantering, he looked good and responded well when Amelia asked him to come back to trot.
The Drama Came Later
Cool’s lunging session was great yesterday! I was super impressed with his behavior and very encouraged by his movement. He is not showing signs that the work is aggravating his hip, which is really good news.
After a great session, when he was on the crossties afterward being untacked, he stepped back too far. You know what happens then! He panics. breaks the halter drops the saddle and takes off running. It was dark by now too! Luckily, he got distracted by a horse walking around the farm and stopped to stare at it. Which gave Amelia an opportunity to grab him.
He came back in and stood on the crossties as nothing had happened. Typical goofy horse behavior!
So Far So Good
Cool is doing really well for just getting started. It won’t be long and I plan on incorporating the girls getting on him and riding him at the walk. Getting him to collect and step up under himself at the walk will be great for getting his strength back. Which I think is great, because eventually, Cool will get bored with lunging which might make him have a bit of an attitude. Hopefully, by doing something different and changing things up we will be able to continue to keep his attention.
Our goal is to keep him interested in his work and slowly build back up his strength, and flexibility, especially in that left- hind leg.
Aside from his little crosstie drama last night, he has been great coming back into work. I think, all things considered, we couldn’t ask for much better!