Gus is doing so so well! I backed up a little bit this week and spent three days lunging with the vienna reins. The first day Gus did not think he could go around in a circle, he was not so sure about the pressure on his mouth, and canter? What? The circle was way to small to canter. But on day two? He was like a completely different horse. He’s a smart boy.
Over the weekend I got Eric to come out and take some photos and, of course, get on Gus himself. Despite being so relaxed during the week, Gus was a little spitfire on Saturday! The good part: Gus was forward and picked up his leads when asked. The bad part: Gus thought he was back on the race track and burst into a canter.
I had to spend a lot of time just trotting, half-halting, trotting, halting, walking, trotting… you get the idea. And of course then when Gus would bolt into a canter we would come back and start over again. It was exhausting, especially in this GA heat! And of course, Gus is still learning what a half-halt is so it’s a bit more like “I’m going to strangle you for half a second” then the polite “listen please, I’m still up here” that a half-halt is supposed to be.
But eventually we got a few good trot-canter transitions. I love that he does react to my leg. I just wish it wasn’t quiet so crazy of a response. Even better, he was listening to my outside leg and actually turning! Eric says it still feels like trying to turn a semi truck but it used to be like turing a semi truck with flat tires so, I’ll take it.
Because I had Eric out to help me, we even put Gus over his first ground poles and his first mini x-rail! He was a superstar, the poles didn’t phase him at all. Once we get a little bit more consistent with steering and our transitions I’ll start doing a lot of pole work.
To end, because Gus was getting a little anxious at this point, we went on a nice relaxing walk around the property. I really love this place and I can’t wait to get on the trails this week (I had planned to on Sunday but forgot to bring any saddle pads with me…fail!). I love this horse, he’s such a good egg. He gets today off and then this week we start hacking on the trails!