Onto a progress report. My third ride on Roscoe went really well. I even got him to move off my leg at walk and trot for almost the whole circle before his brain kicked and said "Wait a minute, the wrong person told me what to do." He has some great brakes. I will take him stopping over bolting any day though. Since he was in a good working frame of mind, I looked at Peggy and asked "Ready to get on?" Her first response was "AH NO." Not too surprising. Then when I got off, she walked over and said "Okay." So she got on him and let Mom direct his movements. She had some issues with being a passenger, but they worked it out. The best part for me was that he did not fuss about going back to work after the change of rider and he adjusted to Peggy. He knew she was unsure and stayed closer to Mom than he ever has with me. When she was more comfortable, he moved out when Mom asked. Overall not too shabby.
Roscoe had 3 days off before I could get back on him. Mom was working so I figured I would see if I could get him moving without someone in the middle. I did give Peggy the whip to be my gas pedal if need be. Well, he moved off great walking around the little area. He evened trotted a bit. Then that smart ass brain kicked in and he just stopped. He said no way he was moving. Roscoe does a really impressive statue pose. I tried everything I could, but it was not working to get him to move. So Peggy stepped in to move him on. We did walk and trot both ways before ending.
I decided that Roscoe was getting bored. It is a curse that all smart horses deal with and it is something we owners have to stay ahead of. So after ending the arena work, I had Peggy open the gate. We were going for a stroll. I figured how far and how long would be determined by Roscoe as we went along. First we had to walk by the mare's turnout area. Not a problem. He was too busy looking around. Then he had to go down a small hill. Plus Peggy stopped to move a branch off the trail, putting him out front. Roscoe balanced himself well on that hill maintaining his pace. He slowed, cocking an ear towards Peggy, but I told him to walk on. He kept walking. Peggy said his tail had that nice relaxed swish to it as he moved. Although he looked around and tended to follow his nose, he felt great. I have been on older horses that don't know how to handle themselves on a trail. Roscoe went over logs and walked between trees happily. We got to a steeper hill and some green came through before he found his footing going down. This was not the day to continue onto the really big hill, so we turned around. Roscoe spotted Peggy at the top of the hill and trotted up to her. Both of us were so happy. We realized that Peggy left my phone back at the arena, which meant no way to take pictures. I ended walking Roscoe back over to the arena area so Peggy could take a picture. Rosemary was calling and trotting around. Roscoe just cocked a leg and waited.
The biggest revelation the trail ride gave us, was that this could be the way to unleash Roscoe from the ground person. He listened to me out there and that is a step in the right direction.
|Watching his Mama|
A couple days later I rode him again. This time I only moved him a little at the end of the lead line while Mom took down a section of the barrier. Then I got on and walked him into the bigger side of the arena. He was so excited he broke into a trot. When I flexed him, he tried to bite my legs. Yep not quite in the working frame of mind yet. I asked him to walk on and he did. The other new thing I did for this ride was pick up a dressage whip. From all the in hand work and breed shows, he knows that means move. I figured it would not hurt and it is easily dropped if he overreacts. Mom stayed on the other side of the barrier waiting to see if I would need her. Roscoe kept moving and it seemed I would not need help. I asked him to trot. He picked it up but the combination of me posting, going around a turn and him being distracted by the mares caused him to lose focus. So he did a baby buck and slammed on the brakes. No big deal. I flexed him, focused and asked him to move on. He was a bit stuck. The dressage whip and some kissing worked great at moving him on. After that he really did not have any big issues. He walk, trotted both ways and even went over a pole. I think Roscoe is finally unleashed.
I ended my ride and handed the reins to Mom. She needed to feel his awesomeness. Roscoe tested her and she pushed him, before they both settled and enjoyed the work. With time running short we took him out for a loop on trail. Literally we walked down the first hill and then looped around to the other path to come back up. I swear Roscoe stopped as if saying "Uh, no way. We went further the last time." He did not want to end his ride. Sorry buddy we have to go make money to pay for your food.
Just what we need another work a holic horse. I will say the other horses have not been giving me the "I want to work too," eyes. Mom thinks they like how much calmer Roscoe has been since he has started under saddle work.
Next I want to try another horse in the ring with us to see how he handle that distraction. Then maybe we can use another horse to help him learn canter. He also needs to work on his long lining to prep for driving. For that matter so does Comrade. Those Cob boys have no idea the fun coming in the future. I am looking forward to actually being able to ride this winter especially since that means Roscoe can get the time he needs to develop.